A great holiday in Tenerife with friends, while retirement properties had to be bought in two weeks.


Imagine that you are on a holiday in Tenerife and want to meet a challenge...

Then you may wonder how we could turn it into an amazingly relaxing vacation, while on a holiday home hunt at the same time.

What was so fortunate with our stay?

Our big advantage was our own local guide Sonia, a native from Fuerteventura a neighboring Canary Island.

She and her husband were business friends of ours who  spoke Spanish fluently. Both knew what it involved to buy property in Spain. 

However, we had never come together outside our home countries.

This time, we met on Tenerife Island opposite West Africa to buy properties where we could semi- retire. Also, it was rather a late honeymoon for my late husband and myself.

What made our vacation more than unusual?

We couldn't stop looking at regions, towns and villages of Tenerife off the beaten track. We asked ourselves with every interesting nook what it may be like to buy our holiday homes there. Charming holidays do that to you. Figure the temptation to see near every beach your own holiday haven...

Depicted above is Playa Jardin the garden beach which is synonymous with a holiday in Tenerife for the normal Puerto Cruz tourist. This seashore is one of most romantic beaches of Tenerife . We would have loved to have our own place nearby but found nothing which matched our budget. Neither were our friends...

Santa Cruz de Tenerife the capital a must for a holiday in Tenerife

Depicted is Calle Castillo the main shopping street downtown in the Tenerife capital. It's typical for its relaxed life style. No malls there...

Only later, I discovered  the essence of Tenerife shopping. Learn all about Santa Cruz de Tenerife here.

Where did we sleep in Puerto de la Cruz?

Hotel Valle Mar for Tenerife vacations

Our holiday base was at Hotel Valle Mar in Puerto de la Cruz. Our friend had picked and booked it for all of us. It was a perfect choice.

It was so practical for getting around town.

It helped us much to get familiar with Tenerife real estate. Of course, we started looking around in our vicinity first.

Of course, we used much time without Puerto Cruz agent appointments to relax on the rooftop of our Hotel Valle Mar. There, we often took a lunch break and/or a dip in the heated hotel roof pool. It felt like such a private swimming pool.

Needless to say, we were chatting often about our prospects of residential property, which we wanted to buy.

The Valle Mar Hotel, which had been a good choice for our holiday in Tenerife, has a glass screen protecting against winds on its rooftop. It's area with different sections for bar and pool is much bigger than shown by the roof top photo.

Puerto de la Cruz beach front San TelmoPuerto Cruz beach San Telmo

From this height, we could look straight down to the Puerto Cruz beach front San Telmo and to part of the Martianez lakes.

It was rather strange to meet up with old friends, we hadn't seen for a long time. We arrived later than they did. We came from the south airport with transfer by shuttle bus. For me, this bus ride was my first Tenerife holiday adventure. It was thrilling..

Right away, we were more than happy with Tenerife's ideal climate. It made discovering the oldest resort Puerto de la Cruz and much of the rest of the island a most pleasant endeavor.

Tenerife Easter weather.

Our holiday in Tenerife was in 1997, around Easter time. Blue skies and gentle temperatures were blessing us during the short while, when we were there. An occasional afternoon shower broke off the monotony of the Tenerife sun which had its own capricious ways of coming back quickly.

How did we dress?

Of course, we took along jackets or jerseys for our night strolls or for Tenerife trips or excursions. The all year round good climate in Tenerife allows for dressing relatively light. At this time of the day we often had a long drink at my ocean front bistro Café de Paris in Puerto de la Cruz. I am still fond of it after that holiday in Tenerife. I often buy its best town ice cream there, or at Pinguino, managed by the same owners, in the town hub. Mind, our hotel was only a few steps from from Café Paris in Paseo de Martianez next to Paseo San Telmo.

Café de Paris.

