Tuesday, September 11, 2018

La Laguna, Taganana & Santa Cruz Excursion

Real Santuario del Cristo de La Laguna

No matter how good Puerto de la Cruz is (and it is), Tenerife is a whole island full of varied delights to be explored and, even in just a week, you're probably going to want to see at least a little bit of it. Of all the excursions available, I believe that this one provides the best value, as well as the most interesting balance between the island's natural and man-made environments, as well as both historical and modern. We went on this excursion ourselves when we were last on the island in 2016 and had a really good day out.

The trip takes in the old capital of the island and now UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna (or to give the city it's full title, San Cristóbal de La Laguna), a drive through the Las Mercedes forest, in the Anaga mountains and down through Taganana to Playa del Roque for lunch (not included, but worth having). There's then a stop for a photo opportunity at Las Teresitas beach and finally a brief sojourn in the capital, Santa Cruz. You'll be picked up and dropped off at your hotel by coach and chaperoned throughout the day.

In La Laguna you'll most likely be dropped near to the Plaza del Cristo. There you can join the walking tour of the old part of the city, if you wish to do so. We opted not to and stayed around the vicinity of the plaza and had a mooch around the Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market) with wonderful fresh meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as clothing and other items. The market building is on the Plaza del Cristo itself. To one side of the plaza is the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna (Royal Sanctuary of the Christ of La Laguna), church built in 1580 and houses the image of the Cristo de La Laguna, the most revered and important image of Christ in the Canary Islands. There are bars and cafes around the square where you can sit and get a coffee / comfort break.

At Playa del Roque you'll be taken to a restaurant where you'll get the (optional) set meal. It is very simple, traditional, but wholesome Canarian faye with possibly a potaje (soup) to start, usually fish, potatoes and salad, followed by a desert or ice cream.

The stop at Las Teresitas was only minutes, then we were taken on to Santa Cruz, Tenerife's capital today, and dropped near to the Plaza de España, where we had free time to explore this central part of the city and make yet another stop for the essential coffee.

There is really no need to book this tour in advance as there are numerous excursion shops all around Puerto de la Cruz, but your own hotel reception will almost certainly be able to book this for you, which may give you added peace of mind. They certainly know where you are to be picked up and dropped off, can check bookings, etc., for you.

Video: San Cristobal de La Laguna

Playa del Roque de las Bodegas, Taganana

Playa del Roque de las Bodegas, Taganana

Playa del Roque, Taganana By Winahwaru [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Plaza de España (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)