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Towns & Villages in Tenerife

For those who want to really experience the islands life, then take an excursion or hire a car and visit some of the towns and villages of the Island. Nothing is to far away on Tenerife and so several of the places listed below can easily be visited in between days on the beach.

Towns & Villages in Tenerife
Experience the real Tenerife.

These are the places where you will see real Tenerife life, eat real Canarian food and see scenery you will remember for the rest of your life.

For the purposes of this guide we have started in the North West of the Island at Buenavista, then down the West Coast to Los Cristianos then up the East Coast to Santa Cruz then along the North Coast back to Buenavista.

Western Tenerife.

Buenavista Del Norte
The Teno Massif Rural Park, which is one of the oldest geological formations on the Island, takes up the majority of this Municipality. Being very fertile, the area is primarily involved in agriculture and farming, producing good quality crops and livestock. You could until recently stop at the roadside and buy goats cheese straight from the goat herders cottage.

Wood, straw and cane are further examples of the craft products important to this region. Explore the town itself, which still retains its Canarian traditions alongside Andalousian influences and is well worth a visit, and don't miss going out to the Teno lighthouse to the west of the town for its spectacular views.

Masca
'Barranco de Masca' is somewhere everyone should visit when in Tenerife. It is a small picturesque village, set in a very steep lush valley that leads down to the sea. The road is quite narrow with sharp bends and is a little hazardous in places, but you can be assured of an unforgettable experience.

On the way down you will pass vineyards, waterfalls, cliffs and see some magnificent scenery, and you will wonder at how the tiny houses manage to cling to their precarious positions dotted in and around the valley. Because it is such a popular tourist' attraction you may find parking a little difficult, so get there early to avoid disappointment.

Santiago Del Teide
Santiago del Teide is high above Santiago Port. The drive down from the town down to sea level is both picturesque and exiting. This is a typical Canarian town and a wonderful place to wander around. Picturesque places for excursions are Acantilado, Masca, Tamaimo and the high Cherfe - a tourist vantage point with magnificent sights. Sports, fishing and hunting are also popular in this area.

Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes rests at the foot of the Teno mountain range with the beach and harbour area set at the foot of the spectacular cliffs. The harbour area has some lovely shops, bars and restaurants along one side and there is also a popular Lido on the sea front. Los Gigantes is a very pretty resort nestling between the area's natural rocky confines and the Atlantic Ocean.

It has a climate that is second to none in the Canaries, some beautiful scenery and many amenities. Right next to the public beach is the marina, where you will find an array of private boats and yachts moored alongside the boats which take visitors out to see the dolphin and whale colonies which live between the west coast of Tenerife and the neighbouring island of La Gomera.

Puerto de Santiago
Between Playa de la Arena and Los Gigantes, the resort is rather sprawling, a mixture of homes, hotels and apartments. As you would expect from a tourist resort, there is an assortment or bars, shops, restaurants, a post office, but little in the way of nightlife. As there is a large number of locals resident in the area you'll find some excellent Canarian food available in the traditional restaurants.

Like Los Gigantes, the roads throughout Puerto Santiago are very hilly and may not be suitable for the elderly, the infirm or wheelchair users. Rocky area good for snorkelling.. It was a quiet resort with a village atmosphere but there is still lots to do you'll find a small fishing port but you're limited in terms of beaches and there is little in the way of nightlife.

Puerto de la Arena
For a relatively small resort, Playa de la Arena boasts a diverse array of bars and restaurants of all shapes and sizes. Although 'nightlife' in the sense of clubs and discos, undoubtedly exists, s on a much smaller scale than the larger resorts in the south. Playa de la Arena's beach has gentle gradient and often calm waters which are generally safe for children. This is a good centre for holidays with the children and is in an area that offers many excellent excursions.

Guia de Isora
Guia de Isora is a prominent agricultural production centre for tomatoes and bananas. When travelling up to the Volcanic splendour of "Teide" from here, one can enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Southern part of the Island. The once arid landscape of the Isora Badlands has been transformed into fertile farmland.

