Activity holidays in Canary Islands for villa lovers

The Canary Islands are simply filled with excitement and adventure. Located off Africa’s north-western coast, this Spanish archipelago packs in diverse landscapes perfect for thrill seekers.

Alongside top-tier weather, the island comprises picturesque beaches ideal for water sports, like surfing and jet skiing. When you stay in a property near the coastline you’re able to really make the most of the scenery on offer, so without further ado, here’s why activity holidays in Canary Islands are so well suited to villa lovers. Let’s start with the largest island of the archipelago, Tenerife…

Tenerife

There are some otherworldly landscapes just waiting to be explored in Tenerife, so why not hire a car to help uncover the island’s more distant hotspots? Staying in a villa means you can pack bigger pack lunches – that way you’ll have all the more energy for when you’re exploring.

Activity lovers can delve into the Anaga rainforest and up into the Anaga mountains. Alternatively, venture to Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, and the surrounding Teide National Park. Take the cable car to the upper station and marvel over the panoramic views of Tenerife, or wander through the park at your own pace. Once you’re there, enjoy a few pre-made sandwiches and replenish for the trip back down.

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is packed with inspiring cycling routes. Get ready to brave big climbs – your efforts will be rewarded with stunning backdrops at their summit. This is where holiday rentals come into their own, allowing you to keep your beloved bicycle inside each night and get it ready for the coming day’s ride.

Head to the northern tip of the island and cycle amongst pretty towns like Corralejo and La Oliva. As well as dreamy strips of sand, you’ll encounter desert roads worthy of a Wild West film. For off-road delights, cycle to the rugged Jandia Natural Park. Otherwise, Lobos Island, a small islet north of Fuerteventura, is worth visiting if you fancy a spot of snorkelling or scuba diving.

Lanzarote

Similar to the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is full of plenty of activities for many different preferences. Beat the crowds at the restaurants and prepare a delicious packed lunch beforehand so you can stay at places for longer.

First up, get your snorkels at the ready and dive beneath the ocean to see the Museo Atlántico. Situated 12 metres underwater, it’s made up of a collection of submerged sculptures which you can swim around at your leisure.

When you’re back above sea level, take a walk around the renowned Timanfaya National Park. You’ll come across geyser displays and a restaurant that uses geothermal heat from a volcano to cook your food! You can explore the park by foot, but if you’re in search of a truly memorable day out, hire a camel to take you around. Not only will this save you the effort of walking, it’ll make for a few unbeatable photo opportunities!

Activity holidays in the Canary Island guarantee many things – scenery, thrills and unrivalled experiences being but three of them. With that all in mind, take a look at some holiday rentals across the archipelago.

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

3 holiday breakfast ideas for a Tenerife self-catering getaway

The Canary island of Tenerife is synonymous with tremendous views made for feasting upon. Next time you’re visiting this beguiling part of the world, why not pair such scenery with a mouth-watering breakfast that would make the locals proud? On a self-catering getaway, you can bulk buy local ingredients, develop new cooking skills and then immerse yourself in the island’s cuisine.

Experiencing regional delicacies is a sure-fire way to soak up a destination’s culture. Not only that, you’ll save yourself some euros to spend on Tenerife’s wealth of attractions. Go on, give those taste buds a tickle and make yourself one of these three tasty holiday breakfast ideas.

Churros

churros-holiday-breakfastImage by subherwal, used under CC License (CC by 2.0

Imagine you’re enjoying a villa holiday in Tenerife with the rolling hills on one side and tranquil beaches on the other. As you turn your head, the sun gently rises over the colossal Teide National Park. Now’s the perfect time to ditch the typical British toast and whip up some churros – a traditional Spanish delicacy similar to a doughnut.

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill fairground snacks, far from it. It’s not uncommon for natives here to have them for breakfast – now you can too. Making your own is both fun and easy to do. On top of that, you’ll be left with plenty of ingredients leftover to make them all over again.

All you need for this is some butter, plain flour, baking powder and sunflower oil. For dipping, make your own chocolate sauce with some dark chocolate and cream to kickstart your day in a succulent manner. Spice this breakfast up with a bit of nutmeg or vanilla extract. Kick back and get stuck into your churros with a barraquito – a famous regional coffee to make you feel truly Canarian.

Canarian fruit salad

Image by Stephen Luke, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Tenerife is a tropical island so the supermarket shelves here are often lined with fresh fruits. For the ultimate Canarian fruit salad, grab some pineapples, watermelon, bananas, mangoes, kiwis and custard apples. You’ll also need some locally produced yogurt and honey. Whip it all together, then voila – you’ve got a healthy breakfast that is almost as exotic as the island itself.

Honey production on Tenerife is actually a speciality. The island even has its own honey museum, La Casa de La Miel, or The House of Honey, that will show you exactly why Tenerife’s honey so highly regarded, making it the perfect accompaniment to your fruit salad.

