Jane Goossens

This article was written by Jane Goossens

 

Jane has visited Tenerife many times over the last 10 years and has become very familiar with all aspects of the island having travelled all over the island, and spends over 8 weeks there every year. Jane has an interest in arts and crafts and enjoys the quirky side of Tenerife.

 

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Monday, 26 August 2013 10:52

Nelson’s Historic Love Affair

On the 12th of September 1793, a post captain age 35 meets Emma Hamilton, who was 28 years old. Emma was married to Sir William Hamilton.

Viscount Nelson fell completely in love with the beautiful elegant and glamorous Emma. The hero of Trafalgar makes a remarkable historic story, with a very public affair included. There is also a connection between Nelson and the Canary Island Tenerife.
 
On the 22nd July 1797 Admiral Horatio Nelson launched an attack on the Spanish port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It was at this battle that Nelson lost part of his right arm. Nelson's attack was defeated, and he was badly wounded. He returned to England, and later became involved with Emma Hamilton in a love affair that made history.

Nelsons victory in 1798 over the French fleet in “The Battle of the Nile” bought him and Emma together for the second time. Emma and her husband had been fearful Naples would be invaded by French troops, so when they heard of Nelsons victory they felt strongly that he and his fleet should come to Naples.

Emma wrote Nelson a letter full of admiration. Funnily enough, he had also written a letter to his wife fanny.  In this letter he spoke very highly about the young Emma. In September Emma made a huge fuss in welcoming Horatio Nelson into her home. Emma’s husband was also delighted by the presence of this hero Nelson, who was in awe of his wife Emma. The respect and admiration between Sir William, Emma’s husband, and Nelson remained throughout this fascinating story.

By the end of 1798 a French invasion seemed inevitable. Emma and her husband, the Neapolitan Royal family, foreign travellers, and most aristocrats of Naples fled to the safety of the island of Sicily.

Emma and her husband resettled in Palermo, where they rented a house together with Nelson and some other English friends. A close relationship had developed between Emma and Nelson, and the English press started to speculate about this.

At this point Nelsons wife became concerned about rumours that the couple had such a close friendship. She decided to visit her husband, but he was very cold towards her as by this time he was in love with Emma. The beautiful Emma had captured all his attentions, and he did not want to see his wife.

 

Horatio NelsonHoratio Nelson

Both Emma and Nelson had been faithful in their marriages, but perhaps they had married the wrong people. Their relationships had not given them the buzz and zest for life that they both felt when they were together. When Emma and Nelson were together the energy was electric and they complimented each other in a way that probably was very enviable to the outside world.

When two people meet and the energies between them are strong and passionate, this is something special. Unbeknown to Emma and Nelson they were among many wolf’s who would eventually bring them both down. Nelson was a dashing hero, and she had a glamorous career in modelling items of fashion that she had designed herself.

Emma would entertain guests by acting out little plays, and she had a beautiful singing voice. With both of them being famous in their own right, this was definitely part of the attraction they felt for each other.

Nelson was eventually called back to Britain. Nelson, Emma and her husband William Hamilton travelled together and set up home in Piccadilly London. On the 31st of January 1801 Emma gave birth to a baby girl they named Horatia, the child was Nelsons.

 It was such an unusual situation that the press had a hay day with reporting this scandal. Nelson and Emma had become the two most famous Britain’s in the World. They lived openly, obviously very much in love, and under the same roof as Emma’s husband. He was now retired, his health was not very good, and yet he seemed to support the affair between his wife and Nelson.

People became fascinated with the story of Nelson and Emma. The press were reporting on them all the time, and the public became hungry for Emma to set the Fashion trends. They wanted to read how she decorated her home, and what dinner party menus she organised. Emma had become like Princess Diana, and the press were reporting her every move. However the fairy tale was not going to end well.

Emma put on a lot of weight, and around this time she turned down an offer to sing in Madrid for the Royal opera. It would appear her glamorous days were over. Nelson had shown he was unhappy with the social life Emma had always craved, so she turned her attentions on their home.

