I first visited the Canary Islands back in summer 2012, when I was lucky enough to enjoy a two week holiday to Lanzarote.
I have to admit that before that trip, I knew very little about the Canaries; mainly just that they were warm and sunny, and the main language was Spanish. Back then, apart from Lanzarote, I had only heard of Tenerife because of friends that had been there. Since that first visit to Lanzarote, I fell in love with the Canary Islands and have holidayed and lived in Lanzarote, and also visited Fuerteventura and La Graciosa. I had heard from more and more people how amazing Tenerife is, but up until very recently though, I had still not made it there to see if it would really live up to my high expectations.
Thankfully in April this year that all changed when I was invited to stay at Pearly Grey Resort in Costa Adeje, in the south west of Tenerife for a week. This was part of a media trip for GoTimeshare to help promote some of the amazing experiences available for visitors via blog and social media posts, photos and videos. I had an action packed week ahead of me involving many different trips, most of which I had never tried before, including a wonderful whale and dolphin watching catamaran excursion. I love nature and seeing beautiful animals in the wild, so to say I was excited was an understatement!
This particular trip is run several times daily by the Freebird One Sailing Company who have a modern fleet of Catamarans, designed for a comfortable and luxurious ride as you sail on the open seas. We headed to Puerto Colón marina where our Catamaran Sailing excursion was scheduled to depart from, just a short drive south from the town I was staying in, Callao Salvaje. During the drive to the marina I was once again struck by the huge contrast between Tenerife and Lanzarote and the other islands I had visited. I love the laid back lifestyle of Lanzarote, but Tenerife really does offer an exciting destination to visit due to its larger population, bigger size and greater variety of excursions available. The scenery and landscape is also incredible.
As we reached the marina 10 minutes before departure, I was feeling really lucky that soon we would be enjoying a three hour sailing trip to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Given a choice from different excursion options, a trip like this would definitely be one of the top of my list of things to do in Tenerife! The Canary Islands are blessed with an incredible climate of almost guaranteed warm, sunny weather, and today was no exception as there was a beautiful blue sky, and barely any breeze. Perfect conditions for a tranquil catamaran sailing journey. Even if you suffer from occasional feelings of sea-sickness like me, there was absolutely no need to worry on a day like this as the sea was calm and flat, with peaceful waves.
We were warmly greeted onboard the luxury catamaran by Captain Javier, and his friendly crew where we joined around twenty others from many different nationalities. The catamaran was large and comfortable though so there was no feeling of overcrowding, instead there were plenty of well spaced out seating areas available to lounge at our leisure. The crew are also very accommodating and conversed with the guests in English, Spanish, French and German, as Tenerife is well loved by tourists all over Europe and the world. As we headed from the marina into the open water, everyone, from the kids to the grown-ups, were in high spirits and eager to set sail.
This excursion was great for so many reasons, one of which being that it was one of those rare moments in modern life where I could completely disconnect. Apart from my camera, there were no modern distractions, and as we sailed away from the coast it was so liberating to be able to switch off and become completely immersed in the moment. We glided effortlessly through the waves, and as the sun shone down keeping us warm, any worries I had drifted away. I imagined what it would be like to be a sailor setting sail, with the slight breeze out to sea feeling great against my skin. Behind us was beautiful Tenerife with snow-tipped Mount Teide in full view, and to the front of the catamaran, truly stunning views out to neighbouring La Gomera. Looking out to the vast unending horizon of the amazing Atlantic ocean I felt a combination of relaxation and wanderlust.
During our trip we were well catered for as the ticket included unlimited drinks such as juice, soft drinks, beer, and water, and for lunch, a tasty sandwich, which in my case was vegetarian. No sooner had I taken my first bite of my sandwich, sightings of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales started, and the real excitement began. You absolutely have to see these amazing mammals in the wild to truly appreciate how beautiful they really are. Every time any of these stunning creatures surfaced, there was a real ripple of excitement throughout the passengers, and everyone stood along the side to see them swimming wild in their natural habitat. This really was one of those wow moments in my life!
The coast off of Tenerife is the best place in Europe to see these magnificent creatures, as Canarian waters are literally teeming with whales and dolphins. In fact it is one of the top three whale and dolphin watching destinations worldwide, so if you take one of these trips you are almost guaranteed to see Bottlenose dolphins and Pilot whales, and sometimes many other varieties including Sperm Whales and Killer Whales.
You will absolutely love this excursion if you enjoy top quality service, beautiful sights, and amazing animals, and overall it was incredible. There was even time for short swim to top it all off. The dive into the sea was wonderfully refreshing, especially after sailing along under the warm sun for several hours. Back at the harbour everyone arrived in great spirits and a looking a bit more tanned. While the tans will fade though, these magnificent memories will last a lifetime.Tenerife completely exceeded my expectations, especially because of excursions like this!