Friday, August 31, 2018

Pinolere Craft Fair and Romería de San Isidro in La Victoria de Acentejo

Pinolere Craft Fair 2018

This weekend on 31 August, 1 and 2 September the year's largest craft fair, the Pinolere Craft Fair, takes place at the Pinolere Ethnographic Museum (Calle Alzados Guanches, s/n, 38310 Pinolere, Santa Cruz de Tenerife). In this 33rd edition, dedicated to the typical and traditional costumes of the Canary Islands, more than 200 artisans are taking part.

33ª Feria de Artesanía Regional PINOLERE 2018

And on Saturday 1 September 2018, the 40th edition of the Romería in honour of San Isidro takes place La Victoria de Acentejo. It starts at 5pm from the Cruz de El Tagoro.

Fiestas de La Victoria de Acentejo

Romería de la Victoria de Acentejo 2013

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Shopping in Puerto de la Cruz

Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada
by cinetech
Of course there are shops everywhere, but most of what you'll have seen so far are the touristy type.

Only a relatively short walk away from our starting point, if you turn right along the Avenida de Cristobal Colón (the promenade beside the Playa Martiánez), until you reach the Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada, where you want to turn right and begin walking away from the coast with the beach directly behind you.

This wide street has a pedestrian walkway in the centre - the cars go either side - like a park with palm trees and benches all along it. It does have a gentle uphill slope, but it will be down hill coming back!

Three parts of the way along this road, on the left, you'll encounter the Centro Comercial Las Pirámides de Martiánez (Martiánez Shopping Centre). Yeah, it's a shopping mall with a bunch of franchise stores and a branch of the very reputable Mercadona supermarket.

This might seem very ordinary, but I like seeing what other countries' ordinary looks like, which is often a great source of gifts and souvenirs that aren't just made for tourists.

Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada marked in red.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Romería of San Agustín in Arafo, the Hearts of Tejina and Crafts Fair in Vilaflor

On Saturday 25 August 2018, the Romería in honour of San Agustín takes place in Arafo.


Los Corazones de Tejina

(The Strange and Beautiful Hearts of Tejina) takes place each year on the Sunday closest to 24 August, in the case of Tejina Hearts 2018, that's 26 August. This is one of the most brightly coloured and striking traditions on the Island, which is why the residents of the town of Tejina are so keen to keep it alive. The three main neighbourhoods in the town (El Pico, Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo) bring out the hearts that they have been working on for days. Once raised, an entertaining ritual begins in which each neighbourhood tauntingly mocks the others' hearts. [The Hearts of Tejina]

Corazones de Tejina 2017

Vilaflor Crafts Fair

Meanwhile, in Tenerife's highest village, Vilaflor, there is the annual Crafts Fair, now into it's 28th Edition, taking place on Saturday 25 August 2018 from 11am to 8pm in the Plaza de San Pedro.

Organisers say some 150 artisans will be taking part, offering wares in Traditional Pottery, Traditional Carpentry, Ceramics, Cane Basketry, Wicker Basketry, Palm Basketry, Tinsmith, Rosettes, Wood Turning, etc.

Feria de Artesanía de Vilaflor de Chasna 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2018, Carmen

Carmen L. Lourido Pérez | Gala de elección de la Reina | SC de Tenerife 2018

As we count down to carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019, let's take a last look at one of the candidates for carnival queen in 2018 and her magnificent costume.

The gala to elect the Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2019 is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. The inauguration takes place on 1 February 2019 and carnival takes to the streets on 1 March 2019.

All dates are liable to change beyond our control

To ensure you see posts as we count down to Tenerife Carnival 2019subscribe to our news feedSubscribe to Secret Tenerife by Email or like and follow our facebook page.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Ranilla District in Puerto de la Cruz

Calle Mequinez in the Ranilla District By Cayambe [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

For the final part of the tour of the historical centre of Puerto de la Cruz, we leave the Plaza del Charco by the north (seaside) end. Go right towards the old port, then around to the left (keeping the port on your right) and onto the Calle Mequinez to enter what's known as the Ranilla District, which is the old fishermans' quarter. These days it's a trendy area with restaurants, shops, cafes, lots of street art and some super quaint architecture.

