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Many of the carnival, traditional and cultural events we list here are repeated regularly, so why not subscribe to our RSS feed or Subscribe by email to stay up to date with what's on. For more news and events, please like and follow our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Second Matron of Honour in Santa Cruz 2019 Ana María Gómez Aguilar



Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

Second Matron of Honour to the Senior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz 2019, was Ana María Gómez Aguilar, with the fantasy "Mumtaz Mahal", designed by Víctor Mesa Aguilar on behalf of DMB Peluqueros

Ana María Gómez Aguilar | Gala de la reina de los mayores | Carnaval SC Tenerife 2019

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Comparsa Los Tabajaras



One of my favourite components of carnival, comparsas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are said to be similar to the Brazillian Carnival Blocks, but actually appear to have more in common with the dancing, marching and drumming Samba Schools that have a strong community basis and are traditionally associated with a particular neighborhood.

Founded in 1983, Los Tabajaras have been participating in Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for 35 years and rehearse in the neighbourhood of La Salud.

Los Tabajaras | Comparsas adultas | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019

Find out more about Santa Cruz Carnival 2020which will take to the streets between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020. 

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Fifth Junior Maid of Honour in Santa Cruz 2019 Cynthia Gazmira Cubas Padilla

Cynthia Gazmira Cubas at the Carnival Main Parade Tuesday 5 March 2019

Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

Cynthia Gazmira Cubas Padilla was elected Fifth Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019, with the fantasy “¿Quieres bailar conmigo?” (Do you want to dance with me?), designed by Jonathan Suárez and representing electricity and reforms Hernández Padilla SL.

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Fourth Maid of Honour in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019 Raquel Iboleón Laynez

Raquel Iboleón Laynez in the Carnival Main Parade Tuesday 5 March 2019

Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

Raquel Iboleón Laynez was chosen as 4th Maid of Honour at the gala earlier this year, with a costume entitled “Al alba venceré” (At dawn I will conquer), designed by Daniel Pages, representing McDonald’s and La Opinión de Tenerife.



Raquel Iboleón Laynez | Gala de la Reina | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Tenerife Fiestas in October 2019

Patrulla Aguila on Día de la Hispanidad

On 12 October each year the Fiesta Nacional de España (Spanish National Day), also known as Dia de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Day) is celebrated across Spain and the Canary Islands. Since 2000, October 12 has also been Spain's Armed Forces Day, celebrated each year with a military parade in Madrid. It is a national public holiday.

In Tenerife for the Día de la Fiesta Nacional 2019 (Spanish National Day 2019), a concert of civic-military music and a Jura de Bandera (swearing allegiance to the flag) will be organized for civilian personnel in the Villa de Candelaria.


Civic-Military Music Concert

On Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m., in the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias in Candelaria a concert will be offered that will feature the “Las Candelas” Band and the Music of the Command of the Canary Islands. During the concert, in which the direction of the two musics will be alternated, pieces of the popular repertoire and pieces of military music will be offered, with the participation of War Band No. 2 of the "Canary" XVI Brigade.

Admission is free until seats are exhausted.


Flag swearing for civilian personnel

On Sunday, October 6, at 11:00 a.m., and in the same place, the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias of the Villa de Candelaria, a solemn act of Jura de Bandera (swearing allegiance to the flag) will be carried out for those civilian personnel who have requested it. 

There are the following Municipal Public Holidays in Tenerife in October 2019:

  • 7 October: Festival of Santísimo Cristo de la Salud in Arona
  • 14 October: Festival of Santa Úrsula in Adeje
  • 21 October: Festival of Santísimo Cristo del Calvario in El Tanque
  • 21 October: Festival of Santa Úrsula in Santa Úrsula
  • 25 October: Festival of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios in Buenavista del Norte

Tamaimo Hillclimb 2019


On Saturday 5 October, is the popular Tamaimo Hillclimb 2019 and two weeks later on Saturday 19 October is the Arona - La Escalona Hillclimb.



Subida a Tamaimo 2018

Image Nils van der Burg from Madrid, Spain [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Carnival Queen Candidate in Santa Cruz 2019 María Dolores Hernández González



Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

María Dolores Hernández González' costume is entitled, "LA EMPERATRIZ DE ROJO" (EMPRESS OF RED), designed by Víctor Mesa Aguilar, representing Arafo Town Hall.

