In Tenerife

Welcome To Janet Anscombe in Tenerife

In real life, I am an ancient historian, and was a university lecturer in Classics & Ancient History specializing in rhetoric, law and politics before moving to Tenerife. I’ve been here now for ten years that have gone in an astonishing flash, after finding Higher Education had become little more than a processing factory for successful graduates who would be in debt for decades, or unsuccessful ones who were set up by the system to feel like abject failures after being encouraged to aspire to a level of education that was simply beyond them. Tenerife was our holiday home from home before 2004, and the obvious place to choose to retire. It is a sub-tropical haven with a pretty much year-round Spring climate and a language and culture both exotic and familiar. For anyone who wants to stay in Europe but in a place with a buzz, and who has rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and so needs steady humidity and kind temperatures, it is just about perfect.

I live with my husband in a tiny 200-year-old Canarian cottage on the edge of a mountain village a kilometer above the west coast. Our garden is full of flowers and trees, and lizards who now clearly consider us protection and food source combined. We have to resist constant demands for more egg mayonnaise, and shuffle them out of the way as they run at us for more banana now please! One thing I love about living at altitude is that we have seasons, something I think expatriates’ bodies simply need, and in Spring the air is heady with blossom scent from fruit and almond trees, and in autumn it’s a glorious relief to see autumnal colour and falling leaves while watching the mist rolling up the barranco like a steam train! Here’s a view from up here that I never tire of, looking out over the sea to the light show over La Gomera that is different every day. The “blessed isles”. Yes, indeed!

Over the last decade, I have spent quite a bit of my time indulging my interest in houses and homes, particularly interior design but also architecture – ancient architecture was always one of my favourite sidelines in work. My main fields, however, of rhetoric, law and politics have been the launchpad for considerable research into modern Spanish law and politics. If I see this website as having any function beyond that of personal enjoyment, it is as a source of advocacy for anyone thinking of moving here, or actually living here and struggling with bureaucracy and legalities. Ideally in such a place, people would be stress free and fulfilling their ideal of “living the dream”, but all too often it turns into a nightmare. I hope this site is helpful to anyone looking for accurate up-to-date information about what is happening here as well as a straightforward guide to the legalities and bureaucracy involved for resident and visiting foreigners, and their rights and responsibilities.

Please investigate the tabs across the top of the page. They lead to information and advice on being legal, owning property or living here – there are also a few private sales for those looking to buy property – as well as questions and answers on a wide range of related topcis. There are links to pages on everything from the rights of consumers generally to those of patients in the health service in particular, and from keeping dogs to donating a body to science! Under “Useful Stuff”, you’ll find some Spanish vocabulary, links to jobs available for English speakers, books written about Tenerife, essential places to visit, readers’ photos, how to stay safe in heat and water, and a full calendar of “what’s on” with links to detailed information about events.

Below on this page are the latest of regularly-updated posts about news and events; for earlier items, just look to the right and click on the main news link or on a particular date in the calendar  (just hover over a date and it will show you the posts made on that day). The right hand column also has buttons to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter or by RSS feed; a search box to help locate news items or information of interest; links to recent comments made by readers (please do express opinions or ask questions – just click on individual headlines to find the comments box); and the latest news from the BBC and in English from El Pais. The final tab at the top of the page is to Links and Laws, a whole range of legal, official, practical and inspirational resources for anyone with an interest in this wonderful island I call home.

COPYRIGHT: Apart from press releases or where expressly stated otherwise, I have written every single word of text on this website myself. The entire content therefore belongs to me or the source I quote and the copyright is protected and reserved. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name and provide a link to this site. If anyone wants to use anything without crediting me in this way, please ask first.


Latest news and events in Tenerife

Click HERE for the What’s On Diary

New weather front approaching with high winds will be apparent from tomorrow

Update 4pm: The main winds will be coming from 7pm and will batter us until 7am or so. It’s nine years to the day since tropical storm Delta was here. Then, the strongest wind ever registered in Spain was recorded in Izaña near the observatory – 248 km/h! Hopefully it won’t be quite that bad this time.

Unlike in 2002 when five people died in a storm, there were no deaths in Tenerife from Delta (though one man died in Fuerteventura), but there was widespread physical damage to the island’s infrastructure, particularly electrics. And already today a pylon has been bent double in Santa Ursula in north Tenerife. Let’s hope that by the end of tomorrow things are no worse than they are presently, and that everyone has remained safe.

