Ever the bridesmaid, the little fishing town of San Andrés is constantly by-passed in favour of its seductive, exotic and golden appendage, Playa de las Teresitas.
Most people who have done any research into beaches on Tenerife will know about Playa de las Teresitas; one and a half kilometres of perfect, desert island type beach made from grains imported from the Sahara. It’s the sandy playground of the Santa Cruceros (people from Santa Cruz) with a man made reef that keeps the sea calm and perfect for families with young children.
With a palm fringed rear and an Anaga Mountain backdrop it’s arguably the most attractive looking beach on Tenerife, although some prefer Playa las Vistas between Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas. However, this is the one that gets featured on most guidebooks and endless newspaper travel articles, even if the content doesn’t actually mention Las Teresitas itself.
With a row of kiosks serving cervezas, snacks and tapas at the back of the beach, once you’re on those golden sands there’s no great urge to leave them until it’s time to head for home.
Which is why little San Andrés remains relatively a bit of an enigma. Even the shape of the village itself doesn’t help its cause, it hugs the side of the hillside shyly. You can only see it properly by driving past it and Teresitas to Los Órganos Mirador. Even then the view of the beach and, if it’s clear, Mount Teide beyond, is a distraction.
It’s worth making the effort to explore San Andrés sleepy streets where there a few things to look out for, like the little parish church that dates back to the 16th century. It’s a pretty little village that feels wonderfully unspoilt; Playa de las Teresitas is too far away from the resorts of south Tenerife to bring tourists in significant numbers.
San Andrés didn’t always play second fiddle to a beach. It’s got a proud history. Its castle, the Torre de San Andrés, not only helped keep the place pirate free, it also played a big role in seeing off one Admiral Horatio Nelson. The tower now lies in ruins, broken neatly in half which gives it a certain appeal in itself. Ironically, it was no military attack that caused the castle’s downfall, nature did that job at the end of the 19th century. Note to castle designers: Don’t build your fort at the confluence of two ravines that are prone to flooding during rainstorms.
Apart from providing a few photo opportunities and the chance for a shady stroll beneath the Indian laurels, there’s another very good reason for swapping the golden sand for the town. San Andrés has cracking fish restaurants. Some, like La Posada del Pez, are quite chic and contemporary whilst others are basic fishermen haunts where the chances are you’ll know exactly how fresh the fish is because you’ll see the chef buying it from fishermen at the restaurant’s front door.
Next time you pass San Andrés on the way to Tenerife’s golden beach, roll down the car window. If I can’t convince you to give it a look, maybe the irresistible aroma of fried fish from the restaurants that mugs your nostrils might.
Category : beaches
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