Don’t Miss Pretty Puerto de la Cruz

On the north coast of Tenerife, there is a lovely town, easily explored by foot, where wide avenues, street cafes and traditional Canarian balconies rub shoulders with modern hotels and an award-winning lido.

I am talking, of course, about Puerto de la Cruz. It has a quaintness and charm that Los Cristianos, its blowsier sister in the South, completely lacks. Take a walk around the town and you will find a welcoming street cafe that has been in the same spot for decades round one corner, a friendly young couple just launching their new gastropub round another.

The mix of old and new blend very well in Puerto de la Cruz. The Canarian balconies are balanced by large modern art murals, dusty old restaurants serving typical Canarian fare seasoned in their proximity to the jazzy cocktail bar next door.

History of Puerto de la Cruz

As a coastal fishing community Puerto de la Cruz dates as far back as 1502. By 1603, a church and village square had been constructed. In 1706, its importance as a port grew after Teide’s last great eruption decimated Garachico.

Originally Puerto de la Cruz was part of the municipality of La Orotava but in 1808, it officially became its own municipality (the smallest in Tenerife) changing its name from Puerto de la Orotava to its current name, Puerto de la Cruz.

In the late 19th century, the Hotel Tauro was built ushering in a new era of tourism to the area. Around about this time, graceful family homes were also turned into hotels such as the venerable Hotel Monopol.

Entertainment and Attractions

There always seems to be something going on in Puerto de la Cruz;  activity around the old port signalling the stage being broken down after the last event or being built up for the next one.  Modern art and culture and traditional fiestas are celebrated with equal appreciation in the town and there is a large annual carnival to rival the one in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

As you walk along the seafront of Puerto de la Cruz you might be tempted to swim in the natural rocky pools and if you are adventurous, play like the local kids in the crashing waves before they break on the rocks, but a great alternative is the award-winning lido, Lago Martiánez, designed by architect Cesar Manrique. 10,000 sq.metres of pools, gardens, bars restaurants – and lifeguards.

Restaurants and Cafe

You only have to take three steps out of your hotel with a blindfold on to trip over the door of a restaurant. Many have tables right on the street which makes choosing where to eat tricky because it all looks and smells delicious. Incidentally, Groupon do a couple of restaurants in Puerto de La Cruz so you can look on there to see if what you fancy has a running discount or check out the ratings for Puerto de la Cruz restaurants on Trip Adviser before you go to line up a few of the best.

Of those I visited on a recent short stay in Puerto, La Andaluza was one of my favourites. On the street it seems tiny, just a few tables on a side street but inside it opens out to a reasonable size. As the name suggests the food is Andalusian, the service is charming and we had the great fortune to eat there on a night when the beloved flamenco singer, Lina Vargas, was there to sing.
flamenco dancer wall art

The Andaluz has an intriguing painting on the wall. The more I looked at it,  the less sense it made. I had to ask the waitress what it was and even as she told me it was a Spanish dancer from behind, she shrugged her shoulders because she did not see it either.

Just before I left the restaurant, belly full of delicious food and soul satisfied with the entertainment and good company, it clicked for me. Now I can’t unsee her and don’t understand why the image was not obvious to me in the first place.

Foodies have no end of choice here. As you would expect there are lots of traditional Spanish eateries like La Andaluza but you’ll find international seafood, Asian cuisines, French, Italian, steakhouses and an equal variety in pubs, street cafes, and live entertainment venues.

One of our favourite night spots is the Africa Gastropub on Calle de Agustin de Bethencourt. It serves food, drinks and friendly service from 5pm till 2am on the weekends, 5pm to 1am every other night.  It’s a good place to sit getting quietly sozzled on their dangerous cocktails as the world passes you by. 

Diving Centres in Puerto de la Cruz

Teide Divers

Calle Corbeta Edificio Los Organos, Local 1 Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife 38400 Email: jackie.teidedivers@gmail.com

Dive Centre ATLANTIK,

Hotel MARITIM
Camino El Burgado 1
Puerto de la Cruz

Email:info@scubacanarias.com

XWANDER

Carretera Botánico 20,
38400 Puerto de la Cruz,

Email: info@xwander.com