South Tenerife: more than just tourism

The livelihood of the Islands is like a pendulum, at one time we were dependent on wine, then cochineal and now it is predominantly tourism.

The area between Granadilla and Santiago del Teide is one of the most important tourist centres of the archipelago, however, that doesn’t mean there is no culture or history. Over the past few years there has been a growing trend that highlights the island as more than simply sun, sea and sangria. Local traditions and events are being promoted to visitors, and these days it’s rare to go to a fiesta in the south of the island that isn’t attended by tourists.

To this end the southern municipalities aren’t just promoting music and dance, romerias and parades but also helping visitors to appreciate and get to know our countrymen and to understand the culture behind the tourist façade. This is done through ethnographic events, (the most famous in the south of the island being Taucho and Chirche) that take place throughout the year. They are a way to share, as well as preserve our history and heritage. Showing the olde ways of life on the island is of great interest not only to locals but also tourists. Many enjoy the nostalgic trips to the past guided by costumed participants who recreate the life and everyday tasks of communities that struggled against the adverse nature of the land and the hardships of times gone by. Enjoy seeing wheat being toasted, needlework, singing, dancing, bread baking and much more.

Tradition is not just part of our past, it is also part of the present and the future.

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Taurus Restaurant – Los Cristianos

I have said on occasions that I’m not GourmetLand’s biggest fan. While it is a popular chain with swish-looking branches, in my opinion their restaurants around the Safari Centre are overpriced for the quality of food and service provided. However for every rule there is an exception and we have eaten several times with our friends Reg and Janet at Taurus II under Tenerife Royal Gardens and each time we have been impressed.

So wanting to have a nice evening with friends who are currently staying for several weeks we were looking for a place with style, a good buzz, ideally decent food and probably some music that was not too ‘in your face’, and where conversation was not going to be drowned out. I couldn’t think of many places but with fingers crossed I booked Taurus Argentinian Restaurant in Los Cristianos, hoping that this would fit such a bill and be as good as the Las Américas branch.

Initial impressions on arriving were that it was a bit of a TARDIS. From the outside I had imagined it to be quite small and the ‘indoors’ is, but there is a very large covered terrace and on our winter night visit they provided lots of heaters so we could eat comfortably despite the chill outside.

As we took our seats, we received a wave from the stage as Simon King was performing a ‘Rat Pack’ medley. We have known Simon for many years so along with the glam surroundings, I knew the music would be good. Two ticks on my wish-list.

We didn’t have to wait long for service and it was attentive without being overbearing.

Starters consisted of Garlic Bread and fried Camembert with a gooey sauce. Delicious.

This Continental-style steakhouse doesn’t only serve steaks, burgers and grilled meats, it also has a good selection of amazingly fresh fish, simply prepared along with Italian options such as lasagna and pizzas.

Our main meals consisted of two elegantly cooked quality steaks, (one sirloin and one fillet) beautifully presented with generous side portions and a selection of sauces, thankfully served separately as I hate food swimming in sauce. Grilled giant prawns with Canarian potatoes and coleslaw. If you like prawns this is the way to go, they were enormous very fresh, and a pizza.

While taking a break from eating Simon changed for part two of his show. After asking if we had any requests he continued to entertain us with the slickest and most realistic Elvis tribute. Others may be funny, crude or improve as the alcohol levels rise, but IMO Simon is the real McCoy for true Elvis fans.

On to desserts, naturally OH had his apple pie with cream and ice-cream. I was tempted by the rum and raisin and friends chose to share the banana split because it was huge.

Each course of food looked fabulous but even better it all had exceptional flavours. It is hardly surprising, despite being tucked away from the main drag in Los Cristianos that this restaurant has already attracted a strong following, and after the weekend, it now has four more fans.

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Fancy Dressing Up?

To bare or not to bare, that is the question… and it comes up a lot at this time of year. Do you wear fancy dress for carnival or not. The answer depends on several things. Who, Where and What.

Who – if you are a local and you have been to Carnival before then you will almost certainly have a costume tucked away in the back of the wardrobe.