 

Ataque británico en Santa Cruz de TenerifeAtaque británico en Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Admiralty were very aware of the scandalous affair between Nelson and Emma, and they made a decision to send Nelson back to sea to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. When he left, Emma was pregnant again, another baby girl was born only to survive a few weeks. The death of the baby, along with missing Nelson caused Emma to go downhill. She started gambling and spending too much money.

Her husband Sir William had now died and at long last she was free to marry the love of her life, but it was not to be. On the 21st of October 1805 Nelson was badly wounded in The Battle of Trafalgar and he died. Back in London Emma obviously took this news very badly, it is recalled she did not speak or cry for ten hours such was the shock to her of losing Nelson.

Nelson had left instructions for the Government to take care of Emma, in spite of Nelsons status this was ignored and Emma got into debt. On this note we should have empathy for Emma who tried to keep the home Nelson had left to her as a monument to him.

Her love and admiration to Nelson’s memory caused Emma to spend a year in a virtual debtor’s prison. There was no one to turn to for help, with her daughter she fled to France, where she ended up living in Calais and turned to drink.

The once glamorous, beautiful woman who was adored and loved very much by the national hero Nelson, was now living in poverty. Emma died in January 1815 from amoebic dysentery.

Nelsons daughter Horatia married Rev. Philip Ward and had ten children. Horatia led a quiet normal life, and never publicly recognised she was indeed the daughter of the two most famous Britain’s of their time.

Sunday, 14 April 2013 16:00

The Pyramids of Guimar

Tenerife has some very interesting history that will only come to light if you start to explore, spend time reading, and dig deep into the Islands core of unexplained wonders.

On the East side of the Island is the town of Guimar. On arriving in Guimar the town does not appear to have much to offer. Quite the opposite as this town is home to some of the most interesting ancient history in Tenerife, the intriguing Six Step Pyramids.

The first excavations of the Pyramids were done by the University of La Laguna. The pyramids are Twelve Meters in height, with platforms and enclosures completing the complex. The explorer Thor Heyerdahl spoke about the pyramids in 1991. The enclosures are thought to have been used to keep goats in, and the goats were then used in a sacrifice.

The Canary Islands Astrophysical Institute came up with the possibility the structures may have astronomical connections that go back to ancient times. One piece of the complex lines up with a spectacular sunset. This sunset is known as a double sunset. The sun goes behind the Anaga Mountains and then reappears and sets for a second time in a small niche in the mountains. The studies show the pyramids were aligned to the summer and Winter solstices. Ancient people were in awe of the golden colour planet we know as the sun. They thought the sun was a god and had special powers. Sun worship was a big part of their lives.

 

IMG 0085Pyramid at Guimar Tenerife

 

To get a true feeling of what may have gone on around these strange structures you need to visit the complex in the town of Guimar. The complex is really well laid out, with a picnic area, children’s playground, cafeteria, and gift shop. The views from the park are a photographers dream. At the entrance you can decide what things you would like to see. The different programs are individually priced.

 

The park area is beautifully kept; you can stroll around at your own pace to view the pyramids. I am sure you will feel the peaceful energies the park holds, together with the mysteries of a past when the pyramids played an important part in people’s lives. There is an Auditorium showing an interesting documentary, and a museum both are worth including in your visit. In the museum there are some interesting artefacts. The little gold statues of ancient artwork express the desire for gold, which extends across all time, races, and nationalities.

 

Artifacts at Guimar

Take plenty of water and high factor sun cream as it can get extremely hot, there is a lot to see so you will need to keep yourself hydrated while walking around.

The pyramids make an interesting visit, and are set in beautiful surroundings. I went to the complex last November and often find myself thinking about the mystery that shrouds the stone structures.

Monday, 15 October 2012 21:06

Agatha Christie Visits Tenerife

Agatha Christie a writer of Murder Mystery books was known as the Mystery Lady. It was during the year 1927 that she herself disappeared for a while. This was a difficult time for Agatha. Her husband had an affair, and divorced her. Also Agatha had got into debt. Due to these circumstances she had an emotional breakdown, and could not be found for ten days. She then reappeared in a Hotel in Harrogate, claiming she had suffered from amnesia caused by her breakdown. There was a headline in the Daily Sketch newspaper that read ‘Mrs Agatha Christie Found Alive'. Some thought that the puzzling disappearance was in fact intentional so she could escape from the public eye for a while.


