how to live like a local in callao salvaje, adeje

One four-hour flight and three-hour coach ride later, we had finally made it to Adeje. Exhausted and hungry, my travel companion and I just wanted nothing more than to sit back and relax in our Airbnb. It was a last minute trip abroad, and despite hearing horror story after horror story about the company, we were willing to give it a go for the sake of having somewhere to stay. And so, we trek up the hill to our temporary apartment, try to get into reception, and - there is no Airbnb waiting. Ringing our host and conversing in Spanish, we were just able to pick out six simple words - "I don't have anywhere for you". With our host suddenly refusing to take us in, despite paying for the week in advance, we were left with nowhere to stay - quite fitting at Christmas with the whole Mary and Joseph no room at the Inn sorta thing. No hotels, no bed and breakfasts. By that point, it felt like we needed another holiday to recover from this one. Luckily, my family lived here for many years so were known by the locals, and after several hours of temporarily being homeless in Playa Paraiso, a bar-owning couple in Callao were able to take us in. Promoted from tourist to temporary local, we were ready to fully indulge in the sunny, slow-paced life of Adeje.

Where to Eat

Sansibar Ajabo 
Literally half the meals we ate in Adeje were eaten here, as it's so insanely gorgeous. For breakfast, it overlooks the ocean and you can see the hazy island of Gomera in the distance whilst eating traditional tapas (think morcilla and pimientos de padron). In the evening, they cover the open sides and roof so that it's more of an indoor eatery, and you get to watch the chef cook over the open barbecue in the back. They do the most divine mojo (red pepper or green parsley and coriander), and the younger waiters are pretty tasty themselves. Also, there's a HiperDino not too far from here, where you can easily buy six Milka Tuc and demolish them within an hour because you can't get them back in Wales. Just me?

The walk to this place is one of the best bits, as you weave through white walls by the seaside until you get to the actual restaurant where again you can overlook the ocean by the rocks. Here I tried roe for the first time (fish egg masses) and it was weird, but also kinda okay. They do all the typical Spanish food like Chuletas de Cerdo and Papas Arrugadas, but also things more suited to a wider audience. The couple running it are lovely, with the woman a lass from England and her husband a typical Spaniard with the bushy moustache and thick accent. Every now and then when they're less busy, you can hear Come Dine With Me play from the kitchen as the chef competes with the stars.

Otelo specialises in their local Canarian chicken, and has been running for so long that even my family remembers it from when they lived here over twenty years ago. It overlooks the Barranco del Infierno, meaning that it has possibly the best view in the whole of Adeje.

What to Do

Whale and dolphin watching
This seems like it would be a really touristy excursion, and whilst yes, there are a lot of tourists, the locals also love getting out for a few hours on a tacky little pirate ship eating paella and spotting some bottlenose dolphins and shadowed whales. Whilst I was insanely seasick doing this, I also enjoyed it a lot. On a lot of the boats also, a highlight is jumping off the boat into the ocean and swimming with whatever you happen to find in the sea (it's the same as a lot of excursions on islands in Greece and the like), which can be great when it's warmer as it's pretty chilly in the Atlantic in the winter. If you happen to be aboard one of the ships that show off tricks with the seagulls as a plus, it can be weird as hell but also strangely entertaining.

Visiting mountain villages
Taking a day out to visit places like Orotava is well worth it just to explore. Especially up in Garachico, the views can be incredible. I visited someone who lives in Los Gigantes, and if I were to stay in Adeje again I'd definitely consider this particular area, as the views from the roofs are incredible (think, apartments gripping to the mountains as they hang over the marina and ocean) and it's more full of locals than tourists (like Los Christianos). If you want to move away from the two-for-one cocktail billboards and want to walk by terracotta and moss houses and fishing shacks, the mountains are much better to explore than the ground.

Go hiking
It's so much better in Winter where you won't sweat off your skin (think 25 degrees celsius in the dead of winter, thirty as it warms), hiking is a close and personal way to explore the island. I think one day last week we were out walking for a good six hours, and whilst it's exhausting, it's also definitely worth it. I was hoping to catch some kind of colour whilst out, but unfortunately I still fit in more with the obnoxiously white and pink tourists that you could spot from miles away.

Take a boat to Masca
You can walk to Masca, but with a three hour trip just to the beach, it's much more worthwhile going by boat. Apparently the view is also pretty amazing from the road, but you'll have to find that one out yourselves. Masca looks a lot like the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, just with a slightly more temperate climate and less tagged Instagram photos.

Where to Drink

Pearla Gris
I'm slightly biased here because my family knows a lot of people working here, but regardless, it's still a place to check out. In fact, I spent my New Year's here listening to some pretty good 1960's entertainment and laying it easy sipping green teas - but everyone I knew there can vouch for the good red wine. The food is also good if you happen to go for an event or a big night, with massive cooked meals and good live entertainment.

