Tacoronte may not be the first town that comes to mind in Spain's gorgeous Canary Islands. After all, the stunning island of Tenerife has plenty of southern resort towns like the small city of Los Cristianos and bustling Palm-Mar. But when it comes to rich cultural history, black-sand beaches, and a truly relaxing atmosphere, Tacoronte stands on its own.
Before Sebastián Machado founded Tacoronte in 1508, the area was one of the original nine Mencey Guanche kingdoms that preceded the Spanish conquest. The town quickly grew, and by 1911, the king named the bustling agricultural center a municipality. Tacoronte treasures its rich history, which is displayed throughout the town in its traditional architecture - especially in the world-renowned historic quarter that you can walk to from your vacation rental!
Travelers looking to admire the local culture are sure to enjoy walking through Tacoronte's old town and seeing its countless sights. The La Casona building is a brilliant example of traditional architecture. The Santuario del Cristo de Tacoronte - once the old Las Angustias chapel - lets you admire ancient artifacts like 17th-century figurines and a sculpture of the Virgen del Carmen by Luján Pérez. Don't forget about the Santuario del Cristo shrine. Over four centuries old, islanders still pray at the shrine today, which is conveniently located near the town's Casa de la Cultura (Cultural Center).
Tacoronte is set in the north of Tenerife - just as close to lush forests and towering mountains as it is to sandy beaches. The verdant flora and fauna, combined with rolling hills in the surrounding countryside, have made this region the heart of Tenerife's wine country. Set out from your vacation home on an incredible wine tour, visiting vineyards and sampling their wines at renowned restaurants. Don't forget to stop by La Alhóndiga - the former granary now houses a regional wine competition every single year!
There's more to Tacoronte's natural beauty than grapevines, though. Just near La Alhóndiga lies the Jardines de Hamilton, a park absolutely bursting with varied plant species you won't see anywhere else. And don't forget about Mesa del Mar Beach - just a short drive away from town, this black sand beach is perfect for a day in the water and watching a stellar sunset before returning for a delicious home-cooked meal in your rental home.
The north of Tenerife may not boast the same density of towns as the south, but that hardly means that there's nothing to see. Nearby, Los Realejos offers its own rich history and culture, as well as easy access to extreme sports. Meanwhile, beachside towns like Mesa del Mar await to the west, with plenty of delicious restaurants to try.
Seeing as you're on an island, you'll certainly want to visit the coast - luckily, the black sands and tranquil waters of La Arena Beach are conveniently located near Mesa del Mar, and great for family fun. Of course, when it comes to swimming, it's hard to beat El Pris - a natural swimming pool on the steeper part of Tenerife's coast. The pool's tranquil waters, the ocean's crashing waves and jagged rocks, and Mount Teide in the distance create an utterly unique atmosphere that will take your breath away! Explore as hard as you want, knowing you have a comfortable vacation rental to return to.
For those ready to see a whole new side of the Canary Islands, the town of Tacoronte - and the nearby cultural and natural wonders - await you!
Photo Credit: perlaroques via Flickr