The boys had (another!) long weekend in November so we took advantage of a cheap flight to check out Tenerife in the Canary Islands. C had been to Tenerife many, many years before. The island is a very popular destination for Brits and, at least used to be, the destination of choice for many a “hen party” or “lads’ holiday” (think Panama City Beach over Spring Break). With less hair on his head, creaky knees and three young kids in tow he was in for a slightly different encounter with the Island this time.We booked accommodation in the small town of Vilaflor.Vilaflor is a quaint, Spanish town in the highest part of the island and a short drive to Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain and the third tallest volcanic structure on earth. It is still an active volcano, with the latest eruption occurring in 1909 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. We chose not to go up to the peak, but got a good sense of the surroundings by hiking around the surrounding area. There are many different hikes around the area and we did one every day. The terrain and views were pretty much the same but that didn’t make them any less interesting or stunning – you really can’t go wrong.Vilaflor itself was a beautiful and very Spanish town with amazing views all around. We enjoyed great food there (much better than we’re used to in Spain) and would particularly recommend El Refugio de Vilaflor. We quite enjoyed the fact that the waiter did not speak any English and he appreciated our (albeit limited!) Spanish. We had a great time in this family run restaurant as well as great food. The waiter even gave us ‘chupitos’ at the end of the meal – a very nice Spanish gesture that is sadly wasted on us non (hard) alcohol drinkers.
Unfortunately, however, the nights were very cold and Spanish houses are just not built for the cold. While our Airbnb was comfortable, it was very spacious and that was its downfall for us. There was a fire place that we lit every night but it was impossible to heat up the whole house and the nights and mornings were almost unbearably cold. Having spent three days getting up in freezing temperatures, then hiking, eating, freezing (repeat!) we made the last-minute decision to go down to the coast and get a hotel and completely different experience of Tenerife (the two in the two for one trip).We checked out of the Airbnb and drove a short distance to the beach. We stayed in a resort hotel and the room was fantastic. We even had a garden on the roof that the kids could play in.There were swimming pools and kids clubs at the hotel so we were able to sit back, relax and enjoy a real vacation!
So what was it like? Well, imagine the UK with sunshine and you’ve got coastal Tenerife. Fried eggs and bacon breakfasts, Irish pubs with football on the ‘telly’ and everyone speaking English…even the few Spanish people we met spoke only English. It worked for us as C hadn’t been back to the UK for a while so he was able to enjoy the football with a pint of Guinness and the boys loved the fried breakfasts. Not exactly a Spanish experience, but we certainly made the most of it! Two very different vacations on the same short trip.