Tenerife Carnival Dates for 2012

Wed, December 7th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

Christmas on Tenerife is looming large on the horizon and already thoughts have turned to carnival on Tenerife, or ‘carnaval’ as it’s known here.

Newspaper articles about carnival on Tenerife tend to focus on the fun, frolics and flamboyant costumes in Santa Cruz. But in reality there are loads of carnivals on Tenerife.


Santa Cruz is the star with as many as 100,000+ people in fancy dress (being in costume is essential) attending the nightly street parties. However, the bigger northern towns also put on lively carnivals at the same time whilst there are smaller affairs in some southern resorts about a week later.

Here are the best places to enjoy a Tenerife carnival in 2012.

Carnival in Santa Cruz (25th January to 26th February)
The blurb says carnival in Santa Cruz runs from the 25th January to the 26th February. But the first weeks consist of Murgas (satirical singing clowns) and Comparsas (dance groups) competitions and the election of carnaval queens. The party doesn’t really start in earnest until the opening parade (cabalgata) on the 17th February. Other highlights are the closing parade (aposeotis) on the 21st Feb and Burial of the Sardine on the 22nd.
Although the closing parade is held on the 21st, the party doesn’t actually stop (it’s a technicality). It continues until the end of the following weekend when there are lots of carnaval events in the city centre.



Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz (16th to 25th February)
Puerto de la Cruz is home to the second most popular carnival on Tenerife. The numbers might not be as impressive as Santa Cruz, but there can still be 30,000+ revellers in Plaza del Charco and surrounding streets partying the night away for a week. The main events are the Burial of the Sardine (22nd), the outrageous High Heels Drag Marathon (24th) and the closing parade on the 25th.

Carnival in La Laguna, La Orotava and Tacoronte
All three throw lavish carnivals, yet they tend to be overlooked by visitors.
La Laguna, La Orotava and Tacoronte follow the worldwide formula for working out each year’s carnival dates which is linked to when Lent falls. Subsequently their carnivals always coincide with the carnivals in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz.

Carnival in Los Gigantes (1st to 5th March)
Carnival dates in the southern resorts tend to be arranged so that they don’t coincide with Tenerife’s bigger carnivals. As a rule of thumb they are usually held about a week after carnival in Santa Cruz – presumably so the locals can enjoy the carnivals in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz before throwing their own.


Carnival in Los Cristianos (who knows?)
Ironically the carnival that most people ask about on English language forums is the one that is always slowest at confirming their carnival dates. Last year Los Cristianos’ carnival overlapped with Los Gigantes’ although the main Los Cristianos parades actually took place the week after the party in Los Gigantes which should make it around the weekend of 9 to 11th of March in 2012. But that’s just an educated guess until the local council confirms the dates.

Whichever carnival you attend, the way to get the best out of it is to dress up, go to a street party and join in the fun.

Posted : Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 at 9:23 am
Category : about tenerife
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3 Responses to “Tenerife Carnival Dates for 2012”

  1. […] planning your holiday to Tenerife for any time in February or March, there’s a good chance Carnaval dates for 2012 may overlap with your trip. If they do, it’s an opportunity to see one of the biggest […]

  2. […] Los Gigantes and Los Cristianos also hold smaller but equally fun versions after the main northern carnivals are over. See our blog of carnival dates for full details. […]

  3. […] of Shrove Tuesday, they bring all the razzmatazz to our doorsteps. You’ll find many of the 2012 Tenerife carnival dates here, but Granadilla de Abona, Los Gigantes, Puerto de la Cruz and Los Cristianos spring to mind. I’ve […]

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