The pleasure of sitting peacefully in Plaza del Charco is sublime. And an ice cream in one of the many parlours around it is a truly refreshing treat. And you can also experience the privilege of watching the waves breaking on the shore in Costa de San Telmo, with the spectacular lagoons of Lago Martiánez in view. The whole scene creates a fabulous picture postcard.
Although this is the smallest municipality in Tenerife, covering just 8.7 km2 (3.36 sq miles), Puerto de la Cruz has plenty of appeal with its protected historic quarter and its seemingly endless coast, which is perfect for long, leisurely walks. Puerto de la Cruz spans the coastal part of the Valley of La Orotava in a stunning setting, with the mighty silhouette of Mount Teide rising 3,718 m (12,198 ft) high in the background. Its wonderful climate made this the first tourist destination in the Canary Islands, ever since the British Medical Society recommended it in the 19th century as an ideal retreat. The temperature here ranges from 15 to 22 ºC (59 to 72 ºF), meaning the sea, the fresh air and the relaxed atmosphere can be enjoyed all year round.
This seaside resort, with its long-standing hotel tradition providing accommodation for over 20,000 tourists, has welcomed such renowned visitors as Alexander Von Humboldt, Agatha Christie, William Wilde, Michael Jackson, André Breton and The Beatles, to name just a few. The combination of its flower gardens, black sandy beaches, seaside shopping area and quaint cobbled streets enthrals visitors straight away and provides them with a wide array of activities for the whole family.
Puerto de la Cruz has been considered a National Tourist Interest Site since 1955 because of its tradition as a centre for rest and recuperation and as a holiday destination. Its fascinating and beautifully kept historic quarter, with over 140 protected buildings, is a pleasure for everyone who strolls through it – tourists and locals – at any time of year. Puerto de la Cruz has the most restaurants and shops on the Island, so there are endless options for eating out and indulging in a bit of retail therapy. A visit to the traditional fishing district of La Ranilla is particularly recommendable. Since 2014, La Ranilla hosts the Puerto Street Art exhibition, an open air museum where 13 internationally acclaimed artists have made their mark covering large walls with art.
Puerto de la Cruz is also a wonderful destination for active tourism because it is a great base for visitors to explore the Island’s 1000+ miles of trails, with Route 0-4-0 as the ultimate challenge. Its flourishing countryside also makes it the perfect place for paragliding around the slopes of Mount Teide. The sea provides a variety of sports activities, from paddle surf and bodyboarding to scuba diving. Beneath the surface is an underwater volcanic tube known as La Rapadura, which attracts many an expert diver every year. For those wishing to enjoy the pleasures of the Atlantic ocean at a more leisurely pace, there is a choice of options: the natural swimming pools of San Telmo, the beaches made of volcanic sand and the lagoons of Lago Martiánez.
Throughout the year, Puerto de la Cruz hosts several cultural competitions. The most popular contest is the MUECA International Street Art Festival, which takes place in May, as well as the Bavarian Week devoted to German music and gastronomy, which is held at the end of August. Another noteworthy event is the Bach Festival, in December. In terms of the most popular festive celebrations, the Carnival is the undisputed star in February, together with the Exaltation of the Cross in May. The night of 23 June to the early hours of 24 June brings the fun of San Juan, when bonfires are lit on the sea shore and flocks of goats are taken to the fishing dock to be bathed as a tradition which dates back to aboriginal times. In summer, the festivities in honour of Virgen del Carmen take over Puerto de la Cruz during one of the most heartfelt celebrations for the locals. In November, the wineries open their doors to visitors, and people tie scraps of metal and tins together to drag them noisily around the streets. This curious tradition is known as the Fiesta de San Andrés, combining old customs with the experience of tasting young wines.
Source: Tenerife Tourist Board