Update midday: AENA says that 23 flights, and all inter-island flights, have been cancelled from TFN Los Rodeos. TFS is currently operating normally, changes to that situation will be advised. Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura are also operating, but Lanzarote and La Palma airports are not operational. 

Update 28 November: You don’t often see red alerts here, but there’s one for today and tomorrow. The alert is for winds gusting to 130 km/h throughout the island, though primarily affecting medianías and altitude, and the north east area. Most intense wind will be from this afternoon to Sunday morning.

Update 11pm: The Canarian government’s education department has confirmed that despite the weather forecast, schools will be open tomorrow everywhere except Lanzarote and La Graciosa. Various leisure, social, cultural and extracurricular activities might be postponed (e.g. the Las Torres Mercadillo de Navidad), but schools are open.

Update 27 November: The Tenerife Cabildo has issued an alert for high winds from midnight, and the Canarian Government has issued its own for the whole archipelago. The upper limit for gusts at altitude has been increased to 130 km/h, and at coastal level, waves of 5-6 metres are likely.

Update 26 November: Aemet has now issued an orange alert for winds on Friday gusting to 100 km/h throughout Tenerife. The alert is for 24 hours from midnight Thursday, and could be extended through Saturday in due course. The high winds will be westerly-north westerly, and primarily affect medianías and altitude, where gusts of up to 120 km/h  are likely; at coastal level, they are expected to be around 75 km/h. As well as high winds, there’s an orange alert for very rough seas (costeros) in north Tenerife. Rain is also forecast, heavy in parts, but the main protagonist of this temporal will be the winds.

Original post 25 November: As I posted HERE, meteorologists were saying after the last temporal that another weather front was coming in and should be with us on and from Thursday this week. And now meteorologists are saying that their models have continued to confirm the forecast. It seems that the new temporal , though not a major one, will be notable primarily for high winds rather than rain, but there will also be significant rainfall in parts. The unstable conditions should be apparent from Wednesday, with rain from Thursday. Again, the north is expected to bear the brunt of the borrasca, but we should all feel the effects of the strong winds, with gusts which are expected to exceed 100 kmh. More information and clarity in due course, I’m sure.

Autumnal Tenerife – November’s chestnut fairs

Update 28 November: It’s really unfortunate, but many ayuntamientos have now cancelled or postponed all outdoor activities because of this weekend’s weather alerts. Many if not all of these San Andrés events will not take place as advertised, and anyone planning to go is best advised to check locally as to whether the event is rescheduled, or even cancelled.

Update 26 November: Puerto de la Cruz’ San Andrés celebration will be from 7pm this Friday, 28 November, in front of the customs house in the fishing harbour.

pdate 18 November: Arona’s San Andrés celebrations will be part of the municipality’s Walk for Life programme (website HERE), and will be held in Valle San Lorenzo on 28 November between 5 and 10pm. Tapas will also be available, and there are more details HERE about the establishments taking part.

Update 17 November: San Miguel has announced its San Andrés event, 29 November from 7pm in Calle Constitución opposite the school.

Update 11 November: Adeje has announced its own San Andrés event, with “Castañas, Vino ..y por supuesto buen folclore” in the rear plaza of the town’s cultural centre on Thursday 27 November, at 7pm. 

Original post 5 November: Just as in the UK it’s conker time, November in Tenerife is a cosy and wintry month with chestnuts roasting over live coals in the streets in a series of autumnal fairs in honour of San Andrés. HERE is a link to last year’s post about them to give an idea of how we get a wonderful taste of autumn in the island of perpetual spring! San Andrés is, of course, the saint whose feast day, in Scotland, is on 30 November! Here in Tenerife, however, it’s celebrated on the 29th, though the fairs can start on the 27th, or spill over into the 30th.

All these autumn fiestas and fairs are all different, and often involve different ways of making as much noise with metal objects as possible, or even racing downhill on kitchen trays, but however they’re celebrated, they all involve wine and, particularly, chestnuts. Most of Tenerife’s chestnuts come from the Acentejo region of the north, and the area always has a series of events to mark the period. This year’s full programme from the north-east Tenerife chestnut association - involving the ayuntamientos of Santa Úrsula, La Victoria, La Matanza and Tacoronte - is HERE .

As last year’s post will show, however, there are many events in south Tenerife too, and the first to announce this year is Arafo, whose Ruta de los Castañeros will start at 8.15pm with the bodega degustación trip detailed on the poster above. I’ll update this post with other San Andrés events as I become aware of them.

