This colonial town has the lot, it seems: cobblestone streets, flower-filled plazas and more Castilian mansions than the rest of the island put together. Along with La Laguna, La Orotava is one of the loveliest towns on Tenerife, and one of the most truly ‘Canarian’ places in the Canary Islands.
The lush valley surrounding the town has been one of the island’s most prosperous areas since the 16th century. Most churches and manor houses here were built in the 17th century (with some dating back to the 16th century). The valley is a major cultivator of bananas, chestnuts and grapes (as in vineyards), and is also excellent hiking country, with a maze of footpaths leading into Canarian pine woods, with 1200m views down over the coastal plain. The tourist office can advise on routes.