In November the festival of the Volcano commemorates the eruption of Chinyero, and is the perfect opportunity to taste the local specialties. Again another lovely Canarian town, cooler than on the coast and always has a feeling of being spacious and bright. As with all of these towns a good wonder around brings its rewards.

San Juan
Playa de San Juan is situated on West coast. This small town has a growing tourist market but still retains is Spanish roots. Dark sand beach and good swimming. A car is recommended to visit other parts of island. Playa San Juan has retained its Spanish roots and a lively fiesta lights up the resort in early August when the Virgen del Carmen is taken down to the fishing boats amidst dancing and fireworks.

A fishing harbour a market and new development over recent years has transformed this resort. A new 5 star hotel and golf course not to far from San Juan has upgraded the whole area.

Callao Salvaje
A residential area of detached villas but increasing its tourist and holiday home facilities all the time. It is a few miles North West of Las Americas and Los Cristianos and has one of the best and steadiest climates on the islands. There is a small, basic beach and quite a few bars and restaurants along the seafront. It is very handy for the main resorts, but is a much more peaceful and tranquil area.

Playa Paraiso
This is a tourist resort through and through. Previously there were really just four high rise hotels that populated the resort although steady growth has seen an increase in development with a better info structure now existing. There is a beach-cum-pool that you have to pay a little to get into but it is very nice.

The climate here is great and just a few minutes drive away is Las Americas and Los Cristianos. It is a lively little place at night with a selection of restaurants and bars on offer, some of which provide live music from the Las Americas cabaret circuit.

Southern Tenerife.

La Caleta
A small quiet Spanish fishing village and now resort, great snorkelling cove with flat rocks into deeper water. Clear water over small flat reefs. Located in the South of island La Caleta is, a growing resort with many bars and restaurants. You can have a pleasant and scenic walk by heading to Playa de las Americas, along the coast path and through the exclusive resort of Playa del Duque.

The path goes all the way to Los Cristianos. If you walk in the opposite direction, away from Playa de las Americas, you will find rough trails along the coast to a couple of quiet coves used by both nudists and non nudists.

Adeje
Adeje is a fairly large very pretty town built on a gentle slope heading up to the mountains. The tree lined main street has an interesting selection of shops, bars and excellent restaurants. It is mainly an agricultural town, traditionally dedicated to banana and tomato harvests. Its coast "Costa Adeje" has seen the development of some of the best resorts on the island such as Torviscas, Fanabe, Del Duque and Playa de Las Americas.

Adeje is also the location of the famous "Barranco del Infierno", an impressive gorge with greatly steep walls, decorated by amazing vegetation which rarely lets sun-light through. Several burial caves used by the Guanches have also been found.

Puerto Colon
Another part of Las Americas that is particularly worth visiting is Puerto Colon. The Marina at Puerto Colon has a real feel of rich exclusivity to and is an attractive place where you can browse around the shops, then have a meal or drink while enjoying the view over the adjoining beach or over the yachts moored in the marina itself. It is the South of the Islands main focus for boat/yacht excursions and fishing trips.

Las Americas
Playa de Las Americas is the main tourist area on the island and is very busy & exciting place. Here you will find everything you need for your holiday in the sun. There are restaurants with cuisines from most parts of the world, Bars, Discos and Nightclubs abound.

There are several beaches here, some small secluded ones as well as many with long stretches of white fine sand, these beaches stretch for many kilometres. Las Americas is definitely the tourist centre that's the favourite with the party set. So here you are, sunbathe all morning, swim all afternoon, drink and dance all night and there's still lots more if you can take it.

Las Cristianos
It was a small picturesque fishing village on the South coast and has become a magnificent all year round resort because of its climate, location, hotel facilities and a fish quay where you'll find an active fleet of small fishing boats. Its magnificent Playa de las Vistas beach is one of the biggest and best on the island. From the busy Port there are daily departures of ferries and hydrofoil to the islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

From the inner harbour boat trips and excursions depart for coastal trips, to see the Whales and Dolphins and a wide range of excursions. Because the town is based on a fishing village the centre has more charm and has made it a top tourist resort. At night Los Cristianos retains a much quieter and more sophisticated charm than its neighbour Las Americas.