Schools closed due to weather

A separate post for this because it’s so often wrongly rumoured. Given the red alert for winds, the Canarian government has issued a maximum alert, and the Consejería de Educación has suspended all school activity, both classes and extracurricular, throughout the Canaries for this afternoon and evening, Friday 28 November. For once, Tenerife’s schools actually have been closed. For people to confirm for themselves, because this is a subject of rumours all too often, HERE is the government’s announcement.

Christmas & New Year programmes 2014-15

This Christmas is already underway with Adeje’s announcement – first again! – of its Christmas and New Year 2014-15 programme of events. These start next weekend with the Christmas market postponed because of the winds from today, in the Las Torres car park by the fountain roundabout just down the road from Mercadona. Apart from this and several other mercadillos, the main Christmas market in Calle Grande takes place on Saturday, 13 December, between 5pm and midnight. For the rest of the programme, see the Ayuntamiento’s website HERE, or click HERE for a pdf in English. I’ll post other local programmes as they become available.

Cape Verde’s equivalent to Teide, the Pico de Fogo, in eruption this morning

YouTube Preview Image

Update 28 November: The eruption’s fifth day has seen seismic and volcanic activity increase again, with lava being emitted from four vents on the side of the volcano. The Portela area is now said to be in clear danger of being engulfed by lava which is only 100m away. Cova Tina is also threatened by another flow.

Update 27 November: After appearing to die down, the eruption today seems to be gathering strength again, with existing and now new flows of lava more viscous, which means more rapid diffusion. The strengthened activity now puts at risk the Portelas and Cova Tina areas. Air quality is meanwhile being monitored in the region generally.

Update 26 November: The third day of the eruption has seen the lava flow slow, and vulcanologists say that their instruments suggest that the eruption has been spectacular and mercifully short. They are expecting to see it come to a halt over today.

Update 25 November: Incredible scenes from Fogo over the last 24 hours in the above video, showing the side vent of the Pico de Fogo spewing lava, and the lava flows that are inexorably spreading, including into national park territory. The Cape Verde government is said to be “losing the fight”, but this is a battle impossible to “win”, and it seems that the government is doing the best it can by setting up a crisis cabinet to monitor progress, coordinate response, and distribute assistance.

A cause for concern at present is that the eruption is moving towards from the side vent up to the main crater, creating vents as it goes. Currently four are active, and THIS video gives a staggering idea of what’s going on in that immediate area of eruption. The eruption, in other words, is still building up.

Update 24 November: There’s a spectacular video from Fogo News HERE of the continuing eruption, with local experts saying that the next 24 hours will be decisive. Local civil protection measures have been strengthened and some evacuations from Cha das Caldeiras near the eruption zone have been ordered though there is said not to be any immediate danger for the public.

Original post 23 November: A major eruption started this morning on Fogo in the Cape Verde islands. The island is in the south of the archipelago which is itself south of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Senegal. The pico de Fogo is often compared to Mt Teide, being the highest volcano in the Cape Verde islands. The eruption has been confirmed by the Canarian Vulcanological Institute (Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias: IVC), which promises more information shortly. There is a private video of the eruption which has been promulgated by the IVC but I can’t see how to upload it to this blog: it is HERE on my Facebook media page, though.

Palm Mar residents clean up

Photo: Peter Clarke

Photo: Peter Clarke

Update 27 November: Peter Clarke says:

We have received a great deal of support from the residents of Palm Mar and from other areas who wish to copy our scheme.

This Sunday we are meeting at 9.45am in Pearls Pantry and having a clean up along the main street towards the archway.

It will be for a maximum of 2 hours and we would like as many people as possible to come and help.
Aprons supplied, but please bring your own gloves and some plastic bags.

Thanks once again for all your support.

Update 28 October: The following notes of the meeting at El Mocan on the 26th have now been posted in the Clean Up Palm Mar event page on Facebook (link).

There was 29 people in attendance of various nationalities, although, disappointingly some 24 people who stated they would definitely be coming were absent. Representation came from Club de Mar, Balandros, Laderas, Pariasio I and II, Cape Selima and various streets.

Peter opened the meeting by thanking everyone for their efforts and support over the previous month. There was also a mention of Janet Anscombe who has supported the Clean Up Campaign by placing an article and photographs on her website. Through the chair there was a request to give special thanks to Tess Spelman for all her hard work and also Karine Lecat who kindly donated 200 red aprons for use in the Clean Up Campaign.

