The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary archipelago
- 2,053 square kilometres - and it has the shape characteristic
of a triangle. The island of eternal spring because of its
peerless climate is full of huge contrasts and has a great
variety of scenery in the different regions. A mountain chain
runs through its centre fro Anaga to Teno and on both of its
slopes there are large, exuberantly fertile valleys, among
them especially La Orotava and Gumar.
In the heart of the chain
there is a gigantic, natural crater, called Las Cañadas
del Teide, which is about 29 km across and has officially been
declared a National Park. It lies over 2,000 m above sea level.
North of the crater stands El Pico del Teide, a 3,718 m high
mountain, which is the highest point in Spain. It is snowcovered
in the winter and marks the island with its unique silhouette.
Tenerife has an extremely varied plant life, large, wooded
mountains, extensive areas where banana, tomato, potato and
other agricultural products are grown. Its coast is rocky and
lined by cliffs in some places, while in others there are beaches
with soft, clean sand, which are sometimes black and sometimes
The capital of the island and of the province is Santa Cruz
de Tenerife, which has 220,000 inhabitants. It is a cheerful,
light-filled, modern city on a gentle slope and it is open
towards the wide plains in the south. It is the seat of the
military headquarters, La Capitanía General de Canarias,
and Santa Cruz is known as a hospitable, cordial city. Beautiful
gardens, especially García Sanabria, the Municipal Park,
and busy streets make it easy for the visitor to feel at home
The port in a large bay surrounded by the steep cliffs of
the Anaga mountain chain is an important sea traffic and communications
centre between Europe, Africa and America. It is visited by
ships from all kinds of countries and numerous tourist cruises
make it their port of call throughout the year. It is the busiest
Spanish port as regards the movement of goods and it is among
the most important regarding the number of ships.
The whole city deliberately moves down towards the port and
comes to rest, though full of bustling activity, in the nearby
España and La Candelaria Squares. Around the latter
there are some of the important official buildings, such as
El Cabildo Insular, the island government building, where the
Archaeological and Anthropological Museum is found; Carta Palace
- a curious example of regional architecture and decoration,
dating from the 17C and today officially a Sight of Interest
to National Art and Architecture -, the Casino Principal, the
Monument to the Fallen and El Triunfo de la Candelaria are
also found in this area.
La Concepción's is the most important church. Its nave
and four aisles shelter interesting Baroque works of art and
most valuable reminders of Canary history. There La Cruz de
la Conquista, the Cross of Conquest, is kept together with
the flags taken from Sir Horace Nelson, the British admiral,
on the occasion of his unsuccessful attack on the fortified
city. Carta Chapel and the beautiful choir stalls, which are
found in the presbytery today, are also of interest to art.
Another church worthy of special mention is San Francisco's,
which is 18C Baroque next to a beautiful square.
On El Principe Square with its lush laurel trees, there is
the Municipal Museum of Paintings and Sculpture, with important
paintings by Ribera, B. Brueghel, Madrazo, Van Loo, etc., as
well as a department especially dedicated to Canary painting.
On Anaga Avenue, a beautiful, broad thoroughfare skirting
the port area of Santa Cruz, there is Paso Alto Castle and
its Military Museum - where objects reminiscent of the past
are kept -, a peaceful place for a walk near the Royal Yacht
Club of Tenerife, which lies in the vicinity of the Nautical
School and close to La Casa del mar. There is a magnificent
view of the bay.
The Provincial Public Library and the Provincial Office of
Records are found in La Casa de la Cultura, comodoro Rodin
Near the city centre, there are two Places of Interest to
National tourism: las Teresitas, with a 1,500m long, artificial
beach of golden sands, and Las Gaviotas. Especially noteworthy
is the picturesque Taganana are, with the El Roque and Almáciga
beaches of black sand.
The Reina Sofía International Airport - Tenerife Sur
- lies 60km from Santa Cruz and the Tenerife Norte Airport
is nine kilometres away. The capital is the point of departure
of the great southern motorway of the island, which links Santa
Cruz with the different places and tourist centres of that
area, and of the northern motorway, which leads to the important
tourist centre of El Puerto de la Cruz; 22km from the capital
lies Mount La Esperanza, covered with extensive Canary pine
forests. There is a road crossing over it leading to Las Cañadas
del Teide. On the way there are observation platforms with
breathtaking views of the islands.
Places of interest
It lies inland and is the most important town after Tenerife,
the capital. It lies in Aguere valley among magnificent countryside.
Picturesque walks take the visitor through silent, straight
streets with stately houses. Other places of great interest
are the university city, the 16C cathedral with interesting
carvings and paintings, La Concepción Church - officially
a sight of national importance -, the Institute, the Provincial
Library in the University, the Episcopal Palace and La Nava
Palace, San Francisco's, where El Santísimo Cristo de
La Laguna is worshipped, and the ancient Dragon Tree in El
Its township includes the Bajamar area and Punta del Hidalgo,
which are practically linked by El Arenal beach and form an
important tourist centre with lovely natural pools on the edge
of the sea. Near La Laguna, there is Mount Las Mercedes, which
has splendid vegetation of laurel and pine trees as well as
other Canary species. From the La Cruz del Carmen and Pico
del Inglés observation platforms, there are magnificent
views of the La Laguna plain and Anaga Sierra.
