Posts Tagged ‘Santiago del Teide’

Any of my friends will attest to the fact that, for the past three months I’ve been about as much fun as a bout of influenza, virtually all of my waking hours being in front of a screen and a keyboard in order to meet deadlines. So the weekend before Christmas, deadlines finally achieved, Jack and I took ourselves off for a bit of R and R on Tenerife’s sunny south west coast.

The prospect of this mini holiday had been keeping me going through the final pushes of work and I’d envisaged myself lying by a Bond-esque swimming pool, cocktail in hand, soaking up the healing rays of the sun and watching my skin slowly losing its blinding white hue.
So it wasn’t without some concerns that a few days before we were due to go away I began to pick up reports of yellow alerts and first hand accounts of persistent rain in the south of the island.

On Saturday morning we headed out of the blue skies and sunshine of Puerto de la Cruz for the drive to Puerto Santiago. As we climbed higher into the cloud my heart began to sink, but when we reached the mirador above Santiago Del Teide I could see the resort of Playa de la Arena in sunshine on the coast below and we arrived at the Hotel Barceló Santiago in glorious sunshine.

You often hear about the different weather zones on Tenerife and here we were under blue skies and sunshine just a fifteen minute drive along the coast from Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje where, very unusually, it was raining heavily.

After checking in and getting into the holiday mood with a complimentary glass of chilled cava, we headed to our suite.
We’d stayed in the Hotel Barceló Santiago seven years ago and although completely blown away by its location, we’d been somewhat disappointed with our room. But clearly the hotel hadn’t stood still in those intervening years and refurbishments had transformed it beyond recognition.
As we walked through the door of room 819 it wasn’t disappointment we felt, it was elation.

The first thing we saw was the stylish en suite bathroom and walk in shower constructed in ice blue opaque glass. Beyond the bathroom was a comfortable lounge area and beyond the opaque glass screen lay the elegant, contemporary-styled bedroom which occupied a corner of the hotel’s eighth floor.
Drawing back the floor to ceiling curtains, we had panoramic views over the cliffs of Los Gigantes and the whale and dolphin watching boats which were cutting a white swathe through the shimmering turquoise of the ocean. From the other window, the views were equally impressive over La Gomera and the hotel’s fabulously stylish swimming pools and sun terraces.

After wandering over and back between views on our corner balcony, we unpacked and headed down to the buffet lunch.

I wasn’t really very hungry and so I headed for the salad bar and stacked my plate from the cold meats, salads and dressings. Unfortunately, on the way back to my table on the elegant outside terrace I caught sight of the carvery section where sirloin steaks and plump pork fillets and chops were sizzling on a griddle, then past the sweets tables (okay, admittedly my route back to the table may not have been the most direct…) where small pastries, ice creams and chocolate mousses were whispering “eat me” in seductive tones.

After my salad lunch which morphed into a three course sumptuous affair with red wine and several return trips to the buffet there was only one place to go. I chose a sunbed alongside the infinity pool with views over the Los Gigantes cliffs, applied the factor 15 and let the afternoon drift away in a pleasant doze lulled by soft Jazz melodies drifting from the pool bar, the distant chatter of a couple in the Jacuzzi and the rhythmic ebbing and flowing of the ocean.

As I lay there in the afternoon sun, the stresses and strains of the past three months began to evaporate into the ether and all I had left to worry about was how on earth I was going to be hungry enough for our 7.30 pm reservation at the Sabor Español restaurant. Now that’s what I call R and R.

P.S. If you like the look of the Hotel Barceló Santiago, you could win a  FREE week, half board for 2 persons simply by liking Tenerife Magazine on Facebook – no catch, no hidden ‘sell’, just hit the ‘like’ button and you could be lying by that pool gazing over the Los Gigantes cliffs. I’ve already hit the button several times. Well, you never know…

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A couple of weeks ago we had a fantastic weekend in the country in the pretty rural hamlet of Santiago del Teide.
Set in a gorgeous valley about 800 metres above sea level, bordered to the north by pine forests, to the east by Mount Teide and Pico Viejo, to the west by the Masca mountains and to the south by the spiralling descent to Tamaimo and Los Gigantes, this little village is one of Tenerife’s most picturesque.

Ironically, although thousands of people pass through it en route to Masca, very few of them leave their cars and tour buses to explore Santiago del Teide, and the handful who do head straight for the life-sized model of a horse which is harnessed to a trap, on the terrace of the Chinyero restaurant at the western end of the village.

But with the opening of the Señorio del Valle Visitor Centre and rural hotel, that may be about to change because now visitors can upgrade from Chinyero’s wonky plastic horse and experience a ride in a real horse and trap.
Stabled behind the Señorio del Valle Rural Hotel, a selection of beautiful horses are now available for horse riding and along with one very cute Shetland pony, offer pony and trap rides through the village, around the grounds of the Visitor Centre and to the neighbouring hamlet of Valle de Arriba.

Sitting in the shade of the trees at the kiosk cafe of the picnic zone opposite the church, it was magical to hear the clip clop of hooves and the swish of the wheels of the trap as another delighted passenger was taken through the village.
If there’s one thing about the past that I would happily re-instate if I was Mayoress of the World, it would be travel by pony and trap. There’s just something so romantic about that mode of transport and for me it conjures up images of Jane Austen heroes and heroines and Sherlock Holmes adventures.

So if you fancy taking to the saddle to explore some of the beautiful forest trails around Santiago del Teide, or you happen to be heading into Masca any time, make a point of stopping off at the Señorio del Valle Visitor Centre and enjoy the peace,tranquillity and beauty of the village the old fashioned way.

Riding lessons are €8 for ½ an hour and €16 for an hour
Riding is €30 an hour, €60 for 2 hours
Pony & trap rides are from €1 to €10 depending on time and distance.

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