Long enough for me to know that Tenerife is where I want to be for the foreseeable future.
I don’t know if Tenerife is my forever place, but it’s definitely my immediate future place.
And I’m really looking forward to returning.
This time last year I had become so overwhelmed with London and the pace of life here, that I knew I needed a change.
Tenerife gave me what I needed.
However, I’m staying in one of the main tourist resorts and it’s not until recently that I discovered there is a completely different side to Tenerife and the other Canary Islands that I had been oblivious to.
And an even slower pace of life.
Discovering the Canary Islands
Despite visiting the island several times a year, over the past 7 or 8 years, this year I have discovered so much about the island and surrounding islands that I never knew before.
For starters, I had no idea that the Canary Islands are made up of 7 main islands.
I only knew of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
I knew of La Gomera as I have a view of it from my apartment balcony, but until recently I hadn’t actually considered it part of the islands. Strange, but true.
And I certainly had never heard of La Palma or El Hierro.
(It’s funny because in all the years I’ve been visiting, I’ve never been able to see either island from Tenerife, but once I found out about them, I can now see them both, either side of La Gomera. Proof that awareness is everything.)
Years of visiting the island have proved that this image is completely inaccurate and this year I’ve totally had my eyes opened.
Slowing down in the Canary Islands
If you prefer a more relaxed holiday, you may have discounted the Canary Islands in the past, or perhaps like me, you were not even aware of all the islands.
But, I now know that the Canary Islands can also be the perfect destination for a slower holiday or getaway.
One reason for writing this post is that I was invited by Inntravel to share my experience of Tenerife and how I could have benefited from taking the slower route and really immersing myself in the beautiful surroundings.
Knowing what I know now, I am ashamed to admit that during my years of visiting Tenerife, most of my time was spent lying by the pool or at the beach.
I didn’t venture out.
I didn’t explore the island or discover any untouched parts.
I was every bit the typical tourist.
But this year things changed and I’ve seen a whole new side to the island.
I have to admit, a walking holiday is not something I would ever have considered until recently.
But in 2017 not only do I want to improve my fitness levels, I also want to spend more time in nature and travel.
And Inntravel walking holidays tick all three boxes.
The Canary Islands have some of the most varied landscapes in the world, combining volcanic terrain and lush forests to provide spectacular views.
And a walking holiday is a great way to explore the stunning scenery.
I know first hand how beautiful Tenerife is, and La Gomera is somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for years.
I also met an awesome lady from La Palma during my visit to Madrid last month, so that’s somewhere else I’d now love to visit.
My paternal family are from Montserrat, a volcanic island in the Carribean and when I was 13 years old, I visited the island.
My cousin took us along what I now know as a volcanic trail to the opening of the volcano – which is crazy considering it erupted only a few years later!
But I still remember that walk.
I remember how beautiful it was and tranquil it felt.
It was also a lot of fun and felt like a huge adventure – both things I need and want more of in 2017!
Who said fun and adventure has to be fast-paced and adrenaline fueled?!
My visit to the Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat is an experience that I’ll always remember.
Which is why I was particularly excited to find out that Inntravel offers a volcanic trail walking holiday in La Palma.
So I now have a new addition to my 2017 wanderlust wishlist.
It also gives me an incentive for improving my Spanish, because the smaller islands are much less touristic than Tenerife.
In fact, even if you venture out of the main touristic resorts in Tenerife, you’ll need to speak some Spanish to get by.
So, if you’re considering a slower paced holiday in 2017, it’s worth considering Inntravel. They offer slow holidays all over the world, but of course, I’m biased and I recommend visiting the Canary Islands.
In 2017 I will be slowing down in the Canary Islands and while doing so, I look forward to experiencing more of the stunning views these islands have to offer.
Have you ever been on a walking holiday? Is it something you would consider?
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Inntravel as part of their #UnexpectedCanaries campaign and I may be compensated for my time spent participating. However, all opinions are my own.