If you are a holidaymaker and want to experience carnival ‘like a local’ then you should ideally wear fancy dress. The hard part is deciding what to leave out of your suitcase so you don´t go over your chosen airlines weight limit. But, have no fear you will be able to buy a costume from any of the Chinese stores scattered along the coast from Las Americas to Las Chafiras (actually Chafiras probably has the best selection on the island).

Where – More people wear fancy dress at the Carnival in the capital and Puerto than at the Los Cristianos or Los Gigantes. If you intend to join in the street parties you will probably blend into the environment, booze in hand, singing and laughing at costumes if you are also dressed up to look like a prize prat. However, if you just want to experience the parades and decide not to wear fancy dress you will be like the thousands of other onlookers and not feel the least bit out of place.

What – So you decided you will go in fancy dress but what to choose? Well literally anything goes. Babies are always a popular theme as are air hostesses – the best ones being the cross-dressers. A devil with wobbly plastic horns and even a sword and eye-patch made out of the back of a cereal packet guarantees you social acceptance. You can cover up or if you are confident, bare all. Carnival gives you the freedom to be someone else for the day, do crazy things and go wherever your imagination takes you. So expose a bit of flesh, there is no need to be shy, add a thick layer of make-up and don an outrageously colourful wig and nobody will recognise you anyway! However you choose to go, dressed up or not, you will be guaranteed an experience like no other.

 (Images courtesy Baobab Suites Costa Adeje)
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Culture, Traditions & Pilgrimages in February

Never will you witnessed such a combination of colour, joy and costumes as you will see in February when the island gives itself over to Carnival.


Joy, colour, rhythm, and glitter flood the streets in this, the most emblematic Tenerife celebration. The capital’s carnival the second largest in the world, with only Rio de Janeiro Carnaval being bigger.

Different groups made up of child and adult murgas, troupes, street musicians and musical groups compete each year to win the prize for the most spectacular choreography or the best musical arrangements. The goal is to fill the streets with rhythm, colour and a Brazilian party influence. They are phenomenally popular and there is television coverage of all the groups taking part.

The glittering sequined, feathered costumes are impressive but the huge float structures that surround the candidates who compete to be Carnival Queen are straight out of a fantasy story. Each year the gala grows bigger as the various events are broadcast on TV stations. The aim is to choose the best ambassadors to represent the island and party for the upcoming year.

The Queen, her attending maids, and Carnival groups are even more impressive when parading the streets of Santa Cruz in the spectacular Grand Opening Parade. The main streets of the city are blocked to traffic for a several hours to host the elaborate parade of colour that brings together the whole family.

The Coso Apotheosis, like the opening parade, this is a family affair broadcast live on TV. The Coso represents the end of the celebration of Carnival, but the people of Santa Cruz actually know that the party will continue for a little longer.

A deep-rooted and one of the funniest Carnival celebration is the burial of the sardine, an emblematic fish for people of Santa Cruz, who call themselves chicharreros. The fish is accompanied by hundreds of widows and mourners, mostly men dressed as women who swoon and weep inconsolably as they say their last goodbye to the holidays.

Each year Carnival transforms the city and infects chicharreros, locals, and visitors alike from all over the world….. Until next year.


Source and Images courtesy of WebTenerife
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Things to do in Tenerife in February 2018

What to Expect

Just like January, February is one of our unpredictable months, weather-wise. It can be cool, cloudy and there is the chance of rain. Last year was unseasonably warm with the average temperature  or the south a constant 23°C while night time temperatures were also high at 19°C. In the north, these figures dropped to 16°C and 11°C.


In Spain Carnival is celebrated in many different ways, but here in the Canary Islands, especially in Tenerife, carnival is special, and celebrated by everyone from the very young to the very old. It is celebrated in the streets where there are constant parties, music, and everyone wears fancy dress; it is something intrinsic in our culture.

The biggest and the best is in the capital Santa Cruz and runs from 7th – 18th February and the theme is Fantasy.