Arona
Arona town is the administrative centre for the Municipality of Arona. The town itself is a wonderful Canarian town/village and well worth a visit in its own right. There are some really good restaurants and the scenery surrounding the town is magnificent. The town, which is about a twenty minutes drive on the main access route heading up Mt. Teide, gives its name to one of the most important tourist areas in the island. Its coastal plain includes some of the islands top resorts.

Vilaflor
Vilaflor is the highest village in the Canaries at 1,400 metres above sea level. It is a beautiful, quiet and welcoming place located on the edge of the pine forest. It has its own unique architecture with its winding streets and carefully looked-after facades to the characteristic Canarian houses. Visitors making their way from the South of the Island up the Volcanic Mt. Teide, will find the road takes them around the village, but stop!

Do not miss the opportunity to visit this memorable place. In the highest part of the village is the San Pedro church with the quiet paved village square leading up to the church entrance. Vilaflor is also famous for its local cheeses and wines. Mineral Waters extracted from the springs in Vilaflor are bottled for consumption throughout the Island and lets not forget the abundance of flowers that give the village its name.

Valle San Lorenzo
Valle San Lorenzo is a typical Canarian mountain town. It enjoys spectacular views down the mountain and over the banana plantations to the sea. Valle San Lorenzo is renown for the quality and quantity of its excellent restaurants.

It is a real thriving and beautifully located town and can provide you with a first class evening out away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas. (See our places to eat guide for recommendations). As you pass through the town into the countryside you will be heading for San Miguel de Abona 15minutes away, but what a pleasurable journey you will have.

San Miguel de Abona
San Miguel de Abona a municipality town where agriculture dominates, with Grapes, Bananas, Tomatoes, Almonds, Figs and many more fruits and vegetables being grown. The Church Square is a wonderful peaceful haven with views across the countryside down to the sea.

The culture of Fiesta, Fireworks and Romerias that are embraced by the people who live in this area are wonderful to be part of, and your presence is always welcome. San Miguel de Abona is linked with the TF1 superhighway and has an interchange south of San Miguel de Abona and north of its beaches as well as being situated on the old highway linking Arona, Valle San Lorenzo, San Miguel and Granadilla then following the old route to Santa Cruz.

Las Galletas & Costa Del Silencio
Costa del Silencio is situated in the south of Tenerife and is one of the leading resort areas on this popular holiday island. It as was one of the very first parts of Tenerife Sur to be developed for tourism. A visit to the nearby village of Las Galletas rewarding, boasting some fine restaurants.

There are a number of superb boutiques offering good value fashion ranging from typically Spanish to designer wear. Las Galletas was a traditional fishing village with a small harbour and is a popular destination for Spanish and British tourists. It still retains it old charm but with new development updating some of the harbour area. Select a Tapas bar and just sit and watch life while drinking one of the many freshly squeezed juices freshly squeezed fruit juice or chilled beer.

Los Abrigos
Los Abrigos fishing village has a lovely small harbour that has been recently updated and a thriving fishing industry. As you would expect it is completely full of the most wonderful fish restaurants most with views across the sea and along the coast. A popular destination for Spanish tourists, this is the place for an almost unlimited choice of the best freshly caught fish available. Not only that it's a village that you will not tire of returning to again and again.

El Medano
El Medano - a wind surfing paradise, with its fine golden sand, and its quiet beauty, is one of the best places on the planet to learn and to perfect you wind surfing skills. The town is mostly residential but its holiday homes and hotels are expanding with demand. Its long sandy town beach is backed with an esplanade of wooden walkways with shops, restaurants, surfing shops and a pleasant town square.

At the one end of the beach a short walk around the base of Montana Roja brings you to the two kilometre long Tejita beach, visit once and you will probably not want to go anywhere else to sunbath and swim. Although there is no nightlife to speak of, there is a large town square alongside the beach where you can sit outside the Tapas bars and some wonderful restaurants and have we promise you some very special evenings here.

