One of the main tourist destinations in the Canary Islands is its vibrant capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean right next to the Macizo de Anaga mountain range. In addition to magnificent beaches, this fun-filled city also provides its guests with an extensive range of architectural and natural sites. To enjoy your holiday in total comfort, we present the Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey, a luxury hotel with comfortable rooms and all the facilities necessary for an incredible getaway to the north of Tenerife.
The iconic resort on Tenerife with the best quality standards is at the height of all the treasures hidden on this so-called isla Picuda (i.e. beak-looking island; the name originates from Spanish “pico”, which means “a beak” in English). Hereunder we invite you to find its gems.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Tenerife
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To get to know Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it is better to start with a walking tour around the Plaza de España, where the main avenues of the city meet. Among the most imposing buildings the neoclassical seat of the Tenerife Island Council stands out with its interior decorated in an art déco style. The best place to inquire about attractions and activities is the municipal Tourist office, which is also located in the square.
Next to the plaza you will see the port, which is one of the most important ports in terms of maritime traffic, in both the country and in Europe. There is a small, old lighthouse on the old pier, which has been operating since 1836, and is a sign that this has been an important port for a long time.
If you leave Plaza de España and take Avenida de Bravo Murillo, you will get to the Plaza de la Iglesia (Church square). There you will find the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the main church in the city which was built in the 16th century and rebuilt between the 17th and 18th centuries. Its five naves exhibit banners captured by Admiral Nelson during his attack on the capital of the island, which occurred in 1797, as well as the Cross of Alonso Fernández de Lugo who gave the city its name.
The vicinity of the church houses several interesting buildings, including the Tobacco Company “La Tenerife” (1880), and traditional Canary Island houses.
Another nearby attraction is the Fountain of Morales (1838), located next to the Museum of Nature and Man, in a former civil hospital building from the 18th century. Taking the avenue that stretches along the dock, you will reach the amazing Auditorio de Tenerife designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.
In the vicinity one can also see the 17th century Castillo de San Juan Bautista (Castle of John the Baptist), also called Castillo Negro (Black Castle). However, this is not the only fortified building in Tenerife, since the island also boasts the Castlillo de San Cristóbal (1570) and the Castillo de Paso Alto, in which Admiral Nelson lost not only a battle but also his right arm in 1797.
Coming back to Plaza de España and going up the adjacent street, you will reach Plaza de la Candelaria, where stands the 18th-century monument of the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of the Canary Islands, after whom the square is named, made of white marble by Italian artist Pasquale Bocciardo. Here you can also visit the Palacio de Carta (1721-1752), a spectacular building with Mudéjar and Flemish features that was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1947.
It is also worthwhile visiting the emblematic Plaza del General Weyler– embellished with flowers and a fountain, the church of San Francisco – a baroque construction of 1680 located in the homonymous square, and the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts.
When planning a relaxing holiday, keep in mind the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. One of the most popular is Las Teresitas, located 7 km from the city centre. Also worth visiting are Las Gaviotas, covered with black sand, Roque de las Bodegas, surrounded by breath-taking cliffs, Benijo, located in a protected environment and considered one of the most beautiful places in the Canary Islands, Los Llanos, a small beach just 60 m long and 70 m wide, located a mere 2.5 km from Santa Cruz with gravelly black sand and moderate waves, and semi-urban Tabaiba with fine black sand and calm waters.
In addition, Santa Cruz boasts the César Manrique Maritime Park, a resort complex with saltwater pools occupying 22,000 m².
The capital of Tenerife offers much more than a traditional sun and beach holiday. In fact, those who wish to go hiking in the north of Tenerife should certainly try the Macizo de Anaga mountain range, which has some excellent trails for trekking.
Since we are talking about nature, you absolutely must check out the Teide National Park, the most important natural reserve on the island, which is 70 km away from the capital of the island. The park is centred on a volcano after which the park is named, and which is the highest mountain of Spain.
As for popular festivals in the northern part of Tenerife, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is without doubt the most emblematic event, since it is considered the second most famous and internationally renowned carnival in the world second only to that of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This festival is characterized by spectacular costumes and includes performances from Murgas, Rondallas and other musical groups and dancing troupes. In 1980, it was declared a Tourist Festival of International Interest and it attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Finally, it is important to remember that Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a great place to try traditional Canarian food such as Rancho canario (a typical stew with pork), wrinkly potatoes (Papas Arrugadas), the sauces called Mojos (especially Mojo Picon), and delicious fresh fish and seafood. On top of that, cabello de ángel or “angel's hair” cake, frangollo with honey (a traditional dessert made of corn) and pastries filled with sweet potato and almonds will please those with a sweet tooth.
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