Last month my cousin, Tanya, came out to visit me while we were in Madrid, and we decided to take a girls’ trip to the Canary Islands. . .specifically Tenerife + La Gomera.
While the Canary Islands are a part of Spain, they are geographically part of the African continent (check them out on a map and you’ll see why!) There are seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands, and all are from volcanic origins.
We had a fairly short visit, but we managed to see quite a bit in our 3 days (with 1 extra day for travel). Below is an outline of our day to day itinerary, including some must-see sights.
We arrived at Tenerife’s North Airport around 11am and took a taxi to our hotel at the south end of the island (about 1 hour). Tenerife actually has 2 airports, a north and a south, but it just worked out with times and prices for us to fly into the north airport. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Abama, which was an absolutely stunning resort with excellent restaurants, gorgeous pools, and a private beach. We decided to relax at the beach for the afternoon, and the water was absolutely PERFECT.
In the evening, we took a taxi to El Mirador Archipenque for sunset views of the cliffs of Los Gigantes. We strolled through the narrow streets of the town and found a little outdoor restaurant where we enjoyed some delicious seafood and wine.
Instead of renting a car or paying for a taxi to get around, we decided to book a few excursions through the hotel. Our first was a day trip to the neighboring island, La Gomera.
A 40 minute ferry ride will get you from Tenerife to La Gomera, and from there, we hopped on a small bus and our tour began. La Gomera is also know as “Christopher Columbus Island” because it’s where he set sail to cross the Atlantic when he discovered the new world. La Gomera even has its very own whistling language. . .yes, whistling. It was a way to communicate between the canyons before modern technology, but it’s still required to learn the language in school today!
We made several stops around the island, including lunch with an incredible view at the Mirador de Abrante. There’s a lookout made entirely of glass, and we were lucky enough to have clear weather and a great view of Mount Teide on Tenerife.
Our last full day was spent seeing more of Tenerife. We had another excursion planned that would take us to see Teide, Garachico, and Masca.
We started our morning by making our way up Mount Teide, which is the 3rd largest volcano in the world and highest point in Spain. From there we drove through several other towns and made a quick stop in Garachico, a small coastal town which was completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption hundreds of years ago. While the town is now rebuilt, you can still see areas where the lava flowed down the mountain!
Our last stop was in the small mountain village of Masca (only around 90 people live there!). The views were absolutely beautiful.
We spent the evening back at the hotel relaxing by the pool/beach one last time, and headed back to Madrid the next morning. A short visit, but packed full of some great memories.
FOOD + RESTAURANT GUIDE
- Bananas! There are banana plantations EVERYWHERE and banana liqueur is a must.
- Barraquito, the most famous coffee drink in Tenerife made with coffee, hot milk, condensed milk, cinnamom, lemon zest, and Licor 43.
- Palm Honey of La Gomera, a specialty of La Gomera made from the sap of the palm tree with no additives!
- For a fine dining experience, check out Abama Kabuki, a Japanese fusion restaurant with a Michelin star and some of the best sushi ever.
- While the weather is great all year, summer is actually the off season because most Europeans tend to plan their visit in the winter months to escape the cold weather (the Canary Islands are a hot spot for European vacations. . .like the Caribbean of Europe). The island was practically empty during our visit at the end of June/beginning of July!
- Whether your driving or taking a tour bus/van, be prepared for extremely windy roads (on both islands). If you get car sick or motion sick, be sure to take some preventative medication!
I had the best time visiting the Canary Islands, and would love to visit again! For a small group of islands, there’s so much to do and see. What I also found interesting was that they don’t get many American visitors, so people were always surprised to find out we were from the United States.
Anyway, I cant get over how beautiful both Tenerife and La Gomera were. If you’ve ever visited, let me know what you thought in the comments.