Insightful insider tips and a handy pull-out road atlas make this pocket-sized guidebook perfect for a short break
A lot of holidays involve driving rental cars around strange places, yet guidebooks regularly ignore the need for a road atlas. The latest product from Marco Polo – a brand that’s often seen being promoted in European airports – puts its aces in the back cover.
There you’ll find not only a fold-out map of Tenerife, with all major roads clearly marked, but maps of both major cities (Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz) and a separate pull-out road atlas in a plastic pouch. There are several maps in the back of the book, too, in case you lose the fold-out map (don’t leave it in the rental car!).
While some guidebooks recommend only the finest places to stay, this guide includes plenty of budget options, free activities and low-cost places to visit, recognising, perhaps, that Tenerife is a common destination for families. The ‘useful phrases’ section is handy, too; it’s accompanied by a short pronunciation boxout.
Perhaps best of all this guide is peppered with really useful and unexpected Insider Tips. Secret picnic sites, adults-only hotels, restaurants that serve local cuisine (hard to find in tenerife), which rooms to ask for in specific hotels and other practically useful advice is given, and highlighted in yellow. The very best are collected in the front of the book, too, so you get some pre-warning.A handy section in the back lists some apps, websites, blogs and forums where you can pick the brains of locals and frequent visitors. It’s a nice recognition that a guidebook needn’t be an all-in-one resource, just a starting point for a journey.
What’s included and what’s not is hugely subjective, but I was slightly disappointed to find that only four pages are given to Teide National Park, which is far and away the most unique slice of the island. Although it does cover a daytrip up the cable car, it doesn’t mention that it’s possible to buy a (very cheap) package online that includes a cable car ticket and a night in a Refuge near the summit, which means you can get to the peak for sunrise – an awesome experience – and be back on the beach for breakfast. It does mention the hotel at the foot of Teide, Parador de Cañadas del Teide Hotel (from £79, www.parador.es), but not that it has perhaps the best views of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
A good value and compact guidebook packed with enough information and top tips to be of genuine use on any trip to Tenerife, Marco Polo’s decision to include plenty of good quality maps and a separate, foldout road atlas map is crucial to its success. Well researched, well designed and easy to use, Marco Polo guides are colourful alternative to books by Bradt and Lonely Planet.