Abama Hotel and Luxury Residences – Own your own slice of paradise

Abama Hotel and Luxury Residences – Own your own slice of paradise

Abama Hotel and Luxury Residences

Abama is near the south-western coastal resort of Playa San Juan, in the municipality of Guia de Isora. This small corner of paradise is not only sheltered from the prevailing winds of the Atlantic Ocean, but it is also graced with year-round sunshine and very little rainfall, thus making it an ideal destination for sun-worshippers the world over.

Up until the 1950’s there was only a lime kiln, a tuna factory, and a handful of fishermen’s cottages lining the natural harbour and quaint little coves that make-up Playa San Juan -and yet despite its huge growth in popularity over the last 60 years, it has still managed to retain its reputation as one of the most beautiful and tranquil fishing villages on the island. Abama is also only a fifteen-minute drive from the magnificent resort of Los Gigantes -so named because of its towering cliffs that rise between 500 and 800 meters above sea-level. fFfteen minutes to the south of Abama is the bustling areas of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas. The Reina Sofia (south) airport is also less than a thirty-minute drive from Abama.

The area is most famous of course for the stunning, five star Abama Hotel, which boasts a total of 469 suites and guest rooms inestled within 400 acres of beautiful hillside landscaping.

The owners of the exclusive villa properties in Abama Resort benefit from access to the facilities of the hotel, the club room and the golf course.

 

Bellevue Villas of Abama

The ‘eight’ Bellevue villas of ABAMA, which were designed by architect’s Virgilio Luis Gutierrez and Eustaquio Martinez, are  notably distinguished by their exclusive location overlooking ABAMA’S magnificent golf course, along with affording stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean and the island of La Gomera.

All of these spectacular villas, which have been decorated with the highest quality materials, such as stone and wood, come complete with landscaped gardens, a pool and a garage. Owners of these luxurious properties, along with their guests, are allowed to use all of ABAMA’S facilities, including additional luxuries on ABAMA’S secluded beach. They are also entitled to discounted prices on ABAMA’S professional tennis complex -and of course, the ABAMA Golf Course. Property management services for these stunning three and four-bedroom properties are available upon request, and they include washing, gardening, pool maintenance, catering and housekeeping.

Find out more

Thank you to experienced Tenerife estate agent, Clear Blue Skies. Please contact them for more information on Bellevue Villas of Abama.

Getting a Taste for Tenerife Wine

Getting a Taste for Tenerife Wine

Chatting with Cho Juan

On the wonders of Tenerife wine

 

Meet Cho Juan (Sho Wahn)

In Tenerife, a ‘cho’ is a wise old man, a village elder. Sadly, as in many things, the days of respecting the elderly for the experience they have to share and wisdom they have gathered over the years, have gone.

Where once upon a time, the village cho might be approached for advice on life, love, planting seasons and pest control (among many other things), now we reach out to Google instead.

But tradition is important so I’m very happy to introduce you to eTenerife’s own special elder, Cho Juan.

He has lived on the island all his long life and boy, does he have stories to tell . He has a lot to say about Tenerife traditions, life, love and wine. Especially wine.

Red wine Cho Juan’s Tip:

Instead of choosing a bottle of wine that you could buy in the market back home, ask for one of our local Canarian wines by the quart/half or litre.

Just ask for “Una cuarta /media o Un litro de tinto/ blanco.” which means a quart, half litre or litre of red/white wine.

The waiter might ask, ¿Esta bueno? You could always show him your appreciation by buying another media.

Don’t forget to take a picture of the lovely local wine and share it on Facebook. That way you are helping our local wine growers spread the word about our award-winning Tenerife wine.

Cho Juan's Bodega

Introducing a New Friend to Tenerife Wine

Last week my son brought a friend home. Nice English man, Ian by the name. How do you pronounce that? He tried to say good morning in Spanish to me, he almost succeeded. I was curious to see such a man in the middle of his working life, who though obviously not a tourist, had soooo muuuuuch free time in the middle of the day. So I made him try some of my red Guimar wine, the one that my cousin Cho Pancho brews.

He liked it. These crazy English, they drink beer all the time  … until they discover our Canarian wine! It only takes one “media” to change their minds for life.

