Departing for a flight at un-Godly o’clock has never been my strong point. Luckily, most of my red-eye flights tend to depart from Tenerife North airport where the vibe is much more relaxed than in its southern counterpart. Arriving at the airport at around 5.30am a few weeks ago, I had to shake myself fully awake to take in the transformation. Tenerife North airport just got a whole lot sleeker…
If you’ve ever left your souvenir and gift shopping until the return flight and then found yourself flying from the north, you will be familiar with that creeping sensation that you’ve made a big mistake as you pass through the tiny duty-free section housing cigarettes, perfume and little else, or browsed the souvenir stall consisting predominantly of gofio and banana liqueur. Well now that has all changed.
From the ground floor level there is little to give away the transformation. The stylish cafe and tapas stand with its high stools still takes centre stage but head to the upper level and you’ll find yourself in a contemporary, sexy space where a vastly improved duty-free section leads the way through to the departure gates. All marble effect, smoked glass and chrome with nicely subdued lighting that doesn’t burn tired retinas, the space exudes a quiet calm and perfumed elegance.
There’s now a Burger King to accompany the existing Pejeverde grill and bar, and continue through to the gates and you’ll discover a funky, new Café Ritazza. Gone is the canteen style café and in its place is a trendy new place with easy seating as well as tables and chairs, a much improved selection of hot and cold snacks, and coffee that’s a third cheaper and twice as nice as the Tenerife South airport. You’ll also find a couple of internet games consoles and new souvenir shops.
Of the thousands of visitors who will fly to Tenerife this winter, few will have cause to head to La Laguna and the north airport but anyone who is staying in and around Puerto de la Cruz or Santa Cruz should give serious consideration to flying into the north rather than the south. British Airways now fly direct from London Heathrow twice a week under their Iberia Express brand and you can find flights through November and December from £78 one way and £208 return. Choose to fly via Madrid and you can fly Iberia from most UK airports. Although it adds 2 hours to your journey time, that’s 2 hours that might otherwise be spent commuting from south to north if your arrival time falls unlucky with the buses. If you’re planning a two island trip, the chances are you’ll also fly from the North Airport, on Binter Airways.
Much quieter than its southern counterpart; used more by Spanish travellers which ensures better value for money; and frequented by business people; the North Airport has always felt very different from the South Airport but paled in comparison when it came to shopping and food facilities. Although it’s still a million miles away from the choice of shops and eateries in Reina Sofia, it now has a much better selection of duty free and gifts and has made my red-eye flights that little bit more bearable.
Category : about tenerife
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