Santa Cruz de Tenerife information

Introduction to the Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is actually made up of islands, the most well known of which are Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma. It forms the western half of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands (Islas Canarias), the other half being the province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The province has a sub-tropical climate and this, together with its typical island life and great selection of beaches, makes it a highly popular choice for a year-round holiday destination.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife City
TThe capital of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the city of Santa Cruz, located on the island of Tenerife. Archaeological finds have shown that the city has been in existence in some form or another for around 2000 years. These days, Santa Cruz is a thriving, vibrant modern city with a busy and important port and many attractions and sites of interest for the visitor.

The city has its own beaches, large shopping areas, historic monuments, parks and a plethora of museums and cultural events to enjoy. The most famous of these must be the annual Carnival, which rivals that held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for its scale and splendour. This spectacular party goes on for days and thousands flock to the city to participate and watch. Every year has a different theme for the Carnival and therefore the fabulous costumes and floats.

Aside from the hedonistic event that is Carnival, Santa Cruz has some fine works of modern architecture that double as cultural resources for the city and the island as a whole. The Auditorium of Tenerife (or Opera House) resembles that of Sydney and is the stunning venue for the city’s concerts etc. The Espacio de las Artes is Tenerife’s foremost contemporary art museum and gallery. In a more traditional setting, a visit to the Museum of Nature and Man will provide you with an interesting background to the history of the region and is earliest inhabitants, the “Guanches”.

To relax whilst on a visit to Santa Cruz, take a stroll around its streets, visit some of its historic churches and monuments, chill out on the beach at Las Terecitas or in the Palmetum (the Botanical Gardens).

Around Santa Cruz de Tenerife City and Beyond
The island of Tenerife has long been a favourite holiday destination for the Spanish and other Europeans due to its climate and beaches. The most popular and famous beaches are those of Playa de las Americas, with its black, volcanic sands and Los Cristianos. Scuba diving and other watersports are possible year round. There is a great waterpark at Aneje that kids and big kids alike will enjoy.

The historical centre of the town of San Cristobal de La Laguna has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its old streets, Cathedral and other fine monuments make for a pleasant diversion from beach life.

A visit to the Parque Nacional del Teide UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must. You can climb (with permission) to the summit of El Teide (3550m) or, for an easier option, take the cable car. The Rural Park of Anaga, not far from La Laguna, is another fine location for hiking on the island.

On the relatively tranquil north coats of Tenerife is idyllically located town of Garachico. Take a cooling dip in the natural rock pools at El Caleton.

The unspoilt island of La Gomera is a walker’s paradise. The World Heritage Site of the Parque Nacional Ganajonay is a lushly forested beautiful area, often shrouded in mist, and there are many marked walking routes here. The town of San Sebastian de la Gomera (the island’s capital), the resort area of Valle Gran Rey and the beach and resort at Playa de Santiago all make for great places to base yourself.

Mountainous El Hierro is the smallest of all the Canary Islands and is a Biosphere Reserve. It is unspoilt, undeveloped and makes for a superb “get away from it all” holiday destination. The capital of the island is Valverde and is a very traditional, laid back place compared to other Canarian capitals.

The island of La Palma’s main attraction is its beautiful countryside. Los Llanos de Aridane and the Parque Nacional de la Caldera deTaburiente both offer fine walking territory to explore the island’s volcanic past and banana plantations and spot some of the island’s indigenous wildlife such as its giant lizards. The island’s capital is the elegant town and port of Santa Cruz.

The Gastronomy of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The province has a typical Canarian cuisine all of its own. You will find pork, goat and kid and rabbit in the meat department and of course plenty of fish and seafood, such as tuna, sardines and prawns on the menu. Of course the potatoes, chestnuts, bananas and honey that the islands produce in abundance are also used in its traditional dishes. Cazuela de Pescado is a fish stew, Costillas con Papas are spare ribs with potatoes, Cabrito Barrado is kid in a white wine and garlic sauce and Atun en Adobo is seared tuna steaks with garlic and herbs. Bienmesabe is a traditional almond-based sweet of the region.

Goats’ cheeses are widely made throughout the islands, often served with local fruit or honey. The islands’ climate is also idea for grape growing and so there are some fine local wines to be enjoyed. Those from the Abona region in Tenerife are highly regarded and each of the islands has its own Denominacion de Origen (D.O.).


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