Leisure, Tenerife

Trips in Tenerife: time to float, rather than fly

When you live at Abama, it's easy to find trips in Tenerife that will take you off the Island and allow for a day of exploration (but still have you back home in time for dinner at one of our Michelin-starred restaurants). As island dwellers, the ocean is in our blood, and luckily for us, the waters around Tenerife can be navigated all year round. If such a trip is calling you, there are many ways to go, whether by pirate boat, glass-bottom boat, Tenerife sailing, tourist excursions to visit the cliffs of Los Gigantes, or trips in Tenerife that offer sightings of pilot whales with their calves.

But there’s also another, more local way to take in spectacular views and the rush of clean Atlantic air: the many ferry routes departing from ports dotted about the island. Two main commercial ports operate in Tenerife, but the most convenient ferry point for our Abama luxury home residents is the port of Los Cristianos, reachable in as little as 30 minutes by car. It links Tenerife to the ports of San Sebastián on the island of La Gomera, La Estaca on the island El Hierro, and Santa Cruz in La Palma. In under an hour you can be in La Gomera and a slightly longer trip will even bring you to the capital of the archipelago, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Two companies connect the islands: Fred Olsen and Naviera Armas, and some routes offer up to eight crossings a day, making for an unhurried travel experience and flexible excursion plans (depending on the season).

An outing to La Gomera

If the spirit of adventure calls you to trips in Tenerife, then La Gomera is the perfect escape. The outing kicks off as soon as the boat departs, and you’ll immediately be rewarded: during the crossing, you can admire the cliffs, coasts, natural scenery and delightful views of Tenerife and the Teide.

On La Gomera, various guided tours are available, as well car hire, and both provide excellent ways of soaking up the culture and majesty of the island by visiting dramatic beaches, routes through tropical mountain scenery and misty rainforest. Day hikes within the mysterious Garajonay National Park, the scenic Valle Gran Rey or mountainous Cumbre de Chijere are available for those aching to explore by foot. But if a more relaxing trip is your cup of tea, Puerto de Santiago’s pretty beach may be the order of the day, or swimming in the beautiful El Pescante salt-water swimming pools and spreading out your towel for an afternoon of sunbathing.

La Gomera is also boasts a rich cultural history, including being the last port of call of Columbus before he set sail for The Americas. There are numerous attractions on the island, including plazas and monuments, related to his visits and the activities he supposedly engaged in while there.

El Hierro by ferry

History is in great supply everywhere in the Canaries, and much like the best Tenerife adventures, a day excursion to El Hierro affords a glimpse into the ancient origins of the Gomera civilization. You can view some of the petroglyphs (geometrical etchings) left by the original inhabitants, the Bimbaches, on rocks and cave walls found from one end of the island to the other.

The passage of time isn’t limited to human traces, but can also be seen in El Hierro’s rich geological history. From natural wonders to beaches and natural pools, there’s something for everyone on the island. And the charming old villages won’t fail to captivate your heart and mind with their rich heritage, either. Churches that have stood for centuries, museums, houses built from volcanic rock and traditional Canarian architecture abound on the island.

But the beauty of El Hierro is not limited to the land. Beneath its seas, there are spots for scuba divers where volcanic eruptions and the ensuing lava flows have set the stage for impressive underwater cliffs and caverns that create unforgettable diving experiences. In just 3 short hours by ferry, you can find yourself in a mesmerizing treasure trove of natural wonders. Car is the best way to get around, but a bus service also runs 12 routes around the island.

A jaunt to La Palma from your apartment on Tenerife

A slightly longer ferry ride will deliver you to La Palma, whose most important geological feature is La Caldera de Taburiente. It dominates the northern part of the island and is one of the largest and most impressive erosion craters in the world. Similarly astounding are the peaks around the northern and eastern rim of the caldera, including El Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m), Pico de la Cruz (2351 m), Piedra Llana (2321 m), and Pico de la Nieve (2239 m). The south of the island is lovely if you have time to walk, but for the spectacular scenery, go north!

Hugging the port, the historic capital of Santa Cruz de la Palma is within easy reach. Stroll right off the boat and take in the colonial houses, historic mansions, narrow cobbled streets, and small boutiques. If swimming is your fancy, you can walk to the beach about 15 minutes away and enjoy the perfect place to soak up the Canary Islands sun.

Another option once on the island is a private taxi tour to the observatory area, or to see the rural north with ancient dragon trees and caves, or the south’s volcanoes.

Besides the obvious benefits of taking trips in Tenerife, like breathtaking views and a complete change of scenery, excursions by ferry are a relaxing way to discover even more of the Canary Islands’ wonders. Consult the timetables and booking information below for the two lines that leave from Los Cristianos, and get exploring what to do in Tenerife! Don’t forget to bring your camera or your passport, which they’ll request at the ferry ticket office.