They were so loud. Those to my left were a higher octave than those on the far right. They didn’t stop twittering, cheeping and chirping. Were they Blue Chaffinches, Tenerife Goldcrests or Canary Island Chiffchaffs?
I lay there wondering until my thoughts were gradually caressed back thanks to the practitioner leading our mindfulness session in Tenerife.
Providing the perfect place to reboot your body and mind, Tenerife invites visitors to disconnect from the daily routine and experience relaxation, rejuvenation and mindfulness through exploration of its villages, traditions and wild landscapes.
Wellness in Tenerife
Tenerife, the largest island of the Canary Islands, has joined the wave on wellness ,which embraces many aspects of island life. Raquel Training is a company providing activities such as yoga and meditation, and brings Pilates directly to villa doors or to hotels such as Abama Resort in the south of the island.
From mindfulness retreats to soothing sunshine, farms that embrace age-old traditions, and seas that beg you to take a swim, Tenerife is welcoming retreat for those in search of a rejuvenating break.
A revised view on sustainability has influenced a renewed perspective on holidays and lifestyle. Tourism is embracing age-old traditions with new initiatives and delivering them via a variety of trips and tours as the increasing numbers of visitors return to favourite haunts.
Tastings and guided visits are offered by a number of plantations, vineyards and fincas, demonstrating ecological farming such as La Finca La Calabacera, a certified organic farm, which has 150,000 m2 of different types of organic crops. Bananas clinging to slopes in every direction around the island are the main crop in Tenerife with numerous eco plantation tours on offer. As for wines, Bodegas Ferrera is an example of a family viticulture tradition which dates back to the middle of the last century. Here, there is the opportunity to sip and savour high altitude wines as well as sample Montesdeoca Cheese.
Scenic views accompany travels up, down and around the island. One route recommended is to the rural park of Teno, in the north east. Known as “Isla Baja”, this region is sprinkled with villages and hamlets with deep-rooted traditions, clinging to the mountain side affording the best views imaginable.
Check out the Shepherd’s Leap, a folk sport practiced throughout the Canary Islands and a skill that facilitates quick and agile movement across difficult or dangerous terrain.
The historic town of Garachico has endured plagues of locusts, outbreaks of disease, fire and flooding and lava flows but today is an attractive place to visit, dotted with churches and convents with cobbled streets weaving through. A tourist haven and must-see is Masca, a pretty village bragging views onto deep ravines with hikes down the sweeping hillside to the gorge.
From the peace and tranquillity of the mountain villages ascend to the ultimate stillness and silence of Mount Teide peeping high above the clouds. This imposing peak is the third-highest volcano in the world. Its summit is the highest point in Spain, as well as being the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic.
Mount Teide was a sacred mountain for the aboriginal Guanches, so it was considered a mythological mountain. And with such credentials, it’s popular for witnessing nature’s daily sun down drama casting shadows on its moonlike landscape followed by the dark skies backdrop for stargazing and celestial shows. Accompanied by starlight guides and telescopes, this experience is illuminating while at the same time good for you, breathing in the pure, fresh air. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 under the Natural Asset category, Mount Teide exhibits the broadest sample of supra-Mediterranean vegetation.
A Wellness Immersion
The luxury 5-star Hotel Botánico, located in the north of the island in Puerto de la Cruz, has its own offer of health and wellbeing. The hotel’s Oriental Spa Garden has received numerous awards as the best hotel spa in Europe and the Mediterranean, is a peaceful space set amid tranquil plants and flowers, with a pool and palm trees for shade. Steps lead to a circuit of water therapies, from saunas, steam rooms, and ice temple to an indoor pool and water beds for relaxation.
Its signature treatment, Canarian Ritual, uses local Aloe Vera for the peeling and body wrap as well as volcanic stones for the massage. Here they also offer personalised 3-day programmes designed for detox, slimming and stress, among others.
Wherever I was –exploring the island, on the sun lounger at the hotel or the little hamlets on the hillside, I could still hear the cheeping and chirping of the birds, and I still wonder what the tweeting was all about in sunny Tenerife.
BeSeeingYou In: Tenerife
Good to Know: The Island is known to be home to some 70 species of breeding birds, several of which are endemic.
WOW! Factor: The temperature stays around a lovely 22ºC throughout the year
Tip: There are about 21 birding spots dotted all over the Island
Author bio: Jane Wilson