On this final day of our holiday we headed back to the north east of Tenerife and visited La Laguna, Playa de Las Teresitas and drove through the Anaga National Park.
There is little in the way of street parking in La Laguna so we parked in Las Quinteras MUVISA car park. We headed straight there which saved us time in driving around trying to find a space. This is a large car park and at 10:00 on a Saturday morning there was plenty of spaces. It was also very cheap at 1.85 euros (£1.55) for about 3 hours and payable by card.
Close to the car park is the Plaza del Adelantado which is named after Adelantado Alonso Fernández de Lugo, the Spanish conquistador who conquered Tenerife in 1494. I really don’t like the word ‘conquered’ as this means battles and deaths most likely driven by greed and ego.
We were fortunate to stumble across the Dilema Cafe where we enjoyed a delicious healthy traditional Canarian breakfast. This cafe is highly recommended for its friendly staff and its vegetarian and vegan options.
After breakfast we walked through the historic streets of La Laguna, its full name being San Cristobal de La Laguna.
The Plaza de la Concepcion is one of the most lively squares of La Laguna with many bars, restaurants and shops.
The Dragon tree is a subtropical tree which is native to the Canary Islands and the largest and most famous of which can be found in Icod de los Vinos which is near to Garachico.
We came across the above church and decided to have a look inside. We didn’t have to pay anything and rather than it being a church it opened straight up into an attractive courtyard full of tropical plants and trees.
As we walked around the courtyard we came across an art gallery! This was a bit bizarre but quite interesting with several paintings having a Russian theme and is well worth having a look. We couldn’t work out whether the building was a church or a gallery or a museum!
We continued wandering around and entered the above building, again not knowing what to expect.
This also lead to an attractive courtyard with exhibitions around ‘life’ for example, a sculpture of The Tree of Life and one called ‘The Fall of Man’ which depicts the human race being about to fall as Adam gives into Eve which reflects the desires of humans.
Path of the Senses
From La Laguna we took the TF-113 into the Anaga National Park and stopped a short distance later at an attraction called ‘The Path of the Senses‘. We were unable to park in the car park there as it was too busy so again we had to park about half a mile up the road!
The Path of the Senses is very family oriented and full of people so while it might be a good place to take your kids, due to it being very busy we didn’t enjoy it very much. However it was interesting to be up in the clouds and have them swirling around you as you walked through the forest. There was a great deal of different varieties of flora and fauna and it was good to see UK house plants growing in the forest. There are 3 different paths and it takes about 45 minutes to walk around all 3. The pathways are well maintained although slippery in places.
From the Path of the Senses as we were short on fuel we had to head back towards civilisation rather than venturing further into the forest and we stopped at the Mirador De Jardina viewpoint which had panoramic views across La Laguna.
From this vantage point we could see blue sky towards the south east of the island so decided to fill up with fuel and head there!
Playa de las Teresitas
Our journey took us around the edge of Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife and past the main port which contained 3 or 4 massive cruise ships. Once past these we soon came to San Andres and parked at the beginning of Playa de Las Teresitas. We parked in the first car park we came across which was rough and bumpy as at the time we hadn’t realised there is a long tarmac car park stretching the length of the beach!
Playa de Las Teresitas felt very random to us! We had not anticipated a huge beach of golden sand… we thought this would be a tiny fishing village with a black rocky lava beach. There were many facilities including about 6 or 7 beach bars, changing rooms, toilets and first aid huts. There was quite a few people chilling on the beach but it felt empty as it was so spacious. We walked along to bar number 5 and enjoyed a local beer with some nachos while people watching.
Anaga Rural Park
Now we had some fuel as plan B we drove anticlockwise and back into the Anaga Rural Park. The Anaga Rural Park is a protected mountainous area in the north east of Tenerife and has many hiking trails, small traditional villages and a feeling of remoteness.
TF-12 is the main road to take through the Anaga Rural Park and is incredibly scenic. However as we drove higher into the mountains we were up in the clouds again. I had set Google Maps to a couple of viewing points along the TF-12 but all we could see was white swirling mist!
We continued along the twisting hairpin bends and eventually returned back to La Laguna and onto our Villa Finca el Drago in La Orotava.
For our last evening we walked for 30 minutes uphill back into La Orotava to visit our favourite restaurant La Violeta del Teide for the second time.
This is the last of our Tenerife posts and this holiday has inspired us to explore more of the Canary Islands in a similar way. Driving around to different places, a bit of hiking and sampling local cuisine in local traditional restaurants is our thing!