Granadilla
Here is a typical, picturesque, Canarian town that benefits from a wonderful coastal views and a rich farming hinterland. It is a very important agricultural centre with some of the best citrus fruit on the island being grown in the surrounding areas. Oranges and Lemons are plentiful as are a wide variety of vegetables and of course grapes.

One of the main routes to go up to the Volcano passes around the edge of the town. Please stop and visit this special place with its lovely churches, old Canarian hotels, quality restaurants and Tapas bars as well as a good quality Canarian shopping experience. Granadilla is proud of its past and has restored one of its oldest streets and houses to there former glory, making it a joy to walk down. One of the houses having been turned into a living museum showing its proud former life.

Eastern Tenerife.

Arico
Arico is framed by pine groves and has a long history. The famous Chasnera Stoneware was made nearby and one of its old seaports Poris de Abona is where the stoneware was shipped from. It is believed that in the past, that fire from the stone furnaces caused an enormous forest fire burning massive areas of forest.

Arico is a very Spanish town, quiet and mainly agricultural. Grapes are one of the main crops and there are some excellent wineries in this Municipality. Canarian wine is truly excellent and can compete with anything produced in other areas of the European Community.

Poris de Abona
Positioned East of the Parque Ecólogico and north of the wind farm. Poris has had a sleepy feel outside major holidays times as many of the apartments the town are used as weekend homes for Canarian families from urban areas in the north. New holiday developments are now making this part of the coast very desirable.

Poris boasts a short but very smart promenade as well as two pleasant, sheltered sandy beaches and an unusual but ideal sun bathing area. Swimming and snorkelling are popular here and an undeveloped headland Punta de Poris just south of town features a picturesque lighthouse perched on rocks.

Fasnia
Fasnia is the name of a municipality, town, and valley in the eastern part of Tenerife. Its economy is based on agriculture and tourism in that order. The southern part of the area is farmland, coastline and valley areas, while the mountains dominate much of the northern part of the municipality. The area has some industry: linen cloth and wool weaving, and the growing of wheat, barley, as well as a major source for the island of honey and wax.

Guimar
Lying in the valley of the same name, in startling surroundings, with great ravines and remarkable, deep gorges. The town is the home of the Pyramids de Guimar excavated by Thor Heyerdahl and turned into a centre showing the wonderful adventures of this great archaeologist and explorer.

Although the area was basically arid valley, it has been transformed by local inhabitants into a rich green area producing bananas, potatoes, vegetables and fruits. To the south of the town lies the Port of Guimar with its harbour, beaches and yachting centre. This port area is much loved by the locals and is a wonderful place to visit on a Sunday morning when the local population put the beach and breakwater to good use.

Arafo
Arafo is a municipality of the north-eastern part of the island of Tenerife. Business, tourism, and limited agriculture are the principle drivers of Arafo's economy. The urban area and some farmlands dominate the coastline; the majority of farmland rests in valley areas, while mountains, grasslands, and forests lie to the west.

Candelaria
This is a place of pilgrimage where one finds the Basilica where the Islands' Virgin Patron is worshipped and 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.

The church of the 'Black Madonna' is situated on a beautiful square on the beach front, which is also the home of statues of the islands previous 'Guanche Kings' these wonderful statues being spaced along the esplanade creating a very powerful image. The beach consists of three small, sheltered coves at one end and a long beach backed by a modern boardwalk at the other.

Northern Tenerife.

El Rosario
El Rosario is a municipality of the north-eastern part of the island of Tenerife. Its economy consists of business, tourism, and some agriculture. Tourism is mainly confined to its coastline. The farmlands are mainly in the valley areas with the forests and grasslands up in the mountainous regions.

Santa Cruz
The Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife comprises of Tenerife and some of the other islands in the archipelago, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. Santa Cruz is an important harbour, connecting trading routes between Europe, Africa and America. Santa Cruz offers historical, scientific and anthropological museums, as well as art galleries, cinemas and multi-cinema complexes, cultural centres and theatres. Anaga Natural Park, with its uniqueness and beauty deserve to be visited.

