Which has seen the island become so popular with tourists the world over, but many aren’t aware of the diverse culture on offer in this beautiful island. For even the most discerning holidaymaker, Tenerife holidays offer a lot to discover, spanning way beyond its sandy shores, restaurants and tourist entertainment.
Perhaps surprisingly Tenerife is home to some fascinating museums, exhibiting everything from fine art and natural science to ancient history and photography. The island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is where you will find the majority of the cultural sights, and here’s a run through of some of the best.
A great way to learn about the human history of the island is to head to the Museum of Nature and Man in Santa Cruz which explores the story of Tenerife’s original inhabitants, the Gaunches. The museum offers a great insight of the island’s pre-Hispanic inhabitants, with a range of great exhibits. You’ll see well preserved items of how the ancestral natives lived day to day.
In ancient times the island was divided into nine areas each of which had its own chief, known as a Mencey. Back then they were regarded as Kings and a key exhibit in the museum today illustrates how highly regarded they were, with a display of the sacred burial belongings that accompanied the Gauche Mummies to the afterlife, along with a fine example of a Gauche Mummy on display.
One of the most enriching events you can experience on holiday in Tenerife is the Carnival de Tenerife. Second only to Rio de Janeiro’s, being one of the world’s largest carnivals, the festivities are celebrated across the island with artistic shows of tradition and customary celebration. There are plenty of opportunities during carnival time to sample authentic local cuisine and be entertained by street performances of dance, music and masquerades. The carnival offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the island’s vibrant side and proud heritage, and also the optimum time to get involved. Whether this comes in the form of you finding a costume for yourself to regret in later holiday photos or trying to have a crack at dancing like the locals, it is an enjoyable way to experience island life.
For the artistic among us, the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts is definitely worth a wander, displaying work from artists such as Jose de Ribera and Federico Madrazo, as well as Canarian artists Oscar Dominguez and Manolo Millares. The museum showcases art from as far back as the 16th century; the gallery’s collection not only includes art works originating from the Canaries, but also displays exhibits from Madrid’s Prado Museum.
A more contemporary art medium can be found at the Centro de Fotografía Isla de Tenerife, take the time to have a look through someone’s camera lens with the gallery showcasing work from both established and up and coming photographers in the Canaries. Established in 1989 the gallery has collected an impressive range of photographic materials which document many facets of the island.
Over recent years the local government has headed developments of architectural projects, including the grandiose redevelopment of the Plaza de Espana, by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. One of the most striking however, is the Auditorio de Tenerife. It is an auditorium designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, and is one of the most exemplary examples of modern Spanish architecture. With certain similarities to the Sydney Opera House and completed in 2003, it has been designed within the ideals of late modern 20th century architecture and is regarded as the finest modern building in the Canary Islands. The Auditoro de Tenerife is host to a number of musical performances, from opera and orchestral to jazz and contemporary, and is a sight to see and hear.
easyJet holidays provide flight and hotel deals to Tenerife. Select from a range of hotels ideal for a quiet getaway. Flights to Tenerife from the UK with easyJet holidays depart from Manchester, Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh.
Staying at the 4 star Hotel Blue Sea Interpalace in Puerto de la Cruz is a great base if you want to discover traditional Tenerife. You’re not far from the capital and the surrounding villages retain an authentic Canarian atmosphere.
The 5 star Costa Adeje Gran Hotel in Costa Adeje offers a luxury escape to one of Tenerife’s most popular resorts. Costa Adeje has a fantastic range of restaurants, shops and entertainment perfect for a relaxing escape. A visit up to Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a great way to see the scenery of the island.