Tapas, local seafood and hiking: Discover the other side of Tenerife

FAR from the beaches and madding crowds, Helen Ochyra discovers there’s another side to the largest Canary Island

I am tucking into a bowl of garlic chicken and washing it down with a crisp white wine produced just a few miles away. Between mouthfuls I dip whole, salty potatoes into tangy mojo sauce. And through it all I keep my eyes fixed on the view beyond the terrace where a plunging ravine leads down through crumpled mountains towards the distant Atlantic – and one of Europe’s busiest tourist resorts.

This is Tenerife – but not the Tenerife you’ve seen in the holiday brochures. I am eating where locals eat, surrounded by Spanish voices in the village of Adeje, towards the top of the Barranco del Infierno and high above Adeje’s coastal namesake.

Costa Adeje is where much of Tenerife’s recent tourism development has taken place, but unlike the neighbouring raucous party resort of Playa de las Américas, it has retained some traditional charm. Here you’ll find the most upmarket hotels, laid out along the Atlantic coastline to make full use of the beauty of this dramatic, volcanic landscape.

I stroll from my hotel, the Sheraton La Caleta, and after a few minutes’ walk along the seafront and under the bougainvillea, I find myself at the quiet cove of La Caleta. Here the small, pebbly beach is lined with Canarian restaurants and tapas bars and I am drawn around the sweeping cove to the far end and Las Rosas restaurant, where I sit for several hours overlooking the water and feasting on local seafood.

I am going to need my energy, because I have not come to Tenerife to sit on a sunlounger, I am here to hike. Tenerife is home to some of Europe’s best hiking trails, running along volcanic ridges and down into imposing barrancos (ravines). Many of these trails run through the foothills of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest mountain and the world’s third largest volcano, and in a few days’ time I plan to reach its summit.

But first some training, and for this I head to Los Cristianos to make the short hop by ferry to the neighbouring island of La Gomera. This is the Canaries’ premier hiking destination, an island with a landscape so dramatic the people invented a whistling language, silbo, to facilitate communication across its sharp ravines.

The locals may seek to save their legs but mine are raring to go and in a few days on a Macs Adventure walking itinerary I cover 50 kilometres, hiking through the forests of Garajonay National Park (one of the last vestiges of the laurel forests that once covered the Mediterranean) and down the steep banana plantation terraces of Hermigua valley. I pass just a handful of other hikers and although the snow-capped cone of Teide is visible across the water, Tenerife’s resorts feel a million miles away.

And yet that ferry journey takes just 40 minutes and all too quickly I find myself swapping the quiet cobbled streets of Gomera’s capital San Sebastián for the bustling promenade of Los Cristianos. This is Tenerife’s other big-name resort, with plenty of restaurants, and at Las Vistas I am drawn to the far end of the beach, where Chiringuito Atlanticus serves up the catch of the day – cherne, a local white meaty fish.

When the day of my hike to the summit of Teide arrives, I am raring to go. Most tourists who visit the volcano do so by cable car and at first I stay with them, driving with my guide, Felix, the hour or so inland to reach the popular stop of Los Roques de Garcia.

Here, lava flow from Teide’s eruptions has cooled into twisted pinnacles and brooding rock stacks. The most bizarre rock formation is the Roque Cinchado, known to locals as the finger of God, that’s teetering on its fast-eroding base and looks like it could fall at any second.

The start of the trail to the summit begins at Montaña Blanca and from here we hike for four hours, following the path through patches of unmelted snow and feeling the burn as it steepens. I am wearing seven layers, my hands are cold and my legs are tired, but the view from 3,718 metres makes it all worthwhile. The islands of Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera poke their heads above the sea of clouds, the sun lights Teide’s sulphurous rocks in rosy pink and the triangular shadow of the peak we are standing on dominates the skyline like a giant, dark pyramid.

An eight-minute descent by cable car and a short drive back to the coast, and I have swapped shivering at the summit for sunbathing at sea level. In Los Abrigos, a fishing village near the airport, I eat the best shellfish platter I’ve ever tasted at Restaurante Los Abrigos and marvel at the unlikeliness of it all.

Ten things you must do in Tenerife

  1. Hike to the summit of El Teide, at 3,718 metres above sea level, or take the cable car to 3,500 metres.

  1. Stroll along the seafront promenade that links Los Cristianos to Costa Adeje.

  1. Explore the cobbled alleys and historic buildings of UNESCO World Heritage-listed La Laguna.

  1. Enjoy the rides and slides at Siam Park water park.

  1. Order the shellfish platter at Restaurante Los Abrigos for some of the juiciest prawns and most succulent squid you’ve ever tasted.

  1. Snack on papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) dipped in some mojo sauce and washed down with a Dorada beer.

  1. Swim in natural rock pools at Garachico.

  1. Have a drink overlooking the waters of La Caleta – try the terrace at Restaurante Masía del Mar.

  1. Sunbathe on a black-sand beach beneath towering cliffs at Los Gigantes.

  1. Take the ferry to La Gomera and hike through Garajonay National Park to the island’s highest point, Alto de Garajonay.

