La Montañeta El Monasterio often shortened to the Monasterio by expats and tourists is usually called La Montaneta (little mountain) of Los Realejos by the locals. It takes only 2 or 3 minutes by car to get to it from Al Campo la Villa shopping mall, just off the TF5 at the Loro Parque exit and then a short distance off the next roundabout on the right-hand side. 15 minutes by cab will only cost about €4 from Puerto de la Cruz or the Titsa bus 352 will take you there.
This 18th century Monastery perched high above Puerto de la Cruz turned to catering in the 1980’s, when taken over by the Columbus Company. Now it is one of the north’s most renowned eateries. In reality, it is more like a small theme park made up of many old buildings. Even if you are not planning to eat in one of the many restaurants, it is worth a visit, particularly if you have young children who will be enthralled by the animals that wander around the grounds. There are small horses, chickens, ducks, peacocks, a couple of ponds and a small lake. It really is a beautiful place.
There are restaurants to suit all palates. As you enter the grounds, the first one you see is the Hacienda de San Pedro, elegant and specialising in fish and paella dishes. The main restaurant, Comedor Principal, is split into different area, the Confessionary, the Cave Room, the Bodega and two terrace restaurants with views over the surrounding valley. It specialises in Canarian dishes, and roast suckling pig, if you have never tried this in Tenerife, now’s your chance, just make sure you don´t eat for a day before your visit as the portions are huge.
The rustic Bodega de San Pedro is ideal for large parties, and several excursion companies use this as lunch spot for coach tours.
We ate in the Cafe el Mirador, which has a sun terrace protected by a glass wall where you can enjoy the view over the valley down to Puerto de la Cruz. The Mirador has a menu del dia as well as signature dishes that include fillet steak in Burgundy, Chicken in cherry sauce and fresh fish with mushrooms and langoustines. As an example lunch for four cost €80 including drinks and coffees. My only criticism is that the vegetables were from the freezer rather than fresh.
Some of the buildings are used as venues for wedding parties and other large get togethers. Naturally, because of its scenic setting and position, it is common to see wedding parties being photographed around the pretty gardens. There is also a small shop and wine cellar where you can buy cakes, hams, cheeses, olives, jams and a great selection of wines