Route 66 
Again, I'm probably biased here just because I adore the live entertainment (incredible bands with incredible music), but I was here for both my 14th and 19th birthday, and on the latter, drank so many Canarian Cocktails that I fell incoherently in love with a band member and spent a good hour after the set probably mumbling about life in Wales. The people are great, the entertainment is great, and it's close to a lot of residential areas and hotels, meaning it's easy to get back from. It has been my favourite bar to go to the few times between that I've visited the island, and is located near another great view of the island from the road.

Mad Hatters
We stayed with the owners of this bar, but found that it was such a cute little place that we visited a bunch of times voluntarily simply because the atmosphere was great. Whilst more of an English bar, it's a chill place to unwind and play some darts. The people running it and working for it are also some of the nicest ever - one gave me a gorgeous necklace for my birthday, which I wore for days on end until I had to pack back up to get to London, and the owners Maz and Shaun are lovely - they'd have to be to let us stay with them (in a house with two massive Canarian dogs and a gorgeous roof for hanging out on).

Who to See

The Black Hole Tenerife 
I am forever in love with this band, despite how the members are all probably at least double my age. I saw them four years back, and have since wanted to keep flying back to the island just to watch them every time they came up on my Facebook dashboard. I went to watch them the night before my birthday as they weren't playing on the 30th, and the lead singer did the classic "I hear it's someone's birthday?", before launching into a slightly more alternate version of the well-known song. They sing rock and blues and I'm honestly still madly in love, especially as between songs you'll hear them chat briefly to the staff and other band members in Spanish, every now and then insulting a drunken English lass or that guy in the back that won't dance in their home tongue, which is highly entertaining.

The Jersey Boys Tenerife
Super touristy but also super fun to watch. Whilst you'll get a bunch of random Mancunians and lasses from little Welsh Wales jamming to their music, you'll also find your local Enrique or Nico tapping their feet. They're one of the most involving bands up on stage, and manage to get a bunch of people up to dance as they jump around synchronised in their bright red blazers covering popular songs from the 60's to early 00's. Mega fun to watch them play out a gig, I definitely recommend catching a set.

Lisa Mac
The sort of performance you don't want to see whilst recovering from a hangover, she'll probably call you up on stage to dance with her. I didn't stay for her whole set, as I wanted to chat with people rather than get dragged up digging my nails into the ground to the front of the room, but it was fun watching other people get humiliated as the room gradually got less and less sober. Entertaining, even if not something I would like to get forced into myself.


  1. I am actually shook that the Airbnb didn't work out. I hope you got your money back - that is horrible!

    I've been dreaming of being on holiday and this has just made me itch to start searching Skyscanner for cheap flights to Adeje. There are so many things to do - I love it! Will definitely need to add Adeje to my never ending list of places to visit!

  2. Great pictures! I'd love to have the opportunity to see whales and dolphins - I've only ever seen them at zoo aquariums before. :)

  3. Looks like such a wonderful place with so many cool place to eat and so many things to do! Thank you for sharing!

    Olga from Myme

  4. The place has interesting aesthetics. Somewhat of a Moroccan vibe, and I guess it's fairly close to there, but it also looks quite modern (not that Morocco doesn't look modern; I really don't know whether it does or does not appear thusly).

  5. What a fabulous place, but quite a nightmare to start the trip.....Eeek!!

  6. I'm glad to hear that everything worked out so well for you on this getaway despite your accommodations initially not working out. It certainly sounds like the fact that your family lived here before really helped you too. Adeje looks and sounds like such a relaxing getaway with fun activities and some seriously gorgeous views!

  7. Oh my god. The Airbnb situation - what a nightmare! I'm so glad someone was able to take you in. Delfin sounds particularly lovely, and that red trouser look is SO GOOD! You look fantastic lady. Despite the rough start, Adeje seems wonderful!

  8. Beautiful photos! It looks like a really lovely place to visit and I'm glad that someone took you in in the end :) xx

  9. Love your beautiful photos :) They look incredible

  10. So glad you found somewhere to stay... and what a gorgeous place. The architecture and food, so perfect! I have never been whale/dolphin watching!


  11. Although that Airbnb sounds like a nightmare-- going local is honestly the best way to discover a city. whenever I travel I always make sure to find at least something local-- whether it be a person, a cafe, or a little street so that I feel more connected to the heart of the city, and not just to its tourist spots. This place looks beautiful, and Lisa Mac sounds hilarious.

  12. You sure had fun. I’m planning on a getaway with my bestie, so I totally dig traveling

    Glowyshoes's blog

  13. Hello Amy

    I am not good in English. I have translated my text in the transilator. : D

    Thanks for your comment.
    Your blog is nice too :)

    Love, Anja

  14. Wow, what an eventful sounding trip. Thanks so much for all your detailed information and beautiful pictures!!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  15. Great guide - never been to Adele but it looks like a lovely place to visit!

