26 July 2015

Travel | Tenerife: Teide, Masca and Dolphins

This time last month I'd just arrived in Tenerife for my first holiday since my trip to Australia in January 2014. Needless to say the break was very welcome and very much overdue and after being back home for three weeks and only just finding the time to actually sit and blog, it's safe to say I could probably do with another holiday!

We stayed at the Barcelo Santiago in Puerto Santiago which is just a short walk or drive to Los Gigantes and is situated about an hours drive from the airport which is in the southern part of the island. The view from our room and from the hotel in general was beautiful; we had a sea view room and the restaurant had floor to ceiling windows at one end, overlooking the sea and the cliffs making it an ideal place to watch the sun set.

I won't be doing a full hotel review but if you're looking for a nice mid-end hotel in Tenerife with a great all inclusive service then look no further.

The main purpose of the holiday was to relax so Sunday to Wednesday were spent laying by the pool reading and trying not to burn! I'm obsessed with SPF but I still managed to burn somehow so I applied lots of after sun, drank lots of water and spent a lot of time in the shade until it passed. I read 3 books in 3 days and just having the downtime to actually do that was such a blessing.

On Thursday we headed off for the Teide by Night excursion, we were picked up at 2:30pm and whisked off to other hotels on the island to collect other holidaymakers before being taken on the steady ascent to Teide where we were due to have dinner and do some star gazing.

After climbing to the highest village in Spain we went into the natural park of Tenerife (not to be confused with the national park though I couldn't tell where one ended and the other began) for our first photo opportunity and what an opportunity it was as we looked out to a blanket of clouds that were beneath us. I am petrified of heights so even as I was looking at the beauty of my surroundings my legs were like jelly and I had a vice like grip on anything stable (railings, posts, other people - you get the picture). 

After stopping for two more photo opportunities at Teide, we were taken to the only hotel in the area for a three course meal: pumpkin soup for starter; pork and Canadian potatoes for main and homemade honeycomb ice-cream for desert. All washed down with red or white wine.

After our meal we went to watch the sunset which was honestly the most incredible experience. I often say that as a child of one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world I've never really "got" nature and only when you see something so natural and beautiful as the sun setting with nothing to obscure your view because you're over the clouds, do you really appreciate and marvel at what a wonderful world we have and how vitally important it is that we protect it. We were given complimentary glasses of cava to toast the sunset and blankets for when the temperature dropped.

Once the sun had set we returned to the hotel for further drinks whilst we waiting for darkness to truly fall in order to go star gazing. I have always loved stars, ironic as it's so difficult to really see them in London, but I've always found something very comforting and magical about knowing they're there. Being taken to see the stars in one of the best locations in the world for star gazing (the other two are in Hawaii) and having the constellations pointed out was probably one of the best experiences of my life so far - I absolutely adored it.

I must point out that I do think a huge part of the experience and its success was due to our incredible tour guide Fernando - he was funny, charming and so knowledgeable about every aspect of our trip from the indigenous plants to the location of the stars and planets. 

On the Friday we visited a tiny little town called Masca and considering we got in from Teide at 1am, the 8am wake up for the 9:30am start was not living the dream. Unfortunately, I'll need to gloss over a lot of the Masca trip as it involved climbing the narrowest and steepest mountain roads I've ever seen in my life and I spent much of the journey with my eyes tight shut and my hands gripping the arm rests just wanting to get off the mini bus.

That being said, once we reached the highest point and turned the corner of the mountain we were met by the most stunning green scenery, it was like being in Harry Potter and starting your journey to Hogwarts. We eventually made it down the mountains to Garachico where we had lunch before we hopped back on the bus and went to meet a different Fernando for some wine tasting.

I'm not the biggest drinker of wine and I despise red wine however Fernando was so knowledgeable and the wine was so good and once you learn to taste it properly it really does make all of the difference that I ended up bring a few bottles home with me!

Saturday was our last full day as we were flying home Sunday lunchtime and so we decided to book a day out one the Freebird catamaran. When we arrived at the dock I wanted to get back on the bus and go back to the hotel because the man working for the company was quite honestly the most irritating individual I had the misfortune of encountering during our trip and I actually found him completely off-putting.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long for our catamaran to arrive and as we'd opted to pay a little extra to go on the adults only boat we were met with glasses of cava, unlimited drink and a fantastic fresh meal of chicken, rice and salad. We saw whales and three different types of dolphin and I faced my fears and swam in the sea! A beautifully relaxing end to a lovely holiday. The crew were absolutely superb and made the day what it was.

If you're heading to Tenerife soon I honestly cannot recommend the three trips above enough, they were such wonderful experiences and I am so grateful for them.

Vicky x


  1. The pool and the other photos of your hotel looked beautiful! I don't think I'd ever think of going to Tenerife (or the Canaries for that matter), but it looks such a good place for a relaxing holiday! Those excursions sounded amazing too! xx

    1. It was really beautiful, I think if you go to the right resort you manage to avoid any of the stereotypical Canaries holidays thankfully! Need another one now! xx


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