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Teneriffa, Bild: Balate Dorin / shutterstock

Tenerife – Hiking and relaxing in the quiet southwest

A pleasant and mild climate all year round means that Tenerife has established itself as one of the most popular holiday destinations for German tourists. However, the largest island of the Canary Islands offers holidaymakers much more than just lounging in a hotel. Tenerife has so much to offer that renting a car to explore the island is recommended. But even travelers without a driver’s license can discover exciting and wonderful places away from mass tourism thanks to a well-developed public transport network.

Someone who is particularly familiar with the Canary Island is C. Jörg Metzner. The Cologne-based author spends several weeks a year in Tenerife and searches for new hiking trails, interesting leisure activities and restaurants every time he visits.

Tenerife, Teide
View of Mount Teide, Image: Mikadun / shutterstock

He has written down his experiences and tips in the travel and hiking guide “Tenerife – Playa San Juan and the Southwest”. We are pleased that Mr. Metzner took the time for a short interview.

On none of my vacations so far have I driven more kilometers than in Tenerife. What makes this island so appealing?
The attraction lies on the one hand in the three-dimensionality of the island and on the other hand in the multitude of different attractions, which, however, are spread over this large island. Hence the kilometers.

In Tenerife , depending on the season, you can go sledding in the morning, swim in the snow and in the afternoon in the sea.

Travel Guide Tenerife – Playa San Juan and the Southwest
Travel Guide Tenerife – Playa San Juan and the Southwest by Jörg Metzner

In your guidebook, you will focus in particular on Playa San Juan and the southwest of Tenerife. Which accommodation do you prefer during your stays? Classic in a hotel or rather as a self-catering apartment in a holiday apartment?

I myself prefer the holiday apartment because I am more flexible as a self-caterer. On the other hand, more initiative is required there. Holiday apartments are less often chosen as a domicile in summer because families with children tend to go on holiday in summer. Then the hotels are in demand, with all-inclusive, animation and supervised events. Holiday apartments are more in demand over the winter. Then it is not so much the families with children who are on the road, but the best agers, i.e. the 50+ generation, mostly in pairs. They are more likely to go to an apartment.

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As a part-time Tinerfeño, you will experience the development of tourism in Tenerife up close. How has tourism developed here in the last ten years?

On Tenerife, the authorities have been able to protect themselves somewhat from mass developments, such as those on Mallorca , by only allowing hotels with at least a minimum number of hotels. 4 stars may be built and 3 star hotels must be upgraded. Compared to other holiday islands, a high hotel standard apparently protects against unpleasantly escalating mass tourism.

In fact, increasing tourism is noticeable through more frequent traffic jams, longer queues. Tourism is increasing, but I have never found this unpleasant at any time of the year. Tenerife is big enough to avoid individually.

Which travel time can you particularly recommend to our readers?

analogicus / Pixabay

My favorite is winter, because then the climate difference between home and vacation destination is extreme. On the other hand, you see few young people and families in winter. It is interesting that even in summer the climate in Tenerife is pleasant and bearable. For example, I find the south of France hot and sometimes humid in summer. I don’t have that feeling in Tenerife . In the summer of 2018, I voluntarily extended my vacation by one week because the climate in Tenerife was much more circulatory than in Germany.

If you visit a typical fish restaurant in Tenerife for the first time, you might quickly be overwhelmed by the large selection at the counter and the ordering of the desired dish due to a possible language barrier. Which fish can you recommend and what should the restaurant guest consider when ordering.

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The right fish restaurants near the harbour catch the fish fresh every day. They eat what is on the table or what has just been caught. The waiters are trained, show the catch beforehand and are happy to advise. In the kitchen, the fish is expertly prepared. I would always recommend that when ordering fillets, you should also clearly point out that the fish should be boneless, in Spanish “sin espinas”, perhaps accompanied by the friendly word “por favor” for “please”. If it was boneless, the waiter is also happy about a “gracias” for “thank you”.

What is your personal insider tip in Tenerife? What do you think you should definitely visit?

I am mainly in the southwest of the island, where the sun shines. If an insider tip is a place that is comparatively less touristy, then I recommend a visit to Playa San Juan on the west coast. There is not a single hotel there, but a nice beach, many restaurants and a little fishing village atmosphere.

You should definitely visit the Teide with the Cañadas. Here you move in an extremely strange, unreal world at 2000 meters. An impression that you should definitely take home with you.

Mr. Metzner, thank you for the interview.


The travel guide “Tenerife – Playa San Juan and the Southwest” can be ordered under the ISBN number 9781790936762 and as an e-book on Amazon .