Boasting stunning volcanic landscapes, idyllic beaches and lively coastal resorts, the island of Tenerife has been and continues to be a popular tourist destination for those heading to Spain’s Canary Islands. However, there is much more to this enchanting island than its vibrant holiday atmosphere and those taking time to explore its cities and towns will be able to experience a rich cultural heritage that has been preserved for centuries.
Once belonging to the Kingdom of Castilla during the 15th century, Tenerife and its cities are home to a fascinating range of ancient castles, palaces, churches and stately mansions that bare testament to the island’s glorious past. Added to this are the many traditional style houses and plazas as well as the colourful local festivals which help give visitors a taste of what life was like in an age long ago.
Due to the popularity of the island, one will also be able to find a wide range of hotels and apartments in Tenerife that are within easy reach of these various cultural hotspots. These include family friendly accommodation options as well as those that offer self catering style living spaces.
A good place to start ones cultural tour of the island is at its capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This bustling port city has an extensive coastline and offers intrepid travellers plenty of sightseeing opportunities amidst its historical sites. Declared a national monument, the Palacio de Carta is worth a visit as are such ancient religious sites as the Iglesia de la Concepcion and Ermita de San Telmo. In order to truly experience the local culture one should plan to visit the city during its Carnival where various costumed parades and festivities offer a truly magical holiday setting.
Tenerife’s former capital La Laguna is an ancient city that offers visitors countless hours of exploration at its historical quarter which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since religion is entwined into Spanish culture, one should look to visit such sites as the 16th century Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady of Conception, both of which have museums as well. The Nava and Lercaro palaces showcase age-old architectural styles, while those visiting during the Festival of the Christ can experience traditional folk dancing and music.
Visitors finding accommodation at a Tenerife apartment or hotel on the island’s Northern side should make time to visit Puerto de la Cruz. This traditional style city is also rich in culture and is a great place to lose oneself amidst its charming streets and squares. The 17th century San Felipe Castle, Iglesia de Ntra. Sra. de la Pena de Francia and the Customs House are among the historical attractions one can visit here.
Concluding this quick tour of the cultural cities and towns of Tenerife is La Orotava. Surrounded by picturesque hillsides and the striking natural scenery of the Mount Teide National Park, the Orotava valley is where one will find such traditional villages as La Villa de la Orotava. The laidback atmosphere and breathtaking countryside form the perfect backdrop in which one can visit the Church of the Conception and the well known House of the Balconies.
An ideal destination for those looking to take in the rich culture of Spain, Tenerife with its historical architecture and ancient customs gives one a chance to experience a truly traditional style holiday. While accommodation can be easily found at various apartments and Hotels in Tenerife that are within easy reach of its cultural cities, one should look to book ahead especially during the summer season. For more in-depth information one can refer “Tenerife Cities and Their Cultural Treasures.”