One Wednesday, it was overcast but looking across the sea in a westerly direction it appeared sunny so we decided to go to Alcala, which is between San Juan and Puerto de Santiago. I like this town and have mentioned it several times in my Tenerife blogs.
We parked where we knew we could usually get a slot, close to the sea and beside the Gran Meliá Palacio Hotel. Despite the luxurious 5 star complex, Alcala is still very much a fishing village where colourful boats paint a romantic picture against the backdrop of harsh coast and the town is filled with small local businesses rather than chain stores.
We walked along the seafront towards town on the way passing the fishing wharf that is used for sunbathing by those who don´t want sand in their toes. The sea is calm here although further round the coast it remains wild and is ideal for surfers. In the years we have been visiting, we have seen stone steps and a ladder added making access into the water easy. There were workmen on this visit upgrading the pathway that starts the walk around the coast and others were hanging bunting in readiness for the next fiesta.
To get to the bustling plaza you pass a natural beach. This is popular with locals who can be found enjoying a refreshing dip or just sunning themselves and although tiny, it does have modern shower facilities.
Then on to the square where there are a couple of nice little bars that are always busy, as they are perfect for people watching.
After a café con leche, we head back. I have never been to this stretch of coast without seeing a keen angler balanced precariously on the rocky outcrops and there is always a seagull on that same rock, perhaps he isn´t real but stuffed!
As you get closer to the hotel the pathway has been widened, edged and paved with different surfaces including boarding, paving slabs, gravel and prettified with shiny stainless steel railings and futuristic seating. Since the hotel was built there is now a nice beach bar, but having a coffee here is double what you pay in the plaza. A number of natural swimming pools, filled daily by the sea and three small black sand beaches and coves, that look even blacker when wet and were not there until the end of 2013. This area used to be almost inaccessible rock dropping into the sea and although it has altered dramatically, the uninterrupted views out to La Gomera are still breathtaking.
Taking the coastal path is an easy stroll, but gets more difficult once the paved walkway ends past the hotel and the old track twists and turns its way across a rough footpath through Varadero and on towards Los Gigantes in the distance. However, as we were only wearing flip-flops it would be foolhardy to continue our journey. Perhaps another day.