Peter asked if there was anyone willing to volunteer to be responsible for fund raising. There was much discussion regarding charity donations e.g. Who holds it; how it is spent and legalities. Sue Cooper was mentioned as a possibility. Mark Thornton agreed to approach local business for support, John Bentley, president of Laderas has said he has a couple of signs to put up along the back road of Calle Quezal.

Vicky Jackson presented posters that could be used around Palm Mar and it was agreed we use as many different types to attract the attention of the reader.

It was suggested that Communities be approached regarding support, however there was no firm decision made.

It was also suggested that volunteers be aware of culprits leaving poo and offering them a plastic bag (nappy bags are very cheap to buy!) This was agreed that some of the group would be vigilant.

Peter Clarke said, although not in our remit we should approach Arona Council regarding the collection of all dead palm tree branches scattered around Palm Mar. Peter Clarke agreed to follow this up.

Ann Benton reiterated from the last meeting that if we phone Arona Council on 010 we can ask to be dealt with by an English speaker. For those who wish to send photos or communicate via email with Arona their address is

Concern from a number of people regarding the state of Palm Mar being openly published on this site would deter visitors. It was therefore agreed to create a separate group which Vicky Jackson has done called Clean Up Palm Mar

Hopefully this summarises most of the discussion of the meeting

Peter suggested instead of a meeting next month that we should clean up the main streets from the archway straight down the main road. To take no more than 2 hours. It was therefore agreed that we get as many volunteers as possible to meet at El Mocan at 10 am Sunday 30 November 2014. Bring your red apron given out at the meeting, those who don’t already have one they will be available on the day.

Update 6 October: The date for the second meeting of Clean up Palm Mar has now been confirmed for 26 October, at 2pm in El Mocan. Organizers say that everyone is welcome, and that many people are already very busy transforming Palm Mar into the beautiful place they all know it can be.

Original post 1 October: They pay their IBIs, and might think that the council should provide the service, but frustration has finally got to the residents of Palm Mar and they have taken matters into their own hands. Fed up with litter and dog mess left by the irresponsible and uncaring, and even worse, Arona Ayuntamiento’s lethargy and uninterest, a small but growing group of currently around 20 residents has been organized.

The group is using Facebook’s Palm Mar Group (HERE) to update all the residents on events and future schedules, and chairman Peter Clarke says that the first meeting was held at Clouseau’s on Sunday, 28 September, with the next meeting at El Mocan on Saturday, 26 October. Peter says he would also like to thank Paul, Mark, Tess, Sue and Jan for their wonderful efforts this week.

Good luck to them. They shouldn’t have to do it, but sometimes needs must, particularly for motivated and responsible residents. Here are some photos from that FB group.

Adeje’s Mercadillo de Navidad in Las Torres

Update 26 November: Given the forecast for high winds this weekend (link) the Las Torres Mercadillo de Navidad has been postponed a week to 5-7 December. The times will be 5pm to 10pm on Friday 5th, and 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday, 6th and 7th.

Original post 13 November: The annual mercadillo de Navidad de Las Torres starts the Christmas period off in the car park by the fountain roundabout near Mercadona. Christmas gifts and decorations, seasonal food, chestnuts, children’s games, and of course Christmas carols, will all be on offer between Friday 28 and Sunday 30 November. On Friday, the market will be open 5-10pm, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 10pm. Parking is available in the Escuela de Música de Adeje next door.

Young woman dies in collision on TF5

A tragic accident on the TF5 yesterday morning left an 18-year-old woman dead and three others of between 20 and 26 years of age injured when their car collided with a lorry at the San Vicente bend at Los Realejos shortly before 8am. The injured women, one said to be in serious condition, were transferred variously to HUC. Bellevue, and Hospital del Norte in Icod, but the youngest of the group sadly couldn’t be helped. The TF5 was at a standstill for several hours while emergency services and road teams dealt with the accident.

TF1 extension saga – continued

Update 25 November: I imagine that most people’s response will be “I’ll believe it when I see it”, but an agreement has been signed today by the Canarian Government’s consejero de Obras Públicas, Transportes y Política Territorial, Domingo Berriel, and Tenerife President Carlos Alonso to finish the Adeje-Santiago del Teide stretch of the ring road motorway extension. The agreement will see €10m put into the works, €4m from the Cabildo and €6m from the the Canarian government. The stretch is expected to be functioning (maybe not fully finished but open to traffic) by the middle of 2015 in two parts - Vera de Erques to Santiago del Teide by end March, and Armeñime to Vera de Erques by end June.

