Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Changes In Tenerife

For the past seven years I have been travelling to Los Cristianos, on a regular basis, for family holidays and weekly breaks. In that time, much had changed on the Island; but the climate is still the number one attraction as far as I am concerned.

The airline service to Tenerife has improved dramatically and you no longer have to rely on purchasing a 'seat-only' from one of the tour operators. Ryanair have a regular service from Dublin and Shannon and Aer Lingus fly from Dublin; and from Cork for 5/6 months of the Island's 'peak season'. I would consider a 4 hour return flight, at a cost of €125, to be pretty good value for money. Of course, this is probably at the lower end of the cost scale and at times it can rise to about double that, depending on timing.

I was there last week and the Island is very quiet. Even allowing for the fact that the Summer months would not be considered the busiest time of the year, there was a genuine lack of buzz around the place. As the kids in the UK have not got their school holidays yet, this may have contributed to the scarcity of people. On average there are usually about 25 beds out around the pool area where I stay; 12/14 was the most that were there this time.

Some other negatives would be : UK retirees that had their pensions paid to them while living in Tenerife are finding that the money is not stretching as far as it used to due to the current exchange rate (some have even returned to the UK). The young people that worked in the clubs and bars are returning to the UK as many have been let go and I believe that they are entitled to little or nothing in the form of social welfare in Tenerife. Taxi fares have increased, what I used to pay €2.75 for two years ago has now gone up to €3.75. There are lots more of Se Alquila and Se Vende (for rent/ sale) signs up around the place for shops and apartments; and it is very difficult to sell a property at the moment. My local Chinese restaurant manager told me that he was doing very little take-away business.

On the positive side : It's still Duty Free, even though it is in the EU. Medication and Prescription Drugs are a fraction of the cost that we have to pay here. Finnish has been added to some of the menus in the restaurants that I frequent (more holiday makers from Finland, I presume). The Local Police are now patrolling the promenade on their 'electric' motor cycles. There is little or no new development of accommodation complexes in Los Cristianos.

So, if you like the climate there; can arrange your flight for around €125; don't mind that there are less people around; are fond of walking; want to buy a reasonably priced apartment; are a smoker and/or a spirit drinker or are on some form of medication, it's not a bad stomping ground at the current moment in time.

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