  16. Aside from your bad luck at the start, this sounds like a dreamy place to visit! Lucky that you were known in the area!
    Amy xx

  17. That Airbnb experience sounds horrible. So glad it worked out later and you found a place to stay! I love the photos and it totally makes me want to visit, looks fun!

  18. Wow this place is gorgeous! Would love to visit! The architecture is so fascinating and different. Sounds like you ate some pretty great food too. Thanks for sharing this place! Another one to add to my long LONG list. ;)


  19. It looks so pretty there. I love all the pictures you took.

  20. That breakfast view is everything!! It looks like an amazing place to visit!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!


    Seize your Style

  21. How could something like that even happen?! Honestly this is the first horror story I've heard from airbnb (aside from renters trashing apartments). I can't believe they'd leave you in the lurch like that. How disappointing and so damn rude. I'm sure they'll probably be banned from hosting on the site after you submit a complaint to get your money back. What awful humans. I also can't believe your cheery disposition after that ahaha! I'd like to think I could do the same in your situation but such a turn of event like that for me would have marred my trip (and opinion on the town).


  22. Now that journey wasn´t off to a great start it seems. Did you get your money back? I really hope you did, that is shocking behaviour.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  23. ¡¡Hola Amy!! Siento lo de tu alojamiento, tuvo que ser horrible, menos mal que conocías el lugar, eso siempre ayuda a desenvolverse menor, pero me pasa a mi en un lugar desconocido y me muero directamente, ja, ja.
    No he visitado nunca estas fantásticas islas, no soy mucho de playa, pero todo el mundo habla bien del lugar, y del clima, imagina, ese buen tiempo hasta en invierno, con el frío que está haciendo en el resto de la península española.
    Las imágenes son idílicas y tú te ves estupenda. Siempre es bonito poder tomarse unos días de vacaciones y visitar otro país. Hasta el verano, a mi no me va a ser posible. Este año nos hemos decidido por Lisboa, pero aún me queda hasta agosto, ohh, qué lejano lo veo. Besitos.

  24. wow Adeje looks amazing! it looks like a tranquil and exotic town
    love it
    style frontier

  25. Sorry you to hear you had such a bad experience with AirBNB. We've used them a few times and have always had good experiences. I guess it probably varies by each company.

    Looks like you still had a wonderful trip! Thanks for the tips

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Carly at A Modern Mom Blog

  26. That place sounds amazing! :)

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

  27. Oh no! I would have been so upset if Id' found out the place I'd booked wasn't there at all, how insanely frustrating. I'm glad you had a good time in the end, but I've heard so many bad stories about AirBnB similar to this that it makes me really wary!

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend and you recovered okay from the horrible start to your trip. Another extreme weather weekend here. So hot, we are staying near the air conditioner.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  28. what an experience !! I am really glad your trip turned out good after all, the pictures are beautiful, real local mood :)

  29. What the host from Airbnb did was so unjust. That's the thing I dislike about Airbnb (besides the fact that I don't trust the cleanliness). It's good that a couple took you guys in thanks to some connections.

    It's great to hear that the meals you had were delicious! The town looks gorgeous and love how there are surrounding bodies of water. Glad that there were lots to do and see! Other than the Airbnb incident, sounds like you enjoyed your time overall!

  30. Your airbnb story is a nightmare come alive! I can't believe how you managed, I would have been furious! Love the pictures though, the place has such a warm, welcoming vibe! All your outfits are beautiful :)
    Hope you're having a lovely weekend! :)

  31. I can't believe that happened to you! I'm so glad you were able to find a place to stay, but I can only imagine what would've happened if you weren't well connected in the area. That's terrible and I hope Airbnb removed that host.
    Otherwise, this looks like a gorgeous location! Those fireworks were spectacular! And the surroundings are magical. I'd never heard of this location until now and I'm dying to go!

    Susie |

  32. Wow, that would have been so scary arriving and your host not having a place for you! I guess sometimes it does pay to listen to the reviews. It was wonderful you were able to find somewhere and the locals welcomed you! :) It is so cool at the number of things there is to see and do! :D

  33. Hi again Amy, so sorry to know about the situation you experienced with this Airbnb, unfortunately and even if you have had good experiences there is always a possibility to facing a similar bad situation, but luckily you never experience this again, at least you learned something and I see you had a good time. Never been to Tenerife or Las Canarias before but they say is like a paradise, even in winter when the rest of Europe is freezing. So happy to hear also that the locals welcomed you and made your experience even better, love all the outfits you used for this trip, they look comfortable but not the typical tourist attire ;)

    Best and if you stop in Barcelona soon let me know :)

  34. Ah I hope you got your money back from that awful fake airbnb! And touristy or not, I would definitely love the experience of watching whales and dolphins! I have actually never seen a dolphin in the wild before!

    Simply Lovebirds

  35. Ahh, I really want to go to Spain one day. I'll probably do the Erasmus tour.

    It'll be a nice way to force myself out of my shell...

    Also, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself so much!

  36. Such an incredible place- just look at those views!

    Le Stylo Rouge