Agatha had become weak and could not face writing. To get away from it all she decided to take a trip to the Canary Islands with her twelve year old daughter Rosalind, and her secretary Charlotte Fischer.


She arrived at the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the 4th February 1927, aboard a ship from the Union Castle Mail Steam Ship Company. She travelled to Puerto de la Cruz; there were no hotels there, as Puerto de la Cruz was just a little Fishermen’s village. In the centre of the village accommodation could be found in the old mansions, which were being turned into guest houses for the tourists that were now visiting the Island. Among these mansions were the Hotels Martianez, Monopol, and Marquesa. The Hotels are still there accommodating tourists to this day.

 

Daily SketchAgatha Christie Daily Sketch HeadlineAt the time of Agatha’s visit there was one Hotel called Hotel Taoro. This was situated on a hill in Puerto de la Cruz. It was a luxury hotel with elaborate décor, and modern comforts of that time. The hotel was surrounded by typical English gardens, and lawns. Agatha found that by walking around these beautiful gardens she could concentrate on taking notes for her books. Most of her book titled ‘The Mystery of the Blue Train’ was written while staying on the Island, and it was while finishing this particular book that Agatha first realized that her writing had in fact become her job. She decided to pay off her debts with the sales from the book.


Agatha based another story ‘The Man from the Sea’ on a particular setting in Tenerife. This short story is in her book ‘The Mysterious Mr Quin’, and is based around the estate of La Paz in Puerto de la Cruz. The house was the holiday home of the famous Cologan family. She used the country estate as the setting to write this short story.

 
Tenerife’s perfect weather was known to have an improvement on people’s health, especially any condition to do with the lungs. Agatha found her own pastimes on the Island that proved good for her health, relaxing in the sea baths, and enjoying being outside in the steady temperatures and mild trade winds.


The beauty of the botanical diversity that Tenerife has, with the Islands variety of assorted trees, flowers and shrubs, and the majestic El Teide looking down on it all gave Agatha a lot of enthusiasm for her writing. The spectacular landscape and the peace of the Island helped the writer to continue with her career.


Agatha thought Orotava was lovely; however she did not like the mist and fog that came down from the mountain. Her other dislike was that she found some of the beaches were unsafe for swimming. Agatha made a decision to try one of the other Canary Islands and set off to stay on the Island of Gran Canaria.


To this day the people of Tenerife are very proud that Agatha Christie stayed on the Island. There is an International Agatha Christie Festival that takes place in Puerto de la Cruz once a year. The murder mystery festival has a variety of events; these include theatre productions in Spanish and English, book presentations, music, lectures, and film shows. There are even English afternoon teas.


The festival is relatively new compared to Tenerife’s traditional festivals. Christie fans arrive from all over the world, but particularly from Britain. Agatha would never have thought her stay back in 1927 would have created such an interest; she bought a little bit of England to Tenerife.

 

Jubo Jubogha was a merchant prince, and founder of Opobo state which is in the Southern area of Nigeria. At the age of twelve he was sold as a slave. Jubo had good business sense at an early age, and worked his way out of slavery. Jubo became known as Ja- Ja for his dealings with the Europeans and British. He arrived in Opobo in 1870.

 

Jubo became involved in palm oil trading. He started a trading post in the town which he called The Kingdom of Opobo. The European traders called him King Jaja. A war started between Jubo and the Annang and Ibibio people who lived on the Southeast coast of Nigeria. He had never got on with them, and when he made himself the middle man for the palm oil trading, he asked the Annang and Ibibio people to stop dealing with the Europeans. This is when they fell out with Jubo, he was then exiled to the West Indies.Jaja of OpoboJaja of Opobo


In 1881 Jubo was granted permission to return to Opobo. While travelling back he died, it is thought he was poisoned with a cup of tea. Following his exile and death the state of Opobo lost its power.


Somehow his body was shipped to Tenerife in the Canary Islands and he was buried there. His people were so angry about this and the exile they demanded the body of their king was returned to Opobo. Jubo was exhumed and returned to his people who had never given up hope that one day their beloved king would come back to them.


In his memory his people spent two years in mourning and held a special ceremony so that Jubo would be remembered forever.