A media is a half liter. Here we order wine by one quart, one half or one liter. Not the bottled continental stuff, you understand, but the real Canarian wine that comes in 4 gallon flasks and is never bottled. We don’t give it the time!

So, this man Ian told me how much he liked Tenerife, and the weather, and the people, and the wine… We’d already finished the jug so I called for my son, Lolo to bring the cellar key. The three of us went down and sat at the table where it was cool. Ian had wide open eyes and he was very quiet. You could see that he had never been in a place like this and the sight of all those wine barrels and the heady smell of wines was something new to him.

The wine that you have tasted upstairs is a Guimar wine – I told him – It is a southern wine, but only half way so, not so strong and heady as the northern wines and not so light and airy as the southern brews. Try now this: I poured a fruity white Vilaflor wine from the barrel on my left.

He drank it on one gulp! “Chaaaaacho!!!  Don’t drink it like, that, it is not beer in your cup! Drink it like wine should be drunk!

Look young man, take the cup in your hand, but don’t grab it with the whole hand, you see? You don’t want the warmth of your hand to heat the wine; you want the wine to be at room temperature, OK? First smell it, put your nose inside the glass, and let the smell get to you.

There you can almost feel the land where it was grown, the put your nose out of the glass, breath fresh air, and take one gulp of wine. That’s it!

Now keep it in your mouth, pass it from one side to the other, let it soak your taste buds, and then gulp it down! Some people spit it after that, but that is only when you are going to taste many different wines and you don’t want to get dizzy having a lot of liquid in your belly.

Ah, you don’t mind? You can drink 6 pints of beer and still walk on two legs? How much is six pints, in liters? Ha ha haaaaa! Try drinking half that quantity of Canarian wine and you cannot walk even on four legs!

Night had fallen by the time we came up from the cellar. Ian grabbed me in a bear hug and hiccuped in my face. “Great time”, he said, “Great time”.

He staggered off with Lolo but something tells me I’ll be seeing him again soon.

Hasta luego, amigos.

 

Tenerife Bus Service TITSA

Tenerife Bus Service TITSA

Tenerife Bus Service TITSA

Tenerife bus
Overall, the TITSA Tenerife bus service is pretty good. It offers a cheap and cheerful way to get round the island, especially for those tourists who want to see the ‘real Tenerife’ as opposed to ‘tour bus Tenerife’.

The buses are (usually) clean and in good condition and you’ll see far less of the local colour than I used to see in my native Glasgow on a Saturday night ( that is a good thing).

Getting from A to B can require a bit of planning and Sundays and holidays reduce services considerably but the nifty TITSA app can tell you in plenty of time when a bus is due so you can always nip to a cafe near the parada for a cold drink while you wait.

Questions about the Tenerife Bus Service

Are buses in Tenerife accessible?

In general, yes. There are buses that lower themselves, buses with electric ramps and buses with hydraulic lifts as you see in the video below. All have some designated area for seating for those with restricted mobility. Some have bays in which a wheelchair can be positioned securely. All sightseeing buses in Santa Cruz are accessible and the Tranvia tram in the capital – run by a different company – was the first Spanish public transport system to be certified for universal accessibility in all its services, passengers’ transport, information and sale of tickets.

The reason for saying ‘in general’ is simply because there are buses of all ages on the roads. The intention is certainly for there to be full accessibility on public transport but I would perhaps check with the TITSA company itself if this is the case on more rural routes before setting off on an adventure.

 How do we get from XXX to XXX

That is a question that is often sent into eTenerife but we can’t really answer it. TITSA updates their services from time to time, adding a route here or lopping off a few stops there. The best thing to do prior to a journey is to check with the TITSA website where you will find a couple of tools to help you plan your route.

You’ll see the Plan a Journey box (pictured on the right) on the TITSA homepage. If you know the local council (ayuntamiento) of the place you want to go you are off and running.

Fill in the fields and you’ll be taken to a Google map showing your route and bus times.

 

As a happy little bonus, this search will also show you the bus line number you will be waiting for and the approximate time to destination.

One thing it doesn’t tell you though is the number of the bus stop. This is a good thing to know because if you know the number of the parada you can judge how much time you have to get to the stop before the next bus by using the Proxima Guagua link or app on your mobile.

How Do I Know the Bus Stop Number?