Puerto de la Cruz has a smaller but popular Carnival that takes place between 8th and 18th February. The theme this year is Greek Mythology and the main events take place on 14th February, Burial of Sardine, 16th February Men’s High Heel Marathon and 17th February the Apotheosis Coso. In Candelaria’s Carnaval covers a long weekend and runs from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th February.

Next comes the International Carnival of Los Cristianos, 1st – 12th March whose theme is Pirates and details will be included in next months Things to do.

Feast of Candles and Virgen de la Candelaria – Every February two popular events are celebrated honour of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands. On the night of 1 to 2, the lights of the town are extinguished and the faithful form a procession while praying carrying candles (When:  1 to 2nd February 2 Where:  Candelaria)

XV Vertical Race Baker Climb from the Historic Village of Santiago del Teide and will be held on February 3. The route as always is approximately, 5.760 meters, from Tamaimo, to arrive at the town of Arguayo, in the vicinity of the public square. The race will start at 4:30 p.m., with a maximum time of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Children of the 80s at the Hard Rock Hotel  starts the season with with HADDAWAY on 3rd February – Tickets €18 from

Pro Tenerife – Come and witness some of the finest athletes in the world battle it out on the waves! The competition will be taking place on the beach opposite Burger King on “The Patch” (opposite Las Palmeras hotel) every day between the 29th of January and the 4th of February 2018.

KLASIKAS – Kiara and Karina Two of the most recognised voices of the the 80’s, KARINA and KIARA, authentic divas of pop music in Venezuela present the musical show KLASIKAS. Themes such as “I Know How It Hurts”, “To Whom”, “Night is Magic” “Que Bello”, “Deskarado”, among many others marked a generation. 16th February ULL La Laguna (tickets various prices from Tomaticket)

The 34th Canary Islands’ International Classical Music Festival offers a series of concerts from the late Renaissance to the present day. To 17 February, Where: Tenerife Auditorium, Santa Cruz Tickets: Auditorium ticket office and

Santa Cruz becomes the venue for the next edition of the  XXXII Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) for water polo, to be held from February 2 to 4, 2018 The tournament will be broadcasted through the Teledeporte channel of Spanish Television and whose potential audience is estimated at 100,000 spectators.

Mayte Martín in concert. Masterpieces of the classical flamenco repertoire practically in disuse (When February 23, 20:00 – 21:30 Where: CajaCanarias-Santa Cruz Foundation Cultural Space Tenerife)

Every Thursday to 22nd March 2018 The Canaries Traditional Folk Festival and Contemporary Food and Crafts Exhibition offers residents and visitors the best folklore, gastronomy and traditions in the warm winter nights in the resort of Los Cristianos.  You can experience the ‘real Tenerife’ with performances from traditionally dressed folk groups who provide music and dancing to accompany a weekly food, art and crafts market. For dates – see poster

Craft Fairs – Artesanía de Tenerife has announced the date of craft fairs for 2017 in Tenerife. The fairs, both small and large, sell unusual products from really creative and talented individuals, all of whom are officially recognized with a carné de artesano. The full list of dates is HERE.

Whilst these are some of the most interesting events, there is an overwhelming amount of activities on Tenerife each month. Click on the links below to see what is happening elsewhere.

Tenerife – Attractions

Tenerife offers a wealth of attractions follow the LINK to get just a few ideas.

Tenerife – Tours

Guided tours both free and private as well as numerous excursions are available throughout the year.  For a few ideas follow the link to Tenerife Tours and Days Out

Tenerife – Sporting Activities

Year round temperatures averaging 22 degrees combined with a low level of rainfall provide an ideal climate for outdoor ventures. Whether on land, at sea or in the skies, Tenerife provides outdoor adventure for all types of travellers. Check them out HERE

Tenerife – Markets

Everyone loves a market and the island is home to a wealth of covered, outdoor and street markets. Many specialise in a particular type of goods while others selling the same product move from site to site. Most open early in the morning and close early afternoon. Follow this link for a list of Tenerife Markets

Tenerife – Museums

The museums of Tenerife are accessible to all sections of the community regardless of limited mobility or communication. Follow the link to find a comprehensive list of Tenerife – Museums

For more news on Tenerife read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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