The Cafe de Paris a top Tenerife bar with restaurant is more than a café with French flair. It's opposite Lago Martianez and became our regular vacation hangout after dinner or late at night during our holiday in Tenerife. Much later i discovered another Art nouveau Cafe in town which I also like very much for its vintage style and amazing holiday mood. 

By the way we never really went inside the Lido Martianez nor did we swim by the beach with the same name which is on its right. There simply was too much on our agenda during our holiday in Tenerife.

Waterfront Puerto de la Cruz.Waterfront Puerto de la Cruz.

After supper we usually strolled first along the waterfront San Telmo and then through Calle Quintana past the Hotels Marqueza and Monopol towards the hub of the town. That part of Puerto Cruz of Tenerife North always lets you discover something new.

We never got lost walking in Tenerife, as the hub with Plaza del Charco and the ocean front are best Puerto Cruz orientation points..

From there, every way was leading us home, easily.

Unfortunately during our holiday in Tenerife, we never went to the Realejos Montaneta Monastry park with all its breath taking views and culture of individual restaurants where Monastery bread is only one of the surprises. Meantime, a short drive of 20 minutes takes you there from the oldest Tenerife resort. Nobody told us about it, you know...

Too many veranda bars invite for coffee.

We strolled more than once a day through Puerto's hub on our holiday in Tenerife. I cannot forget how much Canary Island coffee my hubby would have in all kinds of places. This beverage still costs between €0,80 and €1,50 in 2013, depending on the type. Locals always make time for a drink or meal. Eating out often and sipping the invigorating black drink several times per day is part of Tenerife life style. You will find it contagious.

Bistro in the Puerto de la Cruz hub next to La Casona.Bistro next to la Casona PdlC

Here is one of the bistros serving coffee right in the middle of the hub.

It’s the one with the large green and white canvas roof.

Discover my favorite Puerto Cruz Plaza del Charco "hub" restaurant La Casona
on its right.

Restaurante La Casona of Puerto Cruz in a former aristocrat mansion with its superb Christmas or Carnival decoration also has live jazz evenings in winter. Its international as well as Tenerife cuisine excels with fresh fish and good wines. Service is fast and classy. Discover eating out at the Puerto Cruz Casona and its options. The place is also popular with cruise ship tourists, as I could see.

At night, my husband, our friends and I often went for a drink at the Bistro Bar Principe by church San Francisco. A manicured, little park called after Dr.Victor Peréz with flowerbeds and a center fountain is in front. A harp and a guitar player which have disappeared entertained us there with Spanish music in 1997. However, new forms of café and restaurant entertainment have come up. All this is Tenerife night life with a very relaxing touch. And, it's cheap.

I haven't seen the harp player since 2008. Perhaps, he was engaged before Hotel Principe on Plaza San Francisco closed down. Nevertheless, the Principe bar still serves the most mysterious Zaparoco coffee with liquor of Puerto de la Cruz which comes second after one in Santa Ursula.

Free live music entertainment is often part of a holiday in Tenerife.

Frequent Tenerife events such as concerts are more than often free entertainment. They are ideal for a relaxing holiday.

Excellent free Parking in Puerto de la Cruz

Plaza de Charco de los Camarones the main town square is right next to the little old harbor. We passed that when we went to a large quay parking lot, where we left our car. Tenerife parking may be a problem. This spot was a blessing.

Today, also find an underground parking ground near the hub by the town hall on Plaza de Europa of Puerto Cruz.

Old harbour Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife.Old harbour Puerto Cruz Tenerife

We often went for an invigorating ocean air walk by the Muelle the Puerto de la Cruz quay during our holiday in Tenerife. There we also discovered the strange fire red crabs in most dangerous habitat.

Walking in Tenerife as well as hiking are the most popular and the cheapest activities on the island.

Old quay at Plaza de Europa Puerto Cruz.Quay by Plaza de Europa Puerto Cruz

We would not have made our deadline to buy Tenerife property during those Canary Island holidays, had we, the two couples, not split up, often. Our friends had appointments to see villas. My husband and I were looking at apartments.

