C/ Ezequiel Sanchez, 22; Tejeda, Gran Canaria
Our feet were wet thanks to long grasses that insisted on dripping straight into our shoes. But as we squelched alongside a stream where frogs enthusiastically sang songs of frog love, the sun came out to greet our arrival in Tejeda on Gran Canaria, lighting up an impressive panorama from the town’s main square.
Tired, dusty (or in our particular case wet) walkers are no strangers to the whitewashed streets of this tidy little hill town; it’s ideally placed for exploring a surprising island that people know more for its sunshine and beaches. We checked in and were shown to our room, a stone cottage set back from the main building. There was a chunky bench outside our door. We plonked ourselves down in the sunshine to remove soggy socks whilst simultaneously downing a can of Canarian beer picked up from the town’s supermarket. It was perfect; exactly the sort of place where we like to kick back after a long hike.
The Buzz Trips View
Tejeda is a pretty little Gran Canarian town that draws in the visitors who take the time to explore the interior of the island. And for good reason. The town’s plaza has quite outstanding views – not only down a wide canyon-esque valley but to the spindly finger of Roque Nublo… when it’s not hidden by the nubes (clouds) it’s named after.
If I had a criticism of the town it would be that some establishments have grown a bit complacent thanks to its deserved popularity. Saying that, others demonstrated the sort of generous Gran Canarian spirit we’d experienced in other parts. There are a couple of very good restaurants, a trendy little bar and an excellent pastelaria (cake shop and bakery). It’s as a base for hiking that Tejeda excels and the Hotel Fonda de la Tea in the centre of the town is designed to meet the needs of guests seeking a rural experience. The design is cosily rustic but with modern touches and everywhere feels casually comfortable. Arriving back there after a hike is like swapping walking boots for espadrilles.
Rooms are mostly in the 19th century main building or in a cottage, which has its own vine covered entrance, just outside the hotel on an upper level of the town – which is where we stayed. It’s a nice blend of traditional, exposed stone walls, polished terracotta tiles, and contemporary – flat screen TV, wifi (although we had to use the communal living room to get a decent signal), mini bar and hair-dryer. Beds are big and comfortable. After dark the town isn’t exactly lively, as you’d expect, it was certainly no hardship to spend time in the room enjoying a bottle of local vino.
Hotel Fonda de la Tea is more of a base than a hotel to spend time lounging around. However, there is a sunbathing terrace with the sort of views that will distract from dozing off in the sunshine. There’s also a quaint little living room. Owner Fina has a whole load of walking leaflets at reception and can provide advice about routes. Forget asking at the tourist office in Tejeda, the girl there is really not very interested. An unsatisfactory experience we had was mirrored by other guests at the hotel.
Breakfast consists of the usual buffet of cold meats and cheese, fruits and cereals, juices and coffee – all of which are lovely and fresh. Best of all is the fresh bread from Santa Lucía. Don’t have breakfast until it arrives. If you’re lucky you might even get a treat of fried courgette in batter drizzled with honey. Fina also owns a restaurant in town, Cueva de la Tea, which serves good traditional fare.
The bottom line is the Fonda de la Tea is a friendly and extremely comfortable rural hotel in a fabulous location at a crossroads of walking routes. We walked from Tirajanas to reach Tejeda and then moved on from there, via Cruz de Tejeda where the parador is located, to reach El Poshada in Fontanales.
Hotel Fonda de la Tea; C/ Ezequiel Sanchez, 22; tel: +34 928 666 422; double rooms with breakfast cost from around €100 per night.