Update 6 October 2014: The Canarian government says that its roadworks priority for 2015 is the completion of the southern section of the TF1, and that it has already set aside €6m from the public works budget for the El Bicho tunnel and the Adeje-Santiago del Teide stretch of the motorway. The government says that its commitment is based on the importance of the entire ringroad project, and will be fulfilled despite cuts at national level from €220m to €54m. The southern extension is currently the only works project that has a financial commitment for next year, and if works continue now as planned, will open in March 2015, and the sticking point of the barranco de Erques should see the first pair of arches for the viaduct in place by the end of next month.

Update 2 December 2013: Despite the timescales as posted immediately below, which saw the Icod-El Tanque extension completed next year and the Adeje-Santiago extention waiting until 2015, the Cabildo has now announced that the schedule and funding will be rearranged so that the south extension works will be brought forward, and the Adeje-Santiago stretch completed, in the main, in 2014. The Cabildo is now putting the change of schedule to the Canarian Government for final approval.

Unfortunately for those who live in the Tijoco-Tejina-Vera de Erques areas, it is their part – the ongoing seemingly insuperable problem with bridging the barranco de Erques – that will have to wait until 2015. The “main part” of the extension to be completed next year is the túnel del Bicho and the Vicácaro bridge. This means that the TF1, as far as traffic is concerned, will still end at Adeje, and resume at Tejina to continue on to Santiago del Teide (the so-called “chicken run” stretch), where it will find another gap awaiting completion through El Tanque.

I suppose we should really be pleased that some works are going ahead, but at some point they really are going to have to come to terms with bridging that Erques barranco … otherwise the whole extension will have been something of a joke.

Update 7 November 2013:  The Tenerife Cabildo and the Canarian Government have jointly announced funding for next year that guarantees the completion of the TF1 extension by 2015. Cabildo president Carlos Alonso said that the island would receive €146.7m from the regional government for road development, a sum which would permit prioritised works to continue despite “brutal” cuts in funding from Madrid. The road funding in Tenerife will be directed to completing the northern Icod-El Tanque portion of the ring road with funding of €131m; this should be open to traffic during the course of next year. The southern Santiago del Teide-Adeje stage, with total funding of €10m between 2014 and 2015, should be open in 2015.

Because this saga has been ongoing so long, I’ve split previous posts to make it less unwieldy on the front page. All previous posts are HERE.

Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraíso to be linked at last

Adeje Ayuntamiento has announced that at last there will be a link between Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraiso. Work is due to begin this week on an iron and wood bridge over the barranco.

At a packed meeting in the Callao Salvaje cultural centre the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga joined local councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and councillor for works Gonzalo Delgado Diaz and the council’s architect to detail the plans, as well as mention other projects in the pipeline for both neighbourhoods. There was a translator present at the meeting to facilitate the many non-Spanish born residents who attended.

The mayor told the residents, “This meeting has two objectives – to let you know about the works that will begin now to join the two neighbourhoods and to invite all those present to continue to work together on local initiatives for the area”. He continued, “ we are aware of the on-going efforts by those who live in the these communities, how they are working to solve local problems and we are delighted to continue to encourage you to keep us informed, voice your opinions to help us improve where you live. This work will see an historic union of these two neighbourhoods who, have always been united in many ways.

“The work we are now undertaking comes under the wider umbrella of improving and modernising the borough in areas where it is needed and we hope it meets some of the genuine needs of the area, an area that is very important to our borough”, he said.

The project will see work to regulate the pathway that already exists along the cliff top in Callao Salvaje, with signposting and bins, with upgrading to remove any danger to pedestrians, and improvements to the existing maritime paths along the Playa Paraíso side ending along the Calle El Horno. To link the two villages an iron and wood bridge is to be built over the barranco (ravine). The base will be reinforced cement, and all the structures have been approved by the national Coastal department. The plans will be available in the Adeje Cultural Centre within two weeks for those who wish to see them.

The residents of both villages welcomed the news and were also pleased to hear of other plans for the near future in the area including a park for dogs, and a roadway linking Callao Salvaje and Posto al Sole.

Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
November 2014
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