June 11th – 16th 2017 (long overdue I know)

Day 1: Departure and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

It was 8am on a sunday morning, the excitement of a holiday making me feel like a little kid on christmas eve!  I could already feel the warm heat hit my face as I exited the plane at Tenerife South–Reina Sofia Airport.

The flight over (as far as I can remember) was pretty good for a ryanair flight. Your usual cramp seats and luggage charges, they would attempt to consider your coat as luggage if they could!

 Got to get that plane window shot! 

As I landed off the plane, the heat that I felt was just as I imagined!… within minutes I was slapping on factor 50 sunscreen. Being the typical pale irish, I ended up looking like a squashie sweet by the end of the day!

After gathering up the suitcase and getting a super duper seat ibiza car, I was on my way to the capital of Tenerife for my first stop –  Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The drive from the airport to Santa Cruz was quite pleasant, taking just 40 mins or so. I eventually found the hotel after numerous wrong turns and misdirections by google maps of course ha. The hotel was Hotel Colón Rambla, a lovely 4 star hotel within the center of Santa Cruz. The room was your standard hotel setup, bed and tv plus an ensuite with in bath shower. Benefit was having a balcony overlooking the back which had an awesome swimming pool!

After getting settled into the hotel, a short stroll around Santa Cruz was in order.

Since Santa Cruz is up north of the island, it is relatively where a lot of the locals live and work, with less tourists about, i could enjoy the typical spanish cuisine and culture around the city. So less chance of me bumping into the typical british tourists enjoying their pints of beer and football tops!

From the hotel, I walked down to the seaside of the city (there is no beaches here) but more like ports and shore walls. 

It was a pleasant walk and view of the city. Especially seeing the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, a magnificent piece of architecture that has become the symbol of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

After the walk along the shore, it was time for food! I tried my hand for the first time some tapas, small meals that go nicely with a large stein of sangria!

As my memory serves me right I tried the following:

  •  Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet) — I adored of course, it had potatoes!
  • Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)  — little fried balls of cheese and ham, perfect for nibbling on!
  • Patatas Bravas (Bravas Potatoes) — one word! gorgeous!

After being filled with sangria and food, it was time to head back to the hotel and hit the hay, tomorrow was gonna be a big day!

 Pretty straightforward day 🙂

Day 2: Teide 

The excitement still hadn’t worn off and I was buzzing to get ready on my adventure across the island to see the legendary Teide National Park.

Just a little background on this park. This park holds Mount Teide, which is a volcano and also highest point in Spain at an eye watering elevation of 3,718 m. Lucky for me, the last time it erupted, was in 1909.

So at 10am, after getting a quick shower and dressed in my shorts and t-shirt, making sure I had plastered myself from head to toe in factor 50 sunscreen, I thought I was prepared for the heat!…….until I walked outside haha

Quickly jumping into the car, a quick pit stop and a breakfast at a small restaurant/petrol station set me up for the rest of the day. As I bid farewell to the lovely Santa Cruz city, I headed off towards the national park!

After an hour-ish drive, with multiple stops to enjoy the view, I had arrived at the national park entrance.

It was amazing! The sheer size of the volcano was breathtaking, I felt so insignificant against it!

So to really see it, in all its beauty I travelled a bit further towards the volcano, eventually landing at the bottom of it. Now there is two options about going up this monster of a volcano, you can do the good old fashioned walk/climb/crawl up it. But since I was pushed for time and energy, I opted for the lazy way and just using the cable car which took me to the top in 10 minutes compared to 40 days later via a sloth crawl ha

The cable car was such thirsty work, I rewarded myself to a nice wee can of cider at the top, to celebrate my victory over the volcano!

Thirsty work!

After conquering Mt Teide, it was time for a venture down to the car and continue my journey over to the south of the island. This was a breathtaking drive, seeing all the previous lava lakes and ash remains from the 1909 eruption. This took roughly an hour and 10 minutes, before arriving upon the Costa Adjes district which is just NW of the famous Playas de Américas. 

Once arriving upon Costa Adjes, I eventually found my hotel Los Olivos Beach Resort, which I would base here for the remainder of the trip. Another gorgeous 4 star hotel, this time located perfectly near the Playa De Fañabé beach, perfect for running from room to beach in under 2 mins.

After settling in for my stay at the hotel, I nipped across to the Tony Roma restaurant for a spot of dinner!

