When your way in and out of Tenerife is via the big blue sky, you don’t really think about the need to keep an eye out for hidden rocks. As long as the pilot remembers that there’s a particularly big one in the centre of the island, hitting a rock isn’t something that’s likely to happen.
It wasn’t always the case and, in fact, it still isn’t for the ferries and ships that sail the waters around Tenerife. For them, even with all their modern technology, a warning beacon of light still helps guide them safely through the night.
There’s something old school travel about lighthouses. They speak of danger and excitement and voyages into the unknown. I tend to look on them with a sense of wonder whenever I stumble across one. On Tenerife, there are a few to stumble cross.
Punta de Hidalgo Lighthouse
My favourite. Located a short distance from Punta de Hidalgo, the seriously modern style shouldn’t work in such a scenic setting, but it looks fabulous. There’s a story that Dutch scientists studied the hole in the ozone layer from the top of the lighthouse.
Punta de Teno Lighthouse
It takes a bit of a drive to get to the lighthouse at Punto de Teno which lights up the channel between La Gomera and Tenerife. At least there’s a road now. It used to take four hours for the poor old lighthouse keeper to walk from Buenavista del Norte, laden down with goods. There’s been a lighthouse here since 1897 – it’s still there, hidden behind the newer white and red model.
La Farola del Mar
The lighthouse at the port of Santa Cruz is one of the most attractive on the island, even if it is barely bigger than a Dalek. This French designed lighthouse was so popular that there are even songs about it. It guided ships into the port between 1863 and 1954 and was dismantled in 1973. A replica now sits, hidden away between the Armas and Fred Olson ferries.
Lighting up Tenerife’s most southerly point since 1848 is the Rasca Lighthouse. It’s an interesting trek through the Rasca Malpaìs (badlands) from Las Galletas to reach the lighthouse.
This is the most remote of the Tenerife lighthouses and can still only be reached by walking across the Anaga Mountains for around three hours or by boat from Santa Cruz. The Anaga lighthouse sits in an imposing eastern position, its beacon visible up to 40 miles out to sea.
Is it a real lighthouse? Who knows, but it does look good sitting between the open air pools and the harbour in Bajamar.
Puerto de la Cruz Lighthouse
Puerto de la Cruz also went for the modern look with an open staircase. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work and looks like a fire escape without a building attached.
Buenavista del Norte Lighthouse
Another white modern version with an unusual open spiral staircase. The light from this one can be seen up to 20 miles away.
Costa Adeje Lighthouse
The sexiest of them all isn’t a real lighthouse at all, it’s the stand-out landmark of the Faro Chill Art bar in Costa Adeje. This one is also different in that its beacon attracts people.
Category : about tenerife
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