The beaches, Mediterranean culture and sunny climes of Tenerife is somewhere certainly worth escaping to again and again. It has a special place in Becky from English Mum‘s heart, and she shared with us why.
We’ve been going to Tenerife on holiday since I was a child, and in turn, I have loved taking my boys there as they’ve grown up. We love the food and wine of the area – especially the fresh seafood and delicious salty papas arugadas with mojo – and the laid-back, friendly atmosphere. As a family, we love the beaches and the fact that the weather is mostly lovely is an added bonus, with average temperatures even in December of 19 degrees. We always head to Thai-inspired Siam Park, where the boys love the Tower of Power (a nearly free-fall drop of 28 meters through tubes that travel right through the middle of shark-filled aquariums!), and the lovely artificial beach with the waves that can reach over 4 metres in height (you can usually find me wallowing safely at the shore).
My personal favourite thing to do is exploring the beautiful old towns in the north of the island. I adore the gorgeous architecture of the lovely (but very hilly) little town of La Orotava. I have fond memories of visiting the harbour area, dotted with great restaurants, the little mill where they make Gofio (flour milled from roast corn – it’s absolutely delicious), and wandering around the pretty, flower-filled public gardens. There are also stunning, lush botanic gardens just behind the town hall, which is a former convent, and the Casa de los Balcones (literally house of the balconies), built in a really unusual and rather jaw-dropping style which is unique to the island, and now full of little shops inside selling everything from food and wine to traditional handicrafts.
For me, one of the best times to visit is during the May festivities. The streets of Santa Cruz are decorated with flowers and everyone dresses up in traditional costumes and comes out to celebrate with barbecues, outdoor parties, music and dancing. I got separated from my friends (there are thousands of people on the streets) but was welcomed to join a local family, who shared their food and drink with me and were so lovely and friendly. Eventually we were reunited but I could quite happily have stayed the whole night with the locals! Also during this time, the famous firework battles of Los Realejos take place, when entire villages (the ‘farmers’ versus the ‘rich families’) launch a barrage of fireworks towards each other in a battle that’s said to date back to the 18th Century – it’s pretty noisy, as you can imagine, and goes on for nearly an hour, but it’s incredibly exciting and such a wonderful event to witness.
We’ll never stop going back to explore Tenerife – every time we do, we discover something different. If you haven’t been, I’d highly recommend this diverse and beautiful island. What are you waiting for?!
Becky Wiggins is a freelance writer and the editor of award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog Englishmum.com.
Becky writes extensively about travel and food in print and online for publications such as Cruise International, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Nat Geo Traveller and intu.co.uk and speaks at events such as BritMums Live, World Travel Market and the Family Travel Show.
Becky was shortlisted in Red Magazine’s Red’s Hot Women Awards and won Best Cruise Blogger in the 2015 Cruise Awards. Becky was the face of Sainsbury’s ‘Love your Freezer’ campaign and featured in Samsung’s ‘People of Note’ video series for Huffington Post.
Becky lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and two teenage sons.