Alcalá – Unspoilt By Progress

Mon, April 25th, 2011 - By Colin

The good people of Alcalá, a quiet fishing village on the west coast of Tenerife must have braced themselves for the rampaging approach of change five years ago. A large modern apartment block at one end of the village and the giant 5 star luxury of Gran Melia’s Palacio de Isora on the old banana plantations at the other end were underway.

In the end it turned out to be a trade off between old and new, and looking down across the rugged bay from the revamped coastal path the fishing boats were still unloading at the top of the quayside slipway. Coming out by the jagged point keen locals fished for sport just by the old loading area. In the past it was a squeeze to walk further to the west and on to Playa de La Arena and Los Gigantes but the new landscape is wide open, has a choice of well marked paths, a kids’ playground, basketball court and a beach volleyball area.

Looking out to sea La Gomera looms large. At 28 kms this is the nearest point to the neighbouring island. Looking inland the new hotel looms even larger but the new plants and shrubs are at least masking it partially and the mountains above and beyond are a clear winner in the battle for attention. Much of the hotel is all inclusive but a few cheeky home made signs for bars and restaurants promise friendship, great traditional fish and meat, and incredibly low prices for those who want to sample true Tenerife life.

The main bay has also seen change. It was wilder when I used to swim there before a series of dykes were added to protect the pocket sized beach. I was re-assured to see it’s still a popular bathing area and a heaven for snorkel and scuba divers; the turtles seem happy with the calmer waters as well. The plaza is just a short way back and from one of the family run café bars you can just see the spray from the waves. Café Veril is a sun trap with good snacks, or further back La Cueva (evenings only) may fool you into thinking it’s a converted garage but once inside you will find a cave hewn into the rocks.

Avenida de Los Pescadores ( TF 6237 main road) links Alcalá to Los Gigantes to the west, and to Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos in the south and has a half hourly bus service or the taxi rank is just below the church. Don’t rush out of Alcalá without sampling local fish, Toni’s Restaurant on the main road is one of the best. If you visit the plaza on a Monday you will be able to browse the market from 9am to 2pm and if you want the big fiesta make a note of 15 August when midnight fireworks attract a flotilla of boats to the bay.

Posted : Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 9:06 am
Category : days out
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