23 Nov NORTHERN TENERIFE – BEST PLACES TO VISIT
You could say that Tenerife is divided into two parts. The North, and the South. Not by any means because there is an actual separation, but because of the many differences. Dive in this easy but fun travel guide, where we highlight the best of Northern Tenerife.
Tenerife in a nutshell
It’s the perfect destination for those that want to experience warm temperatures all year round, but don’t want to travel too far for it. Although Tenerife belongs to Spain, don’t mistake this as an island close to other Spanish islands like Ibiza or Mallorca. Tenerife is actually much closer to North Africa, which explains its warm temperatures. Another thing to point out is that the Northside and Southside of Tenerife are completely different from each other. In this guide we will highlight the Northern part of Tenerife where we enjoyed the authentic and local vibe compared to the busy South.
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
De la Laguna is surrounded by mountains and the town is situated in a valley that used to have a lake – which explains its name Laguna, which translates to lake. Although de La Laguna is a historical town, it’s only 500 years old. History is shown through its buildings and churches. Tip: walk to Plaza de la Concepcion and climb up the bell tower for just €2,-. Be careful though, bells go off every 15 minutes, so make sure not to stick your head underneath one of the bells during this time!
In general, La Laguna is filled with historic buildings that are built from Lava stones and pinewood, the main natural materials on the island. Inside those buildings, beautiful open courtyards are unveiled, like La Laguna Grand Hotel pictured below. Coffee and food is affordable, and when the weather is nice (it can get much more colder at La Laguna due to the sub-tropical climate), you will see people outside on the terraces, infront of the restaurants and cafes.
For coffee lovers: Café Bontánica, Makikia & Co, Ahun Bowls & Coffee.
Where to dine: El Guaydil, Sanjuan18, El Bejeque.
Stay here: La Laguna Grand Hotel (this new boutique hotel has the prettiest courtyard)
Wander these streets: Camino largo or Av. la Universidad (full of palmtrees), all side streets!
Puerto de la Cruz
Not far from San Cristóbal de La Laguna, you’ll find colourful Puerto de la Cruz. This used to be the main port in Tenerife, before it was destroyed by lava coming down from one of the many vulcano’s. Street art, many restaurants and cafés make this town perfect for a day trip. Early tourism started in this Puerto de la Cruz back in the 50’s – when the South of Tenerife only started developing tourism in the late 70’s.
Streets are filled with colourful houses and buildings, painted in happy pastel colours. We only had a few hours to explore, but we can imagine strolling here for much longer.
Where to dine: Conpasion (run by two Dutchies, serving luxury tapas and wine)
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit Santa Cruz – which is the main city of Tenerife, and the 2nd largest of the Canary Islands. Here there are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops. It may not look as photogenic as La Laguna, the local vibe is there as most locals live here. Besides, the prettiest beach of Tenerife, Playa de Las Teresitas, is easily accessed from Santa Cruz.
Where to dine: Panza de Burro (farm to table), Casa Riquelme (stunning view over the valley!) Bodeguita Canaria.
Visit Casa Del Vino – El Sauzal
In between Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz, you can make a special stop for wine. This winery is one of the oldest and most respected on the island of Tenerife, but certainly not the only one. Winemaking is hugely popular here, and at Casa Del Vino they make 23 different ones. Come here for a tasting, or watch the sunset with dinner and wine. Buy yourself an original souvenir, we loved their reds and rosé!
Rural de Anaga
Less than one hour away from La Laguna, you can drive up to Anaga National Park, where vegetation and forest will meet you. Anaga was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015, and is a wonderful place to hike, and will give you a very different experience on the island. As there is a subtropical climate, it can be very wet, foggy and colder at Anaga. There is no entrance fee, but come early (before 10AM) to avoid full car parks. No permits are mandatory, except for the trail in the enchanted forest (El Pijaral) which is free but you need to apply a few months ahead.
Now, you have several beautiful views to stop at, but we loved Mirador del Risco Mogote along the TF-134, and Mirador de Jardina along the Anaga Mountain Road. We also stopped at the tunnel of trees, which wasn’t well known until social media started to cover it. Again, come early if you want the place for yourself.
Tip: bring hiking boots, a jacket, but also sunscreen – you never know what the weather is like up here!
Check out our destination page about SPAIN, to discover more!