Christmas in Tenerife...FAQs

Old Aug 13th, 2000, 05:36 AM
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Christmas in Tenerife...FAQs

Planning to spend the Christmas holidays in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. Not much info on the area, so I'm searching from the Best! If you have been to Tenerife, have any suggestions, tips, "must-dos," etc., please post. Seems that the area has millions of tourists annually, but do they leave??? Very rarely is there a posting on Tenerife.

Thanks! And Happy Travels!

Old Oct 17th, 2000, 09:08 AM
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The only thing Tenerife has going for it is the sunshine. The north coast, where Puerto de la Cruz is, is nicer than the south but does not have the same sunny weather (the north coast has much more rain and cloud). Winter is high season in the Canaries, so no, the tourists don't go. The really big tourist area is Playa de las Americas. It is truely frightful. You will have great difficulty here finding anything spanish or anyone who speaks spanish. There are not many roads and they are crowded. Driving is not pleasant. Oh and there is constant noise and dust from the building sites which seem to be everywhere. Puerto de la Cruz is the best bit of the island (Los Gigantes is quite nice too) but personally, I wouldn't bother making the journey. Go somewhere which has some character of its own instead (Morroco for example).
Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 02:15 PM
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Jay...thanks for your reply. Your suggestion to go to Morocco would be nice for one or two days, however, as a single female, I'm a tad bit uncomfortable going there. Usually go for Christmas holidays on a cruise or to the Caribbean; however, this year's airfare and hotel rates for single supplement have skyrocketed. Puerto de la Cruz might not be the mecca for travel, but at least I won't be shoveling snow in Michigan!There are a few land excursions I can take, see new countryside, and then spend a few days in Madrid.

Again, thanks for your input. Must be not many Fodorites go to the Canary Islands.
Old Oct 22nd, 2000, 10:23 PM
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Hi there,
I've been to most of the Canary Island but haven't replied so far because I've never been to Puerto de la Cruz. Main reason: the weather. As Jay told you already, winter is high season in the Canaries and many Europeans used to go there for a long winterbreak. I don't know if this is also the case for Puerto de la Cruz. As far as I know most tourist for the northcoast are elderly people and obviously they don't need a wild nightlife.
I don't agree with Jay regarding the driving on the island. We have visited the whole island by car and we found the roads to be good and the driving was pleasant. In my opinion it is a safe place for a single female.
Do rent a car and drive up to the Teide volcano. You will see how the landcsape changes the higher you go. At sea level you will see the banana plantations, then pine forests, and once you have passed the tree-line there's nothing left but rocks. Really worth the trip.
The "Bosque de las Mercedes" (in the north of the island) is also beautiful. It looks like a very small piece of rain forest.
Maybe you could visit one of the other islands. We have visited La Gomera, a very natural island, "unspoiled" by tourists. The ferry leaves in Los Cristianos (next to Playa de la Americas, southcoast - but only a short ride over the highway).
One last thing I would like to say: you may not compare the Caribbean with the Canary Islands. Not only because of the weather, the white sandy beaches, etc. but also the atmosphere is totally different. And we've only been to the Dominican Republic a few times.
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 03:57 AM
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Myriam...thank you so much for your detailed reply. I've done quite a bit of research on Tenerife. While I would like to bask in the sun on a Caribbean Island, I realize both areas are completely different. I'll give it a try. Seven days isn't all that long.And as you mentioned, there are several places on the Island worth visiting. Based on $$$, this seems to be a good value. Besides, I like the elderly (I guess I'm one myself Ha!

I'm looking into taking a ferry service to Gran Canaria from Santa Cruz. From what I've read, there are a few things to see and do around Puerto de la Cruz, and I won't have to shovel the snow! Looking forward to exploring Mt. Teide. And thanks for the tip on the "rain forest."

I visited Punta Cana, DR, last year, and really enjoyed the white sandy beaches.

Again, thanks for your help.
Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 06:43 PM
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Tenerife is remarkably similar to Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 04:24 AM
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Steve, is that all-year, every city? As I recall, "Tenerife" is an island, as Florida is the State. I don't think the northern part of the island is quite like a Daytona Beach or what Ft. Lauderdale USED to be.

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 10:46 AM
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Okay, if you are sure you want to go to Tenerife, these are the good bits.
You are already staying in one of the good bits at Puerto de la Cruz. Just inland from here is a small town called Orotava. It's a local town,not very touristy and it has some old Tenerife houses with wooden overhanging enclosed balconies. In fact the most famous of these is called Casas de los Balcones. These days it's actually a shop selling hand made goods, many local, but be aware that some are imported from China. The Cararies used to be famous for their lace, but this is very time consuming and consequently, real Canarian lace is very expensive. They import a lot of Chinese lace and linen to make up for the shortfall. You can tell the difference by the price. (The Chinese stuff is pretty too, but perhaps you can get this in America.)
As Miriam says, a trip to Teide is worth it, but take warm clothing, there can be snow up there. I would also recomment taking the ferry to La Gomera rather than Gran Canaria. Los Gigantes is nice, I agree, touristy without being tacky. There is another town on the North coast called Garachico which is also interesting. Only a few tourists (there is no beach). In 1706, this town was covered in lava when Mt Teide erupted. If you like walking, there are several walking routes (marked out with signposts) in the north east of the island in the anega mountains. A friend of mine who has a holiday home there always comes back nut brown after his Christmas holidays there, so I hope you see some sunshine.
As a single female, you should be total safe there. I hope you're not disappointed and that you have a really nice Christmas break.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 02:56 PM
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Lesley! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and informational reply. I have been doing quite a bit of research and you just confirmed some of the places I should wander off to...I understand there is a wine-country tour that is worth seeing. I plan to visit Taganana and LaLaguna, take a tour of the island. I'm not sure where I could pick up the ferry to LaGomera. Looks like the closest ferry service is in Santa Cruz to Gran Canaria.

I'd rather be in St. Barts! But this year, Tenerife will have to do.

Again, Lesley, thank you for your input, greatly appreciated!
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 03:37 AM
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The ferry to La Gomera leaves in Los Cristianos, next to Playa de las Americas at the southcoast. I don't remember how long the journey was but it must have been a few hours.

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