Gofio with hot milk and sugar

Image by Marius Brede, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Gofio is one of Tenerife’s much-loved specialities. It dates back hundreds and hundreds of years to the island’s original inhabitants, the Guanches. Made from finely milled, ground and toasted cereal grains, this local delicacy is also a highly nutritious flour. Mix it with a few teaspoons of it with yoghurt to give you for a few extra vitamins and energy for the day.

Add two teaspoons of gofio to a glass of hot milk with a spoonful of sugar or honey. It is a quick, simple and filling breakfast to make, helping you to live like a local and teeing you off for a day of discovery.

Hungry? Turn your food fantasies into a reality and look at some Villa Plus offerings on the island.

By Imogen Bishop, a part time travel writer, part time restaurant critic, and full-time mum. She has an affinity for Mediterranean cuisine and can usually be found in the kitchen with a bottle of olive oil in hand. 

Why you should choose a holiday let next time you go to Tenerife

The enviable climate and endless beaches of the Canary Islands have been attracting visitors for years. Resorts in Tenerife offer one of the most alluring holiday options, promising package holiday comfort and convenience all year round. But if you fancy freedom, independence, and flexibility, you should consider a holiday rental on your next trip to Tenerife.

Outside of the boundaries of a hotel or resort, you are more likely to explore further and experience this well-trodden island from a whole new perspective. Still need more convincing? Here are some reasons why self-catering accommodation is a fantastic option:

Relax on one of Tenerife's beautiful beaches
Image by jonathanfh, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

You don’t have to skimp on luxury

Finding a hotel to fit your budget and needs often means making sacrifices, because no resort has it all. With holiday lets, you’ll have a wealth of options at your fingertips, and you’ll find luxury to rival even the best hotels in Tenerife.

Whether you want a villa with a pool, an apartment with a seafront balcony, or a terrace nestled in the mountaintops, there will be something for you. In your own private space, you can unwind and relax without worrying about loud neighbours or noisy crowds.

Enjoy the dramatic scenery of Tenerife
Image by jonathanfh, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

You can set yourself up for an adventure

This Canary Island is so much more than a sunbathing destination. With routes ranging from scenic roads to mountain tracks, cycling in Tenerife is a great way to get more active on your holiday. If you’d rather stay on your own two feet, the island offers superb hiking opportunities, not least the chance to climb Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain.

By staying in a holiday rental, you won’t be restricted by hotel meal times and activity schedules. You can come and go as you please, making it the perfect option if you’ll be spending long days exploring on foot or by bike.

Choose from a wider range of locations

If you want to stay close to the bustling resorts where restaurants, bars, and fun activities await, you can. You’ll find lots of self-catering accommodation options in popular areas, such as the lively Playa de las Americas. For a more upmarket experience, you could choose the nearby Costa Adeje.

Alternatively, holiday rentals also offer you the option of choosing a location more off the beaten track. You might find your perfect secluded beach villa, or a house in a quaint Canary village.

Tailor your holiday to suit your group

Travelling to Tenerife with a group of friends? With the flexibility to choose exactly how many rooms and beds you want, without breaking the budget, you can enjoy comfort that you won’t find in a tiny hotel room. Or, if you’re going on a family trip, you can look for a holiday let with a private garden for the kids to play in.

Accommodation rentals are also a great choice for a couples holiday. You’ll have privacy and your own kitchen to cook in, which is perfect if you feel like swapping a night out for a romantic meal at home.

By Arianne Fabrice, a travel journalist who specialises in the popular resort destinations in and around Europe. Having worked for some of Paris’ premium travel mags, she’s recently moved into English-language publications.

Guide to Tenerife’s Best Attractions

There is much more to Tenerife than the popular resort towns of Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos. These tourist hubs do offer a great holiday, but visitors that don’t tread far beyond them are missing out on the wonders of this beguiling island.

Visit Tenerife
Image by jaumescar, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Tenerife boasts diverse landscapes, and a rich and vibrant island culture all of its own. Enjoy the comforts of your luxury self-catering villa – you’re on holiday after all! Yet if you venture a little further afield, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find. To help you put together an itinerary for your Tenerife holiday, here are some of its best tourist attractions.

Teide National Park

Tenerife’s crown jewel is the huge Teide National Park. It’s home to Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, alongside hiking trails allowing you to explore this otherworldly landscape. Complete with lava flows and massive craters, it’s the closest experience you’ll get to walking on another planet.  If you fancy something a little different, you can even tour the park by camel! Once you’ve done that, take a cable car up to near the top and marvel at the island’s views.

Discover the Canary Islands
Image by Juan Carlos!, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Los Gigantes

Some of Tenerife’s most famous natural wonders are the Los Gigantes cliffs. These towering basalt rock faces stretch 500 metres above sea level, and offer a remarkable view. The popular town of Los Gigantes, and its many bars and cafes, provide the perfect focal point for the cliffs. Here you can enjoy a drink, a bite to eat, and unforgettable scenery.

