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How To Explore The Alluring North Coast of Tenerife

A very different experience awaits visitors along the north coast of Tenerife.

Luxurious, uninhibited and dripping with history, the northern coast of Tenerife is an enclave of bygone charm. Back garden vegetables, freshly-caught fish and home-grown wine make it to elegant dining tables, while gentle waves lap the ocean and the constellations in the night sky twinkle. They, and everything else, move at a snail’s pace here.

A visit here offers the conscious traveller an uncharted escape, a place to experience quiet seaside towns encapsulated in time, cobblestone roads, and welcoming communities.


La Quinta Roja, Garachico

The location of La Quinta Roja hotel, in the main square of the coastal village of Garachico and its proximity to the sea, signifies its importance. This was the 17th century home of the Marquis of Quinta Roja and his family, who were the founding fathers of the village. It’s now one of Tenerife’s most elegant hotels with 20 rooms and suites, a spa and a restaurant. In the typical architectural style of the Canary Islands, the front façade of the hotel is simple with large wooden windows. Extravagance is saved for the interior, where a beautiful open courtyard with a fountain is surrounded by intricately-carved wooden beams from the pine forests of the island. Balconies on the upper floor overlook the courtyard and lead to the rooms and suites. The restaurant serves delicious, hyperlocal food and drink. Expect wine from the local vineyard, smoked goat’s cheese from a nearby farm, and fish caught in the morning before being expertly-prepared by the hotel’s kitchen.

Hotel San Roque, Garachico

© Hotel San Roque

This beautiful 20-room hotel sits on the quiet cobbled Calle Esteban de Ponte, on the edge of the old quarter of Garachico. Similar to other traditional buildings, intricate woodwork is the main feature of the hotel: warm red exterior walls and dark-wood windows frame this 18th century mansion, while inside, wooden floors, an interior courtyard and balconies are the base of a beautiful and intimate space decorated with large potted ferns. Each of the 20 rooms are unique in design and layout. As one of Tenerife’s few design hotels, traditional spaces are accented with modern pieces such as Le Corbusier chairs and stand out mid-century furniture. Whether you enjoy views across the Atlantic Ocean from the rooftop sundeck or swimming in the crystal-clear pool in the interior courtyard, this is a great place for soaking up the understated luxury of a bygone era.

Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden, Puerto De La Cruz

Pet-friendly Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden is located in the oldest tourist destination of Tenerife, with Mount Teide on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Set within 25,000 square meters of gardens that include arched bridges and ponds – and boasting tennis courts, a spa and a library – its 252 rooms and suites are designed to cater to a wide range of travellers. All rooms offer views of the garden, Teide or the ocean. Dining options include The Oriental, serving breakfast and light snacks; La Parilla, serving traditional Spanish cuisine using the hotel’s home-grown produce; and Il Pappagallo, serving Italian dishes that are widely-considered the best in Tenerife. The Oriental Spa Garden, consecutively voted one of the best spas in Europe, offers holistic and tailored Ayurvedic wellness treatments and attracts loyal fans who arrive here for total relaxation and retreat.


Xarko by Lucas Maes

If fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere is your thing, Xarko by Lucas Maes is the place to be. Super-friendly wait staff, an innovative menu of local dishes, and magnificent views all capture visitors here. As a sign of the restaurant’s authenticity, expect to see groups of local diners soaking in the atmosphere late into the night. Ravioli with artisan cheese, fish of the day served with sweet potato, and black pork are standout dishes on the menu. The extensive wine list includes an impressive list of Spanish wines. This is the perfect spot for dining with friends or celebrating a special occasion.

Restaurante La Masia del Mar

This wonderful restaurant, owned by the same family for over four decades, is well-known and loved for its fresh seafood and tapas, and is a must-visit when in Tenerife. A wide, white-washed terrace with terracotta tiles boasts views of the beach and sea as you tuck into fish caught by the restaurant’s own boats. Clams, grilled prawns, roasted peppers and Canarian cheese feature on the tapas menu, accompanied by local and international wines. Seafood paella, lobster, steak and veal are exceptional main dishes. Be sure to round off with Creme Catalan or the restaurant’s speciality – crêpes.

La Vendimia Restaurante

Villalba Hotel and Spa’s in-house restaurant, La Vendimia, is arguably the best place for experiencing Canarian gastronomy. Almost all of the dishes, which are seasonal and always subject to change, are prepared using organic produce from its own gardens and the wine comes from its own winery. Set in the quiet town of Vilaflor, just 15 miles from Teide National Park, this is an especially wonderful restaurant for enjoying dinner before setting out for stargazing in the park. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining with fantastic views towards the park.


Stargazing in Teide National Park

Teide National Park is the jewel in Tenerife’s crown and the most visited national park in Europe. Mount Teide, within the park, whilst unmissable at any time of day, becomes a magical and celestial setting after sunset. Visitors arrive at Teide’s Nostrils lookout point, 2000 meters above sea level, to watch the sun set behind a river of orange and crimson clouds, against a staggeringly beautiful volcanic landscape. For expert guidance to all the best places, Feel Tenerife prides itself on its compliance to sustainable practice within the park as well as all other island excursions. The temperature in the park drops considerably after dark so warm clothing as well as comfortable footwear is a must. Tenerife’s night sky has some of the best conditions on earth for stargazing, and an accredited guide from Starlight Foundation is the ideal way to explore it all as they lead you through the Great Bear, the Big Dipper and the Milky Way – all of which were, on our visit, visible to the naked eye. We also observed Saturn, Jupiter and the moon which – through the use of a state-of-the-art telescope – were clear enough to take photographs of, as mementos of an unforgettable experience.


Anaga Rural Park is one of the most biodiverse regions of Europe with a landscape of deep ravines and tall mountains. There’s an established network of hiking trails within the park, as well as a visitor centre and car park, and restaurants that cater well for the large number of visitors. Be warned that hiking is immensely popular at the weekends, and the car park fills up early on. Our easy hike over moderately flat terrain took us through Anaga’s Jurassic forest which has been described as a living fossil. The trail is enchanting with tall trees, a shady canopy and deep green moss covering tree trunks and rock faces. Ancient laurel trees line both sides of the pathway, at times, their lean trunks crossing over from one side to the other. Steps and signposts direct to entrances and exits making it easy to navigate while learning about the native flora and fauna.

Whale Watching

The waters around Tenerife are home to over 400 pilot whales and a stable colony of bottlenose dolphins. Throughout the year they, amongst other species including striped dolphins and humpback whales, swim the protected open waters. For a responsible experience, Big Smile Luxury Charters offers private excursions from Puerto Colón, with no promise of sightings as the company complies to the voluntary Sustainability Charter for Whale and Dolphin Watching and the Sustainability Charter for Nature Activities; their commitment to protecting the environment and the ocean. Sunbathe, drink the wine provided, or simply idle around as the sailboat stops in the deep waters just three miles off the coast and waits patiently for whales and dolphins to appear – crackling the clear-as-glass surface of the Atlantic Ocean. During our afternoon sail, several pods of pilot whales gathered and socialised around our boat as it swayed quietly in the wind, exchanging clicks and pulsed calls. Glistening black whales arched out of the water and dived back into the sapphire sea over and over again with their young, as we stood, legs pressed against the railings, mesmerised by the unbridled display of Tenerife’s wild and free whales.

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