So, what do you do when you unexpectedly find yourself with months and months on your hands where you can’t travel, the work has dried up and the only time you leave the house is to go to the washing line, the local supermarket and the woods next door? Answer – you write three books and completely overhaul an already-published guide to Tenerife. At least, that’s what you do if you’re us.
We’re all too aware of the consequences of this pandemic year on the tourism industry and its devastating effect on the viability of businesses which are either directly or indirectly involved in the tourism sector. For Tenerife, that means any number of hotels and restaurants may be at risk and, as we worked our way through our listings, removing establishments already closed this year and worrying how many more would follow suit, it suddenly struck us that it was a fairly pointless exercise. Like the vast majority of travellers, whenever we are planning a trip or researching where to eat when we’re in a destination, we don’t rely just on the listings in the guide books we’ve bought, we use Tripadvisor and Booking.com. We know that those online sites are by their nature as current as you can get and if a restaurant has closed, a reviewer will say so; if a hotel has closed, it will no longer be listed. The reviews themselves may not always be reliable – one man’s meat and all that – but at least we know the place is still in business. If we want a recommendation, we’ll see what the guide book says and then go online to make sure it’s still in operation.
So why compile and maintain reams of listings of hotels and restaurants in our guide book when most people won’t rely on them anyway and any number may be out of date before the virtual ink is dry?
Instead, we decided to use those pages to include information that never goes out of date. So we’ve added lots more insights into the fascinating history of this frontier island at the crossroads between old and new worlds, including more in-depth history for each destination featured. We’ve included new information on Tenerife’s unique culinary scene, from its ancient potatoes, its prized cochino negro and distinctive mojos to types of tapas and where to find authentic guachinches, providing arguably the most comprehensive guide to the Tenerife’s food and drink scene available in the English language. We’ve also introduced new chapters on the island’s volcanic history; its stargazing facilities; traditional costumes; ancient island sports; romerías, wildlife and picnic sites.
But most of all, we’ve enhanced the aspects of The Real Tenerife that make it so different from other guide books – the insider knowledge that comes from 14 years of living, driving, walking and researching every aspect of island life, over and over again. We tell you where the best place is to see the ‘sea of clouds’; what to expect at the Fiesta of the Crosses and where to get the best view of the fireworks; how the traditional nativity Belén came about and where to find the most intricate examples; tips for how to get the best from Carnaval and the Flower Carpets; where and when to enjoy the almond trees in blossom and the best displays of spring flowers.
We still recommend our favourite restaurants and places to stay in every destination featured but we don’t include the vast majority of Tenerife’s hotels and restaurants so if that’s what you’re looking for from a guide, this is not for you. If, on the other hand, you want a guide that’s going to give you valuable insights into the island’s myriad resorts, towns and villages; the personality and culture of its people; the multi-layered facets of its weather, landscapes and gastronomy; and that’s going to remain current for years to come, the new, improved The Real Tenerife is now available. If travel normality ever returns, we hope you enjoy using it as much as we’ve enjoyed compiling it.
Right, I’m off to the washing line.
The 20/20 version of the Real Tenerife Guidebook, an Insider’s Guide to Tenerife is available from Amazon and other online stores. Here’s a link to where you can have a peek inside and also buy the book if you like the look of it, and want an insight into the Real Tenerife.