The weather is the main reason people flock to Tenerife – you are almost guaranteed sunshine all year round and daytime temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees.
Plus, it’s just a four-hour flight away from the UK (less if your Jet2 pilot hitches a ride on the tail wind), and when you add all that to the countless things to see and do, as well as the range of hotels to suit every budget, it’s always been a winter escape no-brainer.
A quarter of a century on from my first trip to the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands, I headed back to see a familiar, but also slightly different, side to the destination.
My home for three days is the luxurious, all-inclusive Hovima Costa Adeje. Located just 650ft from Torviscas volcanic sand beach, the hotel is in a quiet, upscale area, although you are never far from streets lined with shops, markets, bars and restaurants.
Most holidaymakers who check in here are happy to just park themselves on a sun lounger by the pool and enjoy everything that the adults-only resort has to offer.
The size of the 303-room hotel means it never feels crowded and, while the demographic is mostly over-50s, there are a few younger couples and groups about. The hotel has inviting infinity and heart-shaped pools, and for those wanting pampering there is a spa, fitness centre and games room.
My room for the long weekend is a corner Suite Excellence, complete with two separate balconies with Atlantic Ocean views, two TVs, a Lavazza coffee maker and kettle, and fully stocked mini bar.
When you look at the food on offer in Hovima Costa Adeje, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice. The hotel’s restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, and there is the Ocean Blue la carte option.
I particularly enjoy the barbecue buffet on the Monday evening. The mouth-watering steak is cooked to perfection, while there is ahuge choice of grilled seafood, freshly caught in the area.
Away from the hotel, there is a lot to see and do on Tenerife. It has no shortage of beautiful beaches, charming villages, golf courses, bodegas, hiking spots, tropical gardens and centuries-old architecture. And, if you fancy seeing some of its attractions, you can book tours at the hotel or from vendors on the street.
These include trips to the cliffs of Los Gigantes, the natural caves and beaches of La Villa Mariana de Candelaria, Loro Parque zoo, the world-famous Siam Park aquatic playground, the island’s capital Santa Cruz and, of course, Spain’s tallest mountain – the snow-draped Pico del Teide.
If you are one for exploring, renting a car is essential as public transport is limited. That said, if you prefer to stay around your all-inclusive hotel or go for a beachside stroll and stop off at bars and restaurants, you won’t need a car.
Through a combination of walking and cheap taxis, I divide my days equally among its three main resorts.
The once-sleepy resort of Los Cristianos now has more of a surfer’s vibe. There is no end of bars and restaurants, including Raymond III next to Playa de las Vistas, which serves up tasty paella, and El Pincho Bar where you can watch the sun set with tapas and a refreshing jug of sangria.
Just up the coast, Las Americas continues to be Tenerife’s holiday hotspot while, further up, Costa Adeje is known for its yachts, five-star hotels and manicured beaches.
There is also great cabaret entertainment suitable for all ages and tastes, and on my final night, I pull up a chair in the Elvis Bar to watch Freddie Mercury tribute act Dave Varley.
And, as another Tenerife holiday Bites the Dust, it was comforting to see one of my favourite destinations still has a Kind of Magic.
The flag of Tenerife is similar to that of Scotland, a white saltire over a blue field. One of the reasons put forward is that the patron saint of Tenerife is St Andrew, or in Spanish, San Andres.
Richard Jones was a guest of Hovima Costa Adeje in Tenerife, where double rooms are available from £160pp per night on an all-inclusive basis. Go to hovimacostaadeje.com and hellocanaryislands.com
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