Tenerife has had more than its fair share of being involved with historic events over the years. Some very interesting people have visited the Island or their story has involved the Island in some way like King Jaja of Opobo.

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:14

Spooky Tenerife Ghosts

With all the history that the Island of Tenerife holds, you cannot book a Ghost Tour anywhere. It’s as if all the old Mansion houses, chapels, and other historic buildings are to remain in a shroud of mystery.  Tenerife does not wish to promote any ghostly activity.


If you do some research it will reveal a lot of interesting stories around the Island, and evidence that Tenerife does have ghosts. If a place is haunted the people of Tenerife would not be proud of this and neither would they promote it even for the tourism trade. Below are short stories that we have come across on our travels.

 

Gaunche Ghosts

There are many caves around Tenerife which the Gaunche people used to live in. Tenerife was their homeland; the Spanish betrayed them, and killed many Gaunches. Some of the Gaunche men committed suicide rather than be killed by the Spanish soldiers. Some of the caves are believed to be haunted by the Gaunche men who used to live there.

 

Vilaflor Ghost

In the mountains there is a village called Vilaflor. Before the Spanish conquest the Gaunche people lived on Tenerife, and the village was known as Chasna. There is a legend how Vilaflor got its name. According to traditional beliefs a Spanish captain fell in love with a Gaunche young woman. He   imprisoned her so she could not leave him, but she managed to escape. The intense anguish of the Captains heartache was so bad that he died. The last words he said were Vi la flor de chasna which means I saw the flower of Chasna.
There has been paranormal activity in the village of Vilaflor, and this takes place where there is a very old Canarian tree.

 

Ghosts of Slaves

Back in the days when there was a work force of slaves on the banana plantations, many of the slaves were killed. It is believed there are mass graves under some of the banana plantations. The spirits of the dead slaves come back appearing as ghosts.

 

Guimar Mysteries

The town of Guimar is best known for its mysterious pyramids. Near to this town is a ravine known as Barranco de Badajoz. It is here at this ravine that paranormal activity is most likely to be encountered. There is a story about a young girl who was sent by her parents to look for fruit on the trees in the ravine. The girl disappeared there were lots of searches for her, but she had just vanished. This happened between 1890 and 1910. Decades later the little girl appeared again looking the same as when she had disappeared, and she did not think she had been gone that long. Some people say the truth is the Barranco is a portal to another time or dimension. Sightings of ghosts and UFOS have also been seen here at Barranco de Badajoz.


Barranco de BadajozBarranco de Badajoz

 

Haunted Garachico

Garachico is a very old town it used to be a seaport. Today it attracts tourists who find the historic town full of interesting old manor houses, churches and other old buildings. Many of these are said to be haunted.

 

The Ghost of Catherine in La Laguna

The Museum of the History of Tenerife in La Laguna has a ghost of a young woman called Catherine. Her story is sad and more can be read about her tragic death by going to The Ghost of Catherine.

 

The Ghost Island Mystery

The most unusual Tenerife ghost is an Island. It is called San Borondon and exists as the eighth Canary Island. The Mystery Island is also known as Ghost Island. It is not visible most of the time but throughout history people have confirmed seeing the Island. On a bright clear day it is possible to see La Gomeraand La Palma so maybe these islands are what people have seen. When there is cloud cover, you cannot see either of these Islands.

 

The Island of San Borondon is an unusual story for our imagination. And the accounts above show that Tenerife is just like other places and does have its fair share of ghostly goings on.

Tuesday, 07 August 2012 19:58

The Ghost of Catherine in La Laguna

In the Town of La Laguna is the Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife. This is situated in the “Casa Lercaro“, and was once a fine mansion. Back in November 2003 a Spanish newspaper ran a story about a ghost in the museum. The staff wanted to remain anonymous when talking about the ghost, as they were frightened of losing their jobs. Tenerife does not like to promote its historic buildings with ghosts. La Laguna Council want to keep quiet about this young lady Catherine, or Catalina in Spanish, who they say haunts the museum.

 

The 16th century house in San Augustine Street was owned by the wealthy Lercaro family. Catalina’s father, Antonio Lercaro, forced her to marry an older man. On the day of the wedding Catalina threw herself down a well at the back of the mansion. She was so unhappy about the marriage, and felt that there was no other way out. This made her take her own life.

