Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Exploring the villages of Northern TenerifeSouthern Tenerife , I've read, is rife with drunken, sunburnt, topless, fowl-mouthed Eurotrash.
However, I heard that Northern Tenerife is blessed with charming Spanish colonial towns (La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Garachico), genteel watering holes, and seventeenth-century aristocratic mansions converted into sophisticated family-run properties.
And it is. I was the sole guest at a spectacular Moorish mansion-turned-hotel in La Orotava and hopped the bus from one quiet, charming village to the next.
My last day I hiked Teide National Park, but that's another highlight.