I have said in the past that if you are looking for a cultural holiday Tenerife will not appear in your Google search no matter how hard you look. Culture come in many guises but sun, sand, and sangria are not normally included. However if you want to discover the islands history and traditions you can, albeit nothing like Turkey, Egypt or India.
In the old quarters of our cities, you can discover impressive architecture, in exhibitions and museums our culture, and learn about our traditions by visiting fiestas and romerias.
If you are an intrepid explorer at heart, then below are a few places that may appeal.
In Icod de los Vinos is the famous Dragon Tree, believed to be over 1000 years old. It is a symbol of Tenerife and the best way to get to know it, learn about the Guanches, Tenerife’s ancient island people, and see examples of island traditions that are still alive today is to visit the Millennial Park.
Not quite Egypt, but in the south-east of Tenerife, you will find the Piramides of Güímar. The origins of these stepped pyramids aren’t known but it is believed they date back to the Guanches, the original island inhabitants. The explorer Thor Heyerdahl and the boats he used to prove how ancient civilisations arrived at the islands have a place in the museum and visitors can learn about the different types of pyramids around the world and the ancient people that built them.
A 16th Century palace in La Laguna, Casa Lercaro is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Dating back over four centuries, this impressive palace houses the Tenerife History Museum. Visitor will discover archaeological pieces, works of art and objects from different periods in the history of Tenerife and the Canaries. Legend also has it that the Canaries’ most famous ghost also lives here.
Showcasing Latin American and Spanish crafts that stretch back through history, the Latin American Craftwork Museum can be found in the convent of San Benito Abad in La Orotava, which was built in the 17th century. It is spread over six rooms and interactive screens provide information on the exhibits.
Wine lovers, as well as those with a sweet tooth, have a chance to visit the Casa del Vino y la Miel (House of Wine and Honey) an old farm built over 300 years ago in the traditional style and now owned by the government to promote local wines and produce. While the main attraction is to taste the wines there are also workshops where you can learning more about wine, wine tasting courses and concerts held in the restaurant where you have the chance to sample different local dishes and typical products of the island. You can discover the honey-making processes on the island, and children can enjoy themselves in a specially designed children’s area.
As you can see, there is far more to the island than simple getting a tan and enough to bring out the Indiana Jones in any holidaymaker, so don´t give up on Tenerife.