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Garachico

A gracious and charming settlement located in a deep valley flanked by forested slopes and a rocky coastline, Garachico has successfully – and lucratively – managed to retain its Canarian identity. There are no big hotels, possibly because there is no real beach (though swimming in the natural, volcanic coves along the rocky coast is a rare delight). Handsome and historic, Garachico gets its name from the imposing rock outcrop just offshore (gara is Guanche for 'island', and chico is Spanish for 'small').

Garachico was once an important commercial port, but its unfortunate inhabitants suffered a series of disasters that all but brought ruin to the hamlet: freak storms, floods, fires, epidemics and, in 1706, a major volcanic eruption that destroyed the port and buried half the town in lava. Just outside Garachico you can hike trails that follow the path of the disastrous lava flow.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Garachico.