María Dolores Hernández González | Gala de la reina de los mayores | Carnaval SC Tenerife 2019

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Third Junior Maid of Honour in Santa Cruz 2019 Karen Irene Acosta Almenara

Karen Irene Acosta Almenara at the Carnival Main Parade on Tuesday 5 March 2019

Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

Seven year old Karen Irene Acosta Almenara was Third Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz 2019, with the fantasy "La que ama a su isla" (She who loves her island) , designed by Daniel Pages and representing Carrefour and AA.VV. La Era y el Trigo.



Karen Irene Acosta Almenara | Gala Reina Infantil | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Pirates Attack Tenerife

Drake, Blake, Jennings and Nelson all attacked Tenerife

For the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sep 19), a Brit in Tenerife would do well to keep as quiet as possible, lest it be thought that they were a descendant of any of the many English pirates to have visited or attacked these shores.

During the 14th Century, pirates avoided Tenerife, since they heard hair-raising tales of the savagery of the inhabitants of the then, as yet, unconquered island, but almost as soon as the Spanish conquest was over, the island became a magnet for the many, mainly British, French and Dutch, pirates. The Canary Islands, due to their geographical position, became a compulsory stopover for the Spanish fleets on their way to and from the New World and because of their strategic location along these trade routes, Tenerife and its fellow Canary Islands, therefore, became sitting ducks for pirate attacks and skirmishes with foreign invasions. Galleons, which came back loaded with treasures from the American Continent, were often attacked by pirates protected by English and French crowns.

Robert Blake's flagship George at the battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1657
Image Charles Dixon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Francis Drake attacked Tenerife in 1586 and Gran Canaria in 1595. In 1656/7 Robert Blake, the English pirate, tried to conquer Tenerife and annex it to the English kingdom. On April 20 that year, Blake totally destroyed a Spanish silver fleet of 16 ships at Santa Cruz Bay, Tenerife. In 1706, Rear Admiral Sir John Jennings, with a fleet of 13 ships, tried to occupy Santa Cruz harbour, without success.

The most famous "pirate" to attack Tenerife was Horacio Nelson, whose failed attack on Santa Cruz on 25 July 1797 cost him his arm. Even British history claims that the admiral's intention was to destroy the ships, loaded with a large quantity of gold and silver, which were anchored in the port of Santa Cruz and would have bankrupted Spain.

Of course, it depends which side you're on whether you call these pirates and privateers, or historical icons and national heros, but it's a testament to how tough the local people are that none of them succeeded in invading or taking the island.

These days, it's mostly legless, rather than armless, English invaders in Tenerife.

But the constant cross-ocean naval movements between Spain and its American colonies meant ships laden with treasures and spices. Pirate flotillas began patrolling the stretch of ocean between the Azores and Canary Islands in the 16th century, and would continue to do so into the 17th, 18th and even 19th centuries. In their down time, these pirates would head for the islands where they robbed, burned down villages and killed islanders in search of wine and riches. This constant threat led to a militarization of the island.

Castillo de San Juan Bautista, popularly known as the Castillo Negro, in Santa Cruz.

Watch towers and castles were constructed in hopes of fending off bad-intentioned seafarers, villages were built out of sight from the coastline and, today you can still explore castles, forts and towers in Tenerife. Among those best preserved is the Castillo de San Juan Bautista (or Castillo Negro) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Route of the Castles

Visitors can go on a guided tour of the Castles in Santa Cruz with a little help from the History Museum. Reservations are necessary. Information from 922 825 949/43.

Castillo de San Felipe, Puerto de la Cruz Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Castillo de San Felipe, in Puerto de la Cruz, was also built to protect that town from attacks of pirates and corsairs. Built in 1634, it continued in its original use until 1878. Restored and in an excellent state of conservation, it is used for cultural events.

Castillo de San Miguel, Garachico

The Castillo de San Miguel in Garachico - which was the island's main port from the conquest, until the eruption of 1706 - was built between 1575 and 1577, during the reign of Phillip II. This Renaissance style fort, now property of the local council, is occasionally used for art exhibitions and contains a mini-museum of history of the area.

Research also shows that many Crypto-Jews [Jews who secretly practiced their religion after being forced to convert to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition] prospered when they cooperated with the local pirates who turned the archipelago into their main base.

Cristóbal de Ponte, founder of Garachico, financier of the conquest of Tenerife and father of Pedro de Ponte

The village of Adeje, prey to frequent Arab attacks, was also sacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, so fortification has played an important part in the development of the town. The fortified haciendaCasa Fuerte stands as testimony to the village's remarkable defensive structure. In 1555, Pedro de Ponte - son of Cristóbal de Ponte the Jewish merchant and banker from Genoa, who founded the town of Garachico - obtained permission from Spain to build the Casa Fuerte; a mixture of country house and fort, to protect his sugar-cane business from the incursions of British and French pirates on the coasts.

