Everyone knows where Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos are. They are the best-known resorts in Tenerife. You may have noticed that they are part of Adeje or Arona. So did you stop to wonder where Arona or Adeje were? Both towns are worth a visit if you think of spending a day seeing more of the island, but don’t want to go too far.
They are both municipalities (and in theory I suppose Las Americas and Los Cristianos, along with Costa Adeje or Costa del Silencio, are neighbourhoods) but I usually describe them as “counties”, with the respective towns being like the county town.
They have quite different characters. Arona, although it has spread in recent years, retains the feel of a sleepy, rural village. On a Saturday afternoon last year, intending to move house, I took a wander around and barely came across a soul. Granted the sun was intense so I guess everyone was taking a siesta. You will find the town hall here, but many offices like the municipality’s main post office and the cultural center transferred to Los Cristianos, perhaps taking some vitality with them. Still it was a pleasant afternoon’s stroll and on a side street close to the main square I found a great little juice bar which did delicious milkshakes. Most of the center comprises renovated properties and it has the feel of a rustic but well-off community. There aren’t many shops or restaurants so your wallet will thank you for this trip. When the village comes alive is in January for the romeria and again in October for the fiesta of its patron saint.
Adeje on the other hand is very much a thriving and lively community, which has grown enormously in recent years, spawning a blight of modern apartment blocks as well as an elegant new plaza, or church square. Unlike Arona, the town hall and main post office are still sited in the town, meaning more traffic and bustle of course. On the other hand that also means more shops and restaurants and the peaceful main thoroughfare leading up to the town hall and the parish church is lined with shady trees and street cafés. There is also a modern cultural center where you might well find an interesting art or photographic exhibition. Wander away from the main street however and you will find a sprawling, modern community with children’s playgrounds, supermarkets and video rentals.
What local ex-pats know is that Adeje is home to several excellent restaurants and is best known for chicken wings (Buffalo eat your heart out!) On the main street is Bar Oasis and just past the cultural center Bar Damary, both of which serve heaped platters of spicy wings at a cost ridiculous by northern European standards. To find the best-known however you need good clutch control or a healthy heart, because Restaurante Otelo lies up a steep climb at the beginning of the beautiful Barranco del Infierno and has a terrace overlooking the beginning of this famous walk. It gives a whole new meaning to cheap and cheerful and if you are lucky enough to go when there is a full moon, you will see a breathtaking sight as it rises over the hills to cast its silver spell over the town.
Category : days out
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