This fact is important, as we still found much leisure time for joint trips. Our visit to La Orotava was one of exceptions. That day became one very interesting part of our holiday in Tenerife. We could combine inspection of an Orotava olden days Tenerife townhouse a charming property that was worth to invest in. It made us dream to turn it into a place that looked a little like the famous mansions Casa Lercaro and the townhouse Casa de los Balcones, stunning photos of which see here.

Icod de los Vinos Plaza town squareIcod de los Vinos Central Plaza

We, also did a trip to Icod de los Vinos together. Walk there from it's lovely Icod Plaza (Icod town square) past the church to find the oldest Tenerife Drago tree.

Richard, our friend heard much about the picturesque town with countless vineyards in Tenerife.

When we were there in 1997 the interesting Mariposas museum
tel: +0034 922 815167
next to the Drago Tree was open. Later they closed it.

It's open again, now.

The "1000" year old Draco de TenerifeMilenario tree of Tenerife

The Tenerife attraction by vineyards was too great for Richard. How fortunate it would be to find one in our rushed holiday in Tenerife which could serve as a holiday haven. I for my liking would not choose "Icod" for a holiday home in Tenerife, unless I would stay there with kids whom you can take to Icod's beach San Marcos. My friend Angelika the painter lived there for a while and is glad to have moved to a more central town.

We, especially, used our rented car for longer excursions during our holiday in Tenerife on week-ends when no property appointments could be made. That rented car came in very handy. We would never have seen as much without it. By the way, the main 2 TF1 and TF2 freeways, coastal roads and, some mountain roads were sufficient to get us to more distant areas, quite easily.

Pico de TeidePico de Teide

Teide trips were on our agenda as well. Here is a photo of Spain’s highest peak Tenerife mount Teide. (almost 13000 feet or 3718 m) The locals call it the teta del Teide. No kidding...

On a Sunday, we ventured right up to Punta del Hidalgo. The scenery is beautiful and, it should, definitely, be part of all Tenerife Island tours on a holiday in Tenerife.

Punta de HidalgoPunta de Hidalgo

At the outermost Tenerife north West coast town of Punta de Hidaldo we had lunch in 1997 at a place the name of which I forgot. We liked it for its sunny veranda outside.

Sonia discussed some Tapas for us with the restaurant owner. A local doesn't need to see the word Tapas specified in a menu. Any small dish means the same to natives in Tenerife.

This would have been possible anywhere in an area which is not touristic, still today, thanks to our Canary Island guide we had with us - our friend Sonia, in fact.

Food was taken as a Tapa by our local friend

We selected lattice, fresh tomatoes cut and sliced, boiled eggs, olives, grilled sardines or pilchards and the local white bread. We may have taken a prepared salad made with Tuna or something alike if it was on the menu. So much to Tapas the native way.

Hiking map board outside the town of Punta de Hidalgo.Hiking indicator board

See me here at the hiking map of Hidalgo which is on a bill board by the roundabout Punta de Hidalgo where one returns to the nearby town. It was very windy on this day in that Tenerife corner which is much exposed to the elements.

San Christóbal de La Laguna

After Punta de Hidalgo we passed through the university town of San Christóbal de La Laguna, a place of World heritage. It was the first capital of the island, as reported in my detailed Canary Island history.

La Laguna which is now a world heritage site was striking me as a town in dire need of building renovations. By 2009, i encountered its historical quarters well restored. Come to know its stunning town square in a Christmas photo in my article about romantic holidays.  There, admire its buildings from the middle ages while Christmas lights cast alluring shades in trees.

The lake or lagoon called laguna in Spanish vanished due to ongoing periods of drought. Some ancients reports still mention this lagoon until the end of the 19th century. Students celebrate in its countless pubs and work part time in its many shops. Trace antiques to buy in the typical historical town, I once saw in TV. This 2nd largest of Tenerife settlements was always important in church affairs and boosts according artefacts. It's still seat of the Archbishop of the island.

