La Orotava - a warm, winter wonderland

I’ve just read a thread on Tenerife Forum which was comparing Christmas in the UK with Christmas on Tenerife. A couple of people said they thought that there was no Christmas spirit on Tenerife. It illustrated for me yet again that there are still a lot of people on Tenerife who really don’t know the island they live on.

During the holidays I’d been to La Orotava, Santa Cruz and La Laguna to take photos for a Tenerife Magazine article about the most Christmassy towns on Tenerife and they were all very festive with live music and stalls selling hot food.

These and the other historic towns had streets decorated like Christmas trees and full Christmas agendas which involved Christmas concerts, music in the streets, Christmas markets and all sorts of festive goodies. If you wandered through any one of them at night, it was impossible not to be infected with a jolly dose of Christmas spirit.

It’s true that because the most Christmassy places tend to be found where most Canarios live (i.e. the north of the island) and that decorations in the purpose built tourists resorts are maybe not quite as elaborate as in the old historic towns. But it’s also true that places like Arona and Adeje, where the biggest resorts are located, also had extensive Christmas agendas.

There was Christmas spirit by the sparkly bucket load to be found on Tenerife. There always is.
However, depending on where you live, or are staying, it might not  come to you; you have to make the effort to find it.

Santa Cruz - the odd light in the centre is a fire juggler.

  1. pegasus says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. You have to live with the people to be able to grasp the culture. Christmas here is spread over a 2 week period and the climax comes with the ‘Arrival of the Three Kings’…. I was standing near the Cathedral in Santa Cruz when the procession went passed….. the kids were on an absolute high in anticipation. There was a ‘buzz’, excitement and thrill that was palpable. The families were having a great time and then in the park watching the fireworks the whole City seemed to stand still. Every restaurant and bar was full with friends reuniting, hugging kissing and well wishing until the early hours. This is the Tinerfenians Real Christmas

  2. Zara says:

    Sorry to disagree I don’t think the MOST Christmassy places are more prevalent in the North. Even in the south you don´t have to look far, every town and tiny one street village has its decorations.

    If however you are referring to what the ´stay put´ tourist sees then even they only have to step into the street in most resorts to get a feel for the Christmas you see in the films (minus snow of course). Las Americas can give Regent Street a run for its money as far as spectacular lights are concerned. Anyone who was in Los Cristianos on 5th would have seen a true Canarian festival, with the Kings on their camels, parades, bands and a ´live´ nativity. Again every street has its decorations. Fañabe, Torviscas and even Callao are lit up every evening like Christmas trees. So once the sun goes down while the unadventurous might not wander into local towns and villages providing they step outside of their AI hotel they cannot miss the Christmas spirit.

  3. dragojac says:

    Lovely description of Santa Cruz, Pegasus.

    Different points of view are always welcome Zara. I was prompted to write the blog because of the comments of a couple of ex-pat residents in the south who clearly felt that there was a lack of Xmas spirit.
    But then I feel there are people who live on the ‘holiday island of Tenerife’ as opposed to actually living on Tenerife and their worlds are very different to yours and mine and most of the people who live here.

    Like you say there was plenty of Christmas spirit to be found in and around the southern resorts and towns. But I still believe it’s hard for them to match the main northern towns for atmosphere and that’s to do with the whole package of quaint historic streets twinkling with Christmas lights, inpromptu carol singing and brass bands, food stalls and the majority of people wearing boots, woolly jumpers and scarves even though the evening temperatures were around 20 degrees.

    However, I have to admit that I might have got it wrong about where the most Christmassy place on Tenerife was. It isn’t a town at all, it’s a petrol station between Puerto and Icod which every year is transformed into a twinkling version of the North Pole complete with polar bears, igloos and sparkling reindeers.

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