When I see a travel article with a title like ‘the prettiest Spanish village nobody has ever heard of’ I instantly think what about the people who live there? They’ve heard about it. And then there’s the next village along, surely they know it as well?
Using ‘off the beaten track’ isn’t quite the same. But when the streets of a town are filled with 40,0000 fiesta goers in vibrantly coloured traditional costume, it doesn’t exactly feel like it’s a place that’s off the beaten track.
However, it depends whose beaten track we’re talking about. At the end of April Tegueste, in the north of Tenerife, holds one of the liveliest romerías (a type of harvest festival) you’ll find on the island. The town lies only a short drive from Tenerife’s former capital, La Laguna, one of the most populated areas of the island.
But for all it’s popularity with the local population, Tegueste remains off the beaten track for most visitors to Tenerife.
There’s nothing WOW about Tegueste and it doesn’t have any ‘must visit’ attractions, which is probably why it’s remained a bit of a Tenerife secret. And yet Tegueste is a place we love to visit on a regular basis.
Despite, its proximity to La Laguna, Tegueste sits in the centre of a sunny, rural valley. It’s a pretty location. It’s also wine country and there are some fabulous wines to be had in the area, like those from the El Lomo Bodega. Wine is such a big deal in Tegueste that they hold whole months devoted to the stuff.
Like many rural locations on Tenerife, the town has a weekend market. Where others can be totally focussed on the most perfect fruit and vegetables as well as wine cheese, honey etc. Tegueste’s bijou market has a bit of a Bohemian air. So whilst you can buy the best local food products, you can also pick up other goodies like unique jewellery – last time we bought the most beautiful bracelets made from old CDs – to a musical backdrop which ranges from Canarian folk to jazz.
Getting to the town centre is easy. There’s a car park, just off the main road (TF13) skirting the town, beside a small park used for working out as much as it is for chilling out. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from the old centre (which means no need to negotiate unfamiliar streets). The old centre isn’t particularly big but it does include the picturesque Church of San Marcos Evangelista; the focal point of the town and where many fiestas are held, including one where townsfolk take a step back in time to dress as though it’s the 1800s.
The main street is pedestrianised and there are a couple of traditional tascas and cafés along it. It’s the sort of place that’s ideal for a stroll through the streets, spotting little quirks like a laurel lined path, the sculpture of men grappling with each other’s pants (wrestling is popular in Tegueste) or another sweet little sculpture commemorating the ‘dance of the flowers’.
There are no theme parks, or anything specially laid on for tourists. What you’ll find in Tegueste is a delightfully authentic part of Tenerife where the old ways of life are still strong.
Category : days out
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