Long gone are the days when tourists wanted to fly and flop to their holiday destination. Nowadays, holidaymakers are more likely to want to tick as much as they can from their bucket list than just sit around soaking up the sun around a pool. With this in mind, Hotel Jardin Tropical, located towards the south of Costa Adeje on Tenerife’s west coast, opened a brand-new Cycling Centre on site. I went along to find out more and experience life on two wheels beyond the crowds along the coast.
With winter highs reaching into the 20’s and a maximum monthly average of six rainy days you’ll be sure to score some sunshine on your visit to Tenerife no matter what time of the year you go. Add to that the chance to get some fitness in the great outdoors, and for me it spells the ideal place to spend a few days away from the humdrum of city life. I couldn’t don my cycling gear quick enough.
Having undergone a comprehensive €12 million refurbishment two years ago, the new Cycling Centre in collaboration with rental company Bike Point, is the latest addition to the hotel’s commitment to improving guests experience. Road bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes can all be hired to potter around locally but if you want a real thrilling experience, you can book a tour to discover the rural areas of the island. Tenerife has long been the sports enthusiasts island of choice to train on due to the perfect climate and rugged conditions. So, we enlisted the help of tour company Tenerife Bike Adventures to show them to us while checking out Mount Teide – an active volcano which last erupted in November 1909.
Starting our expedition from Santiago del Teide – half an hour car journey from the hotel – we were kitted out with bike helmets and handed our bikes (courtesy of supplier Bike Point). The adventure company can organise various tours according to your fitness ability. I would advise getting an e-bike if your fitness levels are questionable otherwise it’s not the bike that will be carrying you up steep mountains of heights of up to and above 1300 metres, but you carrying the bike.
A workout is what we wanted and that is exactly what we got. The steady, and sharp incline at times, had even the fittest amidst us stopping to catch our breath. Just as well, it gave us the chance to take it all in. The landscape is so diverse here that it changed from rocky roads, valleys, forests and finally opening up to a clearing of volcanic rocks at the peak of our trip of Arenas Negras within seconds. It’s not difficult to understand why athletes and cyclists like Chris Froome train here. The mountains help you push through your limits. But all that hard effort pays off, even for us mere mortals. We saw nature in its glory with the sun shining for just enough time to take evidential pictures of our triumph moment.
Engaging in a vigorous four-hour bike ride is not everyone’s cup of tea and the hotel provides the ideal opportunity to strike a perfect balance between physical activity and relaxation. The focal point is no doubt the main pool area whose perimeter is dotted with sun loungers and surrounded by towering palm trees. A saltwater pool, filled directly from the sea daily and another heated pool complete with a dedicated childrens’ area is situated closer to the ocean surrounded by green foliage. The pools are coupled with a jacuzzi spa and a tropical wellness centre where you can enjoy a well-earned massage after rigorous activity. Morning activities are offered for those with the get-up-and-go and if an indoor gym’s air conditioning puts you off, you may be persuaded by the sea breeze to motivate you instead. Ocean Club gym, has to be right up there as one of the best outdoor gyms I have worked from. Overlooking the sea, it has all the equipment you need for a full body workout.
The 419-room hotel itself features lots of minaret-style towers and whitewashed curves, and has been constructed using natural materials such as canary pine, stone and limestone. The building is integrated in 12,000m2 of sub-tropical gardens with more than 1,700 species of plants within the hotel grounds. And while all the bedrooms offer comfortable luxury, guests can upgrade to the premium five -star experience area of the hotel – The Club. It boasts 90 rooms with guaranteed ocean views and guests benefit from exclusive access to ‘wine, dine and chill’ areas. We were sold when we saw the Balinese beds.
Dining options are definitely not overlooked either. With five restaurants – the showpiece being Las Rocas with overlooking-the-ocean dining, and creative Canarian fare. And if you like eating breakfast like a king, the morning buffet is vast, with stations offering made-to-order omelettes, crêpes, and smoothies. The health conscious can take full advantage of eccentricities such as roast meats and vegetables.
One of the primary reasons that guests choose the Jardin Tropical Hotel over other nearby resorts is for the dedicated onsite golf department. Staff can arrange for guests to hit any one of Tenerife’s golf courses. The Las Terrazas Abama Resort Golf is just a short 20-minute taxi ride away and guests staying at Jardin Tropical have the privilege of enjoying up to 30 per cent off for a game or two on their 18-hole championship course. It has 22 lakes, waterfalls and white sand bunkers and overlooks the island of La Gomera.
Talking of which, during our stay, we managed to peel ourselves from our Balinese beds and got out into the ocean and close to the island for a spot of whale watching. With 21 marine mammal species swimming off the coast, from bottlenosed dolphins to sperm whales to orcas, you’ll be spoilt for choice with wildlife excursions. We took a private excursion with White Tenerife from Puerto Colon, just five minutes on foot from the hotel.
It’s estimated, the population of pilot wales in the south coast is between 500 and 600. They don’t always appear but we had our fingers crossed at least one would be in the mood to show off. We needn’t have worried, we saw several including a trio (presumably a family) who swam freely up close to our yacht for several minutes. It’s the only moment our group fell silent to admire them. It really was surreal. Sure, there may have been some luck involved but it may have also been something to do with our skipper Felex, who has 32 years’ experience. He told us a flock of birds above the sea was one indicator of where whales swam. They often hover above in the hope of catching remnants of fish meals left behind by whales.
Sure, Tenerife may be a touristy destination but there’s so much more to this little island. Whether you choose to a little or a lot, Hotel Jardin Tropical strikes a good balance in offering you ample choice.
Where and how?
Hotel Jardin Tropical, Calle Gran Brittany, s / n, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. For more information phone: +34 922 746 000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org A double premium room costs from £250 a night half board. Road and mountain bikes can be rented for 14 Euros per day while e-bikes cost 29 Euros.
Tags: bike holidays, bike rides, Costa Adeje, cycling, cycling trips, hiking in Tenerife, holiday in Tenerife, Hotel Jardin Tropical, pool holidays costa adeje, sunshine, Tenerife Bike Adventures, Tenerife hotels, volcano Tenerife South
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