Teide, Tenerife - travel review
We emerged from a thick layer of mist and were now driving above the clouds.
A sprawling white sheet stretched out in front of us as far as the eye could see.
Below us, hidden beneath the cloud layer, was the outer populated edges of Tenerife, and beyond that the sea.
But the only land visible in front was the winding Tarmac path, the steep cliff edges and the sprawling pine forests.
We were driving up Teide National Park, home to Mount Teide, a dormant volcano which is the highest point in Spain and of all the Atlantic islands.
The scenery looks like a movie set. And indeed, Teide is sometimes used as a movie set, due to its other-worldly appearance.
But the most alien-like parts were yet to come.
As we climbed higher along the road, the terrain changed to a dry, arid landscape featuring jagged rocks and hills.
“It is a completely different world when you get to the top,” announced our driver and tour guide, Haime.
“Parts of it look like Mars and the Moon.”
Fittingly, the park – a volcanic mountain range elevated thousands of metres above sea level – is frequented by film directors.
If you wanted a place to stage a blockbuster sci-fi movie, here was the perfect setting.
Teide has played host to Clash Of The Titans – a 2010 sci-fi smash-hit about warring gods and the universe. It has also been used to film Star Wars and the sixth instalment of The Fast and the Furious.
It is one of the island’s most important landmarks. At the top, there is a hotel visitor’s centre, a cable car to the summit and an observatory.
It is a far-cry from the typical image usually associated with Tenerife – that of hotels, pools and bars – but is a must-visit for any tourist. The drive up to the top can take up to one hour, with tour operators including Feel Tenerife, which is run by Haime.
Be sure to stop off in some of the quaint villages along the way, where you can sample a delicious coffee at some bars called a Barraquito, which features colourful layers of different ingredients including cinnamon and liquor.
If you don’t fancy venturing too far in land, another recommended past-time in Tenerife is whale watching.
You can sit back, relax and enjoy the sun while you travel in a boat for a few miles off the coast where whales are usually visible.
We had to wait around 20 minutes before spotting any whales, but we were lucky enough to find a pod of whales.
It was amazing to see these animals up close and they came right up to the boat.
And if you fancy staying dry but still want to soak up the sun, Tenerife is home to a host of pristine golf courses for you to tee off.
Past times and sight-seeing are important on holiday – but choosing a good hotel is essential to enjoying your trip.
Our accommodation was the four-star Jardin Tropical Hotel located in Costa Adeje in the south west of the island. It really was a slice of paradise.
The hotel has under gone a recent investment with a redesign of its appearance and a new focus on luxury. It was relauched on December 1 in time for the Winter sun.
The Jardin boasts 390 rooms. It also has 90 premium rooms which can be bought by upgrading to ‘Club’ level. This gives you greater access to some of the hotel’s luxurious features, including access to the hotel’s lower outdoor pool which is located right above the sea. You can also enjoy free drinks – both soft and alcoholic – and cocktails at the exclusive Club bar.
The hotel is designed to help you relax and unwind. It has sun beds – some of which has four posters and a roof – located in the lower pool which overlooks the sea. It was bliss taking in the warm winter sun and listening to waves crash against the shore just feet away.
It might have helped that we stayed during January, one of the year’s quieter periods for holidaying, allowing us to enjoy the facilities in relative peace.
You can enjoy a tasty and colourful variety of food at the Jardin. At breakfast and dinner you can have a buffet featuring tonnes of meat, fruit, bread and desserts and there is a good selection of wine alongside the beer available from the hotel’s bars.
The hotel rooms were clean, bright, fresh and designed to a tropical theme, with the bathroom mirror decorated in a spiral of bamboo branches.
Alongside a walk-in bathroom and balcony, my bedroom was in a separate room to the rest of the main hotel room. It also had a balcony with a sea view.
And there is bigger rooms available for a higher price.
The hotel also boasts a roof bar on a balcony, where there are dozens of canopy beds, recliner chairs and hammocks overlooking the ocean.
There is two pools, one heated in the hotel’s main complex, and a salt pool located in the lower pool section for Club customers. To get to the lower pool, you have to walk under a small bridge while inside the hotel premises, which goes under a public walkway.
At the lower pool, there is another restaurant and bar and a good selection of canopy beds and recliner chairs.
After several days of relaxation in the Jardin – which is designed like a white palace – I can say the hotel is a great holiday destination where you can enjoy the sun all year round in luxury.
The temperature in Tenerife reaches the mid-20s in Winter. The island is part of the Canary Island’s, a Spanish colony, that is located in the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Morocco and the African continent. I arrived flying with Ryan Air, and flew back with Jet2. Whether you are after a short break or extended vacation, Tenerife truly is a paradise island. And for a greater budget, you can enjoy a ‘tropical’ paradise with premium luxury at the Jardin Tropical Hotel.
What you need to know
- Rooms at Jardin Tropic Hotel start from £142 for B&B. A Club double room with a sea view and B&B starts from £187. Visit www.jardin-tropical.com
- Tenerife boasts nine golf courses. The top rated is Abama, visit abamagolf.com
- Feel Tenerife tours to Mount Teide start at £124 for two passengers. Visit www.feeltenerife.com
- For whale watching, visit www.skylinetenerife.com