Five Reasons I Choose to Live in the North of Tenerife

Wed, March 12th, 2014 - By Andrea Montgomery

Ten years ago when we were looking for somewhere to relocate to, a friend who lives on La Gomera told us:
“Don’t dismiss Tenerife until you’ve been to the north.”
Taking her advice, we headed to Puerto de la Cruz where we found an island a million miles away from the purpose built resorts of the south. We haven’t looked back since.


Roasting Chestnuts, November, Puerto de la Cruz


The Weather. Linda has it right when she says if you move here from Britain you will love the climate. I do. But it’s not just the non-existent winters and the long, hot summers that I love, it’s the fact that I still have three seasons. By the time November comes around I’m tired of the heat and crave cooler nights for sleeping. I’m happy to spend eight months a year in shorts and sandals but then I want to be able to wear long sleeved T shirts and high boots and skinny jeans and a jacket. And I love the winter rains when they fall in November, fast and refreshing, followed by December and Janauary’s sun. Then when spring comes around it brings that delicious sense of rebirth, fresh growth and the promise of a hot summer ahead.


Los Realejos


The Landscape. I thrive in the tropical landscape of the north of Tenerife – it’s how I know I live abroad. I may struggle to stay on top of my gardening as we have a year-round growing season, but I wouldn’t trade the palm groves, the orchid and flamboyance trees, the hibiscus hedges and the riotous profusion of oleanders, passionflower and sweet jasmine that grow like weeds in every inch of earth. Having the Botanical Gardens on the doorstep is just the pollen on the stamen for me.


Midsummer bathing of goats, Puerto de la Cruz


The Culture. The north is where the vast majority of Canarios choose to live, probably for all the same reasons I do. It’s where the default language is Spanish; where fiestas are traditions dating back centuries and not just something staged for the tourists; where the history of the island unfolded; where people live, work and play. Living in Puerto it’s just a 25 minute drive into Santa Cruz for the shops, the bars and the festivals. I’m a seven minute drive from the heart of La Orotava, 15 minutes from La Laguna and half an hour from Garachico and Icod de los Vinos.


Burger, La Oficina


The Restaurants. Going out to eat in the north is a constant test for the decision making skills. Apart from the proliferation of traditional Canarian restaurants providing menus that range from hearty to gourmet, I have the wonderful Ranilla District; a large and burgeoning tapas scene, areperas and the best burgers I’ve eaten on Tenerife at La Oficina.


Romeria, Garachico


The People. They may frustrate me on a regular basis but there’s no denying, the Canarios are indeed ‘amable‘. I love that they’re always smiling, that they go out of their way to help you and that they appreciate the fact that you communicate with them in Spanish, albeit imperfectly. The British have been a part of history in the north for centuries, helping to shape the society that exists today. In the south, they mainly come to lie on the beaches. For me, it’s a different world.

Posted : Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 12:04 pm
Category : about tenerife
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3 Responses to “Five Reasons I Choose to Live in the North of Tenerife”

  1. […] under a year ago Andy wrote a blog for about why she chose to live in the north of Tenerife whilst Linda Wainwright (aka IslandMomma) did the same for the south. It was an interesting […]

  2. Scott says:

    Could you please compare living in Santa Cruz vs. Puerta de la Cruz. I have 2 young daughter (4 and 6) and will be working in Guimar. I know the Capital is closer but I’d love an insiders viewpoint on the difference in these two cities for living. Thanks

    • It’s a big question. But my first thoughts are if you are working in Guimar, then Santa Cruz immediately is more attractive for one massive reason. The commuter traffic between Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz can be a nightmare and you’d have to tackle it to get to Guimar. For example the 25 minute journey between Puerto and Santa Cruz can take over an hour and a half in peak commuter traffic. You’d be heading against the traffic between Santa Cruz and Guimar and it is nowhere near as heavy on that side anyway. It’s so heavy the Tenerife Government is currently looking at ways to alleviate the volume (lower bus fares, extra motorway lanes etc).

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