Tenerife - La Bodega, a former winery and outhouses for the staff at the turn of the 20th century, was converted into four comfortably sized self-catering mini villas back in 2005 by Ray and Sheila Atkins. It has large gardens boasting fruit trees, Canarian and exotic flowers and fauna across three levels. It also has an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue area, fairy grotto and several water features. There are views across the mountains and down to the sea, showcasing the red rock at El Medano, the airport, Golf del Sur and surrounding area. With plenty of seating areas around the property, both communal and private, it's ideal both for those who want to keep to themselves or mingle with the rest of the guests.
It’s just a 15-minute drive to and from the airport and, though a vehicle is recommended to explore the whole island, you can also decide to have a more “do-nothing-holiday” – lie around the pool, read your book, and rest in the many well-maintained sub-tropical gardens. Maybe even watch a few butterflies flutter past or visit San Miguel high street to do a bit of grocery shopping, or perhaps discover the historic core of San Miguel to add a bit of historical backdrop to this over 300 year-old town.
There are several museums in the town and areas of historical significance, like the birthplace of Juan Bethencourt Alfonso, esteemed anthropologist, and the Guanche museum at Casa Capitan. The high street is a 10-minute walk from La Bodega and there are many shops. If you happen to be hungry, there are four restaurants in the village, along with bakers providing fresh bread and cakes. While going out to eat is an option, you could equally just choose to stay in and cook, or have one of Sheila’s delicious home-cooked meals brought to your cottage; like the famous lamb shanks in rich gravy or langoustines with fresh bread, mmm, delicious! She’s also recently added a host of vegetarian recipes to the menu, so be sure to check them out!
La Bodega's cottages are large and spacious, with typical Canarian high ceilings.
Each cottage is country house-styled, each uniquely furnished and offers king-sized beds, apart from Jasmine, which has twin sized beds. Inside, you’ll find a fully equipped kitchen, living room, bathroom with bathtub and shower. There’s a TV, DVD player, radio, Wi-Fi internet, iron, hairdryer, safe and plenty of closet space. Beach towels and extra bath towels are provided on request. There’s also a washing facility on site if you need to wash some clothes. The availability of each cottage is based on the availability at the time of your choosing.
A car service is also available upon request to pick you up or take you back to the airport. Alternatively, Tenerife Self Catering - La Bodega can arrange car rental for the duration or part of the duration of your stay on the island. The rent-a-car company La Bodega uses has no hidden charges, and you can have the car brought up to you at La Bodega, or waiting for you at the airport. Furthermore, there’s no need to line up to get your vehicle – which in itself is a godsend as, when the airport is really busy, collecting a car can take several hours. An unnecessary experience that no one really wants to have, especially at the start of your holiday.
Now that you’ve got a car, La Bodega is an ideal base from which you can explore the whole island. Fancy going down to the popular tourist resort areas of Los Cristianos and Las Americas, with their imported white sand beaches, cheap alcohol, plenty of gift shops and noisy nightlife, it’s just a 20-minute drive. What about a game of golf? There are two golf courses 15 minutes away, Golf del Sur and Amarilla Golf. For further golf courses check out Tenerife Golf. An extra five minutes and you’ll find El Medano, home to the largest sandy beach on the western side of the Canary Islands. This place is ideal for those wanting a walk along the wooden promenade or to try out some of the water sport activities on offer – kite surfing, wind surfing, swimming. The Capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is an hour's drive away, with its many stores – ideal for those who want to do a bit of retail therapy on the island, it’s also home to a 14th century mummified Guanche. Los Gigantes, with its steep towering cliffs into the sea, is on the western side of the island, along with the out of the world experience of Masca Valley, a 50-minute drive, so long, as you’re not bothered by all those bendy roads. Mt Teide, Tenerife’s own volcano and UNESCO world national park is only a short drive away, a 45-minute drive through awe-inspiring scenery. Once there, you can easily take a cable car to the summit, but be sure to get there early, as the lines get long, very quickly.
For the last several years, Tenerife has been gaining a reputation as the new Majorca for cycling. This is aided by the fact that Tenerife has year-round summer climate, well-maintained roads and the longest continuous ascent in Europe. Where else can you go from sea level to 2,100m in one session? It’s no wonder that pro bikers like Team Sky, Astuana and Movistar choose to train in Tenerife. Tenerife Self Catering - La Bodega can arrange a bike hire quote based on your specification from a reliable local provider of mountain and cycling bikes, this company will bring your bikes up to La Bodega and take them away. For the keen bikers among you, staying at La Bodega can shave at least an hour off your biking time from the coast, and greatly reduce the amount of traffic you’re likely to face on the roads. That said, this scenic route is no less a challenge as it’s still a four and a half hour ride to the Teide National Park (34.2km). Once there, the large crater of Las Canadas, provides two to three hours of altitude training, riding over roads at least 2,000m above sea level.
With just four self catering cottages, it's easy to get to know your neighbours. Some have made life-long friends here, and others bring their friends on holiday with them.
If you’re looking to have Tenerife weather with peace and quiet, away from the big resorts, then this is the place. The gardens are peaceful and relaxing, a true oasis in San Miguel. It is regularly visited by migrating and resident birds who sometimes nest in the surrounding trees, like the turtle doves, blue tits, black caps, wrens and blackbirds. Kestrels hover nearby, and green ring-necked parakeets fly over and rest in the palms. At night, you may spot a barn owl, a long-eared owl or even a Savi's pipistrelle or grey long-eared bat, not to mention the many Canarian lizards which dance along the brick walls basking in the sunshine, and they can grow to more than 70cm long. Then there's the ever-friendly gecko. The milkweed grown in the garden is also a big hit with the Monarch butterflies, and many other types of butterflies wander aimlessly over the gardens.
If you really don’t want to go out for a drink, your cupboards are bare and your throat is parched, Tenerife Self Catering - La Bodega has its own “honesty bar” in reception, where certain wines, cava, beers, other alcoholic beverages, water and sodas are available for purchase.
Of course, staying at any place is only as good as its staff. Here at Tenerife Self Catering - La Bodega, Ray and Sheila Atkins, residents on the island for over 23 years, have been in the service industry for a long time. They have a wealth of knowledge on places to go and things to do on the island and are a go-to point for organising taxis, reserving restaurants, and anything else you may need. They live on the premises, so are always available and willing to help, yet are mindful of your privacy. If there’s anything which will make your stay at Tenerife Self Catering – La Bodega, just a little bit more special, all you have to do is ask.