Obviously went down a treat, as I couldn’t help myself to a sneaky “wee” dessert.

Love at first sight!

After consuming 1000s of calories, it was time again to hit the hay! As tomorrow I was gonna fulfil one experience off my bucket list!

Conclusion of day 2!

Day 3: Finding Nemo

So today was the day! I finally get to do an experience I only ever dreamed of! Can you guess from the title?

If not, here’s a clue. It includes flippers, fish and a breathing apparatus similar to darth vader……deep sea diving of course!

At 9am, ready and prepared to go “swimming with the fishes”, I awaited a lift from the lovely worker from the awesome Diving Tenerife Scuba. These guys were awesome, coming all the way out to lift me from the hotel and out towards Marino Tenerife, near Las Galletas.

Once we arrived, I was run through the safety procedure and risks etc. Then fitted to the teeth with the scuba gear, I was ready to take the plunge!

We boarded the boat and was taken out to sea, just off the coast by a mile or two. With each beginner diver was a fully qualified diver, so I felt right as rain and safe all the same! Now, one thing to note, was that the pressure would build up in your ears when you go diving obviously, similar to a plane ascending into the sky. There is two main ways people combat the “ear pop”, either via yawn or holding your nose till it pops.

Silly me can only do it via yawn and me being the eejit that I am, decided that 10 metres down I’ll combat this ear pop by yawning…..big mistake stephen!

The respirator came popping out and I immediately started swimming straight up, holding my breath! Lucky enough I had my guide with me, who provided me with her piece until I regained breath and managed to get mines back in. After learning from my mistake, we were well on our way down the sea! observing the fishes, turtles and some sharks too! It was an experience that I will never forget! (pity I cannot find the go-pro footage, but when I do, i’ll be sure to add it in here).

After 45 mins of deep sea diving, it was time to head back to shore! Once I got dried off and clothed up, I got left back to the hotel. From there I got some lovely tapas and spent the rest of my day by the gorgeous beach, chilling and enjoying the waves. Eventually getting dark enough to enjoy some strawberry daiquiris by the sea side, still a warm cosy temperature compared to portrush, that’s for sure!

Calling it a day, I was off to rest for the last day, which would conclude with pure adrenaline fun!

According to google, our chauffeur went completely off road! 

 

Day 4: Siam Park and Playas de Américas

Up at a lovely time of 8:30am, I went for a stroll down the beach and later getting some food before hitting the water park!

I set my sights on Siam Park, after seeing multiple reviews and hearing words of mouths, I couldn’t leave tenerife without giving it a go! It was like something you seen in florida, the theme being of an asian culture, with each water ride being more thrill inducing than the previous.

Siam park also includes one of the largest man made wave pools in the world and boy, did it not disappoint! It also includes a super fast drop slide at the height of 28m, called “The tower of power”, which plunged you through a shark tank! (you’ve probably seen it a million times on facebook by now).

It had everything for all thrill seekers, so I of course, was definitely as pleased as punch. After 5 hours of non stop fun and adrenaline, it was time to leave siam park and head towards Playa de Américas. After eventually finding a parking spot, I had to get myself some food at the Hard rock cafe! (yes i’m that person that has to go to every hard rock in each new city).

The food was pretty superb! A lovely cheeseburger and fries, followed by an ice cream sundae!

After paying the bill, it was time to enjoy the last remaining hours on this lovely beach by heading to playa de las vistas. A lovely sandy beach, filled to the brim with tourists of course!

Soaking in the remaining daylight rays, I managed to even out the sunburn and get my feet wet for the last time in Tenerife. For now it was time to head back to the hotel and get an early night’s sleep, for the flight home was for 4am (eugh, could I not just of stayed).

Obviously Google was drunk that day!

Day 5: Departure Day 🙁 

After getting up at 3am and driving to the airport, which was a nippy 40 minute drive, the lovely seat ibiza was left back with the car attendant. I’ll never forget you blue! you were awesome!

At 4:30am, the plane had arrived at the departure gate, I felt the dread of coming home to that shitty rainy weather of Ireland. I was so tempted to do a runner and live my life out as a bartender in an irish pub on the beach, wouldn’t that be the life? But alas, Ireland was home and it was time to head back to the green island. Until next time Tenerife, you were awesome!

The infamous flight home photo 🙁