Welcome to Candelaria
Just 18km south of Santa Cruz is Candelaria, a charming small fishing village famed for its Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, home to a wooden statue of the Virgin of Candelaria called the Black Madonna, the patron saint of the entire Canary archipelago. The town's name comes from an effigy of the Virgin holding a candlestick that was found on a beach by two Guanche goatherds in 1392. The town is particularly worth a visit on a Sunday when the atmosphere takes on an almost-pilgrimage feel as locals throng to the church to attend mass and the surrounding small shops, selling religious artefacts, flowers, souvenirs and similar, stay open all day. Don't bother visiting the drab modern adjacent resort of Las Caletillas, which has little to commend it aside from a decent-size black pebble beach.