If you know the bus stop number of where you are plus where you need to go you can find out when your next bus is due, estimated time to destination and what line you need to be on.

Each bus stop has a green stand which shows the parada number, as well as the bus lines that stop there and the bus stops along the route. 

The parada stand in the image is the El Medano terminus. It’s number is 7272 and the smaller numbers underneath are the bus lines that serve this location.

Tenerife Bus Fares

 Line   To <> From  Fare  Discount
 111  Costa Adeje <> Santa Cruz  €9.45  €6.25
 482  Vilaflor <> Los Cristianos  €3.05  €2.10
 477  Los Cristianos <> Los Gigantes  €4.65  €3.05

Discounted Travel with Tenmas Card on TITSA Buses

TITSA offers a confusing array of discount options including University tickets, family tickets and monthly tickets. The good old Bono Bus ticket which saw considerable savings loaded on to a paper ticket has been replaced by a credit card size rechargeable card that can be topped up online or at many places around Tenerife.

The Ten+ Travel Card can be used on all bus routes except Teide and Teno. The plastic card itself can be purchased online or at various outlets around the island for €2 plus a €5 minimum credit amount.

How to Use Tenmas card

As you enter the bus or tram, touch the card to the validating box until you see a green light. On buses you must remember to do the same on the way off the bus or your card will be debited for the cost of the entire route and not for the number of stops you have travelled. As you connect the card on the way off the bus, you can also see how much credit is left on the card.

Different Kinds of Tenmas Cards

Basic Tenmas Card – purchased for €2 and chargeable in increments of €5 up to €100 or for a monthly €50 ticket. This card also covers multi-person use and university discounted tickets.

Personalised Tenmas Card – purchased for €5 and used for the following:

  • Monthly Youth Discount 35€
  • Elderly and Disabled Council 12€
  • Elderly and Disabled Santa Cruz 7€
  • Monthly Discount Metropolitan Area 45€
  • Weekly Youth DIscount Metropolitan Area 12€

This card is personalised with your photo and is only available through commercial offices of TITSA and Tranvia

 

TITSA Interchanges and Bus Stops

There are several interchanges where many routes come together allowing for ongoing and extended journeys. Whether you are a tourist or Tenerife resident, making use of the TITSA Intercambios will open up the island to you. These are also the laces to find TITA information centres and but BONO cards.

  • Santa Cruz  Interchange(Main Hall and Upper Floor)
  • La Laguna Interchange
  • Puerto de la Cruz Main Stop
  • Los Cristianos Main Stop
  • Costa Adeje Station
  • La Orotave Station
  • Icod Station

Bus Hopping from A to B

The Tenerife bus service, much as we all love to moan about it, is actually very good in that there are very few corners of the island that it will not get you to.

For tourists, hopping on a guagua to get you from Adeje to Buenavista is a lot more interesting than hailing a hermetically sealed taxi. Granted, you may get the occasional amusingly-bonkers-but-friendly taxi-driver but people watching on the bus is a lot more fun.

Should I buy a BONO card?

No. BONO has been phased out and replaced by the Tenmas card. See above.

The Fuglies Through Fresh Eyes

The Fuglies Through Fresh Eyes

Fugly fountain, Costa Del Silencio, Tenerif

In an article titled , “Unas esculturas de bañistas en Tenerife disfrutan permanentemente del buen clima” in Mundiario,  writer Francisco Puñal Suárez is tickled with the humorous nature of the water feature in Costa Del Silencio.

He is delighted with the sculpture of the bathers permanently enjoying the good climate of Tenerife. His take on the Fugly Fountain makes me a philistine but I cannot get past the dim witted appearance of the bovine creatures he finds so amusing.

When the clique of dumpy, rotating bathers in their murky pond first appeared, I wrote a blog post entitled Tenerife’s Fountain of Fuglies which made my personal feelings on the ‘work of art’ abundantly clear. Now that enough time has passed, familiarity has  softened contempt. I no longer have the urge to smash the ugly thing to pieces every time I pass it.

That is not to say I like it. I don’t, and I never will, partly because I can’t help but see it as a snide comment on gormless tourists or expats. Francisco Puñal Suárez, free from my hangups (or should that be paranoia?) sees something else entirely.  And that is as it should be.

