Culture

HISTORICAL TOWNS

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is a cosmopolitan city that, backed by many years of experience in tourism, continues to maintain the essence of a village by the ocean with many cultures. Declared of Tourist Interest in 1955, Puerto de la Cruz, perfectly combines the traditional architecture of the island and the modernity of first-class hotels. It is also home to extensive and exquisite parks and the charming colours of the typical and picturesque corners of the small fishing village it once was.

The streets of Puerto de la Cruz are always bustling with a leisurely atmosphere that beckons relaxation and rest, peaceful strolls to view the traditional buildings, and participating in the popular festivities.

To enjoy the sea, this northern municipality has much to offer: intriguing coves with volcanic sand, the Lago Martiánez saltwater swimming pool complex, Playa Jardín beach and Punta Brava. Costa Martiánez, the work of the genius César Manrique, is a place where design and nature are blended to create a particularly beautiful setting. Visitors will also be impressed by the Loro Parque animal park and the Botanical Garden, which contains plant species from the five continents.

La Orotava

La Orotava overlooks the immense valley of banana plantations that shares its name. With its historic buildings and edifications of ancient lineage, this is without a doubt a place for discovering the culture and traditions of the islands, along with their history and brilliant past. The town’s historic quarter, declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in its entirety, contains unique architectural jewels.

La Orotava has maintained its traditions whilst updating, year after year, popular cultural celebrations such as the Corpus Christi festivities, in which residents fill the streets with art in the form of spectacular carpets made of colourful flowers and volcanic sand.

Located in a spectacularly beautiful natural setting, La Orotava is surrounded by banana plantations and the hillsides of Mount Teide National Park that feature a number of paths for incredible hikes through nature.

La Orotava’s coastline along the Atlantic Ocean boasts small, peaceful and solitary beaches that stand out for their volcanic sand. El Bollullo, Los Patos and Ancón are three coves where visitors can forget about everything.

Location: 10 minutes or 5 km

 

Garachico

Garachico is a village located on the shores of the Atlantic. One day, many years ago, the village came to a standstill when it was buried by an eruption originating from the Trevejo volcano. However, after that fateful event in 1706, the town re-emerged from the ashes and is now a charming destination with incomparable architecture that includes churches and convents from past eras as well as great homes with stunning façades, large courtyards and shaded corridors that are truly unique. 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

La Laguna

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has conserved its historic quarter extremely well. The streets of La Laguna’s city centre are filled with important monuments and historic buildings as well as countless shops from which to buy souvenirs, clothing, Tenerife wines, Canary handicrafts or local food products. The city, which has a long-standing university tradition, also boasts the lively and interesting atmosphere created by the many “tasca” pubs.

Location: 20 minutes or 25 km

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a cosmopolitan, cheerful and bright city. Located right on the ocean, it boasts countless sites and a special island feel that invites people to relax and stroll along its boulevards and pedestrian streets. Above all, Santa Cruz is a city that’s filled with life, many cultural and leisure activities, and a business district with pedestrian streets where shopping is enjoyable experience. The island’s capital is also a perfect example of how traditional and modern aspects can come together to form a rich architectural creation in which Canary-style neighbourhoods and streets are adjacent to buildings of great importance. The cultural and entertainment alternatives in Santa Cruz are extremely varied. Museums, arts and crafts exhibits and all types of performances are available throughout the year. The gardens, squares and boulevards house permanent exhibits that include some of the most prestigious sculptures in the world. Finally, people who love music can attend performances by the Tenerife Symphonic Orchestra, one of the most prestigious musical ensembles in Europe.

Location: 30 minutes or 35 km

MUSIC/MUSEUMS

Tenerife Auditorium

Located in the capital, Santa Cruz, the Tenerife Auditorium was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava and has a strong sculptural impact. In addition to the intriguing spaces and architectural structures, the Tenerife Auditorium offers a varied programme that includes multiple series such as Tenerife Dance, Atlantic Jazz, Music of the World, Among Friends and Great Performers, as well as seasonal performances by the Tenerife Symphonic Orchestra, the Opera and the Canary Islands Music Festival.

Location: 30 minutes or 35 km

TEA, Tenerife Space for Arts

The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA or Tenerife Space of Arts), which opened its doors in the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in October 2008, aims to become the artistic example of the Canary Islands. This new cultural establishment houses the largest collection in the world by Óscar Domínguez, a surrealist painter from Tenerife and the island’s most internationally famous artist, as well as a photography centre and the library of the Canary Islands network. The building was created by the architects Jaques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Virgilio Gutiérrez. Herzog and de Meuron are behind many emblematic buildings such as the Forum Building in Barcelona, the Tate Modern in London, the Allianze Arena in Munich and the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

Location: 30 minutes or 35 km

Archaeological Museum

The Puerto de la Cruz Archaeological Museum is located in a traditional 19th century home. The centre has an interesting collection of indigenous pottery and other household utensils as well as objects for religious, magical or funeral purposes. The tour begins with the recreation of a cave that served as a home for Tenerife’s first settlers and ends with another recreation, but this time of a Guanche (the island’s original inhabitants) burial cave.

Location: 5 minutes or 2 km

FESTIVALS

Carnival

Puerto de la Cruz’s Carnival is one of the oldest and most important in Tenerife. Each year, the fun spirit takes over locals as well as visitors, who readily join the party. Costume dances, parades, galas and original events such as the traditional vintage car rally, the entertaining “Mascarita ponte el tacón” men’s marathon in high heels, and the election of the drag queen are some of the most popular Carnival activities.

Easter Processions

The Holy Week celebrations represent some the most popular and devotional religious and cultural events. They are particularly important in La Laguna, but they also play a major role in Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, Garachico and Santa Cruz. The processions are followed by a multitude of believers and onlookers, many of them tourists, who admire the stunning artistry of the statues that form part of the religious fervour that permeates the city. The multiple brotherhoods, comprised by residents who pass down their roles from generation to generation, accompany the statues in a deeply religious procession that also conveys cultural, artistic and social aspects.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is one of the most deeply-rooted holidays in Tenerife. When June rolls around, the streets in various towns are closed to traffic and covered with colourful carpets made of flowers and coloured sand brought from Mount Teide. With religious themes, they mark the path for the procession of the Holy Sacrament. This festivity is particularly famous in the municipality of La Laguna and especially in La Orotava. In the case of La Orotava, which happens to celebrate the Octave in this manner as opposed to the Corpus Christi, the carpets are exceptionally artistic, especially the one that covers almost 1,000 m2 in front of the town council. The carpets of La Orotava are internationally famous and thousands of tourists travel to the village each year to witness this special event.