The Tenerife Siesta

Wed, July 11th, 2012 - By Andrea Montgomery

The siesta is one of those enduring traditions which has slipped into Spanish iconography along with tapas, bull fighting and castanets. But in the age of twenty-four-seven communications and all day opening, does it still exist in Tenerife?


Tenerife shopping


Take your wallet for some exercise to any of the large Commercial Centres of Playa de Las Américas, Costa Adeje, La Laguna and La Orotava and you’ll find the tills happily ringing from 10am to 10pm without a break, although you’ll also notice a distinct lull in the crowds between 1.30pm and 4.30pm (the cash registers may no longer respect the siesta hours but the people still do) which actually makes it a good time to go shopping. The same applies to the commercial centres and main shopping streets of Santa Cruz where most high street names stay open all day with just a few independents closing their doors for the afternoon snooze.


Safari Centre, Playa de Las Américas


Stick to the sea front tourist centres of the major resorts of Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas, Costa Silencio and Puerto de la Cruz and you’re unlikely to see closed awnings and locked doors. But if you head back from the coast or out of the bigger resorts early to mid afternoon you can keep your purse under wraps, and if you’re thinking of trying the local shops in say Buenavista del Norte or Icod de los Vinos, unless you’re hoping to grab a tumbleweed bargain, get there in the morning.


Shopping Icod de los Vinos


Banks and Post Offices
Most visitors to Tenerife will have little need of visiting banks other than the ATMs which are open 24/7 but if you do have an issue and need to talk to someone, the bank siesta hour kicks in at 2pm and remains for the rest of the day. One or two banks such as Caixa and Caja Canarias open late on a Thursday to 7.45pm but I’m not aware of any banks on Tenerife that open Saturday mornings.




Main Post Office branches such as those in Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz, La Laguna and Los Cristianos normally open from 8.30am to 8.30pm except during the summer months of July, August and September when they close at 2.30pm (1.30pm on Saturdays). Smaller, sub-post offices close at 2.30pm so if you’re getting stamps for your postcards, don’t leave it until after your own afternoon nap to nip to the PO.

For those of us who live and work on Tenerife, the only time to get any business done is before 1.30pm when Town Halls, Council Offices, utilities and workshops close their doors on the afternoon heat and customers for the rest of the day. With so much bureaucracy involved in living in Spanish territories and such outdated technology, a merging of deep-rooted traditions ensues when the Spanish siesta hours meet the great British tradition of queueing. Deep joy.

Posted : Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 9:17 am
Category : about tenerife
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One Response to “The Tenerife Siesta”

  1. […] outweighs supply. We got lucky as we chanced our arm on the Friday before Christmas, arriving in traditional siesta time and finding a vacant table right outside the door. Previous visits to El Aderno’s delights […]

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