As Jack Montgomery says, "It’s a small area with a big personality and part of the fun of exploring it is in discovering some of its many charms for yourself."

But here's some help anyway:

Video: Arte - El Barrio de La Ranilla - Puerto de la Cruz

As far as the restaurants are concerned, they're all good and there's something to suit all tastes, whether you want vegetarian, traditional Canarian, Italian, very fancy ... It's hard to pick a favourite, because it depends what your taste buds crave on any given day.

Restaurante Mil Sabores (One Thousand Flavours) is certainly special (read Jack's review), Michelin star quality stuff, but the one restaurant we keep going back to is El Bistro de Antonio Aguiar (Website) on the corner of Calle Del Lomo. We especially like their philosophy of "de la huerta a la mesa" (from the garden to the table) where part of their products are grown traditionally and ecologically by the Chef himself. The Chef himself also serves. And there we've had THE best steaks that we've tasted anywhere, ever.

Also in this area are an art gallery, an archeological museum and a lovely little park, Plaza Benito Pérez Galdós, found further along the Calle Mequinez, that is cool palm tree lined with a couple of cafes where you can have a cool one or a coffee.

TIP: With all these coffee stops, make like a local and order a small Cortado or Espresso to avoid ending up with a bad case of the jitters or breaking the bank on expensive large coffees. It's perfectly OK to request "un vaso de agua" - specify the vaso (glass) of water, otherwise they will bring and charge you for a botella (bottle) - and it should be free in all but the most touristy places, to go with it.

There was a Sidrera (Cider House) on the Calle San Felipe in the Ranilla District, but alas it appears that it has closed.

Map showing Calle Mequinez

If you were to keep following either the Calle Mequinez or Calle San Felipe to their western end, you should end up at the Castillo de San Felipe (Saint Phillip's Castle) on the margin of the Playa Jardin (Garden Beach). This is the place to aim for, for the Midsummer festivities in June, but you may decide not to go that far for now (or you might).

Playa Jardín, Puerto de la Cruz - Tenerife

According to Google, the distance between the Playa Martiánez where we started and the Playa Jardín is 2.2 km (about one and a third miles in old money). Most of it is relatively flat, with just some areas of fairly gentle incline. They estimate it will take 28 minutes walking, but that's not going at the pace of anybody's holiday stroll! You can break that up as much as you like with park benches pretty much everywhere - and the weather makes it possible to use them - and cheap enough cafes to sit at wherever there are not.

From the Ranilla District, it's not that far back to the Plaza del Charco to grab a taxi, if you don't fancy the uphill walk from there back to San Telmo.

And if walking is really not your thing at all, then you could always rent wheelchairs and mobility scooters from Canarian Mobility in Puerto de la Cruz. (Please note that I have no experience of the company personally, as I travel with my own wheelchair.)

Beach to beach in Puerto de la Cruz

Friday, August 17, 2018

Romería of San Casiano in Las Galletas and Crafts Fair in Buenavista del Norte

Sunday 19 August 2018 Romería Barquera in honor of San Casiano in Las Galletas (Arona). Procession of San Casiano in Las Galletas, Arona, Tenerife, and fireworks.


San Bartolomé Crafts Fair

Meanwhile in Buenavista del Norte the annual San Bartolomé Crafts Fair also takes place on Sunday 19 August 2018 in the Plaza de Los Remedios from 10:30am with some 60 artisans expected.

Feria de Artesanía San Bartolomé en Buenavista del Norte 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Romería San Roque in Garachico

The Romería in honour of San Roque in Garachico (or San Roque Pilgrimage) is one of those events which takes place on the same date each year, 16 August, irrespective of the day of the week and has done so since the 17th Century. At one o'clock in the afternoon, the municipal band, herds of livestock, street musicians and people parade through the streets to lead the figure of San Roque to the chapel. At the same time, the fishermen in Garachico embark on their own ocean pilgrimage, taking the saint along the coastline on their boats. This celebration has been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest.

Romería San Roque Garachico 2017

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

History of the Alcalá Fireworks

Fuegos de Alcalá 2015 - Image Ayuntamiento de Guía de Isora

The Alcalá Fireworks, which take place each year on August 15th, are well known as being one of the most spectacular displays and promoted in a campaign by Guía de Isora Town Council and the Festival Commission as an Asset of Tourist Interest. The first historical reference of the Fuegos de Alcalá (Alcalá Fireworks) dates from 1925.

