We visited Tenerife as guests of the Spanish tourist board. Their mission was to show us that Tenerife suits the discerning traveller – in more ways than one. In fact we found four types of luxury:
1. LUXURY HOTELS
With its golden climate, Tenerife has proved fertile ground for luxury. It now has 20 five star hotels – more than Barcelona. We were shown many beautiful properties, but Abama is still our favourite. Like a tropical village, its terracotta buildings spread through super-luxuriant vegetation – offering views of banana palms and ocean from private balconies. Abama has 10 restaurants in superb and romantic settings, a secluded beach created from Saharan sands, and its own spectacular golf course.
A place to commune with each other and nature – terrace of an Abama suite
Apart from five star hotels, we experienced other kinds of luxury – and a few surprises:
2. A LIVING SEA
We were afloat for only 30 minutes off Costa Adeje before pilot whales swam up to the catamaran to commune with us – there is a 100% guarantee of seeing them in these waters, 2nd highest sighting rate after Hawaii. The male whales dive down 1 km to get deep sea squid. Because of this deep sea diving the boys live only to 40 and the girls till 65…
Communing with pilot whales – the supreme luxury of a living ocean
3. AMAZING NATURE
We crossed the island from semi-desert on the southern side over massive mountains rising high into the sky, up into luxuriant pine forests found only on Tenerife. Then into a rugged volcanic national park with unusual plants and the tallest mountain in Spain (3718m). One gets up to 3500 m with cable car, and there are walking paths through wild and wonderful terrain…
Mount Teide, 3718 m, strange rocks and rare plants – riches of the national park
In the greener north, we fell in love with a picturesque Mexican style town famous for its Corpus Christi festival, full of flowers, churches and handcrafts. And we drank local wine at a wine estate. There are many other luxuries to explore.
Mexican style began in the quaint old town of Orotava Tenerife