Tenerife, the great island of the Canary Islands
Tenerife is the island of records. Mount Teide, first of all, at an altitude of 3178 metres, makes it the highest peak in Spain.
Tenerife is not only the largest island in the archipelago, but also the most populated of all the Spanish islands… and the most urbanized and cosmopolitan of the Canary Islands.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is, together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, co-capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.
Enjoying an exceptional climate all year round, Tenerife is a concentration of activities. Golf, shopping, beaches and swimming, water sports and activities, walks and mountain hikes.
The island is endowed with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Teide National Park and, located in the north-east of the island, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, founded in 1496, was the island’s first capital in 1823. It is in its walls that the first university of the island was also created in 1701.
The valley of Aguere, where it extends, was once a place of pilgrimage for the Guanches who lived there.
The south-western coast is famous for the dolphin and whale colonies that can be admired near the port of Los Cristianos, part of the island with most of the hotel infrastructure. Reina Sofia International Airport is also nearby.
Tenerife has a second airport, Los Rodeos – Tenerife Norte, located near Santa Cruz, it mainly provides inter-island and domestic connections. A motorway makes it possible to travel around the island, often following the coast as close as possible, while secondary roads lead inwards.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Located in the north-east of the island, Santa Cruz, capital of Tenerife, developed from the 15th century onwards to become an important port city and the second most populated city in the Canary Islands.
The city has wide avenues, several green spaces and beautiful squares including the Plaza de España, built on the site of the ancient fortress of San Cristobal, near the port.
Among the important monuments of the city: the Triunfo de la Candelaría, a marble sculpture of Carrara by Pasquale Bocciardo, the 17th century Palazzo de la Carta, a neo-classical example, or El Casino, a building housing works by Canarian artists.
We also discover the 19th century Guimerá Theater, built in the place of the old convent of Santo Domingo. Several interesting churches, designed between the 16th and 18th centuries, dot the oldest part of the port city.
Oficina de Información Turistacs Cabildo de Santa Cruz
Tourist Office. Plaza de España. Tel: (+34)922 28 12 87. Open every day from 9am to 6pm.
Museum of Nature and Mankind
Calle Fuente Morales. Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The Museum of Nature and Mankind is located in the building of the former civil hospital, a fine example of the neo-classical architecture of the archipelago. Renovated, in addition to the natural wealth of Tenerife, the museum presents the best collection concerning the Guanche culture, the first occupants of the archipelago before the arrival of the Spaniards.
The museum also has a documentation centre, library, shop, restaurant and gardens.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm, 10am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays. Closed on Monday. Admission: 5€, free for children.
Municipal Museum of Fine Arts
Calle José Murphy, 12. Plaza del Principe. Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The museum has fourteen rooms, mainly exhibiting pictorial works. You can admire among others the “Saint Joseph” of Ribera or the “Portrait of Fernando Viscaí” by Joaquín Soralla as well as works by Canarian artists such as Cristóbal Hernandez, Quintana and González Méndez…
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 8pm, until 3pm on weekends and public holidays. Free admission.
García Sanabria Park
Rambla de Santa Cruz,’ 95. Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Located on the edge of the old part of the city, the garden has an important sculpture collection in its showroom. In this place where the works of contemporary artists, palm trees and tropical plants live side by side, you can admire the creations of Spanish and foreign artists such as Henry Moore, Joan Miró and Oscar Dominguez.
San Cristóbal de la Laguna
Founded at the end of the 15th century, San Cristóbal de la Laguna was the first capital of Tenerife in 1823. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it housed the first University of Tenerife in 1701. A city steeped in history, it is home to numerous seigniorial houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
A major ecclesiastical center of Tenerife, San Cristóbal is endowed with many important religious buildings including the Cathedral built on what was once the parish church of los Remedios in 16th century Mudéjar style.
Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife
Casa de Carta. Calle el Vino, 44. Guerra Valley. San Cristóbal de la Laguna.
The museum is dedicated to understanding the relationship between history, tradition and the present. To better present the culture and history of Tenerife, the museum has two centres: Casa Lercaro, located in Calle San Augustin, which traces the socio-economic and cultural development of the island from the 15th to the 20th century.
As for the seigniorial house Casa de Carta, a typical Canarian building from the 18th century, it allows visitors to admire costumes, furniture, ceramics, basketry and traditional musical instruments.
Opening hours: every day from 10am to 5pm. General admission: 5€. Tel: (+34)922 54 63 00.
Plaza Fray Albino. San Cristóbal de la Laguna.
Built on the site of a Mudejar parish church, the cathedral underwent several transformations from the 17th century to its present form acquired at the beginning of the 20th century.
Opening hours: open every day from 8:30am to 4:45pm then from 5:30pm to 8pm. Free admission.