The show has been attracting visitors to its festivities in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria from all over the island, from other parts of the Canary Islands and even from abroad, for almost a century. This spectacular exhibition of light, color and sound is provided by Hermanos Toste, who have been setting the fires of Alcalá for some 80 years, interrupted only during the Civil War and World War II.

Celedonio Toste says that "the Alcalá fireworks are undoubtedly the most showy for the public, but the most difficult to place from the technical point of view" since most of the explosives have to be loaded into boats and taken to lava formations around the bay of the town, in addition to carrying more than 2000 sacks of sand, weighing between 20 and 30 kilos each, to place with the explosives safely on the rocks. This requires about two or three days work.

Researcher José María Mesa says that the first historical reference to this part of the festivities appears in 1925. At that time, "a fishing boat launched the fireworks, moving parallel to the coast, until it reached the end of the harbour wall", where the dances were held. The following year, 1926, fireworks would also be launched from a boat in the area of ​​the hermitage and one of the great successes of the show introduced: "beautiful fireworks will also be burned on the cliff called Baja de Afuera", according to the program of the festivities of that year.

The festivities included the so-called walks with music or dances with pianola, supposedly held on the harbour wall, which is the elevated area next to the jetty, today La Muralla street. The fireworks then were made by José and Manuel Rodríguez Alonso, belonging to a family of famous foremen of Guía de Isora. The Alcalá Fireworks were novel from the beginning, although their great impulse was achieved with the development of tourist areas in neighboring municipalities. Today it is difficult to see the fireworks from Alcalá unless you arrive several hours before.

The cost of the fireworks is one of the best kept secrets by the fiestas commission apparently (I guess that means they cost an awful lot). For the last couple of decades, they accounted for around one third to one half of the entire fiesta budget. Collecting the money each year requires a great effort, collecting house to house, from local businesses, organizing events, etc.

The fireworks are set off from four points: the Baja de Afuera, Filo Méndez, Baja de Tierra and around the perimeter of the bay. They have grown in quantity, quality and spectacle, but they have maintained the same scheme for more than 40 years: its charm is the stage, composed of the volcanic lava flows, the jetty and harbour wall.

La historia de los Fuegos de Alcalá de Guía de Isora

Pyrotechnics Hermanos Toste was commissioned by the Festival Commission of Alcalá to provide the show in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria in her "Noche de Fuegos".

Fuegos Alcalá 2017

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Old Town in Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz Image: trolvag [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

This time we're getting into the historical parts of Puerto de la Cruz. As we come to the road at the top of the San Telmo Promenade, there are benches where you can rest and sit and enjoy the view back over where you have just come from and, when you are ready to move on, there is a choice. You could continue next to the sea to the right, along the Calle de Santo Domingo, where you will pass the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to reach the Plaza de Europa and the remains of the defensive fortification, the Batería de Santa Bárbara (Saint Barbara Battery) that is next to the Casa de la Real Aduana (Old Customs House - now the Museum of Contemporary Art) beside the old port, but save all that for another time, cross the road and aim for the pedestrian street opposite: the Calle Quintana.

Video: Puerto de la Cruz Old Town

Town Hall of Puerto de la Cruz By HombreDHojalata [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Plaza de Europa Image: Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Preparing for a fiesta on the Plaza de Europa

Plaza de Europa Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Batería de Santa Bárbara By Koppchen [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

The old port and the Batería Santa Bárbara

Old Customs House in Puerto de la Cruz

At the top of the Calle Quintana are yet more souvenir shops, but you'll shortly come to the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia (Church of Our Lady of the Rock of France), where you can rest awhile under the shade of the trees in the delightful gardens of the church square, admire the swan fountain and see the monument to prominent engineer, Agustín de Betancourt, who was born in Puerto de la Cruz in 1758.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia By Daniel Gainza [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Video: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia - Puerto de la Cruz

Church Square taken from the rooftop of the Hotel Monopol

Gardens around the church

Fountain in the church square

Monument to Agustín de Betancourt

Before you go back onto the Calle Quintana, it is worth mentioning that in the pedestrian street behind the church, Calle la Hoya, are a number of shops and cafes that are worth a look. There is a wonderful old fashioned food store with local (ugly and natural) fruit and vegetables, an Arepera Delicias Vene Canarias (arepas are Venezuelan fast food: little pockets of unctuousness made with maize flour filled with meats, fish or cheeses). For my money, the shredded beef, carne mechada, is the pinnacle of these treats.