 

The story goes that her remains are hidden in one of the rooms in the house. The church would not allow Catalina’s body to be buried in the cemetery because she had committed suicide. The well was boarded up, and the family moved away to La Orotava.

 

A young woman has reportedly been seen in the Museum, and mysterious footsteps have been heard. The forgotten Catalina haunts this museum in La Laguna.

 

Ghost Tenerife

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 19:27

Jane the Tourist in Golf del Sur

Jane the Tourist Opinion.

I return to Golf del Sur, a resort I have stayed in many times. I am staying at The Amarilla Golf & Country Club, which has a superb Oceanside setting. This eighteen hole championship golf course attracts a lot of keen golfers from all over Europe. On my last visit here I did use the facilities to learn the game. This time I am here to work and I prefer to stay at the club, which is just outside the resort as I can easily walk down into the resort in about ten minutes.

 

As you walk down you will see the Marina. It is nice to stroll around the Marina; at the end is a roof top bar and a bright yellow submarine that will take you into the depths to explore sea life. Walking up again from the Marina you will see The Aqumarina Hotel to your left. I can only comment on the pleasant bar area and the Champagne cocktails!

 

On a Friday morning there is a small market in the Hotel car park and it is worth a look. Walking along there are a few restaurants, and the local Irish pub ‘The Wild Geese’. I popped in the other evening, there was a good atmosphere, and friendly staff. They did a draw to win a rugby ball, and we won it! Most evenings they have live music, you can get typical pub food here.

 

Price wise you are in a high tourist area so not cheap, which brings me to say the supermarket by the pub is very expensive. I just bought water, and purchased other supplies at San Blas (the main square further on).

 

Golf del Sur Beach, Tenerife San Blas, Golf del Sur, Tenerife
Golf del Sur Beach San Blas, Golf del Sur

 

Opposite the pub you can walk down to the seafront, where there is a selection of restaurants. My favourite is the Sakura, I like to sit up at the Teppan oven and watch my food being cooked, and Chef doing a few tricks. I finished off with Japanese fried Ice cream, delicious. This is an experience, and you will pay for it.

 

As you walk down to the restaurants, to the left there is a venue called the Showbar. This has different acts performing every night. We chose to go when the Temptations tribute where singing there and we can recommend as they were very good.

 

I walked along the seafront to San Blas, a coastal walk I enjoy. There are a few small beaches here made up of black volcanic sand. I have noticed most people are sunbathing around the pools here. I reach San Blas square. This sadly has little to offer now, as many places have closed, I expect due to the recession. There is the main supermarket, bank, some restaurants, bars, and a few shops left.

 

From the square I walk across to Los Abrigos, which is a small fishing village. There are some good fish restaurants, and a fairly laid back atmosphere, with a bit more of a Spanish ambiance than that of its neighbour San Blas.

 

If you want to visit other resorts, there is a bus service here, and we have used it to go to Las Galletas. There is not much to see in the town of Las Galletas. Head to the seafront, where there are some good inexpensive Spanish restaurants, and a small marina. This is a place to relax and enjoy a good meal. We had a nice afternoon there.

 

Written by Jane Goossens.


Jane the Tourist
Jane the Tourist
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 17:55

Jane the Tourist in El Medano

On arrival in El Médano I feel I have left the hussel and bustle of Los Cristianos behind.  The seafront of El Médano has a lot to offer, combined with a more relaxed feeling than that of Los Cristianos and other holiday resorts on Tenerife.

 

On Saturday morning there is a market in the square, the stalls are bright and colourful selling handmade jewellery, leather goods, clothes, plants, and lots more. I bought a leather belt for six euros. On this occasion I did not barter, as the seller cut the belt to my size, a service I have not come across in the UK! The Indian stall selling dream catchers and relaxing music is worth a look.

