Did you know it’s been almost a full year since our last week-long vacation (Belize!)? All our weekends might fool you but we haven’t really had a chance to relax together for quite awhile. We picked somewhere warm with enough relaxation and adventure to keep us busy for a week…Tenerife!
We are completely spoiled with our usual, short European flights so the 4.5 hours to the Canary Islands felt like the longest.flight.ever. Once we were there it was all worth it! It would be way too long (and probably boring for you) to tell you all about our trip, so we’ll just give some of our highlights:
Kayaking with Dolphins & Snorkeling with Sea Turtles:
Through a very personal and small tour (only 1 other couple) we were able to experience the adorable bottle-nosed dolphins of Tenerife for a morning. We double kayaked (ha, I suggest all couples try, it was an interesting experience) down the coast of Los Christianos and were rewarded with a few dolphins jumping and swimming together a little off shore. Although the GoPro was dead and we weren’t able to get any pics, it was amazing to see such beautiful animals in their natural habitat! We took a swim in a sheltered cove and saw some of the fire red and yellow crabs native to the island. There was also a slight bird incident when the guide (and Jon!) started throwing crackers to the seagulls and they swarmed us (I see enough of those in Ipswich thanks). At the end we were exhausted, but it was the perfect excuse to take an afternoon nap on our incredible balcony overlooking the water.
The next day we went out with the same guide for a snorkeling expedition! I guess we should start answering ‘experienced’ when people ask us how our swimming/snorkeling skills are because we’re becoming quite the experts. We spent the morning chasing sea turtles in a bay, both of us even got to stroke the turtles back (it was slimy)! This time the GoPro worked and we got some great shots!
Stargazing at el Teide Volcano:
One of our favorite travel experiences to date! We took a private jeep tour (just the two of us and our fantastic guide Henry) into Mount Teide National Park to see the third biggest volcano in the world (also occasionally active!). The park was a completely different world than the beaches down below, it kind of felt like Mars. You could see the large expanse of lava fields and pumice from all of the previous eruptions. After touring the park we watched the sunset over the mountain while toasted champagne and then stargazed using a huge telescope. The guide told us to bring warm clothes and we stupidly (being New Englanders) thought that meant sweatshirts and hats, nope we should have brought puffy coats and mittens, it was near freezing up there! But worth every second!
Exploring the old port of Garachico:
Garachico is Tenerife’s most authentic Spanish town (and original capital). Completely washed away by the lava from a volcanic eruption in 1700, the town was originally a bustling port. Now it’s a quiet town with stunning views of the remains of the original port jutting out from the ocean. We weren’t brave enough to try the natural pools that formed between rocks along the shore but we did enjoy some delicious tapas at a local restaurant. And took a lot of pictures!
Driving crazy windy roads to Masca:
Down what must be one of the craziest, most dangerous drives in the world, we found the picturesque town of Masca. Almost completely hidden and cut off from the rest of the island except for one crazy road, we saw some of our favorite views here. It’s beautiful mountain scenery and steep cliffs reminded Jon a bit of Machu Picchu in Peru. On the other side of the cliffs we found Buenavista and a small volcano with a very clear lava path. Our favorite drive by far!
Black sand beaches & Piña coladas
One of the best parts of Tenerife as a volcanic island is the black sand beaches. Really and truly black sand, it was soft and actually easier to brush off than normal sand since you could see every piece. At first we thought it was a little hotter than tan sand but I think Tenerife was just hot in general! We didn’t have a day under 75. We also indulged in our favorite island drinks a few times…Piña coladas!
We have sooo many photos (I forced Jon to downsize for our Facebook album!) but this might be my favorite 🙂