The city is steeped in history, is still Spanish through and through and is the centre of cultural activities on the island. It has a very lively place offering a shopping experience to match any city in Europe. The new Auditorium near Castillo de San Juan and the adjacent swimming, sunbathing and leisure complex are tourist favourites and just a short walk from the shops and cafes. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a beautiful port close to wide avenues, squares and exotic landscaped areas, not forgetting some beautiful examples of modernist architecture.

Every year, the island capital dresses in its best to welcome the Carnival, declared to be of international tourist interest and one of the most spectacular in Spain. The capitals privileged setting allows you to enjoy beautiful beaches such as Las Terrasitas, or visit a selection of attractive parks in which you can relax, or go to the Spanish ballet and flamenco extravaganzas. These are just some of the attractions available. If your cash is burning a hole in your pocket there are two casinos where you can have a flutter.

Tegueste
The town of Tegueste is situated in the north-eastern area of Tenerife and is known for its wonderful climate and its natural richness . Agriculture is one of its main resources.

Still in existence in the area are very old leafy forests allowing rural tourism to be practiced. The spectacular annual Romeria takes place on the nearest Sunday to the 25 th April and is a celebration of the rural life and a tribute to the protection of Santo Patrono.

La Laguna
The city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna has justifiably been declared a World Heritage site. It is Tenerife's second city and remains the religious and cultural centre of the island. The city is full of outstanding architecture including palaces, monuments and traditional houses of earlier centuries.

The religious importance can clearly be seen by the outstanding Cathedral, the Santo Domingo and the Concepción Church - a historical and artistic monument. The Ossuna Museum, the Friends of the Country Economic Society Museum, as well as in the cathedral and churches is where an abundance of wonderful art can be seen.

Tacorante
Renowned for its vineyards, which produce some of the best wines of the entire archipelago, Tacorante was awarded the first certificate of origin granted on the island, recognition of the quality achieved by its growers and wine makers.

There are several Bodegas and tourist centres dedicated to the vine, all worth a visit. Most of the farmlands are in the valley areas, and the farmers markets are always well worth a visit, wonderful produce, low prices and the experience of true Canarian way of life. Tacorante is a town full of lovely old Canarian buildings lovingly cared for and is a joy to stroll around.

El Sauzal
The city centre of El Sauzal rises above the coastal cliff with excellent views of the sea, and spreads out around the town square, with its attractive gardens and fountains. Close by is the Culture Centre which has a library and auditorium. The restored Consistorial House shows close ties to the traditional Canarian architecture. As with many other towns and villages the fiesta's and religious celebrations play a significant part in the life of the town.

La Matanza
La Matanza de Acentejo is located on the north coast of Tenerife. The population are mainly urban today and its industry is mainly agriculture and tourism. Much work is being carried out to enhance the Municipal Building and gardens as well as the esplanade being improved and additional parking provided reflecting the growing popularity of this town.

La Victoria
La Victoria de Acentejo was named after a victory by the Spanish in the late 15 th century. Located on the north coast of Tenerife its industries are agriculture and tourism. Much of the area were made up of farmlands but with the population living mainly in urban areas.

Santa Ursula
Situated near the North Coast of Tenerife, Santa Ursula is known for its wines and for its small 17 th century church. Santa Ursula was named to the devotion of a British virgin who in the 1950's was eliminated from the Catholic Churches calendar of saints days. This order was never implemented in the Canary Islands where Santa Ursula still remains a figure of devotion.

Puerto de La Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz is the main tourist resort of the north of the island. The Martianez beach and its excellent natural pools are found here. Puerto de la Cruz has magnificent hotels, night clubs with international attractions, excellent restaurants and cafés as well as other tourist facilities, which all contribute to giving it a busy air.

At the Taoro Park, where the Casino is situated, you can see the Botanical Garden (which dates from 1788) featuring trees and other vegetable species from every continent. One of the islands internationally famous attractions, Loro Parque, which no one should miss, is also located at Puerto de la Cruz. On a clear day spectacular views of Mount Teide can be seen from the resort. Puerto de la Cruz started life as a small fishing village and grew into a major tourist resort.