The town of La Orotava, stretches its length in a valley covered with banana plantations in the north-central part of the island, its communal territory also includes a large part of the park of Teide.
Classified as a historic-artistic monument, its city centre has beautiful monuments and buildings such as the church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and the Casas de los Balcones, which are among the masterpieces of traditional Canarian architecture. The Casas de los Balcones are home to the Eladio Machado Handicrafts Centre and the Centre for Documentation and Research on Crafts in Spain and America.
The city also has two gardens: Victoria and the Hijuela del Botánico, which have tropical plants from Australia, Africa and South America.
Nestled in the heart of the rich valley of La Orotava, a few kilometres from Puerto de la Cruz, the small town offers seaside and nautical activities as well as hiking in the hinterland, from which it can be the starting point.
Thanks to windsurfing, the beaches of La Fajana, El Soccoro and Castro boast beautiful stretches of sand lined with black cliffs.
Its churches in Santiago (15th century) and La Concepción are examples of Canarian architecture.
Puerto de la Cruz
A first-class seaside resort, Puerto de la Cruz is situated in the north of the island. Its tradition as a resting town has given it many places to stay, hotels and tourist residences.
Its animation is mainly concentrated on the quays around the port and the seafront as well as in the surroundings of the Plaza del Chacro, places where bars, restaurants and terraces are concentrated. Place of interest: Lago Martiánez, a pool complex designed by the Canarian architect César Manrique. On the beach side, the Playa Jardín and Playa Martiánez beaches spread their volcanic sand just a stone’s throw from the centre.
Icod de los Vinos. Wind Cave
Renowned for its windy cave Icod de los Vinos owes its name to the importance of vine cultivation from the 16th century onwards. Located in a valley of the north-western part of the island between sea and volcanic mountains near the Teide-Pico gorges.
Icod’ s” wind cave” is one of the largest volcanic tunnels in the world whose ramifications have not been explored. This cave was born from the first eruption of the Pico Viejo about 27,000 years ago and owes its name to the winds that cross it. Declared a site of community interest, it includes strange geological phenomena, terraces of ancient lakes and lava cascades, stalactites… Visits are made by appointment. General admission: 16€.
Located south of Tenerife, between the Teide massif and the ocean, Arona is rich of a coastline with 15 kilometers of beaches among which those of Los Cristianos and Las Américas from which the bus line 342 leaves for the entrance of the Teide park.
As an architectural and religious heritage, the town houses the hermitage of San Antonio, a parish church with local sculptors. The Virgen de la Concepciòn, San José and Cristo de la Salud are among these works.
In the extreme south of the municipality, Las Galletas, with its marina, is equipped with luxury residential complexes and leisure areas.
Ruta del Vino. Tacoronte
The Tenerife Wine Route allows you to discover the great wine-growing region of the Canary Islands archipelago.
These vineyards, mainly made up of red wines, are mostly located on the seaside in volcanic areas and most of them benefit from the registered designation of origin Taronte-Acentajo.
This itinerary also gives a glimpse of many other places, including beaches such as El Rincón, La Arena or El Prix, the stately homes of San Cristóbal, religious buildings or the Teide Park and of course, the Canary Islands gastronomy.
Tacoronte, Tegueste, El Sauzal, La Orotava or San Cristóbal are just a few of the places in an epicurean route that takes you on a tour of both large estates and small family farms.
On the program: tasting classes, commented tastings, visits to wine presses, vineyards and wineries.
Contact: Asociación Ruta del Vino de Tenerife. Plaza del Cristo, 8. Casa de la Cultura 1a planta. Tacoronte. Tel.: (+34)922 56 40 66. Fax: (34)922 57 07 75.
Teide National Park
The largest and oldest of the Canarian parks is dominated by the Teide Peak, the last eruption of which dates back to the late 18th century. Situated in the heart of the island, the park was created in 1954 to protect its impressive landscapes of incredible shapes and colours, as well as the plant and animal diversity it harbours. The Teide Park is also distinguished by optimal conditions for astronomical observation.
At an altitude of 3178 metres, Mount Teide, which occupies the centre of the park, is the highest peak in Spain. Permits are required to climb the only path connecting the Rambleta, accessible by cable car, to Teide Peak.
Access: 2 buses lead to the park entrance: line 348 from Puerto el Cruz to the north of the park and line 342 from Las Américas beach to the south-west of the island.
A cable car takes you to La Rembleta at an altitude of 3555 meters, then a hiking trail climbs up to the summit, for which a permit is required.
VISITS AND EXCURSIONS
Tenerife – From 19 €
Tenerife – From 50 €
Tenerife – From 97 €
Tenerife – From 104 €
Tenerife – From 106 €
Tenerife – From 120 €