Winter in Europe is depressing, cold and dark time. One of the best ways to escape and recharge your batteries is to fly south. If Caribbean or Southeast Asia are out of your budget, Canary Islands might be just the right option!
Tenerife is the largest of Canary islands and many low cost airlines offer cheap flights throughout winter. For Scandinavia, the go-to airline is certainly Norwegian Air or Ryanair. Most holiday makers stay at Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje and Los Christianos – all located in the southern part of the island.
Climate and location
Tenerife is located next to western coast of Africa and the climate is very mild and warm throughout the year. In fact, temperatures vary a lot depending on where you are staying. In the Southern park of the island, at Playa de las Americas, it’s usually warm and sunny. During our visit in November we had 3 sunny and 3 cloudy days but the temperature never dropped below +23C. When the sun was out, it was close to +26C. Ocean temp was around +22C making it ideal for swimming.
In fact, November is considered the wettest month of the year, but never trust weather forecast. For our visit we expected nothing but rain the whole time, but once the new day arrived, it magically turned into sunny day. I’m not kidding – we got just few drops of rain. During our Masca walk the guide told us that last time it rained in Masca was in December (almost a year ago)!
Food and drinks
It’s all about seafood here. Numerous cafes and restaurants are scattered along the coastline. I recommend ordering fish and seafood plate – this way you get to taste all of it in one go. The plate is around 30€ and will be enough for 2-3 people. If fish and seafood is not you top choice, you might find some delicious pasta, pizza or steak on the menu. We recommend trying traditional canary potatoes called “papas arrugadas” – boiled with lots of salt and served with tasty sauces called “mojos”.
For drinks, most people order sangria (sweet wine served with lots of fruits in the jar), local wine or beer. Sangria is made either from red wine or champagne and is quite sweet! The prices for 1L jar starts from 5-6€ and is usually enough for two people.
Most beaches on the south coast of Tenerife are dark or black sand beaches due to volcanic dust. Nevertheless, they are well worth the visit and checking out. Water temperatures vary throughout the season but hardly get below +20C. Our favourite beach is El Duque, with some nice yellow sand. Unlike other beaches, this one is quite deep right away, so it’s perfect for a quick swim.
In terms of nightlife, Southern coast is not exactly a party location. Most active bars are located around C.C. Veronica’s. All in all, people coming to Tenerife are mostly middle-aged so the music scene is likely to be more of 80s-90s.
Even though you won’t find too many nightclubs, there is no shortage of cool bars and shisha cafes for a nice evening chill out. Everything about this island is just so relaxing and laid back. Whenever you take a stroll along the coastline promenade, live music is played from almost every bar on the way.
Great choice of accommodation
Over half of accommodation options in the Southern part of Tenerife are apartments and studios. There is a good reason for that, too. Local supermarkets like Mercadona are both cheap and great for grocery shopping. Preparing your own meal and enjoying it on you apartment terrace (with a view) seems to be the Tenerife “thing”. Another reason are countless outdoor cafes with amazing fresh seafood.
So even though you will find hotels with board options (breakfast is usually standard), we wouldn’t recommend going for lunch and dinner option, because you risk missing out on all the local flavors! Plus, an apartment is cheaper and much more private way to enjoy the island (away from mass tourism).
Lots of entertainment options
When it comes entertainment options, the resort is quite similar to what you’d expect from anywhere in Spain. You will find few theme parks (Jungle Park, Monkey Park), water parks (Aqualand with dolphin show and Siam Park), go kart, mini golf, massage salons, jet skis, boat rides etc.
However, couple of days will be enough to see all of it. What you really should do is get a rental car and explore the island on your own. Here are some ideas to get you started. If nothing else, visit El Teide volcano for some amazing views of the island! Tenerife is a true hikers paradise with lots of trails and routes for any taste.
Have you been to Playa de las Americas and Tenerife?