Unlike the dry and arid south, which at that time had no tourism, the north was, and still is, very green and lush. The town boasts many good quality hotels and plenty of bars and nightlife, there is a very large open-air seawater swimming pool in the town, which is called the Lago de Martianez. It is very impressive and only a short distance from the sea itself, where there is plenty of room to both swim and sunbathe.

La Orotava
The Village lies amongst the banana plantations of the Valley which bears its name. This old town is a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike with its magnificent architectural structures, with well shaded Canarian patios, squares and ancestral houses. The Parish Church is considered a national monument.

The house of balconies should not be missed and is a wonderful example of the Island's traditional architecture. On the Mountains surrounding La Orotava there are tourist paths where you can enjoy walking either alone or on organised excursions - some of which reach the great Cañadas del Teide, a protected National Park area. La Orotava has three beautiful dark-sand beaches - El Bollullo, Martín Alonso and El Rincón.

Los Realejos
Lying on the lower slopes of the Las Cañadas del Teide mountain range and mainly agricultural, it settles among lovely scenery of banana-trees and cultivated fields, in fact the whole area is one of outstanding natural beauty. There are several coves and beaches the best known being the beautiful black-sand beach at El Socorro which is ideal for surfing.

A visit to Los Realejos should include the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, and the Parish Church of Santiago, dating from 1498 and the oldest one on the island. The Fiesta's, Fireworks and Romeria are fully embraced by the population and are second to none on the island.

San Juan de La Rambla
A small town probably less visited than some of its larger neighbours, but well worth the effort. Its located along the top of the coastal cliffs but will reward your efforts to go there, as San Juan de La Rambla is a beautiful little town. Below the town there are several little coves as well as the little fishing village of Las Aguas.

La Guancha
La Guancha is a quiet village located on the North coast of the island. It is one narrow strip in its inner section occupied by the Teide National Park of and the forest with his masses of pine trees. A Charming small Canarian village ideal for those seeking a quieter holiday or just a quiet day out. If you like horse riding or walking then this is the area for you. The village has a small choice of shops, restaurants and bars. Less sunshine than in the south of the island but with plenty on lush green scenery.

Icod de Los Vinos
A lovely town famous for its wines from the valley of the same name, considered by some to be a rival to La Orotava in terms of its attractiveness. It has become one of the most important vine growing areas on the island and can boast many quality Bodegas that will welcome your visit. Sights of interest are San Marcos Church, with its Renaissance portal and large Baroque retable, the Convent of San Agustín.

The famous Dragon Tree, a true marvel of nature and reputedly 3000 year old is now protected from the damage that was being caused by people 'wanting a piece' of the tree. San Marchos beach is nearby and is of good size, with good sand. Icod is a busy interesting town and well worth a visit.

Garachico
Garachico is a very picturesque village resort on the Northern coast of Tenerife, well to the west of Puerto de la Cruz. At one time Garachico was be the most important harbour for the island, used for exporting wine amongst other things, however a Volcanic lava flows in 1706 partially blocked the harbour leaving it unusable.

See the church of Santa Ana and the rock pools created by the lava flow. It is a beautiful place with fine architecture and interesting sights, such as San Miguel Castle and the parish church. The beach is black-sand and there are natural pools at El Caletón. Garachico along with Buenavista and Los Silos forms the 'Low Island'.

It is a quiet historical village and is practically a living museum being well known as a 'craft' centre and Craft Fairs. The popular 'Romeria' (country feast) of San Roque has been declared of national tourist interest.

El Tanque
This is a beautiful part of Tenerife and is set in the highlands, although the farmlands are located in the valley areas. The mountains and the hills surround El Tanque and about 50% of the municipality falls into the category of protected landscape area. The whole area is blessed with spectacular scenery, woodlands, cottages and sites of scientific interest and should not be missed.

Los Silos
Los Silos is situated on the north coast approximately 30 Km west of Puerto de la Cruz. It is a typical Canarian village with cobbled streets. At its centre there is a square with café bar and bandstand where the locals congregate every day.

Around the square is the church, the town hall, the college of music and in nearby streets are a range of shops as well as bars and restaurants. The whole area is surrounded by lovely green lush vegetation. The coastal should also be visited and will reward your efforts.


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