I wouldn't pick la Laguna, though, to buy real estate for a holiday home in Tenerife. It has a less fortunate climate with more rains and fogs. However, it's not as cold and windy as Los Rodeos airport, close by. Read up on this in Tenerife weather.

We, then, reached Santa Cruz Tenerife, the capital. Sonia was looking forward to a shopping spree, first of all.

Richard was more interested in its port. We heard live music by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, while we had coffee on Plaza de España the main square of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Our friend Richard became the proud owner of new Rebens sunglasses on that day. We couldn't get over it on how cheap they were in Pesetas in 1997.

The impressive Auditorio de Santa Cruz Tenerife had not been built yet during our 1997 Tenerife holiday.

If I had a Santa Cruz business or, if I was employed there, I would live there. But, as far as a vacation home is concerned, I would first look elsewhere.

My hubby liked the massive old mansions near the Rambla, the Tenerife capital's most important promenade with its famous Tasca Ramón.  This Santa Cruz Rambla as now called runs almost from the top of the city to the harbor. Those mansions would have been too big as Tenerife holiday homes, I must add. They would also have been too expensive, if we had bought one together with our friends.

Find the former Rambla de General Franco like this: Face the ocean at Plaza de Espana, turn left until you get to the Military Museum. There, by its massive light green angel statue turn left into the Rambla...

We had of course a little stroll nearby through the biggest Santa Cruz park. However, much was cordoned off in (Park) Parque Sanabria in 1997 during our holiday. When we were there that great Tenerife park didn't look half as good as it looks now in 2007. Nowadays, Park Garcia Sanabria is again one of Canary Islands attractions.

Please, go to architecture week in case you like educational holidays...

Teide seen from La Baranda at el Sauzal.Teide view from La Baranda

We drove out to yet another farm area while on vacation in Tenerife. Again, the goal was vineyards. El Sauzal with La Baranda with wine museum and Sunday dances is very closed to Tacoronte and is an important Tenerife wine producing district. We were also curious about Tenerife fincas. Fincas mean farmsteads in this context. Some are absolutely great for long or, short holidays and Tenerife holiday trips. When you are looking for a vacation home, a holiday in Tenerife leads you automatically to places that you otherwise might have glimpsed from the free way, only.

My husband liked Tacoronte and its surroundings very much. However, holiday apartments were only built there at a later stage. 

During the week, we once went up to the pine forests for an afternoon pick-nick. There is a good pick-nick spot near the road way from La Orotava to the Teide. It's 10 minutes by car after the trout farm. The name of this recreational area of La Orotava is La Caldera which means basin or hollow but also kettle. You often meet foreigners during extended winter holidays there.

Tenerife public grill place La Caldera by OrotavaLa Caldera by Orotava

La Caldera is not the pick-nick spot Zona Recreativa Ramon Caminero which is also nice and a bit further on by the main road to Teide.

You pass this recreational grilling spot on your right and reach the Portillo the gate way to the Canadas, eventually. Don't miss a free, haunting film show at the Portillo Visitors Center of Tenerife,...

The region around Agua Mansa would appeal to me for a holiday in Tenerife as well as a holiday home, as it’s also close to La Orotava.

You will pass a Tenerife trout farm shortly after La Orotava on your way to Teide.

Before reaching it there is a restaurant you cannot miss.

I had two huge, yummy, grilled trouts with French fries and salad at Restaurante Aguamansa in 2008 under 10 euros the plate which cost the same a few years later. You might encounter different prices when on holiday in Tenerife, in the future.

Our day trip 1997 to Tenerife South

We, of course had to go see the South of the island during our holiday in Tenerife, also. We got as far as Adeje and, saw a few little towns, where we passed through. Please, mind that this was in 1997. Tenerife architecture 2011 in the south by Tenerife Costa Adeje looks so different, now. Holiday havens with the most stunning Spanish Tenerife architecture have been added. Do Tenerife resorts holiday shopping in big style.

