I have lived and worked on Tenerife as a freelance feature writer and travel guide author for 7 years. I am Editor and Co-Director of Tenerife's premier online lifestyle magazine – Tenerife Magazine.
I first set foot on Tenerife in 2002 with a mindset that was predisposed to hating the place.
It is to Tenerife's eternal credit that what I found was so far removed from my prejudices that one year later I actually upped sticks and moved here.
Since then I've made it my business to uncover every gem in Tenerife's hidden treasures in my quest to tell the world about the 'other' Tenerife – the one that's really quite cool.
My Road to Damascus revelations have been chronicled in Traveller, Ling and Living Tenerife magazines, in various travel websites and blogs and in the two guide books I have authored; Real Tenerife Island Drives and Going Native in Tenerife.
I believe that to get to the heart of a place you have to throw yourself headlong into all it has to offer, so when I'm not researching or writing you can find me at Carnaval 'til dawn, sipping mojitos in a Cuban bar or clinging to some vertigo-inducing outcrop by my fingernails to see if an ancient path still exists.
Where I always grab a coffee: in one of Cafe Ebano's big wicker chairs in Puerto's Plaza Iglesia for a café americano and a slice of chocolate cake.
My favourite stroll: Along the Rambla del Castro coastal path in Los Realejos to the little fort of San Fernando with views back over the palm groves and Casona de Castro hacienda.
My favourite beach: Bollullo on the border of Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava is too remote for all but locals to access. There are no regimented sunbeds or water sports, just black sand coves, one cliffside restaurant and wild Atlantic rollers.
Fiction for inspiration: Agatha Christie's The Man From The Sea, part of the Mysterious Mr Quin collection was penned in the La Paz district of Puerto de la Cruz. Not her best but the location descriptions haven't changed all that much.
Where to be seen: at the Ítaca Terrace of the Faro Chill Art Bar in Costa Adeje.
Most breathtaking view: From the Pico del Inglés mirador in the Anaga Mountains. Looking south Mount Teide dominates the centre of the island with the Aguere Valley, La Laguna, Santa Cruz and the north airport spread below it. Looking north the Atlantic Ocean shimmers beyond the ancient Anaga Mountains.
Best spot for peace and quiet: the upper La Orotava Valley where trails thread through fragrant pine forests with only the sound of birdsong and the scuttling of lizards in the undergrowth to disturb the silence.
Shopaholics beware! The streets around Calle Castillo in the capital city of Santa Cruz have high street names and independents cheek by jowl with shady pavement cafés and tapas bars – a shopper's paradise.
Don't leave without: visiting Teide National Park and taking the cable car to within 200 metres of the summit for satellite views over the Canarian archipelago.
My expert information
Discover a different Tenerife
Over six million visitors a year arrive annually on the shores of Tenerife. Many think they know the island like the back of their hand, but very few really know it at all. In its southern resorts, Tenerife has changed beyond recognition in the past five years but in its mountainous interior and lush north, much hasn’t changed for 500 years and counting.Read more...
Puerto de la Cruz is the 'real' Tenerife
The perfect combination of Canarian culture, lifestyle and charm with all the facilities of a holiday resort, Puerto is a million miles away from the purpose-built resorts of the south and west.Read more...
The bustling capital of the Western Canary Islands was once the frontier stepping stone between Europe and the New World. Today the city combines the ghosts of that past with vanguard design, a sleek tram system and citizen-friendly spaces.
For the biggest carnival outside of Rio and an experience you’ll never forget, cast off the winter blues and head to Santa Cruz for some hedonistic head-banging. For the full low down, see Carnaval in Tenerife: it's time to party!Read more...
Out with the old…
The south of Tenerife has invested millions of euros in moving away from the ‘sell ‘em cheap, stack ‘em high’ package holiday destination of the 1980s to a chic winter playground for affluent Europeans. Where once great swathes of Playa de Las Américas lived, now the upmarket resort of Costa Adeje thrives, sweeping away all day British breakfasts and tacky souvenir shops in a rising tide of five-star hotels and designer label shopping. Welcome to the New Tenerife.Read more...
Neighbours along the sunny shoreline of Arona, I have included the resorts of Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos in this section. Although they are joined at the hip and moving from one to the other is a border-free experience, the two resorts have very different personalities. Playa de Las Américas is the brash, young upstart where the goal is holiday fun in the sun and music by night, while Los Cristianos generally nurtures a more sedate approach to vacationing which suits its mature clientele.Read more...
Although Los Gigantes is the best known of Tenerife’s west coast resorts, the roughly 10 kilometre stretch of coast between there and Playa San Juan is growing in popularity with those seeking a less developed and quieter Tenerife experience. For that reason I have featured here the triplet resorts of Los Gigantes, Puerto Santiago and Playa de la Arena and have moved down the coast a tad to include Alcalá and the up-and-coming resort of Playa San Juan.Read more...