Village Life in Garachico
This gracious, tranquil town is located in a deep valley flanked by forested slopes and a rocky coastline. Sometimes bypassed by tourists, Garachico has managed to retain its intrinsic Canarian identity. Spend a few hours here, exploring the quaint cobbled streets, dipping into local tapas bars and absorbing the traditional culture and lifestyle.
- Start El Caletón
- End Puerta de Tierra (Land Gate)
- Length 0.5km; one hour
Strung along the seafront, these natural pools and channels known as El Caletón were formed by the lava flow from a volcanic eruption in 1706, which buried half the town. Today they are ideal for paddling toddlers or swimming; some are even deep enough for diving.
Wander along the rocky-cove waterfront, past local fishermen waiting for a bite, and drop by the Castillo de San Miguel, which contains a modest two-room museum about the town's history, including exhibits on piracy, sealife and geology. Climb the tower for excellent views.
Sitting in the Square
Stroll through one of Tenerife’s most delightful plazas, Plaza Libertad, where old men in flat caps play cards or dominoes, surrounded by sauntering couples, children kicking balls and families shaded by Indian laurel trees. The kiosk-cafe here serves drinks and snacks.
Pondering on the Past
On the corner of the plaza sits the gracious 16th-century Convento de San Francisco. This rambling museum here has exhibits set around beautiful cloisters, which include the volcanic history of the town and islands and some fascinating early-20th-century photos of the town.
Passing the sumptuous Hotel La Quinta Roja, double round the back to the delightful small bar Tasca del Vino, located on a picturesque cobbled side street down the side of the hotel. Here you can enjoy a drink with a generously portioned tapa for just €2.50.
Potty About Pottery
Near here is a ceramic and art shop, which would look happily at home in any urban-chic big city. Run by German artist Alice Gauer and her Spanish partner Julian Betemps, Art Shop has an eclectic display of art, including sea-urchin jewellery, carved wooden plates, paintings and stacks of contemporary ceramics.
Puerta de Tierra (Land Gate)
A relic of the town's former life before it was redesigned by volcanic action, Parque de la Puerta de Tierra is a serene experience. The Puerta de Tierra (Land Gate) is all that’s left of Garachico’s once-thriving port. The gate once stood right on the water but thanks to the eruption it's now isolated in the centre of town.
- Volcanic history
- Heritage attributes
Bus Bus 107 connects Garachico with Santa Cruz (€8.15, two hours), La Laguna, La Orotava and Icod de los Vinos. Bus 363 runs regularly from Puerto de la Cruz (€3.75, one hour).