Casa Fuerte in Adeje - Image Adeje Town Hall

On several occasions, English corsair, John Hawkins, lived at the Casa Fuerte. Cousin of Sir Francis Drake and backed by Elizabeth I, Hawkins was the partner of Pedro de Ponte in the slave trade with America. One of the most flamboyant figures of the Elizabethan Age, having left his mark as a slave trader, privateer, rear admiral, double agent and noted shipbuilder, Hawkins made plans with his friends in the Canaries to break into the slave trade in Guinea. Pedro de Ponte would help provide the fleet with water and supplies, make necessary arrangements with merchants in the Indies, and find a skilled pilot to handle navigation. Hawkins would provide the ships and the capital.

The last member of the Ponte family to live in the Casa Fuerte was Marqués Don Domingo José de Herrera y Ayala, who died in 1766 and, although the Casa Fuerte is not open to the public, in 2007, Adeje council announced that it was in process of rescuing and digitizing its historic archives, documenting the history of the area between 1445 and 1931. The 86 meters worth of documents from the Casa Fuerte: more than 17,000 files and more than a million folio pages, must surely shed some fascinating new light on the history of, not only Adeje, but also of the island of Tenerife, as well as those of the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro during the 15th to 20th Centuries.

Plaza de Santo Domingo and Chuch of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in La Laguna
Image Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tomb of Amaro Pargo in the Church of
Santo Domingo de Guzmán in La Laguna
The tombstone of Amaro Pargo - one of the most renowned corsairs of the Golden Age of Piracy - in the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in San Cristóbal de La Laguna bears the unmistakable trademark of piracy: an engraved a skull and crossbones.

The Canaries' wealth invited frequent attacks by pirates and privateers.

The most significant attack on Gran Canaria took place in 1599, when the Dutch Admiral Pieter van der Does attacked the capital, Las Palmas, apparently with 74 ships, 12,000 men (the city had 3,500 of the island of Gran Canaria's 8,545 inhabitants) and 150 landing craft. Despite this, the attack was unsuccessful.

Santa Cruz de La Palma too has a rich seafaring history. Founded by Alonso Fernández de Lugo on 3rd May 1493, from that time onwards, became home to Spanish, Flemish, English and Portuguese merchants and a target for pirates including those led by Françoise Le Clerc (known as Peg Leg) who, in 1553, pillaged and destroyed the town.

Protected by too small a garrison, Lanzarote's inhabitants were decimated, for centuries, by the relentless attacks of pirates who were slave-hunters. In the 17th century, pirates raided the island and took 1,000 inhabitants into slavery from the Cueva de los Verdes.

The island of Fuerteventura was once a favorite haunt for pirates and their legacy for divers are some great wreaks to explore.

Other sources:
History of Lanzarote
Canary Islands From Wikipedia
History of Tenerife: Spanish Conquest
Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Historic City and Capital of the Spanish Province
Historia: Navegación: Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595)
Sir Francis Drake The Queen's Pirate
Historia: Sir Francis Drake (1543-1596)
Tenerife Island: Some information
Ataque de Robert Blake a Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Ataque de John Genings a Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife travel guide - Wikitravel
The Jews of the Canary Islands

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Comparsa Brasileiros



One of my favourite components of carnival, comparsas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are said to be similar to the Brazillian Carnival Blocks, but actually appear to have more in common with the dancing, marching and drumming Samba Schools that have a strong community basis and are traditionally associated with a particular neighborhood.

Formed in 1970, Los Brasileiros, directed by Esteban Reyes, has their headquarters in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife neighborhood of La Salud.

Brasileiros | Comparsas adultas | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019

Find out more about Santa Cruz Carnival 2020which will take to the streets between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020. 

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Carnival Queen Candidate in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019 Rocío Pérez Dorta



Whether looking back once more at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2019, or forward towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2020 - which takes place between Friday, 21st February 2020 and Sunday, 1st March 2020 - we can't resist another look at the candidates who aspired to become carnival queens in 2019.

Rocío Pérez Dorta in a costume entitled "VUELO" (Flight), designed by José Yeray Díaz Fernández and representing ID Ortodoncia y Estética Bucodental and Taller las Zocas. 

Rocío Pérez Dorta | Gala de la Reina | Carnaval S/C Tenerife 2019

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

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