Granadilla de Abona, One of Tenerife’s Secret Villages

Mon, June 18th, 2012 - By Linda

There are parts of the municipality of Granadilla de Abona which are familiar to many visitors to Tenerife. Even if you weren’t aware of it, you probably passed through it at the beginning of your vacation, because Tenerife South Airport is located close to its coast, and you almost certainly spied the iconic Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) from your plane’s window as you landed.

Montaña Guajara

It’s the third largest municipality (after Arona and La Orotava) covering  around 155 sq kilometres. The best-known areas to visitors are the old, fishing-village-turned-foodie-haven Los Abrigos, the island’s “alternative” resort El Médano, and the south’s longest, natural beach, La Tejita. At its crown is Montaña Guajara, which rises behind the Parador in the Teide National Park, and which is the second highest mountain on the island after Mt Teide itself. Forests below that peak give way to the arid landscape so familiar to sun worshippers who come to the south, having been robbed of its trees centuries ago to provide timber and pitch for the fleets of yore.

What of the village at the heart of this municipality, Granadilla de Abona itself? It’s worth a visit, I would say, perhaps as part of a trip to or from the National Park, or combined with a visit to Spain’s highest village, Vilaflor. The road down from Vilaflor to the south coast via Granadilla is one of the prettiest of all the routes down the mountains.

church of San Antonio de Padua, Granadilla

At the heart of the pueblo is the church of San Antonio de Padua, built in the 18th century after fire destroyed the original structure. The tower, which lends that “Spanish colonial” feel was added later, in 1885. Right opposite the church is a charmingly restored rural hotel, Senderos de Abona, if you really want to get away from the crowds, that would be the place to stay.

Hotel Rural Senderos de Abona

Granadilla is a proud community with a rich history, dating back to the time before the Spanish Conquest of the Canary Islands. The Abona part of its name refers to the jurisdiction of Abona, one of the nine Guanche kingdoms into which the island was divided pre-conquest, and the last to submit to Spanish rule, although by compromise rather than defeat.

Granadilla de Abona

Just off from the area which accommodates the town hall and official buildings you’ll find Calle Arquitecto Marrero, where many of the buildings have been lovingly resorted, rivalling those in World Heritage Site, La Laguna. The street is also home to the Town Museum (Museo de Historia de Granadilla de Abona), but the prettiest building I noticed on a recent visit turned out to be the local hairdressers!

Other side streets are taking on a new life as the area is being restored, and when you tire of strolling the streets, it’s a pleasant surprise to pop into any of the town centre bars to find a cup of coffee considerably cheaper than the prices on the coast.

Like so many of Tenerife’s inland towns and villages, there is much more to Granadilla than at first meets the eye, but to delve deep into its history you probably need to speak some Spanish. If you don’t it’s still worth a stroll along its historic and very pleasant streets, to wind down and absorb some of the “real” Tenerife.

Posted : Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 10:45 am
Category : days out
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One Response to “Granadilla de Abona, One of Tenerife’s Secret Villages”

  1. […] Día de la Cruz in May is a celebration of the Holy Cross. Since the full name of both the island and the province is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there are celebrations in several places throughout the island, especially in towns that include “Cruz” in their title, like capital, Santa Cruz. The centrepieces of these celebrations are beautiful floral crosses, which appear at various places throughout the towns, as well as around churches. In the south of the Tenerife the most famous can be found in Granadilla de Abona. […]

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