Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife’s north coast is a top holiday resort, with exotic black-sand beaches, plus plenty of lively pubs and restaurants.Puerto de la Cruz | from Spanish Tourism
There’s also a full quota of fun family attractions and a wide range of modern accommodation – from budget self-catering apartments to luxury five-star hotels – lining the palm-fringed coast.
The old town around Plaza del Charco boasts plenty of attractive, historic buildings if you get bored with sunbathing. It’s busiest in the summer months, but popular in winter too, when many Brits go to escape the chilly UK temperatures.
Getting there/around Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz is a 90-minute transfer from the main charter airport, Reina Sofia, in the south. Scheduled flights go to Los Rodeos airport, and from there it takes 25 minutes to get to town.
There are regular bus services between all the main resorts and most attractions. Hire a car if you want to do lots of exploring.
Beaches in Puerto de la Cruz
Its dark volcanic sands get pretty scorching in summer. There are three beaches in Puerto: the pretty, 700m-long Playa Jardin, the only blue flag beach, which is backed by a terraced tropical garden; Martianez, which has lively waves and is popular with surfers and bodyboarders and San Telmo.
Alternatively, you could spend a day at the popular Lido Martianez, designed by famous Canarian architect Cesar Manrique. The eight-acre landscaped attraction contains a series of palm-fringed saltwater pools, waterfalls and fountains.
Sightseeing in Puerto de la Cruz
Stroll around the historic districts and admire buildings including the 17th century San Felipe Castle. The lush Botanical Gardens founded at the end of the 18th century are worth a visit for their rich variety of tropical plants collected from all over the world.
Families will enjoy Loro Parque, where there’s a zoo plus tropical gardens.
Family attractions in Puerto de la Cruz
One of Tenerife’s most popular family attractions, Loro Parque, is in Puerto de la Cruz. Catch the miniature train from Avenida de Colon in the town centre to ‘Parrot Park’ where you can see 200-odd species of parrot, performing dolphins and enjoy feeding time with the penguins among the lush vegetation and botanical gardens.
Also take a nature walk in Corona Forestal Nature Reserve and watch fishing boats bringing their catch into the old harbour.
Day trips from Puerto de la Cruz
Take the 348 bus to dramatic Tiede National Park where lunar landscapes are dominated by Mount Tiede, at 12,194ft, it’s Spain’s highest peak. The picturesque La Orotava Valley is nearby. Visit the historic town and surrounding banana plantations.
The dramatic and aptly named Acantilados de los Gigantes (Cliffs of the Giants) where sheer rock walls plunge into the Atlantic Ocean far below are worth a trip. You can take a boat tour to get a better view of the cliffs and if you’re lucky, you might spot the odd dolphin or stingray.
Eating in Puerto de la Cruz
Those who don’t fancy the local cuisine can find plenty of restaurants serving Brit favourites such as fish and chips. There are plenty of tasty Canarian dishes that are worth trying for the more adventurous.
Specialities include tasty papas arrugadas (boiled, salted potatoes in their skins) served with a variety of spicy mojos (sauces), vieja – a local fish, and conejo en samorejo (pork). Head to the old town or harbour for a wide selection of traditional eateries.
Nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz
Most of the best bars can be found in the streets around historic Plaza del Charco. Alternatively, take a wander down the attractive coastal promenade where you’ll find a wide selection of pavement bars and cafes.
For a special night out, get your glad rags on and head to the sophisticated 19th century Casino Taoro where there’s a restaurant and bar in which to blow your winnings.
Shopping in Puerto de la Cruz
For the best selection of shops, head to modern Las Piramides de Martianez Centro Commercial, the town’s largest mall, where you can buy
clothes, handicrafts, fruit and vegetables as well as the usual souvenirs.
Most days there is a traditional market along the harbour where you can buy fresh produce and handicrafts. The main shopping area in town is around Plaza del Charco. Must-buys include the piquant green and red mojos (sauces) and palm syrup.