The word Sansofé is borrowed from the Guanche, the aboriginal Canary Islands inhabitants pre-Spanish conquest. A word it’s fun to whisper, even before you know its meaning, surely, it can only be something good – and it is. In the Guanche language it meant ‘you are welcome.’
Welcome is certainly what you will be if you attend any of the events which Granadilla de Abona hosts in this summer festival. Perhaps ‘Welcome to summer,’ or ‘Celebrate summer’ might fit better. The nicest thing is that it isn’t aimed at tourists, it’s aimed at the local population, who come to enjoy the cool breezes of this eastern coastline, so it’s very ‘real’ as opposed to ‘tourist’.
Although it begins in July, Sansofé revs up in August, with events in both El Médano and Los Abrigos. Lots of these festivities are aimed at children, from bouncy castles to puppet shows and exercise on the beach, there is plenty for kids to do, which doesn’t require language skills.
But it isn’t just about the children, for adults there are aerobics, zumba, a night hike, gym on the beach, and more, and it’s a case of the more the merrier. If your inclinations are less energetic, it’s worth noting that Sansofé coincides with the World Windsurf Tour arriving in town in early August, which is fun to watch; or if you want to try your artistic skills, there are painting classes.
Friday night is concert night, from the opening concert by Tenerife’s celebrated folk choir, Los Sabandeños, to a local rock band, to the municipal brass band, there is music for every taste. That applies too to the week-long international folklore festival, mid-August. Apart from local groups, this event has attracted in the past dancers from Thailand, Bolivia, Slovenia, Argentina and Senegal that I can remember, performing everything from tango to comedy. They don’t conform to the staid image we have of folk dance in the UK, many are vibrant and exotic, leaving you gasping at the agility of the performers.
There is something special about sitting under the stars to watch a favourite movie, though you may need Spanish to enjoy one of the open air cinema nights, but, though not golden oldies they aren’t new releases either, so chances are it may be familiar.
Other events include a vintage car rally, a foam party, ‘El Médano’s Got Talent,’ and tapas nights, one in each village. For the latter you purchase a sheet of tickets, each one of which buys you either a glass of wine (El Médano) or beer (Los Abrigos) or a tapa. Food is supplied by local restaurants, and we’ve already written about how good they are!
Events are spread between the two communities, the puppet show, for instance may be in Los Abrigos this weekend, and El Médano the next. The foam party is one year in one place, some years the other. You can get the schedule from the tourist office in the main square in El Médano or online from the Granadilla Ayuntamiento.
There is a special atmosphere to this time of year, you’ll find buskers, mime artists and makeshift stalls selling jewellery or paintings around El Médano’s streets as you stroll, and you will definitely feel most ‘welcome,’ as you wander.
Category : days out
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