It is the centre of lovely La Orotava, a scenery of indescribable
charm. From La Cuesta de la Villa, there is a splendid panorama
of the valley and El Puerto de la Cruz. The place as a whole
is a beautiful sight, with beautiful gardens, balconies and
stately houses. Especially outstanding among its sights are
la Concepción's with its Baroque façade, San
Juan's and the Hermitage of El Calvario.
Also remarkable is the collection of hand-made objects of
the Canary Islands and of Spain, which can be admired in the
so-called Casas de los balcones, the Houses with the balconies,
two residential buildings of the 17C, built with the typical
resin-rich wood from the old pines of the island.
From La Orotava, it is impossible not to visit Las Cañadas
del Teide after crossing the upper part of the valley and the
forest of Aguamansa. It is a huge crater with a circumference
of 80Km at an altitude of 2,000 m. There are large piles of
lava of different colours, multicoloured ashes covered with
sand and pumice stone. This is the place where El Pico del
Teide stands amidst a scenery of great beauty. The Teide, with
its snowcapped top in winter, is one of the most widely known,
beautiful Photos of the archipelago. Ca cable car reaches
the summit in fourteen minutes. Las Cañadas del Teide
National Park is another visit of great interest. There is
a Parador in the park.
Puerto de la Cruz
It is the main tourist centre of the province and one of the
most important in Spain, with a marvellous climate. Martianez
beach and excellent natural pools are found on Colón
Avenue. Along the coast, the Martianez complex was built by
César Manrique and attracts many tourists. Puerto de
la Cruz has magnificent hotel establishments and others, night
clubs with international attractions, excellent restaurants
and cafés as well as other tourist facilities, which
all contribute to giving it a busy air. Numerous national and
international congresses and conventions are held there. Also
very interesting is the Acclimatization Garde, built in 1788
on the order of Carlos III. It lies halfway between La Orotava
and Puerto de la Cruz, to acclimatize plants and trees from
all over the world. A visit should also include San Felipe
Castle and the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña
de Francia as well as the Naval Museum of Iriarte House (in
the street of the same name), which shows the history and evolution
It lies among lovely scenery of banana-trees and cultivated
fields. A visit shoal include the Church of Nuestra Señora
de la Concepción, which has a magnificent Baroque retable
and a jasper font, the Parish Church of Santiago, dating from
1498 and the oldest one on the island, El Castro beach, etc.
There are many tourist housing developments and hotels.
Icod de los Vinos
A lovely place at the foot of the Teide, it is famous for
its wines from the valley of the same name, a rival in beauty
of that of La Orotava. Founded in 1501, it is a garden among
stately houses. Sights of interest are San Marcos Church, with
its Renaissance portal and large Baroque retable, El Cristo
de las Aguas in the Franciscan church, the Convent of San Agustín,
El Pilar Square, Los Dolores Chapel and the famous, age-old
Dragon Tree, a true marvel of nature. San Marchos beach is
large and has good sand.
It is like a pearl at the sea and used to be the most important
harbour of the island in other times. It is a very beautiful
place with interesting sights, such as San Miguel Castle and
the parish church. El Puertito is a black-sand beach and there
are natural pools at El Caletón.
It is picturesque village on the south coast and has become
a magnificent summer resort in winter, because of its position,
climate, hotel facilities and especially its magnificent beach
with clear, clean water and golden sand, and its yacht club.
From Los Cristianos, it is possible to reach La Gomera by taking
(Costa del Solencio=Costa of Silence)
There is a sheltered beach next to San Lorenzo valley and
a breathtaking view from Pint Rasca. In the vicinity, there
are excellent tourist housing developments and centres.
Granadilla de Abona
It lies in a rich area of the island, where the Best oranges
are grown, and it is a very important agricultural centre.
El Médano beach lies 11km away. It attracts many people
and has many housing developments, a 2km long beach of golden
sands and la Tejita beach. This is where the international
airport of Tenerife, the Reina Sofía Airport, lies.
A lovely, whitewashed and clean village facing the Guajara
summit. The beach of Los Abrigos, Chico and Abona.
It is a picturesque village surrounded by white hamlets in
a countryside full of rockrose, cacti and pine forests. On
top of the round, volcanic Fasnia mountain there is the Hermitage
of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. El Roque is a black-sand
It lies in the valley of the same name in startling surroundings,
with the great ravines of Chinico, El Coto, El Río and
Badajoz, remarkable, deep gorges. El Socorro and El Puertito
are beaches, with 1,600m of black sand and pebbles.
It is a place of pilgrimage where the throne of the Virgin
of La Candelaria can be seen. The image was destroyed in 1826
and replaced by a copy, which is kept in the basilica. Las
Caletillas beach consists of three small, sheltered coves,
where a remarkable tourist centre with good hotel faiclities
has grown up.
Playa de las Americas
it lies in the townships of Arona and Adje and must be mentioned
because it is of great importance as a first-class international
Santiago del Reide
This township includes the Centre of Interest to National
Tourism called Acantilados de los Gigantes (Cliffs of the Giants)
in surrounding of extraordinary beauty. There are a yacht harbor,
hotel establishments and other facilities.
It is famous for its wines and has several tourist centres.
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