If you are considering a holiday in Tenerife, then look no further than Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz is the capital city of the Canary Islands and home to one of the most historically important harbors in the Atlantic Ocean. Santa Cruz is a wonderfully vibrant, cosmopolitan city, full of life. It is located on the North-Eastern tip of Tenerife, 210 km off the coast of Africa and is the gateway to mainland Spain.
The city has plenty to offer. It is packed full of interesting places to visit – from attractive architecture and historical buildings to an abundance of good restaurants and interesting shops. There is even a sandy beach. For those of you paying attention at school Lord Nelson famously lost his right arm here, during an unsuccessful invasion attempt in 1797. Santa Cruz, with all its good transport links, surely has something for everyone.
Events in Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz carnival is held annually, every February. Take a much-needed Spring break and experience this city in all its shining glory. For 15 days, every street and plaza is completely transformed to play host to the 2nd most popular carnival in the world. When it’s festival time in Santa Cruz, the whole city joins together for one huge party. Boy, do these people know how to have fun! Streets are awash with colour, beautiful costumes and parades. Don’t miss this opportunity to join in with local tradition and sing and dance your way right through into the early hours.
Visit the Beaches
Located 6km outside of the city and one of Tenerife’s most popular beaches, is the mile-long sweeping curve of Las Teresitas. An idyllic cove, nestled just below the lush forests of the Anaga mountains. This beautiful unspoilt beach will not disappoint. The vast arrays of white sand were originally shipped in from the Sahara Desert, making Las Teresita one of the few beaches in Tenerife without volcanic black sand. Tall, palm trees line the beach. Whilst the Anaga mountains serve as a protective barrier against the cool Atlantic winds.
There is plenty to do here. With three breakwaters keeping out the strong currents, the beach proves popular with swimmers and snorkelers alike. Why not hire a lounger and relax – get away from all the hustle and bustle and just bask in the glorious sunshine? For the more active, let a game of beach volleyball bring out your competitive streak, or join in with an outdoor aerobics or yoga class.
Why not hire a lounger and relax – get away from all the hustle and bustle and just bask in the glorious sunshine? For the more active, let a game of beach volleyball bring out your competitive streak, or join in with an outdoor aerobics or yoga class.
Things to do
An open-top bus tour is a good way take in all the sights that Santa Cruz has on offer. Simply hop off to explore and get back on the next bus.
Popular attractions to visit include the Auditorio de Tenerife, (Auditorium of Tenerife.) An iconic, contemporary designed building, which plays host to many popular concerts and events. It is also the home of the world class Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. The parliament buildings of the Canary Islands and several La Laguna University faculties are also well worth a look.
The port of Santa Cruz is another place not to be missed. Historical, one of the most important ports in the Atlantic Ocean, it is still a busy gateway today. Cruise liners on route to the Caribbean stop here, as well as commercial, sport and fishing vessels. The nearby harbor serves as a launch pad for kayaks, paddle boards and an array of other water sports.
Shopping In Santa Cruz
Don’t forget to indulge in a little bit of customary retail therapy whilst you are away. The Plaza de Espagna, set right on the seafront, is an excellent shopping area. Leading on from there is one of Santa Cruz’s best-kept secrets – the Plaza de la Candelaria – this is where you can buy all your International brands at tax-free prices!
If you fancy a good old traditional market, El Mercado Nuestra Senora de Africa, (Market of our Lady of Africa) is probably your best bet. A collection of stalls, shops and cafes. This is probably the best place to pick up any fresh fruit and vegetables. It also contains a large fish, meat and a “foreign section”.
If you manage not to spend all your hard-earned cash bargain hunting, then eating out is a must.
In Tenerife, it is often joked, that there is a restaurant for every 7 residents and Santa Cruz is no exception. There really is something for every taste and pocket in this City. From Indian, Chinese, Italian and English, to traditional Canarian and Spanish fare, you won’t be short on choices when it comes to dinner. There are luxurious 5 star restaurants, cheap takeaway street stalls and absolutely everything in between.
It’s worth noting, that Canarians are more into their coffee than their tea. So, if you need your daily cuppa, you’ll probably want to check out the British style cafes.
Although not as famous for its nightlife as some other parts of Tenerife, Santa Cruz still has a lot to offer and the Noria district, is certainly one worth checking out. Increasingly seen as the trendy part of the city, it caters well for those looking for a slightly more chic and chilled night out. Evenings begin outside in the pavement cafes. After this, you either move upwards to the rooftop terraces or inside. Live music is popular here and throughout the Summer, some of the worlds’ greatest blues musicians play live in the streets.
For the more serious clubber, Santa Cruz offers plenty of RnB, Latino and dance venues. There are also plenty of traditional bars.
It is advisable to hire a care whilst staying in Santa Cruz. This will definitely enable you to get around more easily. However, the public transport system around the city is good. Tenerife North Airport is located on the Western outskirts of the city. Just a short drive along the Autopista TF-5.
When to Visit Santa Cruz
Thanks to the glorious subtropical climate of the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz is a good holiday destination 365 days a year. Winters are very mild here and high season is generally seen as March – November. The months of May, June, July and August are particularly popular with tourists. During these times the city can get very busy.