Mesa Del Mar, Where Tacoronte Goes To Bathe

Wed, September 5th, 2012 - By Colin

It shouldn’t be easy to descend into somewhere as breathtaking as Mesa del Mar, so I enjoyed the tight winding road as a required initiation test for daring to breach this hidden paradise. Unspoiled craggy bays like Almaciga stretching out and channels of surging waves surrounding a large swimming area like Garachico made the view seem like a pick and mix of the best of Tenerife, but that was only half the story.

Mesa del mar

 

Tacoronte town, half way between Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz, is packed with history and a nice place to visit in its own right but a 30 minute drive, or 021 Titsa public bus ride in my case, unlocked a thriving mix of old nature and modern adaptation. Sea spray was crashing over the rocks but the vast dripping pan of a pool was packed with swimmers and the decking surround full of sunbathers as lifeguards made sure that nature was a respected neighbour rather than a wagging finger of disapproval.

Mesa del Mar

 

I got a better idea of how the area has struck a working balance between the power and danger of nature and the willingness to share its bounty by popping through a short tunnel to Playa de La Arena. This 350 metre crescent of dark sand is towered over by majestic but unstable cliffs and although no one was harmed by a small rock slide in September 2011 the beach, quayside and busy fishing zone were closed. Cynical inhabitants of Tenerife may well have expected a long drawn out process to complete the work but five months later it was re-opened and another couple of months saw the award of a European Union blue flag for safety and quality of sand, water and citizen protection.

 

Mesa del Mar

An 80 metre long concrete wall and metal stakes hammered into the rock face should bond it together nicely, netting and sturdy chain fencing will ensure that any stray rubble keeps well away from the promenade. Thankfully the charms of the bay are still the stars. A shrine to the Virgen del Carmen nestles at the base of the cliff just next to a maintenance hut hewn into the rock and handily placed by the small crane that lowers pleasure craft and fishing boats into the sea. I followed the beach path beyond the bathing area to where surfers were enjoying the swelling tide and shingle bays echoed into the distance. The El Pedregal building makes a distinctive focal point dividing Playa de La Arena from Mesa del Mar and line fishing seemed very popular on the open part of the old terrace.

Mesa del Mar

 

I took time out to savour the beach from a small café and was pleased to see plenty of people enjoying the variety of pleasures the sea offers. Later I hiked part way up the steep roads above Mesa del Mar for more rewarding views. There is a lot of new housing in this area, restrained and in keeping with the blend of tradition and practicality. As I left early evening people were pouring down to the beach with food and drink to enjoy a fiesta celebration, they certainly have plenty here to celebrate.

Posted : Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 8:44 am
Category : beaches
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