One of the best ways to explore any town or village in Tenerife is simply to follow any little paths that look interesting and stick your nose through the doorway of public buildings. Traditionally built in a square around a central courtyard, sometimes the most mundane of façades can lead to the loveliest discoveries. Here are just a few that are worth seeking out.
Casa Mendez Fonseca
One of the Casas de los Balcones in La Orotava, this courtyard is one of my favourites on the island. Intricately carved tea-wood balconies, old prints of the embroidery workers, singing canaries and a wine press complete with tastings are just some of its delights.
Just along from the Casas Balcones in La Orotava, the courtyard of Casa Lercaro houses a lovely little bistro café and is used as a venue for weddings. Eclectic sculptures and a small waterwheel accompany fabulous views over the valley to the ocean.
This gorgeous restaurant on the border of Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava doesn’t just have wonderful food, it’s also sited in the courtyard of a 17th century traditional mansion with scented gardens and a wine bodega to explore after lunch.
Hotel Quinta Roja
A visit to Garachico wouldn’t be complete without a nosey into the lovely courtyard of Hotel Quinta Roja. It’s the sort of place that has you sighing and wishing you were booked in there, even if only for a night, to enjoy the ambience of its palm-studded tranquillity.
Rincon Del Puerto
In Plaza Charco in the heart of Puerto de la Cruz there’s a narrow entrance behind the pavement eateries that leads to a beautiful courtyard. Several restaurants fill the space with their tables and in the centre, an enormous palm tree sends its fronds soaring past the traditional carved balconies and into the sunshine.
In the middle of a very small museum in the very small hamlet of Masca is a pretty little courtyard filled with agricultural artefacts and trailing plants. Typical of what the houses in the village would have looked like before tourism arrived, this is traditional rural architecture at its best.
The pottery museum of Arguayo has one of the prettiest courtyards you’re likely to find, every space filled with planters and with potters’ bric a brac. At one end you can watch pots being thrown by hand as they have been for centuries and at the other you can find out all about the history of the craft.
Instituto Cabrera Pinto
A hidden delight, tucked away inside the drago tree-guarded entrance of the Instituto in La Laguna is a magical courtyard garden brimming with huge, blossom covered camellias, lush ferns and yuccas, rose trees, jasmine, orange trees and strelitzias. With the air filled with birdsong and the scent of the flowers, it’s the perfect venue to enjoy the special pleasure of courtyard living.
Category : about tenerife
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