The South of Tenerife is for Lager Louts and North for Saga Louts

Fri, December 31st, 2010 - By Jack Montgomery

I’d overheard two men next to me in the bar talking about heading up to the upper La Orotava Valley to do some walking and knowing that the European Ramblers’ Association had been visiting Tenerife, asked if they were members.

They weren’t, they were just enthusiastic walkers exploring the north of Tenerife’s countryside. We got talking about Tenerife as a holiday location when the older man announced cheerily:
“The south is for lager louts, the north for Saga louts.”

It was the second time that day that I’d read or heard a preconception about Tenerife that didn’t paint entirely a true picture of either north or south Tenerife.

The first had been in an excellent article in the Independent by Roger Thomas. It was an original and very different view of Tenerife from a cyclist’s perspective. The only area where I parted company from agreeing with its description was in relation to the media’s darling, Costa Adeje. Roger described it as being ‘unashamedly upmarket’ and having ‘restaurants that favour Canarian potatoes (papas arrugadas) over chips‘; the implication being that Costa Adeje was a cut above and more Canarian than its infamous neighbour.

There are upmarket areas in both Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas as well as areas aimed at visitors looking for a cheap and cheerful, sun and fun holiday. Unfortunately, poor old Las Américas just can’t shake off that tacky, lager lout image.

As for anyone looking for authentic Canarian restaurants in that area, personally I’d recommend Los Cristianos with its fishing village roots and working town personality long before Costa Adeje came to mind – in fact Costa Adeje just wouldn’t enter my head for that one.

My friend in the bar also suffered from a skewed and outdated image of Playa de las Américas. Veronicas parties on and attracts young Brits to its seductive alcohol-laced charms like moths to a flame; great fun if you’re eighteen and want somewhere to drink and dance and…well you know the rest of Jarvis Cocker’s classic line. But these days Veronicas’ wild, boozy exuberance simply isn’t representative of the whole of Las Américas.

Ironically, the place the man in the bar misrepresented most was probably the town he’d been visiting for years, Puerto de la Cruz.
Puerto is often described as a tranquil resort, perfect for mature Northern Europeans who don’t want a rowdy nocturnal scene. What is rarely mentioned is that it also has a vibrant bar and club scene. The reason why this isn’t mentioned much is that nightlife is aimed predominantly at locals; visiting holidaymakers to these bars and clubs are in the minority. Additionally the liveliest bars don’t hit their stride until after midnight, so many mature Northern European visitors aren’t aware of Puerto’s after dark, split personality.

Both sets of misconceptions highlighted to me the importance of providing rounded and accurate pictures of potential holiday destinations on travel websites. If you’re reading this, that’s exactly what you’ll find here.

By the way, from the top the photos are: Upmarket Costa Adeje, tacky Las Américas and tranquil Puerto full of Saga louts.

Posted : Friday, December 31st, 2010 at 9:51 am
Category : towns & resorts
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2 Responses to “The South of Tenerife is for Lager Louts and North for Saga Louts”

  1. Gary Rosson says:

    Hi Jack,
    I get annoyed by these preconceptions too. I’ve just been having an online conversation with someone who wrote this of PDLA
    ‘upside nice weather, downside full of drug dealers, lucky lucky africans, muggers, pickpockets, timeshare vultures, piss heads, slappers, and every scum bag low life I’ve forgot to mention,, !
    Obviously didn’t enjoy his visit! I think he must be hanging around with the wrong people. I’ve never seen the so-called ‘lager lout’ side of PDLA but then I don’t go down to Veronica’s after midnight.

  2. […] about a conversation he overheard recently as to people’s perception of what to expect in the North v South of Tenerife, it made me think how many times have I read that other old favourite … “The […]

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