 

El Médano has a Spanish feel to it, with some of the best kept golden sand beaches along this stretch of the coastline. The seafront hosts most of the restaurants and café bars.  There are squares where the Spanish children play. Along the beach walls are small traders selling their goods. In particular one guy is painting on glass, another trader has unusual jewellery. Don’t overlook these small traders with their handmade goods. The side streets off the square by the beach also have a good selection of places to eat, and some interesting boutiques .It is nice to stroll up these side streets in the evenings. And remember if the locals are eating in the restaurants, it means they are good.

If you walk along the seafront towards Montaña Roja you will see the windsurfers. There is a small surfing shop, and café bar this is worth a stop. Flashpoint bar will serve you a cold beer, and good food. They have a bohemian lounge area, where you can relax with a coffee or use the internet. My favourite is the apple strudel served with ice cream and cream along with some tea. All the different teas are served in silver pots on small silver trays. A bit of the Ritz!  Combined with beach combers.

 

El Medano Cafes Tenerife El Medano Seafront Tenerife
El Medano Cafes Tenerife El Medano Seafront Tenerife

Take a look at our photos of El Medano town and beaches

 

Keep walking and you can make your way across to another beach the other side of Montaña Roja.  This is a beautiful beach but be aware of bare bottoms! As this is a Nudist beach, although used by families as well, most do have their swimwear on. It is a nice walk across to the beach; make sure you take plenty of water with you, as this particular beach has no bars. A guy selling water and fruits goes along the beach at certain times.

The hub of El Médano is definitely along the seafront, with the best natural sand beaches on the island. The town will offer you what you need in the way of supermarkets, and general shopping.

 

For accommodation you can rent an apartment or stay at the Hotel El Médano this is right on the sea front. If you are on a budget there is a Hostel called Carel. This is situated near to the seafront. Just be aware the weekends can be a bit noisy, but overall the rooms are cleaned daily with fresh towels, and bathroom toiletries provided. Some rooms have a fridge, and there are safety deposit boxes. The weather in El Medano is good, but well known for the long hard winds which howl along this South-eastern point, so do pack a jumper in the winter months for the cool evenings! But you will enjoy this delightful place.

 

Written by Jane Goossens.


Jane the Tourist
Jane the Tourist

 

El Medano Deals

Booking.com

Monday, 25 April 2011 22:08

Ten reasons to get married in Tenerife

Ten Reasons to get Married or Renew your Wedding Vows in Tenerife.

 

1 To Enjoy Year Round Sunshine

The hottest time is June to September temperatures, range from 80f to 84f. During the winter the weather is like spring, but some days can still be hot. You will need to pack sunblock, but the weather can be cooler in North Tenerife. If you decide on the winter months you will have more sunshine along the South coast. The North will be prone to a lot more cloud cover, and rain. Some people particularly choose the North of the Island during the summer months as they prefer the cooler temperatures .Tenerife is a year-round seaside destination.

El Medano
 

2 For the Beaches

The nice thing is you have a choice of beaches in Tenerife – at Los Gigantes there is black volcanic sand. At Los Cristianos the beaches are golden, here in the larger resorts there is a choice of water sports. For your unforgettable romantic walks visit Las Teresitas, where there is a pure Saharan dessert sand beach. On the beach at Las Caletillas (This is next to the resort of Candelaria) there are large squares of decking around. The sand can be a bit of a nuisance when eating or sunbathing and this decking is the answer. You may want to take a blow up sunbed to lie on as the decking can get a bit uncomfortable after a while. But you will not get any sand in your sandwiches! The beach at Las Caletillas is very clean and sunbeds can be hired. Another well-kept beach is that of El Medano, this has the best natural sands on the Island. It is great for windsurfing and attracts fans from all around the world.

Playa de Las Teresitas Tenerife

3 For the Sight-Seeing

You must take a trip to Mount Teide, the view from the top is incredible.  It has the most extraordinary landscape in Tenerife which is made up of volcanic peaks and plains. Take warm clothes when visiting Teide as it can get very cold up there even in the summer.

 

Or go and see the small round Island of La Gormera which is 40 minutes by jetfoil. Try to visit the centre of the Island to see the Parque Nacional de Garajonay. This island offers tranquillity, plenty of trails for good walks, and an abundance of nature to observe.

Another great day out is Loro Parque.  In the park there are many exotic and colourful animals.

If you want to have some fun together there is Siam Park – one of Europe’s biggest waterparks.

