Lots of Sunshine but not Many Tourists in East Tenerife

Mon, July 28th, 2014 - By Jack Montgomery

As a disgruntled visitor was complaining on a travel forum about a cloudy, miserable day (apparently no blue skies equals miserable) in a tourist resort in the south of Tenerife, I was on a hillside above Tenerife’s east coast being frazzled beneath a cloudless sky.

The distance from Puerto de la Cruz, where we live, to the south of Tenerife is about 100 kilometres by motorway. It’s not the shortest route, but it is the quickest one. Subsequently we drive it a lot.
Nearly every time the section from near Santa Cruz to Tenerife Sur Airport is bathed in sunshine; even on days when we’ve left a cloudy north and arrived in a cloudy south.

 

Playa de Chimaje, Tenerife

 

Along this stretch there are sandy beaches (the coves at Abades and Poris de Abona), small fishing communities (Tajao, Jaca), historic towns (Candelaria, Güímar, Arico Nuevo, Arafo) and attractions (good walking country, the pyramids, the Basilica and mencey statues at Candelaria).
There are traditional restaurants where you can gorge on fresh, locally caught fish. Puertito de Güímar is a great little coastal town with a stylish harbour that has wooden decking; ideal for reclining in the sunshine after a hot walk through the area’s volcanic malpaís (good paths and well signposted).

And yet, relatively speaking, hardly any visitors spend much, if any time, on the east coast.

 

Basilica, Candelaria, Tenerife

 

Candelaria and the Pyramids at Güímar attract some visitors, but those who venture this far are just the tiny tip of the tourist iceberg. Many, many more pass through without stopping, on their way to Santa Cruz or ‘The North’.

The question of whether this has to do with a lack of accommodation is a bit chicken and egg.
Do people not stay in the east because there is a lack of choice, or is there a lack of choice because  visitors don’t go east?  Maybe it’s a bit of both. However, evidence tends to point to the east being largely ignored by North European visitors.

 

Puertito de Guimar, Tenerife

 

There is a spattering of rural accommodation and apartments, but a surprising lack of hotels on the coast. There is only one, the Punta del Rey in Candelaria. There used to be two, but the other closed.
One of the best viewpoints on the island, overlooking the beautiful Valle de Güímar, boasts a hotel. But it has been closed since we arrived on the island ten years ago. It sits, a derelict white elephant, partly blocking the view that was the reason for its existence in the first place. Plans to build a hotel at Abades never really got off the ground.

You could argue the east coast is too windy, yet there are bustling windy resorts further south; El Médano being one. Additionally, in summer months sleepy fishing communities come alive with Canarios, some from other islands, who decamp to second homes by the sea. Parts of the coast are packed with happy campers.

 

Tajao, Tenerife

 

In August, one hundred thousand pilgrims make their way to Candelaria to worship their patron saint, whose image ‘came shore’ nearby to surprise a couple of Guanche shepherds.

The east coast remains an enigma. Canarios are wise to its charms, but for some reason most Northern European visitors have still to be convinced.

Posted : Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 10:08 am
Category : about tenerife
Subscribe : RSS 2.0



Leave a Reply