Failing that, find a cool seat outside on the terrace of the even more cooly decorated Ebano Café, where you can sample their tapas, sandwiches, or home made cakes.

Opposite the church and gardens in the Calle Quintana is the Hotel Monopol, the family run hotel where we stay when we're in Puerto de la Cruz, with it's typically Canarian Balconies. The owner's wife decorates the steps of the hotel entrance early every morning with petals of hibiscus flowers. Inside the hotel is an amazing courtyard, filled with enormous palms which is well worth a look in at (I've never known the hotel management to object).

Hotel Monopol

If we now carry on down the Calle Quintana, there are yet more shops. Don't be afraid to delve into the side streets in this area as that is where you will find little gems.

Turning right into the pedestrian alley, Calle Agustín de Betancourt, you can find the unassuming F & M Cafe where they serve a lovely array of tapas, bucket sized glasses of very nice local wine, some ridiculously huge cocktails (that are not ridiculously expensive) all with a smile, some good Latin music playing and free Wi-Fi that works. Perfect!

F & M Cafe in the Calle Agustín de Betancourt

At the next corner back on the Calle Quintana, where the Calle San Juan crosses it, there is a lovely little garden on the right opposite the The Church of San Francisco (built in 1599, it's considered to be the city's oldest building), but if you turn left into Calle San Juan, you'll find another selection of restaurants, bars and pubs. We can recommend the Pequeño Buda Pub Rock for the atmosphere and their patio. At the far end of the street on the corner is the restaurant of the Hotel Maga, which usually has a reasonably priced menu of the day. While you're there, take a look at the Plaza Concejil opposite that is surrounded by old mansions and palaces that are typically Canarian in their architecture.

Church of  San Francisco Photo

Calle Quintana by Daniel Gainza
On the last section of the Calle Quintana, notice the brown awning on the shop front on the left. This is the entrance to a shopping arcade named Columbus Plaza, which, just in case you're suffering withdrawal by now, serves some delicious cakes!

The end of the street opens out onto the Plaza del Charco (Puddle Square because of the large puddle of seawater that used to form in the middle of it), the nerve centre of Puerto de la Cruz. This is a lovely square at any time, but especially in the early evening when it's full of children playing and people having a drink before going home from work.

I've got to be honest and say that most of the restaurants around the Plaza del Charco are a bit touristy and meh. They try too hard to entice you in too, which is always a turn off for me. The only exception, just for a drink or a coffee and to watch the people is the cafe on the square itself, the Dinamico Cafeteria - Restuarante.

Plaza del Charco by El fosilmaníaco

At the north (seaside) end of the Plaza del Charco, you come back to the Old Customs House beside the old port. Also along the top of the plaza is a taxi rank. Taxis are both good and cheap in Tenerife, so if you've had enough by the time you've reached the plaza, it will be easy to get a taxi back to the hotel. Alternatively, the Plaza del Charco is a central location to ask for if you want to get a taxi from the hotel and start exploring from here.

In the next installment there's just one part of the old town left to explore.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Celebrations in honor of the patron of the Canary Islands, Candelaria

Virgen de Candelaria, Tenerife, Patron of the Islas Canarias

On the 14th and 15th August (the latter is a Public Holiday), are celebrations in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria, the patron of the Canary Islands. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the archipelago come to the town of Candelaria to celebrate the feast, take part in the Peregrinación a Candelaria (Pilgrimage to Candelaria), as well as to watch the popular Ceremony of the discovery of the Virgin of Candelariawhich takes place in the Plaza outside the Basilica on 14th August from about 7:30pm.