Teide Through the Forest
 

4 For Romantic Days Out

Visit Masca

Some pretty cottages and palm trees, perched at the head of a steep valley, make the hamlet of Masca. As you walk down there is a square with the village chapel. A couple of paths set off from the square and you can wander along these. The dramatic gorge where the hamlet sits and the view out to sea are worth seeing. Relax in one of the little restaurants; maybe you can time it to see the sunset, the setting of Masca makes this very romantic to watch, as the sun seems to drop down through the gorge to the ocean. There are a couple of pretty souvenir shops, and a museum. The views and lush green surroundings make Masca a delightful romantic visit.

Masca Tenerife
La Orotava

The steep streets show of the Canary Islands domestic architecture. Most of the houses date from the 17th and 18th centuries. There are fine mansions and churches to see. As you walk uphill there are some very impressive beautiful houses.

The Casa Fonseca now sells arts and crafts; the upstairs is a museum of how the house was decked out in the 18th century, when owned by a notable family.  If you just want to relax in some nice surroundings there is a luxury club here. This is at Plaza de la Constitución, where for a modest fee you can become a day member and have a drink.

The shops and boutiques are very different, selling many elegant gifts and stylish fashions. La Orotava has a nice selection of different restaurants and coffee shops each with individual charm.  The town is a bit like an open- air museum and you may feel like you have gone back in time.

La Orotava Tenerife

5 For Romantic Dinning

The speciality of Tenerife is seafood. Canarian cuisine is mostly Spanish with a bit of difference, chilli sauces mingle with a salty tang, or the tropical sweetness of bananas. The Spanish wines are good, and grapes are grown locally. Try a Canarian Honey rum after your meal, it is delicious.

The top venue for spectacular dinner shows (including flamenco) is the Pirámide de Arona (Mare Nostrum Resort, Los Cristianos) or try one of the unusual romantic restaurants listed below.

Monastery Setting: La Montañeta, Los Realejos.  Tel: 922 34 07 07.

Set high in the hills behind Puerto de la Cruz, this unusual restaurant has been converted from a 17th century convent. Farm animals and poultry wander around the grounds. Canarian roasts and chargrilled specials are served in rustic dining rooms or out on terrace tables.

Traditional Canarian setting: El Rincon de la Piedra Tel: 922 24 97 78.

This restaurant is in a lovely old Canarian house. It offers specialities such as local fish, fresh salads, and huge steaks.

Tenerife Food
 

6 For the Nightlife

Most of the big bars and nightclubs are in Playa de la Americas. Other resorts have more low key entertainment. It is worth looking at what is going on at some of the hotels, as some of the live music and shows are good. In some resorts the emphasis is more on strolling around, shopping and dining.  Perhaps sit with a glass of wine or coffee and people watch, a pastime enjoyed by many. There are some elegant casinos and nightspots which are more discreetly located. These are used by locals and foreign visitors.

Magic Lounge Playa da las Americas Tenerife

7 For the Renewal of Vows

Venues

Sandos San Blas is a new very modern resort between Gulf del Sur and Los Abrigos. They offer a nice package for Renewal of Vows. The architecture is very different with an infinity pool. The Sandos would serve as an unusual venue for a wedding reception.

The Melina Jardines Del Teide at Costa Adeje has a tropical setting with lots of palm trees, and a really nice pool. They will even decorate your bedroom on the night of the ceremony. It is cheaper in price than the above Sandos.

The Iberostar Hotel Anthelia at Costa Adeje offers a top of the range package. Thai massage, Bouquet for bride and buttonhole for groom, champagne and strawberries on wedding night, and Gourmet breakfast are just some of the things included in this quality package.

Hotel Sandos San Blas Tenerife

8 For the Wedding Ceremonies

Venues

The Ritz Resort

Offers an elegant room decorated in cream and gold for your reception. There are studios and apartments at the club for guests to book. The friendly and helpful staff will help you put together your wedding package.

Abama golf spa resort honeymoon experience

Your package will include a private buggy for your use, spa treatment, candlelit diner, champagne with chocolate covered strawberries. Your room has a sea view at this extraordinary and beautiful resort.

