Visit La Orotava for a cultural Tenerife holiday

Are you looking for somewhere different to go for your next holiday to Tenerife? Many people fall in love with the island on their first visit, and return many times year and year to further explore and immerse themselves in the wonderful landscape and culture.

The ever-popular resorts in the south are where most people start, probably because these are the places which tend to get the most publicity and the most write-ups in the media and on the web. Places such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos are often presented as being the start and end of Tenerife, but this is far from the truth.

So, if you’re looking for a slightly different holiday to Tenerife this time around, we recommend you look to the north of the island and visit somewhere like La Orotava. You’ve get a totally different perspective when you see Tenerife from this angle, and realise the truly rich cultural heritage of the island.

Location

La Oratava is on the northwest coast. The whole region stretches inland as far as Mount Teide, but the town itself is where you’ll probably stay. At the time just after the Spanish conquest, it was here that the richest and noblest of families took up residence, so look forward to gorgeous buildings, including churches and mansions as well as sumptuous restaurants and stunning gardens.

The churches

Make sure to visit the Iglesia de la Concepcion, an impressive building in the Gothic style. The two towers and domes are landmarks in the town’s skyline, and as the sun goes down and night falls the domes are under-lit, creating magical sight. The other must see church is the Iglesia de San Agustin, built in the Baroque style. Enjoy wonderful gardens, including botanical gardens.

Museums

The two main museums in the town are a pleasant retreat, either from the sun on a hot day, or for when the skies cloud over and there’s no sunbathing to be had.

Visit Museo de Ceramica, a former mansion, where entrance is very cheap and you can marvel at the display of around 1,000 items of traditional Spanish pottery.

If you love Latin American and Spanish handicrafts you’ll enjoy the Museo de Artesania Iberoamerica. Hand crafted items are on display in what was, at one time, a Dominican convent.

If you do decide to stay in this northern region, make sure you make travel arrangements from the airport. If you fly into the south airport you’ll have have 90km to travel. The north airport is closer, at 36km.