48 Hours In: Tenerife, Spain

The heat is on year round. Cue for an ice-cream sandwich...
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The Independent Travel

Morning has broken

Day One 08:00: Wake up in The Hotel San Roque in Garachico (00 34 922 133 435; www.hotelsan roque.com), one of the best hotels in the Canaries and one of the most charming in Spain. With just 20 rooms, it offers a mixture of tradition and modernity. Doubles start at €183 (£130) with breakfast.

Boots on and head inland

12.00: Forget the concrete on the coast, Tenerife has some incredible landscapes and great walking, not least because the climate is so good. The Parque Nacional Las Cañadas del Teide is the obvious choice with lots of trails marked for visitors. At the centre is Mount Teide, at 3,700m, the highest peak in Spain. Cheats can take the Teleferico del Teide (00 34 922 694 038; www.teleferico-teide.com) cable car, which drops you 200m below the summit, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views. There's also a brilliant history of the volcano at the amusingly named El Portillo visitor centre.

Cobbled streets and student bars

20.00: Head for the university town of La Laguna. Its cobbled streets are a Unesco World Heritage Site, but they're also home to some good bars. The best are along calle Dr Antonio Gonzalez and calle Elias Sierra Rafols. Reserve a table at Maquila (00 34 922 25 70 20), callejón Maquila, which has been in business for more than 100 years.

Chance your arm for Nelson

Day Two 09.00: After breakfast take a leisurely drive to the island's capital Santa Cruz. Have a coffee in Romano, calle Villalba Hervas. It may be the only place you'll ever visit where you can get an ice-cream sandwich on the side. The capital is a must for the historically inclined despite its lack of charm, for it is here that Nelson lost his right arm in 1797. Pay a visit to the Museo Militar, calle de San Isidro, which has a diorama of the Battle of Santa Cruz - with sound effects.

Sunbathe on imported sand

13.00: Devote the rest of the afternoon to being a beach bum. As a volcanic island Tenerife is not noted for its beaches. But if you want to slap on the suntan, you can always make for Las Teresitas. In its day, this 1,500m strip was the world's biggest artificial beach, with golden sand shipped in from the Sahara. (Tenerife's natural beaches are black.) You'll never go short of fish'n'chips, San Miguel and pina coladas in plastic cups. Gets packed in high season but it's so kitsch it's fun.

Back home for a superior bite

20.00: Nothing more romantic than spending your last night back at the San Roque - a cocktail followed by dinner at the Anturium overlooking the pool. Chef Pep Nogué rings the changes every evening, so it's a bit like being cooked for personally. Lovely and warm, too, the high courtyard walls soak up the sun during the day like storage heaters.

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