Why You Shouldn’t Holiday in Puerto de la Cruz

Posted: December 11, 2011 in Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Puerto de la Cruz? Who the hell would want to take a holiday here? It’s cold all year – I have an igloo in my back garden; It never, ever stops raining – whereas folks in the south of Tenerife wear flip flops, I’ve got wellie boots. As for the people, what a weird language they speak and don’t get me started on the food; things with tentacles and all sorts of rubbish like that.

Honestly, trust me on this – I live there – stay away from Puerto de la Cruz.

After years of trying to convince people what it’s really like to live in or visit Puerto de la Cruz, I’ve decided to do a complete U-turn. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is more irritating than anything else. I can preach about Puerto de la Cruz until the cows come home, bed down for the night and start to dream of grassy meadows. But somebody visits the place on an excursion for 5 minutes and suddenly they know better – if they say it’s always cold, wet and cloudy, then it must be. What the hell do I know?

But the main reason is that, after witnessing an unusual situation involving pissed up young Brits making an ass of themselves a few weeks ago and then reading a couple of reviews on Tripadvisor this week, I really don’t want a certain type of Brit holidaymaker to believe that Puerto is warm and sunny all the year round – or for any part of the year. Simple as that.

Some people just aren’t suited to the north of Tenerife just as some people wouldn’t enjoy staying in the purpose built resorts in the south. The north is never going to ring their bells and these comments taken from a Tripadvisor review illustrate exactly why.

A seriously disappointed holidaymaker moaned about their hotel that –‘The staff at hotel were bad mannered,rude,hardly understood English language’ and even worse, the ‘entertainment that was on every night was Spanish and all the locals came in for a night out,nothing aimed at British people’.

Puerto itself fared little better as the reviewer continued their moan – ‘No British entertainment on in area either,just Spanish singers with Spanish locals sitting in all the seats’.

Their final piece of advice was ‘I would seriously urge anyone from the UK not to go to Puerto de la Cruz…as it will be the worst holiday you’l ever have.’

Absolutely…if the idea of being full of Spanish and having no Brit bars has you penning an ‘outraged’ letter to Puerto’s tourist board for not turning the place into Britain in the sun then please, please, please follow the reviewer’s advice.

It’s not just Puerto who has to suffer these Philistines. On the same day I read hotel reviews for La Gomera; an island ‘more discerning’ holidaymakers head for (or so some of them would like to have you believe) and came across a scathing review from a holidaymaker who, clearly having been seduced by a tour brochure description, had opted to stay in the hill town of Vallehermoso – which is a ‘real’ Gomeran town.

First they complained that their receptionist didn’t carry their bags (it’s a small rural hotel in the country, not a 4 star All Inclusive) then they bitched about breakfast (coming face to face with the continental variety was clearly a shock to the system). They commented that there were a few pubs but nothing special (PUBS? PUBS? Where did they think they were – the Lake District). But the most inconvenient aspect of the place was that families filled the local plaza at night, music was played and everyone had the nerve to have a noisy good time (obviously no-one had told them they would have to come into contact with any foreigners).

The best line of the review was their conclusion that ‘Vallehermoso is a total DUMP’ to be avoided at all costs.

Vallehermoso means beautiful valley in English – it is aptly named…but not if you’re a total moron. It has not, however, been built for tourists. It is the real deal. These plebs apparently couldn’t even find the hotel’s sun terrace they were that clueless.

Finally they were moved to the Hotel Tecina – ‘a lovely place’ where they decided that La Gomera was indeed beautiful…that would be the La Gomera found inside the biggest hotel complex on the island then.

So here’s a tip for everyone out there of similar mind to these two, Puerto de la Cruz and anywhere remotely Canario should definitely be avoided at all costs. You really won’t like it.

  1. Lisa says:

    Ha ha ha great write up. These mindless idiots never cease to amaze me and i wonder why they just don’t holiday in Benidorm every year rather than visit Tenerife! Puerto de la cruz is a lovely place and for the most part very traditional. I have stayed there several times. La Gomera looks equally as lovely and I intend to visit there one day. These people have clearly had all of their brain cells destroyed by too much alcohol and to be fair, you can usually spot them a mile off and are usually the ones that make you embarrassed to be English! Hopefully the Spanish realise we are not all the same!

    • dragojac says:

      Thanks. The La Gomera review was especially gobsmacking. How can people get it so wrong? A simple ‘Google’ search would have shown them it wasn’t exactly tourist central which is obvioulsy what they were after.

  2. Richard says:

    LOL … Classic ShockJockJack rant 🙂

    Of course it’s the contrasts that make the island such a wonderful place to live (unless you’re a moron of course 🙂 I love Puerto (almost) as much as I love Medano, and when it comes to eating out there’s no-where better imho …

    But you’re right – let’s keep the riffraff away (before they discover the botilons ?).

  3. Henry says:

    Just come and visit by yourself what ” Mr ” Dragojac thinks about Puerto de la Cruz.
    Guess he is quiet confused and we can do without his comments.
    He has been confused by what he expects. The north of Tenerife has never been the classical sun destination of the island.
    If you are interested in culture, local habits, nature, local food, mixture of tourism and local town come to Puerto if not just stay where you are “Mr” Dragojac
    Happy Christmas !

    • dragojac says:

      Hi Henry…I think the meaning of the post was lost in translation 🙂

      “The north of Tenerife has never been the classical sun destination of the island. If you are interested in culture, local habits, nature, local food, mixture of tourism and local town.”

