Finding culture in Tenerife

The majority of people taking holidays to Tenerife probably do so for the lovely beaches and great views, but there’s also a rich cultural heritage just waiting to be discovered too. When you’ve had your fill of sun and sea in the popular resorts, head out for somewhere different and discover the wealth of treasures hidden away in different locations and museums. Here are a few to tempt your sense of discovery: Pyramids of Guimar In the Valle de Guimar in the north west of the island are the Pyramids of Guimar. These intriguing stone terraces have some mystery surrounding them since there seems to be some controversy over what they actually are. Initially dismissed as no more than agricultural terraces common elsewhere on Tenerife, they’ve also been likened to the step pyramids of Peru, Mexico and Mesopotamia. The region itself is a wine growing region and is mostly agricultural and contains picturesque villages and country scenery. Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria Just over 10km from the pyramids is this typically and ornately Spanish basilica, dedicated to Our Lady the Virgin of Candelaria and the site where, apparently, an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen. The basilica is an important Marian shrine, attracting pilgrims from all over Spain during February and August. It’s open to public although opening times vary. Museo Militar de Almeyda As far north as you can get on the island is the region of Anaga, and it’s here that you’ll find the Museo Militar de Almeyda. It’s a military museum dedicated to exhibits that tell the story of the Spanish conquest of the native Guanche people and of the islands now known as the Canaries. Exhibits also feature battle between the Spanish and Admiral Nelson during Nelson’s Santa Cruz assault. For those who like military history, or are interested in learning more about the cultural development of the island during their holidays to Tenerife, it’s a museum well worth a visit. Museo Municipal De Belles Artes If fine art is more your thing, you may enjoy a visit to this art gallery and exhibition space in Santa Cruz. You’ll find works of art from the 16th century to the 19th, with some important examples from artists such as Pieter Coecke and Jose Revera. There are guided tours for those who prefer, or you can explore the galleries on your own. The building itself is architecturally interesting, built to a classical style in 1929 by Eladio Laredo, the architect who also build the Palace Bermejillo in Madrid.