Canary Islands


Getting There

Beautiful scenery

Getting to Tenerife (or indeed any of the Canary Islands) is an easy job from just about any regional airport. We chose Luton because it was closest to us. In this respect it was quite unusual because we normally fly from Birmingham or (if we have to) Gatwick. This was the first time we flew from Luton.

I was born and raised in Luton. I eventually bought a house not a couple of miles from Luton Airport. I knew the area like the back of my own hand. So, to be quite frank about it, it was quite a shock to go back to Luton after some 15 years and be a stranger in my own town! One way systems, new roundabouts, new roads even. And boy, have they improved things at Luton airport! OK, so it's not as big as Gatwick, but even Heathrow I find very small an cramped. Luton was more than adequate for the job.

We parked our car with APH who have a (very) off-site car park in Slip End (about 10 minutes away from Luton Airport) for just £29. Their facility was pretty slip stream lined too: you drive in your car and drop off the keys. (They then park it in their enormouse car park later). You catch a courtesy bus which takes about 7 minutes. Our driver (we had the same one there and back) should have been on-stage, he was really funny, jovial and friendly. And all this at 6am in the morning! When you return you give them a ring after collecting your luggage and you'll find the coach already waiting outside the airport. Your car will be waiting for you in their Slip End area too. I'd certainly use them again.

The flight was supposed to take 4.5 hours but actually took 3.5 hours due to some strong tailwinds. So we took off at 9am and arrive at about 12:30 (no time difference). This was nice because it meant I could drive to Puerto de la Cruz in the daylight (it gets dark at about 6:30pm in January and light again at about 7:30am).

Things you might find interesting  
1. We booked with Thomson and flew with Britannia airways. Both were average in all respects for a charter. The thing that was below average was the leg room in the aircraft ( a Boeing 757 I think). Now, as I'm 6' 3" tall I never expect much leg room in a plane but this really was taking the Michael. I think there should be a law requiring aircraft carriers to rip out every 3rd row of seats and spread the added room amongst the remaining seats!

2. Definitely book your off-site car parking. It's less than half the price you would pay at the airport long term car park. Although Slip End might look a long way from Luton Airport, it took just 7 minutes actual travelling time. Add that to the check in time at the APH car park and within 30 minutes it was all done and dusted.

3. Pack less. Even third world countries have chemists, supermarkets and clothes shops. Taking the equivalent of a small Boots (the chemist) store with you may ensure that you can cure all your fellow travellers of scurvy and beriberi, but will add weight to your already overloaded suitcase. Ok, I copied this tip from my Costa Rica site, but I still find it holds water. So here it is again.
4. Before you actually fly, do a dry run of the trip to the airport and car park. We did and it really paid dividends. No panic about finding that off-site car park for us in the dark at 6am one January winter morning, no sir!

5. The chief steward on the flight home should also have been a stand up comedian. He injected humour into his "Thank you for flying with Britannia" messages and made us all laugh. Still doesn't mean I was happy with the leg room though.

Next: Puerto de la Cruz or Back to Tenerife Home Page