Siam Park

For those travelling with families Siam Park is a must-see attraction. It’s the island’s largest waterpark, and has activities for children – and adults – of all ages. With its Thai theme and thrilling waterslides, there are few better ways to spend a day with the kids, no matter how old they are.

Adrenalin junkies can enjoy the twists and dips of the Tower of Power, whilst for the little ones there’s the Sawasdee Children’s Zone. The only problem you’ll have here is that they’ll want to come back tomorrow!

Submarine Safari

Like the rest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife’s surrounding waters are rich in biodiversity. Taking a dip with your snorkel is one way of experiencing it, but the best way is undoubtedly by submarine. Submarine Safari offers guided tours below the waves in a spacious and comfortable environment. You’ll experience Tenerife’s marine ecosystem up close – and get a chance to learn about it!

If this isn’t enough for you, why not take a whale watching trip? Pilot whales are common here, and to top it off you’ll often see dolphins skimming above the waves surrounding the boat.

There’s a whole world of things to do and see on Tenerife. Whether discovering the Atlantic depths, or braving waterslides, no holiday to the island would be complete without experiencing at least a little adventure. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to start looking for that perfect holiday rental on the island!

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

Hidden gems: Picturesque spots in Tenerife off the beaten track

Thousands of tourists visit Tenerife every year to bask in the sunshine, laze on the beautiful beaches, admire the dramatic scenery, make the most of holiday rentals and explore the bustling resort towns. For an island destination that has given so much pleasure to so many holidaymakers over the past few decades, could there really be any hidden gems left to discover? Well, you may be surprised…

Despite being relatively compact, Tenerife is actually the biggest of the Canary Islands, so it has no shortage of things to see. With a vibrant island culture tucked ever so slightly away from the tourist resorts, the ‘real Tenerife’ is always close by. You just need to know where to look. So, on your next self-catering trip to the island of eternal spring, visit these hidden gems and experience an authentic slice of Tenerife life beyond the throngs of Playa de la Americas and Los Cristianos.

La Laguna, Tenerife
Image by Miguel. (respenda), used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

San Cristóbal de La Laguna

Blending history and beauty, it’s no surprise that Tenerife’s former capital, La Laguna, has often been referred to as the island’s most scenic town. A colonial-era town dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands, the historic centre also acted as a blueprint for the subsequent Spanish settlements in the New World. This makes La Laguna not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a fascinating place to wander.

The pastel-coloured buildings, winding streets and distinctly Canarian charm make La Laguna’s old town feel a world away from the busy beaches of the coast. As a small city of more than 150,000 people, to call it ‘hidden’ is a stretch, but, regrettably, only a few holidaymakers venture to the town. That doesn’t have to include you, fortunately, so make sure you include a trip to La Laguna on your holiday itinerary.

The view of Taganana, Tenerife
Image by BrainMaY, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)

Taganana

The towering Mount Teide (Spain’s highest mountain) might dominate many of the views on Tenerife, but it’s the northern Anaga Mountains that may be the island’s finest. They certainly boast the finest routes for hiking. One of the best spots to take in the majesty of this mountain range is by trekking to the village of Tagana. The definition of a hidden gem, this tiny settlement gifts you with a jaw-dropping location amidst the mountains and rocky outcrops. Rarely visited by tourists, you can soak up a taste of laidback Canarian life in amongst the clouds.

La Orotava

The name La Orotava refers to both the charming town and wider valley that share its name. Home at different times to banana and sugar plantations as well as vineyards, it has long been one of the archipelago’s wealthiest towns thanks to the bountiful land. Luckily for visitors to the island, this prosperity resulted in the creation one of Tenerife’s most picturesque towns.

With delightfully cobbled streets, this 17th-century settlement boasts some fine religious buildings, such as the Iglesia de la Concepción and the Iglesia de San Agustín. The wider landscape offers just as endearing an experience, with the fertile La Orotava Valley providing a marked contrast to the otherworldly volcanic landscapes of other parts of the island. A gentle trek through the local pine forest is a captivating way to get close to nature as you walk through the canary pine forests, ancient volcanic flows and steep ravines.

Garachico

You won’t find a beach at Garachico, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a dip in the sea. The town is home to the most unusual place to take a swim on the island – the Garachico rock pools. These take the form of natural volcanic rock pools that were created by an eruption centuries ago and have been adapted into an open air natural swimming pool. What better way to experience the balmy waters of the mid Atlantic?

A former history graduate, Ciaran Brooks’ love for old stories has led him around the world. A self-confessed adventurer, he fell into travel writing after his blog chronicling his year in Thailand was picked up by a national paper.

By Ciaran Brooks