Trolley Tours Key West

DESCRIPTION OF THE CARRIAGE the island of Key West is full of fun and interesting things to do and see. Point Sur in the picturesque streets of the old town, the tour takes you to all major tourist areas. Explore the first tourist attraction in Key West, Key West Aquarium, which was also the first outdoor aquarium in the world. Cross the street and ends in the 1800s in Key West Shipwreck Museum treasures to learn how Key West has become one of the richest cities in the United States. Oldest House Museum is also nearby; is one of the many homes that are public in Key West were open restored.

Stop at the Museum Ernest Hemingway House, where it is rumored to have written Farewell to Arms, not to mention for the 6 or 7 fingers of cats to see! Admire the beautiful butterfly species at Butterfly and Nature Conservatory Key West and walk southernmost and Museum, known for its 19th century architecture and tropical gardens next to the mansion. Cool off with a drink at the bar of the famous Sloppy Joe or Jimmy Buffet Margaretville in the old town. But do not leave Key West until we have seen the sunset Mallory Square, an unforgettable experience!

Most people visit Miami to Key West  not only in Key West. Revive the city of Old Town Trolley Tours. This is the same island, loved Jimmy Buffet, Ernest Hemingway and Harry Truman. The Old Town Trolley Tour is told completely for a period of 90 minutes and shows the history of the city for over 400 years. Attractions include more than 100 points of interest. The 12 stations are arranged at a suitable distance from each other, and they can shop, eat and explore important goals on their own. But you can also check the innumerable attractions.

The Orlando Tours Orlando Tours  cars are at every stop in an interval of 30 minutes. These cars tours have a money-back guarantee of 100%. The tour on the island is excellent. Also on the area you go to the hotel, the sights and sounds are sure to enjoy. Travelers who want to explore the region will be pleased that there is a public beach cocoon in a cozy corner. The Old Town Trolley Tour is worth a visit, because every time a tour, it will wait; enjoy something new for your senses.

 

Beyonce tours Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

The power couple toured the historic home hours after she performed at the Ziggo Dome.

A message on the Anne Frank House Facebook.com page reads: “American singer Beyonce and rapper & producer Jay Z visited the Anne Frank House today. They were more than an hour inside and very impressed by their visit to the hiding place of Anne Frank.”

Before leaving the home, Beyonce wrote a message in the guestbook and posed for photographs.

Her tour of the house, where the Jewish teenager hid from the Nazis during World War Two, was a lot less newsworthy than Justin Bieber’s visit last year (13) – he sparked controversy when he wrote that he hoped the writer “would have been a belieber” in the guest book.

His comment sparked outrage among other tourists, with many pouring scorn on his message in subsequent notes in the visitors book, and it prompted a frenzy of criticism on social networking websites.

Museum bosses had to step in to back Bieber and thank him for visiting the house.

Spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said, “He’s a 19-year-old boy taking the effort to come and see the museum, and we’d like to point that out, and I think it’s quite innocent what he put down.”

Another representative, Maatje Mostart, told the BBC, “He’s 19. It’s a crazy life he’s living, he didn’t mean bad (sic)… and also it’s nice that he made the effort, he didn’t have to come.”

Anne Frank died at the age of 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in 1945. She became one of the best-known Jewish victims of the Holocaust following the publication of her diary in 1947.

Heritage Cultural Walk

       Heritage Cultural Walk

Heritage Cultural Walk, organised by the travel, tourism and hospitality committee of the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), will be held on February 7, 2016. The event is supported by VFS Global Services and conducted by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. As part of the IMC’s tourism initiative, the event will take participants on a cultural trail in South Mumbai. The accompanying professional guides will provide narratives along the route.

This year, the highlight will be the cultural surroundings of Bhuleshwar/Kalbadevi area. Participants will have the oppoprtunity of visiting some of the important Jain, Hindu temples, and Mosques located in this area.

The walk will commence at 8.30 am on at the IMC building in Churchgate, which will run till 12.00 pm. At the end of the walk, participants will assemble at the the IMC building for brunch

Carnival time in Trinidad and Tobago

The two islands of Trinidad and Tobago will erupt into a parade of merriment as thousands of people from around the world are expected to participate in the biggest street party on Earth – the Trinidad Carnival

The two islands of Trinidad and Tobago will erupt into a parade of merriment as thousands of people from around the world are expected to participate in the biggest street party on Earth – the Trinidad Carnival.

Officially celebrated on February 8 and 9, the carnival festivities started just after Christmas and will continue until Ash Wednesday, February 10, loaded with parties and cultural competitions.

Opening with J’Ouvert on Carnival Monday, revellers parade through the streets immersed in paint, grease and mud until sunrise. Later in the day and all day on Tuesday, thousands of masqueraders flood the streets throughout the islands in bold, colourful costumes, dancing through the parade routes to the sound of soca, steelpan and calypso music.

From its diverse people and culture to its biodiversity, Trinidad and Tobago breaks the mould of the typical Caribbean destination. These islands boast a year-long calendar of cultural events and festivals, multi-ethnic people and opportunities for eco-adventure