 

 

 

Ten Reasons to Move to Tenerife

Ten Reasons to Move to Tenerife

10 Reasons to Move to Tenerife

After a Tenerife holiday many people wonder what it would be like to live here.  They start dreaming about buying a property and opening a little bar or retiring to enjoy their autumn years relaxing in the sun.

Quite frequently it seems one spouse is utterly desperate to make the move, while the other remains unconvinced and pessimistic about the whole scheme, reluctant to leave family and friends behind to take off into the wild blue yonder.

Well, just to help you give your stick-in-the-mud other half some positive things to think about here are a list of 10 good reasons to move to Tenerife.

Tenerife Climate:

Just off the African coast, on the same latitude as Florida, Tenerife enjoys year round sunshine, which means you can be on the beach sunbathing in January, golfing in February, windsurfing in March and never have to think of heavier clothing than maybe a cosy woolly cardigan for the late night barbeques in December.

Proximity to the UK:

Tenerife is a short four hour flight from Britain, with more than 200 flights per week all year round from 30 different airports in the UK. You can decide at a day’s notice to fly out or hop back to Britain and with so many to choose from you may surf the internet to check out the price/timing that is right for you.

Peace of Mind:

Excellent medical facilities and schools, both English and Spanish private schools are available at reasonable prices and British pensioners have access to reciprocal medical treatment. (update: At least for now. Nobody really knows where we will stand after the BREXIT. Some people are so worried that a recent April Fool’s Day article on the subject reduced some pensioners to panicked tears. Personally, I expect that the various countries involved will reach an agreement that more or less maintains the status quo for thse already living abroad. After all, Brits have been living abroad for many years, before there even was an EU to be part of.)

Home Comforts:

With a British population of around 30,000 residents out of a total island population of 600,000 you have easy access to British foods, newspapers, television, books, however with the large Canarian population you don’t have to go far to enjoy the local culture and cuisine.

Cost of Living:

As a holiday maker you may have noticed that eating out, drinking, cigarettes and petrol are much cheaper here than in the UK. For the British who live here and use the hypermarkets and local restaurants the difference is even more profound but there are other advantages you may not have thought of, like no heating bills, low average rates and a one-climate wardrobe.

Tenerife Island:

From Mount Teide at 12,000 feet with its dramatic volcanic landscapes to the sandy beaches and lush tropical forests in the north, Tenerife is a collection of microclimates and it is hard to imagine more variety on any other island of a similar size.

Canarian Culture:

Every town and village in Tenerife has its own fiesta where giant paellas are cooked, lively Canarian music is played, local handicrafts are demonstrated and sold and the people turn out in their best clothes to promenade and enjoy the spectacle with their family and friends.

Second only to Rio De Janeiro, the Santa Cruz Carnival is a world class event lasting for three weeks every February/March. Visitors and performers arrive from all over the world to participate and enjoy the entertaining spectacle.

Cuisine:

It is true that the great British breakfast, beloved of holidaymakers in the resorts of Playa de Las Americas, is alive and well on the island, however for the more adventurous there are a number of first class restaurants specializing in Canarian and Spanish food.

On the coast in any of the fishing villages in the South there is a mouthwatering variety of the freshest seafood available at incredible prices. On the international side in the South we have Thai, Indian, Belgian, French, Moroccan, Lebanese, Chinese, Swiss, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican and Japanese.

Tenerife Activities:

Every type of water sport is catered for from big game fishing, excellent windsurfing and diving to sailing and angling. Tenerife’s world class golf courses offer plenty of choice for the keen golfer, there are excursions to suit every interest and level of fitness from dolphin and whale trips to a 22 mile downhill glide on rafting bikes. There are theme parks galore including Monkey Park, Aguilas Park, and the award winning Siam Water Park, horseriding, rock climbing … the possibilities are as endless for residents as they are for tourists to the island.

Way of Life:

Ask anyone who lives in Tenerife if they have any regrets and the usual reply is that they wish they’d come here sooner. The way of life in the Canaries is more relaxed. People have more time for other people; they smile more, feel healthier, are more active and generally get more out of life.

Tenerife Animal Shelters – Support the Local Animal Shelters

Tenerife Animal Shelters – Support the Local Animal Shelters

Given recent events, you would be forgiven for thinking Tenerife is a heartless and cruel place where all animals are concerned.