Ceremonia Guanche - Virgen de Candelaria 2017

Romería Candelaria

Noche de Pergrinos - Virgen de Candelaria 2017

Friday, August 10, 2018

Sunblast Festival 2018 and the Bajada de Las Hayas in La Guancha

Sunblast Festival 2018

Sunblast Festival 2018

On Saturday 11 August 2018 from 3pm until midnight at the Golf Costa Adeje, Calle Alcojora, s/n, 38670 Adeje. The Sunblast music festival in Costa Adeje claims to be the biggest free bar festival in the world, ensuring a debaucherous day of fun in the sun. This is the sixth year the festival is being held on Costa Adeje golf course and we can assure you it's unforgettable!


Bajada de Las Hayas

Of traditional fiestas, on the second Saturday in August - Saturday 11 August 2018 - the Bajada de Las Hayas (Descent of the Beech Trees) takes place in the village of La Guancha. The Descent of the Beeches takes its origins from the journey by owners of load-carrying livestock to the mountains to collect branches of beech trees, which were then used to decorate the town square and the streets for the religious procession.

Bajada de Las Hayas 2016

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2018, Ana

Ana D. Sabina García | Gala de elección de la Reina | SC de Tenerife 2018

As we count down to carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019, let's take a last look at one of the candidates for carnival queen in 2018 and her magnificent costume.

The gala to elect the Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2019 is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. The inauguration takes place on 1 February 2019 and carnival takes to the streets on 1 March 2019.

All dates are liable to change beyond our control

To ensure you see posts as we count down to Tenerife Carnival 2019, subscribe to our news feed, Subscribe to Secret Tenerife by Email or like and follow our facebook page.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

San Telmo District in Puerto de la Cruz

San Telmo area in Puerto de la Cruz before the wall was replaced with railings.

Carrying on from where we left off, just past the Casino, is the small ermita (hermitage or chapel) of San Telmo that marks the margin of a rocky area including the Playa San Telmo (San Telmo Beach) and the Paseo San Telmo (San Telmo Promenade). This part of the promenade has undergone a lot of work in recent years to remove many of the dodgy steps and other obstacles, but there are no seats along this area until you get to the far end. There are some walls to perch on here and there. But, for a break, the shorter building on the right (above) with the dark brown balcony is the Restaurante Rancho Grande, which is another that falls into the quaintly old-fashioned category, but is also well worth the stop for coffee and some more cake. (Are you seeing a theme developing here yet?)

Ermita de San Telmo (San Telmo Chapel)

San Telmo in the evening.

If you should happen to find yourself in dire need of a decent British sports bar, you will find it in the street parallel to this, one street back, in the Calle de La Hoya: the Bee Hive Pub.

San Telmo (Click for map)

Otherwise, keep going. Next time, we'll get into the older parts of town.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Romería de Virgen de La Esperanza

Romería in honour of the Virgen de La Esperanza – Image El Rosario Town Hall

Sunday 5 August 2018 is the date for the Romería in honour of the Virgen de La Esperanza in El Rosario. This Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Hope takes place on the first Sunday of August. After the mass, there is a procession under an arch of flowers, where folk groups, carts and faithful will make offerings to the Virgin.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Tenerife Fiestas in August 2018

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Candelaria

The 15th August is a national public holiday for Asunción de la Virgen (Assumption).

August is a month that's packed with fiestas and romerías, but the biggest event in the month each year is the Peregrinación a Candelaria (pilgrimage) and fiestas in Candelaria, which take place on the 14th and 15th of August. The most popular part of the annual celebrations is the Ceremony of the discovery of the Virgin of Candelaria, which takes place in the Plaza outside the Basilica on 14th August from about 7:30pm.

There are the following Municipal Public Holidays this month: 

  • 6 Aug 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora de La Esperanza in El R|osario
  • 6 Aug 18 - Fiestas for the town’s patron in La Matanza de Acentejo
  • 16 Aug 18 - Festival of San Roque in Garachico
  • 20 Aug 18 - Fiestas for the town’s patron in Fasnia
  • 20 Aug 18 - Monday of the Fiestas for the town’s patron in La Guancha
  • 24 Aug 18 - Festival of San Bartolomé in Buenavista del Norte
  • 27 Aug 18 - Festival of San Bernardo in Arafo
  • 27 Aug 18 - Festival of San Agustín and San Roque - Vilaflor de Chasna
  • 31 Aug 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora de Buen Viaje in El Tanque