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Flag of the Canary IslandsTenerife

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 golden.

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 there.

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 St.

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

La Laguna

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 Seminario Garden.

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.

La Orotava

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 of navigation.

Los Realejos

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.

Los Cristianos

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 a ferry.

Las Falletas
(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 beach.


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 tourist centre.

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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