We have all too regular reports of dog poisonings here, especially in the Costa Del Silencio area where some sick individual (or individuals) have been leaving poisoned meat or down in areas they know dogs get walked. Then there are the horrors inflicted on the rail-thin hunting dogs at the end of the hunting season.

Last but definitely not least, is the story of Martin, whose sickening abuse included being beaten, cut, buried alive and left to die of thirst or starvation in the mountains, up to his neck in dirt. He was so helpless that he could not even turn his eyes away from the glaring sun.

Reading about these events, you can be forgiven to think that Tenerife is hell on earth for any four legged creature unlucky enough to be born here. But… you would be wrong.

Martin being cared for by vet, Yaiza

Horrible as it is to point out, that red patch at Martin’s neck is not a blanket. That is open, raw flesh where his skin was abraded away.

Donate to Martin

Martin’s recovery has been slow and hard. He has done great but there is still sme way to go. If you would like to dnate to Martin’s fund you can do via his very own Facebook page here:

Martin’s Facebook Page

 

The Animal Angels

There are many, many people on the island who work hard to rescue and rehome stray and abandoned animals. They fight to remove animals from abusive owners or circumstances and spend all their time, money and energy on doing whatever they can to encourage Tenerife’s pet owners to spay their dogs and cats.

Martin’s case brought the topic of animal abuse on the island front and centre. People were so horrified at the abuse he had suffered that Martin is now a symbol not only of the abuse that animals have suffered here on Tenerife but of the absolute outpouring of love and support from the majority of good, kind-hearted souls who live here.

Tenerife is great for tourists. All that sun, sand, sea and sangria – what’s not to like? And as a place to live, the island offers a friendly, relaxed pace in a pleasant climate. No wonder so many expats flock here to retire or looking for a new life in the sun.

Unfortunately the island is not always so kind to its four legged residents. Hunting season here is notoriously hard on the podenco hunting dogs and the treatment of older dogs by some hunters after the season is over is heartless – in cases, even sadistic. Then there are those who may not mean to be cruel, like the short term ‘swallows’ who come and go. Some of them casually leave behind the pets they picked up at the beginning of their stay like old socks that won’t fit in the suitcase.

Maybe they think it does not get so cold here so hey.. the pet will survive just fine. Except of course it won’t. An abandoned dog left to its own devices could starve to death, die of thirst, get run over by a car, get sick – or it may join a pack and add to the current problem of wild dogs in the hills.

Then there are the feral cat families which can manage reasonably well as long as there is enough food to sustain them and they have access to water. In some areas, kindly individual Tenerife residents feed the feral cats and sometimes participate in trap, neuter, release programmes. There are also larger groups and registered charities that focus on rescuing, neutering and homing cats and kittens. But no amount of spaying and rehoming ever seems to put as much as a dent in the flood of new kittens born every spring.

Tenerife Animal Shelters

There are several animal shelters in Tenerife and all need support. Not everyone can donate money but dog and cat shelters need other things too. Bleach, food, blankets, newspapers…or some of your time… as Live Arico say on their Facebook page:

We also always need volunteers, your unwanted items for the shop, blankets, cleaning materials and food for the refuges. Please don’t throw anything away….you will be amazed at how resourceful we can be 😉

There are usually one or two of the shelters represented at local car boot shows and markets so donated old books, clothes and household items for them to sell is a good idea and ther are also fund-raising shops and donations jars in different places around the island. Watch out too for fundraising events for the various groups that pop up throughout the year.

Very few of the animal shelters in Tenerife seem to be very good at updating their web pages. K9 is an exception but for the others, you are more likely to find the most up to date information on dogs looking for foster or forever homes on their Facebook pages. If any shelter has been left off the list below it is by oversight only. Just let me know and I will add links to any other groups supporting as  Let me know in the comments or by email and I will glady add and I will be happy to add  to the list who is working to benefit the island’s  abandoned pets.

Action for Wild Dogs in Los Cristianos

Adopt an Animal

Aktion Tier Accion

Cats Welfare

K9 Tenerife

Live Arico Charity Shops

Paws For Thought

Pets at Home Tenerife

Proteanimaloy