However, I was disappointed, except for the palace del Duque Hotel there No nice old buildings, no houses with intricate Tenerife woodwork and, none of the Canary Island balconies so often discovered in the north were there.

Admire this magnificent wooden alcove, for instance...It embellishes a Tenerife house. It's in Calle San Felipe, a traffic road which leads to the Puerto de la Cruz.

You can see it with good eyes from Plaza del Charco.

Adeje Tenerife south 1997

We took a stroll on Adeje beach in our holiday in Tenerife of 1997.

It still had a beautiful mild gold color, then. I remember much wind blowing sand into our faces. We felt like some nice hot coffee which we would have liked to have at the nearest hotel.

It was the Gran Hotel del Duque . It’s an extravagant reproduction of colonial style of one of most luxury hotels for a holiday in Tenerife.

A black and white dressed 'body guard'-doorman by the beach entrance of the hotel wanted to see our hotel identification. We didn't have one. So, no coffee for us… That was the only incidence during our first and last joint Tenerife vacations that left a bit of an ugly mark in my memory.

Otherwise, I haven't forgotten the numerous Adeje building sites with skeletons of steel structures and, wooden poles to support the next concrete ceiling. They soon would grow into more hotels or, (condos) condominiums in Tenerife. All for a holiday in Tenerife...

By the way, later, I found out that a tour of Gran Hotel El Duque may be booked beforehand by telephone.

Little did I know then that Tenerife South would go such a long way. Now, it is extremely popular for Tenerife watersports for family fun activities. More so, it also is a great location for young singles to find romance and the most thrilling nightlife or to just have the experience of a lifetime with Siam Park's sensational surf waves.

At that moment during our holiday trip in Tenerife South, I missed the lush greenery of the North of the island very much. I took the subtropical North Tenerife vegetation with all its flower power for granted. I was used to it from home and wouldn't want to miss any of it. The south looked like dusty semi desert to us and had no holiday home in Tenerife appeal at all, at the time.

I only returned to Las Americas in 2007. What a surprise! Now, it had holiday resorts like trump cards for perfect travel package deals. Its green surroundings were the accessories to set them off. One enclave or holiday oasis after the other with tall proud hotels of all sizes in between... I was there with 2 young Swedish girls who holidayed on the island. It so happened that I joined them with a cheap rented car on the trip. The vehicle was not performing well. Perhaps this was a reason, the girls were not too impressed with the south, as it had made all of us tired. Anyway, they were more keen to discover shops like Zara fashion and Mango. It took us ages to trace them near Mare Nostrum. We were very tired in the end. Besides, to locate an empty parking lot was very exhausting. Therefor, don't go for a rushed trip anywhere on the island and do your homework first! It pays to find your way around better to save time and aggravation. Better still, join an island tour and let the experts introduce you to all its secrets. Now, have a look at photos Arona of Tenerife of the amazing resort by Mare Nostrum Las Americas.

About 20 guys were surfing by Las Americas Beach , while the moon was up, already. This impressed me greatly. Little did we realize during that short holiday in Tenerife that we could have reached La Caleta along Costa Adeje within about 5 km, while all the way from Los Christianos would have been only 9km on foot.

My daughter might come visiting. Then, we surely, will take some time off, to get to know the South better during her holiday in Tenerife.

What we totally missed in 1997 in the south was the town of the giant cliff harbor Los Gigantes Tenerife.

In the North we never went to Loro Park when on holiday in Tenerife in 1997. Loro Park didn't have Orcas, yet, at the time.

I saw it for the first time in 2002, though. I am an expert on Loro Park, as I did an apprenticeship as Loro Park guide for the 'Tour Behind The Scenes'. I never took the job, as I needed to be self employed but, believe me this Loro Park insider tour is priceless. You want a job there, while on a long holiday in Tenerife? Speak to Loli! Her office is at the back of the park. Climb the road on the right of the park...

