Buenos dias a todos!
This year I couldn’t go to any place during the summer, so my holidays where postponed to October, a month in which the weather is not so good for swimming or enjoying the sun.
My boyfriend and I, we were looking for some place that is beautiful and warm and sunny all over the year and the final choice was Tenerife. This was my first journey abroad as a coeliac so I want to tell you how it was.
I was quite scared of leaving my confort zone, Italy, where I know what to buy and where to go, and I didn’t know what to expect from a different country. I have done many researches about gluten free food in this isle: I read that you could find almost everything and is quite easy to eat without problems.
Anyway, to be absolutely sure, I booked a place in an aparthotel, where I could have a small appartment with the cooking spot, and the possibility to eat at their restaurant too. I even brought pasta ( yep, I’m Italian!) and bread to be ready for everything.
The journey started with many hours of airplane, going from Fiumicino, Rome, to Madrid, with one free hour in this city, and then from Madrid to Tenerife… a day spent flying! During that time we decided to eat something so we look in the different cafeterías of the airport Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas asking if they had anything sin gluten, and, following their indications, we reached a place with seven products gluten free: EATING POINT. There were different Shär’s products: pasta, sandwich, focaccia with ham and cheese and some desserts.
At 8.10 p.m. we finally arrived in Tenerife, a very beautiful isle that I recommend you to visit.
We didn’t have time to buy some grocery, so we went to a small restaurant: LA ÑAMERA, where they brought me a steak with a very good salad.
The second day we visited Puerto de la Cruz with its Botanic Garden and we ate at the MAGNOLIA.
We entered that place without worrying too much, having read on trip advisor that they had GF options. In their menu you can read all the allergens present, anyway is better to ask to the waiter, an expert in celiac disease, that will tell you what to eat avoiding both the allergens and the contamination.
I took a soup with vegetables, catalana, good but not exceptional, and shrimps cooked on an hotplate ,that were really good. They even brought me some good GF bread! I want to stress the kindness and disponibility of the waiters, with attention to every details. The price was a little excessive but within the limits of a dinner based on fish.
The third day we went to Playa Martiánez, with the black sand, we bought some grocery and the tickets for a trip by catamaran.
The lady in one of the many places selling trips, gave as tickets with the comida included, aka the lunch; I asked her if it was possible to avoid it, because I can’t eat food containing gluten and she said that I wouldn’t have any problem so I accepted.
At the supermarket I was really pleased by the presence of many GF products, salami, ham, but also cooked meals, like spicy chicken wings or potatoes already cut in pieces and with sauces inside.
The day of the trip arrived, a tour on a catamaran with a glass on the bottom to see the fishes. A bus, included in the ticket, took us from our hotel in the North of Tenerife to the coast where there was the ship. We had to spend the day looking for dolphins and whales; such an amazing experience: we were moving with the catamaran and the dolphins were swimming around us, even jumping from time to time!
After half an hour they started giving sandwiches, while all the drinks (water, coca-cola, Fanta, sangria, schweps) were already there.
I asked if they had anything without gluten and they answered… no. Panic attack!
After few seconds a waiter brought me two little bananas, and I was already thinking that I wouldn’t eat anything else for the whole day.
We saw the dolphins, swam in front of LOS GIGANTES, that are huge mountains, and then we stopped for lunch, where there were a really good salad, rice with corn and peas, and meatballs with sauce. At that point I found out that everything, except for the meatballs, was gluten free, so even in a catamaran in the middle of the ocean I could eat!
The fifth day we decided to go to Lago Martiánez, a place full of swimming pools with water coming from the ocean, caves and waterfalls. I asked to some cafeterías if I could eat, and, receiving a negative answer, we decided to get out of the lake and come back in the afternoon. In front of this place there were many restaurants, but we were looking for some fast food, so we went to McDonald’s. I have to say that I didn’t want to go there, because in Italy we can have just one small sandwich for coeliac people, so no choice at all.
We entered and I was looking for the list of allergens that I couldn’t find, but I read that for all allergies you have to ask to waiter; so I asked again the usual question: “¿Qué se puede comer sin gluten? ” and I got a wonderful answer: all the sandwiches with the hamburger are GF. All of them! So I ate this amazing sandwich in a box with written sin gluten, with bacon, salad, different sauces, cheese, hamburger, followed by chips and drink. I know, it’s not the most healthy meal to eat and I might seem overexcited about it, but I was really missing a real McDonald’s sandwich.
In the evening we decided to eat in the hotel, so I talked with the chef, who was really nice and well informed. He told me that I could eat practically everything from the buffet, and it will be brought directly from the kitchen to me to avoid any contamination, furthermore that night there was the barbecue, completely GF.
We tasted the different kinds of sausages ( a bull’s one that tasted horribly, while the other kinds were very good) and steaks. I asked for a salad from the buffet and they brought me an enormous dish, with cheese, fruit, lettuce… all really good. We decided to go there also on the last evening, where there was the special Mexican dinner; unfortunately I could eat only a kind of fish with a Mexican sauce, while all the burritos were only with gluten. Anyway I could have fried potatoes, bread and even a good dessert from the buffet. If you will ever decide to go to Puerto de la Cruz I really recommend you this place, apart from the kitchen, they had various swimming pools, a tennis court, minigolf, pilates … and it was even cheap! The name is PARQUE VACACIONAL EDEN.
Finally we visited El Teide, Masca, Garachico and Icod de los vinos in a guided trip. The planned stops were in a restaurant, but I can’t tell you anything about it because I had brought some sandwiches, and a coffee bar where they make a very special coffee, with liquor and cinnamon; this last place is the only spot were I didn’t find informed people about my diet, but it was in the middle of nowhere, within the mountains.
Unfortunately our holiday finished and we took the airplane back to Rome. Traveling with Air Europa you can order snacks and a quinoa salad gluten free. So… a perfect holiday!
A final note, I didn’t have any problems asking for food because I speak Spanish, but I guess you can talk in English as well.
The places where I have eaten:
Eating point, airport of Madrid;
La Ñamera,Plaza Constitucion, 3, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz
Restaurante Magnolia, Avenida Marqués de Villanueva del Prado, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz
Parque vacacional Eden, Calle Francia, 8, 38400, Puerto de la Cruz
McDonald’s, Avenida Cristobal Colón 5, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz
So this is all, how is your country? Can you find gluten free food without any problems or life is more difficult? Tell me 🙂
By the way, here there’s an article with some restaurants in Rome, unfortunately is in Italian, but I will soon post it in English too!
See you soon!