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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

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