Tenerife banana West Coast and Garachico

We went past Garachico on the way back from the South when on holiday in Tenerife 1997. Garachico is so nice for Tenerife shopping of arts and crafts. Also during our 97 vacation, we discovered a delicious Garachico fish restaurant with fantastic ocean view, but did not see the shops.

It also a Playa Charcón. The latter is also called charcos by locals which are rock pools like those of Los Gigantes.  The Garachico pools are better to reach than the ones by the giant cliffs. The totally natural Charcón saltwater basins are very pretty. Looking at them always reminds me Indian miniature paintings with happy bathers in tiny lakes.

Artist town San Juan de la Rambla

In San Juan de la Rambla we stopped for refreshment during on trip of our holiday in Tenerife. Little San Juan has a museum with gallery and its own vibrant little art community.

It had a most interesting place for fine dining and lunches. It was a restaurant dedicated to art. Find it in top top Tenerife restaurants... It was called Las Palmeras Arte in Calle Estrecha by the Church.
San Juan de la Rambla is always nice for a stop by the coastal road leading within 15 or 20 minutes to Icod de los Vinos during any holiday in Tenerife.
It's rather close (20 min.) to the biggest resort of the island which is Puerto de la Cruz in the north.

We, especially, loved those smaller towns. Just figure, how well and warmly everybody was treating us with Sonia being a very sympathetic Canary girl.

Food and drink were good during our holiday in Tenerife. They gave us popular German filter coffee at the hotel Valle Mar. We were regretting, though, that we had dinner included in the hotel price. Nevertheless, we, sometimes, had it in town. We couldn’t resist the tempting Tenerife cuisine with its fresh fish on the island. On excursions, we had our own versions of Tapas, as mentioned before.

More Tenerife holiday hot spots, not to miss.

  • Tenerife souvenirs Masca
    in ancient pirate village.
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  • Tenerife WiFi
  • Where get the biggest hotel choice?

    Try here, you will be amazed!
    Go for perfect Tenerife holidays to compare and book Tenerife hotels and find holiday apartments, luxury accommodation or something for a tighter budget...

    Learn about our total holiday home hunt and find out more about our 1997 vacation, where we crossed many streets in Puerto de la Cruz and even stumbled onto a potato farm by Palo Blanco...

    We unfortunately had no time for whale watching on our vacation of 1997.

    Interested in private holiday accommodation?

    It was private sale. Yes, sorry to disappoint you. It has been sold a couple of years ago for less than Euro 90000, if I remember well. Judge for yourself if you would have also paid that by going to the Apartment Los Gigantes photo gallery. It's near the Marina yacht harbor, known for the British history of Los Gigantes where UK tourists played a significant role. All for the love of water sports and West Coast Marine life...

    There is also the Teno mountain range with its menacing, unspoiled Tenerife West coast, great for a diving holiday in Tenerife.

    A thrilling idea for a Tenerife vacation is a private boat tour off Los Gigantes.

    There is too much to do and to see on holiday in Tenerife. Very much is worth it, going back to over and over again. You for ever miss out on some Tenerife details. For instance, we never knew of Tenerife flea markets or big fruit and vegetable markets, such as in Tacoronto vineyard country. Come back or take a more extended holiday in Tenerife.

    Discover locations of the biggest Canary Island with maps of Tenerife...

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    Don't lose your unemployment payment from home, while on vacation...

    Learn about a job hunt without losing overseas unemployment benefits payment from the UK as an example, while combining a holiday in Tenerife with other things to do.

    Been wondering where Tenerife the biggest of all Canary Islands is located?

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    Discover top beaches in Tenerife and around the world featuring comprehensive information about the best beach resorts and exciting things to do and see at each beach location.

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