Amidst natural surroundings of spectacular beauty at the foot of Mount Teide, surrounded by banana plantations and green mountains, facing the crystal blue Atlantic waters, Puerto de la Cruz offers its visitors a cosmopolitan atmosphere. After a century of tourism experience, today this charming fishing town retains all the flavour of a conurbation open to the sea and to every cultural background. Puerto de la Cruz brings together in attractive harmony both the traditional architecture of the island and the charming colour of the most typical and picturesque corners of the past. The streets of Puerto de la Cruz are constantly bustling with activity, with a leisurely atmosphere that beckons relaxation and rest; suggests visits and contemplation of its most traditional buildings; and invites the onlookers´ involvement in the festivities and local celebrations.
The town of La Orotava spreads across the immense valley of banana plantations from which the town gets its name. Full of historical buildings and other architecture of noble ancestry, it is without a doubt, an ideal place to come into contact with the local culture and traditions, the island´s history and its brilliant past. The old town centre, which has been declared in its entirety a Monument of National Historical and Artistic Interest, is home to architectural gems of noteworthy character. La Orotava has also known how to keep its traditions and every year, renews celebrations of great cultural interest and appeal. An example of these are those held to celebrate Corpus Christi, when the locals fill the streets with art, by covering them in spectacular carpets of amazingly colourful flowers and volcanic sand.
Location: 10 minutes or 5 km
Garachico is a town anchored on the edge of the Atlantic. One day, life stopped here when the town was buried by a raging volcano, the Trevejo Volcano. But after that fateful day in 1706, Garachico was born again from the ashes and today the town presents itself to us in all its charm, with unique architecture, in which not only churches and monasteries are offered from another time but also a number of private houses of great size, with large internal courtyards, enormous doorways and shady hallways which give the buildings a truly remarkable atmosphere. Garachico has always taken care of its environment and protected the most diverse cultural manifestations. For all these reasons, the Spanish government awarded the town the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, which was presented in 1980 by His Majesty the King.
Location: 30 minutes or 30 km
San Cristóbal de La Laguna, declared a World Cultural and Heritage Site by Unesco, has maintained its highly valued historic centre in an exemplary state of conservation. As well as important monuments and historic buildings, there is an important centre of commercial activity, offering the chance to buy souvenirs to remember your visit to the island: fashion, Tenerife wines, Canarian craftwork and typical gastronomical products. The city has an important university tradition, thus providing the liveliness and relaxed atmosphere of its countless tascas.
Location: 20 minutes or 25 km
Santa Cruz is a cosmopolitan, lively and bright city. It looks out onto the sea, is full of interesting sites and has a characteristic island character. The city is ideal for taking a stroll and relaxing along its avenues and pedestrian streets. Santa Cruz is above all a vibrant city, offering great cultural and leisure activities and a pedestrian shopping area. Its retail outlets offer all sorts of products and manufactured goods from all over the world, at very reasonable prices. The capital is also an exceptional example of how tradition and modernity can merge to create a clearly rich architectural mix, given that you may find very close to one another streets of a typical Canarian style, next to modern buildings. The cultural and leisure potential of Santa Cruz is extremely varied. Museums, art exhibitions and different types of shows take place throughout the year. Some of its gardens, squares and avenues are home to permanent sculpture exhibitions considered to be among the best in the world. And for the greatest music lovers, there are the concerts of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra considered to be among the most prestigious in Europe.
Location: 30 minutes or 35 km
The Tenerife Auditorium is the creation of architect Santiago Calatrava. This impressive piece of architecture has a huge sculptural impact and it is well known as a unique landmark. In addition to being an architectural masterpiece the Tenerife Auditorium also offers a wide variety of programmes. The variety of contemporary programmes, such as Tenerife Dance Music, Atlantic Jazz and World Music complement the more classical style of the Tenerife Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera and the Festival of Canarian Music.
Location: 30 minutes or 35 km
TEA, Tenerife Space for Arts opened its doors in October 2008. This cultural infrastructure has no precedent in the archipelago and comes with a decidedly contemporary vocation aimed at drawing together art generated by new technological changes in our society. The permanent collection includes the world’s largest collection of works from Tenerife’s most international artist Oscar Dominguez. But TEA also houses the Centre of Photography and an important part of the Island’s Library network. The impressive building was designed by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Virgilio Gutiérrez. Herzog and de Meuron are also responsible for great architectural works such as London’s Tate Modern; the Forum Building in Barcelona; the Allianze Arena in Munich and the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.
Location: 30 minutes or 35 km
The carnival in Puerto de la Cruz is one of the largest and most important on Tenerife. Every year its spirit of fun takes over locals and visitors alike, who easily get involved in this fiesta. Fancy dress balls, parades, galas and other unusual events, such as the traditional rally of vintage cars, the mask and high heels fun race or the election of a Drag Queen are just some of the outstanding events in its programme.
One of the most deeply-rooted and devoted traditions in Tenerife is the celebration of Easter, which takes centre stage in La Laguna, but which is also an important celebration in the towns Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, Garachico and Santa Cruz. The Easter Processions are always followed by a great number of churchgoers and general public including many tourists, who enjoy admiring the artistic nature of the religious statues even if they do quite not feel the religious fervour that spreads over the city. The “cofradias” are brotherhoods that carry the religious statues around the city to demonstrate not only their devotion to God, but also their cultural and social commitment to their town.
The celebration of Corpus Christi is one of the most deeply-rooted traditions in Tenerife. During the month of June various places around the island create elaborate carpets using flower petals and coloured sand from the Teide. These carpets depict religious scenes along which the procession of the Holy Sacrament finally passes. The carpets of La Orotava are the most famous followed by those of La Laguna. In La Orotava, which has the tradition of holding this celebration on the Octave and not the day of Corpus Christi, the carpets are of an exceptional artistic quality. The most spectacular is the one in the Town Hall Square which covers an area of almost 2000 square metres. La Orotava’s carpets are internationally known and thousands of admirers come to see this special event every year.