 

9 For a Day Out

For a great day out Visit the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz.  If you are interested in History visit the museum of natural History and Man. The collections inside are wide ranging, one of the most interesting are the Guanche Mummies. If you want a break, there is a very nice inexpensive coffee shop inside. Allow a good few hours to look around the museum, or just pick out the collections that interest you the most. There is a small tourist train which will take you round the city centre, covering the most interesting parts of the city. The exciting modern Auditorio is one of Santa Cruz’s venues for the performing arts. The central plazas have cafes and bars, and there are many restaurants.  For shopping in this city you will be spoilt for choice, with boutiques, Bazaars and department stores, there is also a daily fresh produce market. This is worth a visit just to see the vast array of colourful stalls. This is a stylish city with a good collection of exciting things to see and do.

Santa Cruz Tenerife
 

10 For the Fiestas

Try to see if there is a fiesta on while you are in Tenerife these range from town processions to festive pilgrimage and are a party atmosphere mixed with a religious experience. Then there is the Santa Cruz Carnaval starting in February. This is matched only by the Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Most people choose the summer months to get married. Why not be different, and with the good weather in the south of Tenerife all the year round, it would be a cheaper time to book everything. Then a couple of nights could be spent in the lively city of Santa Cruz, around Carnival time. You will not be disappointed.

Fiesta La Laguna Tenerife
Friday, 21 January 2011 11:18

Jane the Tourist in Candelaria

Jane the Tourist Opinion.

Candelaria is a coastal town about twelve miles south of Santa Cruz. This delightful traditional fishing town has an unusual past, which I found very interesting. I am staying just outside Candelaria at Las Calletillas at the Hotel Catalonia Punta del Rey. This hotel has nostalgia about it, and feels like it is lost back in time. There is a very large dining area, this looks out onto a rock garden with a pond and waterfall.

 

We booked a room that came with buffet breakfast, so I can only comment on this. Room clean and comfortable, for breakfast I had fruit juice, bacon, eggs, tomato, beans, and sauté potatoes, followed by coffee, croissants, little pastries and fruit. This was just my choice, there was so much more! We only had a few nights here & enjoyed.

 

However the resort is low-key and evening entertainment would be limited to the local Spanish restaurants or what was provided in the Hotel.  Last night we went to the Show bar, it reminded me of a ball room.  Light entertainment is put on every night, and there is dancing to suit all age groups. Which brings me to say the age group here is older, that is fine by me as they know how to behave themselves! The price will vary here depending on how and when you book. We booked the same day as we arrived, which gave us a room with buffet breakfast for 50 Euros a night. If you just want to laze around during the day there is a pool here. Or you can take a stroll along the promenade, and this is what I did.

 

The promenade goes right along to the main town of Candelaria, there are plenty of cafes, bars along the way if you want to take a break. Once we reached candelaria we had our picnic lunch on the beach I bought mine (the hotel does provide a packed lunch if you want) the main focal point of Candelaria is the church, which is characterised by a tall bell-tower. It is worth having a look inside the church. Along the waterfront stand nine outsize statues. These wild looking men are Guanche chiefs. It is Guanche society that I want to tell you about. If you have any interest in history or Tenerife then read on.

 

When European exploration of the islands took place in the 14th century, they found these primitive people living here. The guanches were unusualy tall, blonde and blue-eyed. Mystery surrounds how they got to the canary Islands, as they appear to have no knowledge of boat building.Their origin is not certain although most experts believe they were from North Africa. They had a primitive way of life, most lived in caves, high status Guanches had stone houses with straw roofs. The women played a full part in society, and made pots that were highly decorated. They reared cattle and grew crops.

 

Clothing was made from sheep or goatskins. These animals also provided them with meat, cheese and milk. Their diet also consisted of fish, fruit and gofio, a roasted cereal flour. They worshiped a god, who was closely linked with the sun, hell was believed to be in the Teide the volcano!  The Guanches mummified their dead, this treatment was mostly for chiefs and nobles. They were laid out in distant burial caves. Some examples have survived to this day. How they learned these techniques and why they adopted them is a mystery just like the Guanche people themselves.

 

Written by Jane Goossens.


Jane the Tourist
Jane the Tourist

Candelaria 5 Day Weather Forecast