      I totally agree with you, that was the point of the post. The opening paragraph is meant to be humorously sarcastic…I guess it didn’t work.

      I love el Puerto, honest.

      Feliz Navidad

  4. colleen keyes says:

    I loved the confusion!! (Does that make me a bad person?) “Just stay where you are “Mr” Dragojac”……….so that will be Puerto then! Great post, hope it works!

    Happy Christmas to you and Andrea, and a great 2012!

    • dragojac says:

      LOL – That backfired a bit didn’t it. It sort of loses impact when you have to come on and explain it 🙂

      And no, you’re definitely not a bad person.

      Feliz Navidad and as for having a great 2012…igualmente.

  5. DavidClark says:

    I couldn’t agree more! When I told some friends (regulars to Tenerife) that I had booked 2 weeks in Puerto de la Cruz, they seemed shocked and appeared sorry for us. They painted a picture of this bleak, wet, cold and dull boring place.
    I had only been to Tenerife twice in the past as a youngster residing in the South with my parents at a family friends time-share appartment on Los Christianos but thanks to this experience I knew exactly where I wanted to go should I return again.
    I loved my fortnight, we hired a car and discovered the Tenerife I knew was out there, experienced the culture, the food, the weather, yes there was cloud on some days up the North, so what!
    The hotel was lovely, staff were fantastic and so friendly. Trip Advisor did give the Botanico a good rating and yes it had the odd scathing report but you learn to accept that some people are like that.
    I know that I will likely choose to come back as there was still lots we didn’t have time to discover but I know where I’ll be staying!

    • dragojac says:

      Pleased to hear you ‘got’ Puerto. People’s perceptions of Puerto always amaze me. If it was as ‘bleak, wet and cold’ as it’s often made out to be. I simply wouldn’t be living here. I partly suspect that particular version of Puerto has its roots in travel agents with a vested interest in promoting other parts 🙂

  6. LOL! you can imagine what I thought of this. I think someone had the right idea about sending them all to Benidorm, and leave the Canary Islands for thinking folk :=)

    I only wonder that you bother to read Tripadvisor – can’t be good for the blood pressure!

    • dragojac says:

      ‘I only wonder that you bother to read Tripadvisor’ – I clearly have masochistic tendencies. In truth I love it when I stumble across gems like those reviews – provides lots of ammo for a rant 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi , was very amused at the comments and expectations of the english abroad , did their hotel not provide egg and chips ? We are coming to Puerto in a couple of weeks and looking very forward to it , been in the south , now for the north ( with the rain and cold ) lol

    • dragojac says:

      LOL – I’ve stayed in the hotel and as it happens it does have egg and chips…but it also had rabbit which probably had the poster penning a letter of outrage.
      Don’t tell anyone but the weather has been lovely in December so far. Hope it stays that way for your visit. If you’re here for New Year, the party in Plaza del Charco is the place to be.

  8. Ashley Oulton says:

    Wonderful!! You’ve got in one!! Ha! Ha! Of course we don’t want all the Brits in the south to find out that it’s not cold and raining everyday in the north or they might want to venture up to have a look…and let’s face it that would spoil the party!! I moved to Tenerife around the same time as you around 8 years ago and we spent the first seven years living in a very old house just above Playa El Socorro in Rambla de la Castro. Unfortunately, due to family circumstances we all had to move to the south a year ago and I now live in a finca in the hills half way between La Camella and Valle San Lorenzo with a wonderful community of Gomerans.

    My two sons and I travel back to the north as much as possible for the various fiestas, romerias, carnival, jazz and blues festivals and football matches and the opening of a tin can (my eldest son plays for Aguilas in the Cadete Preferente (Yes, I know that they are bottom of the league! Ha! Ha!) Our favourite being Noche San Juan on Playa Jardin (we stayed in the Viking hotel for 22 Euros for the three of us.. and we even made the goats bathing in the morning!!)

    Our most recent trip was two weeks ago for the white nights in La Laguna (tell a lie it was actually last saturday for a rugby tournament against Lanzarote my two sons also play rugby!!) getting back to the white nights…..ever since we returned my two sons have been saying to me….”Dad when can we move back to the north?”

    PS Before we moved to Tenerife we used to have our holidays for many years in a little finca in the hills above Valle Gran Rey in Gomera. Bliss!!

    PPS We just spent two absolutley fabulous weeks in La Palma in August. Tazacorte for the first week and then we camped in the mountains for the second. What a stunningly beautiful island….and I didn’t hear an English voice for two weeks!! Not that I am anti English voices or people!! It was just so nice to get away from “Little Britain” in the south of Tenerife for a couple of weeks and experience the real Canary Islands!!

    • dragojac says:

      “My two sons and I travel back to the north as much as possible for the various fiestas, romerias, carnival, jazz and blues festivals and football matches and the opening of a tin can…”

      Shhh…don’t tell everyone. Let ’em all think the north’s a dull place populated by people over 80 where nothing ever happens.

      In many ways La Palma is my favourite Canary island – unspoilt and big enough to not be claustrophobic and I really like Santa Cruz de la Palma and Los Lllanos de Aridane.

      The noche de San Juan is one of our favourites as well but we missed it this year. Everything seemed to be happening at the same time and we opted for the Blues Festival in Santa Cruz instead. Managed to see the goats the following day though which is always a hoot (bleat?) 🙂

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