Costa Adeje Tenerife - January 13th to 21st 2012
Hubby and I flew from Manchester to Tenerife on Sunday afternoon along with 2 friends. I booked the trip on line with Thomson after our friends said they had already booked several months before. I saved about £50 on their price by booking myself rather than a travel agent.
The flight was bang on time leaving and even arrived a bit early. We had a meal at the airport which we normally never do but it was going to be a long time until dinner at 8pm so it seemed preferable to an expensive Thomson’s sandwich on the flight and the risk that when they get to your seat there is little or no choice left. We then just needed a coffee each on the flight. There was sufficient leg room for my long legs which is not always the case even on long haul flights. When we landed the reps were waiting and 6 of us were soon shown to a mini bus taxi then swiftly transferred to the Riu Arecas in Adeje about a 20 minute ride. We were the first drop off so we just had time to check in, freshen up and go straight in to dinner at 8:15pm.
We did think about asking for early seating at dinner but decided that 8pm was actually better as it gave us time to sit in the sun until it went behind a cloud at 5pm ish then have a shower, change and walk across the road to a local bar “Tiggy’s bar” for a beer then walk back for 8pm. Bed, breakfast and evening dinner was just perfect for us. We had a good breakfast which, with a coffee and a toastie at about 2pm saw us through till drinks at 7 then dinner at 8.
The breakfasts were all buffet style but we could sit anywhere, including outside on the balcony. There was the usual meat, tomatoes and cheese that the Germans seem to favour and eggs done every way. On our last morning they had smoked Salmon and Champagne but again that’s not for me so I passed on that for others to enjoy.
Evening meals were also buffet style but with 2 sittings, 6pm and 8pm at the same table each night. Again the variety of food was excellent, you could go back as many times as you wanted to and try a bit of everything. The wine was a bit expensive so we just had a bottle to share between 4 of us each night and some bottled water.
The Riu Palace is the more expensive sister hotel, built just in front of the Riu Arecas. It did spoil the sea view from our balcony but we could use the pool, sunbeds and entertainment in there as well as in our own hotel. These two hotels are set right at the end of the long, long pedestrian walkway which extends from Los Christianos to La Caleta. You could walk for miles and just keep stopping to sit at a cafe or bar and then walk some more then when you felt the need there was a bus running back regularly. We didn’t bother with the bus pass but the fares were quite reasonable and you just paid on the bus. One day we took a service bus to Los Gigantes, up the coast. It was a lovely drive (about 1hour 20 mins if I remember correctly going down to several small resorts and passing banana plantings which are all under hessian covers, not too sure why. Not a lot to see in Gigantes except a small harbour so a bit of lunch and a wander round then we haggled for a taxi back to the Arecas. This we got for just about the same price as 4 one way fares on the bus, but so much quicker.
On our last day (Sunday) there was a local festival. It was connected to the nearby church and was the Festival of San Sebastian. Dozens of local families who resembled our travelling community brought their horses and all their families to Adeje for the day. There were horse stalls outside the church, and there must have been 60 plus horses all tethered up, one camel and a heard of very smelly goats. We stood waiting for almost 2 hours down by the beach to see what was going to happen. By the time these horses eventually were ridden down to the beach there was a crowd of thousands of tourists all either perched on the rocks or standing behind ropes on the beach waiting to watch the leading of the horses into the water. The riders eventually got the horses to walk into the water but some of them were not at all happy at first and every so often one of the riders was thrown off a particularly frisky or more likely frightened horse and of course the crowd cheered and clapped the rider till he climbed back on soaking wet through. It was a bit of fun but it seemed mainly for local families and not set up for tourists. There were grannies and children all having their own picnics at the back of their pick ups, it was a real local family event much like our Appleby Horse Fair and looked like a tradition that had gone on for many a year. A small procession of religious folks followed behind the horses with an icon held on a board so that they could parade it back to the church. The religious side of the festival was very much obscured by the horsemanship though. A small fun fair was set up outside the church with a few fairground stalls with sweets and fast food outlets had been set up especially for the occasion. It was an interesting way to while away the afternoon before we left for the return trip to the airport.
The wine, beer and coffees in Tenerife are priced at around what you might pay in England outside of the big cities, so not overly expensive outside of the hotels. I took euros with me at the rate of 1.18 per £1, and our friend bought his using cash at just the same rate from a little exchange place near the hotel.
We had 20 degrees and sunshine most days but even in the evenings it wasn’t cold, you needed a cardigan but not a coat so all in all a very pleasant week especially when we saw the snow in England on the news. I wouldn’t personally have wanted 2 weeks there but only because I like to visit cities or places with interesting buildings, I’m not good at just lying on a sun bed for long. One week was just right but 10 days would have been even better, its not often you can get 10 days any more without booking the flights and hotel separately.
I can heartily recommend the Riu Arecas at Adeje for a relaxing winter holiday. No complaints except perhaps the beds were a bit hard for my poor old hip but our friends said they like hard beds so it goes to show you can’t suit everyone can you.
I hope this has given you a bit of a flavour of our week away. We arrived back home to Yorkshire to a terrific snow fall and freezing temperatures but that’s a whole other story.