Routes from the North
We suggest 3 different routes to discover the most interesting places in Tenerife, setting out from Puerto de la Cruz with your own means of transport. We recommend you set out early in the morning with a road map of the island.
Map of the island and vantage points: click on downloads
ROUTE 1: Icod de los Vinos - Garachico - Masca- Los Gigantes
From Puerto de la Cruz – the main road TF-5 to Icod de los Vinos, a town that is famous for its wines and for its: Thousand-year-old Dragon Tree – the oldest on the island (Parque del Drago).
Church of San Marcos – containing a magnificent solid-silver filigree cross made in Havana.
The church square and surroundings (Plaza de la Pila) make up the old town centre. Continue along the road to Garachico:
Flourishing island port in the 16th and 17th centuries, until it was destroyed by the eruption of the Arenas Negras volcano in 1706, which also destroyed much of the town.
Former convent of San Francisco (Now Cultural Centre and museum); Mansion of the Counts of La Gomera; Church of Santa Ana (18th century).
El Caleton – natural pools formed during the 1706 eruption.
Continue on towards Los Silos, Buenavista, El Palmar and Masca. Masca is a small village that still conserves its special charm. It is located at an altitude of 600 m in one of the deepest gorges of the island.
Continue along the main road to Santiago del Teide, Tamaimo and Los Gigantes – view over the magnificent, 500 metre high cliffs.
1- Return via Santiago del Teide, Erjos to El Tanque (the chance to take a camel ride).Carry on to the Garachico Lookout spot – Restaurant on the left of the road, with a spectacular panoramic view over Garachico. Return to Puerto de la Cruz by-passing Icod de los Vinos and San Juan de la Rambla.
2- Another option is to continue on from Los Gigantes towards Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos – major tourist resorts in the south of the island.
Return along the southern motorway to Candelaria: Visit the Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands – an important site for pilgrims.
Back to Puerto de la Cruz along the motorway.
ROUTE 2: La Laguna - Santa Cruz - Monte de Las Mercedes
From Puerto de la Cruz, we take the northern motorway TF-5 as far as La Laguna - take exit Nº 9. This is the former capital of the island, founded by the Conquistador Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. The most important sites are:
Church of La Concepcion, which was started in the 16th century; Royal Sanctuary of the Santísimo Cristo.(16th century)
Casa Lercaro History Museum - c/ San Agustin (Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am to 7.00 pm)
Museum of Science and the Cosmos – outside of the town centre, (Tuesday to Sunday 9.00 am to 7.00 pm)
Carry on to Santa Cruz, the capital of the island since 1822. A bustling port and the largest city on the island:
Plaza de España – Tourist Board. Plaza de la Candelaria and Calle Castillo – shopping area. Garcia Sanabria Park (open air sculptures and Floral Clock).
Church of La Concepcion (16th C)
Museum of Man and Nature (Tuesday to Sunday 9.00 to 19.00 h) (Museum of Archaeology and Natural Sciences).
Carry on to San Andres and Las Teresitas – a beach made from white sand brought from the Sahara.
In San Andres, take the turn off for Taganana, a small village in the Anaga massif. Sites of interest: Church of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves with a famous Flemish School tryptich (16th century). Two beaches on the coast: Playa de Almaciga and Playa de Los Roques. The road comes to an end here. Go back to the Taganana tunnel and turn right at the cross roads, towards Monte de Las Mercedes, an area of spectacular scenery and vegetation. Most interesting look out spots:
Pico del Ingles Lookout – view over the Anaga massif in general.
Cruz del Carmen Lookout: Visitors´ Centre (everyday from 9.30 to 16.00 h) and the Anaga Rural Park Market on weekends.
Carry on in the direction of the village of Las Mercedes and turn right at the Las Canteras cross roads, in the direction of Tejina and Tegueste. Follow the main road to Valle de Guerra:
Casa de Carta Anthropology Museum (to the right of the road), open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.00 to 19.00 h.
Continue on in the direction of Tacoronte and El Sauzal. Outside the town centre of El Sauzal, next to the northern motorway, you will find the:
La Baranda Wine Museum – Museum of local wines and tasting sessions (Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 to 20 h, Sundays from 11 to 18 h). Back to Puerto de la Cruz along the motorway.
ROUTE 3: Teide National Park
From Puerto de la Cruz – northern motorway towards Santa Cruz. Take exit Nº 9 in La Laguna, for El Teide along the TF-24 (Teide National Park). After passing through the town of La Esperanza (El Rosario) you come to Monte de la Esperanza:
Lookout Spots: Montaña Grande, Ortuño, Las Cumbres (turn off to the right), La Crucita, Ayosa, La Tarta. From La Crucita (weather permitting), you can see the Valley of Güimar to the left, and the Orotava Valley to the right. The latter can also be seen from Ayosa. Following the same road, you pass close by the Izaña Astrophysics Observatory facilities and you come to El Portillo – access to Las Cañadas del Teide, a giant caldera around Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3715 metres.
El Portillo Visitors´ Centre (on the right, just after the cross roads), 15 minute audiovisual. Interesting adjacent garden (sign-posted).
Cross the National Park- several lookout points, e.g.. Minas de San José and El Tabonal, to the foot of the Cable Car (9.00-16.00 h, info. telf. 922 010 445 ) that goes up to 3555m. To climb to the summit, you need a special permit: see note nº 1.
Continue on as far as the Parador Nacional (National Inn), see the adjacent Visitors´ Centre and the Roques de García Lookout, the most famous lookout in the Park, opposite the Inn.
The road takes you around the edge of the Ucanca Flats; to the left, you can see a shoe-shaped rock, known as “The Queen´s Shoe”. You then come to Boca Tauce cross roads. Turn right, travelling through lava flows from 1798 and 1909 (this was the last eruption on the island: Chinyero Volcano), you get to "Narices del Teide" Lookout, with views over the island of La Gomera when the weather is clear.
Turn round and go back as far as El Portillo. Take the main road in the direction of La Orotava, TF-21, passing a series of lookouts with views over the Orotava Valley and Teide. Piedra la Rosa Lookout – it looks like a giant stone daisy – and Chasna Lookout.
Visit the old town centre of La Orotava:
Casa de Los Balcones (17th century c/ San Francisco, 3: Lovely Canary Island balconies. Inside, there is an embroidery and lacework school, courtyard and folk museum.
Casa del Turista (16th century): On the terrace, there is a display of the famous earth carpets and wonderful views over the Orotava Valley. Both museums open from: Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 18.30; Saturday from 8.30 to 17.00 and Sundays from 8.30 to 13.00 h.
Tourist Board: Phone 922 323 041.
Church of La Concepcion (18th century): façade with baroque elements. Casa Torrehermosa (Island Crafts Company): c/ Tomás Zerolo, 27. Open from Monday to Friday, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm Saturday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.
Latin American Craft Museum: open from Monday to Friday, from 9.00 to 18.00, Saturday from 9.00 to 14.00 h; Closed on Sunday.
Back to Puerto de la Cruz.
NOTES FOR ROUTE Nº 3
1- Permit: To climb up from the upper Cable Car station (3555 metres) to the summit of Pico de Teide, you need to apply for a permit:
Pico del Teide Access Permit: www.reservasparquesnacionales.es
Remember: you walk under your own responsibility.
2-Guided walks in the National Park
The Park´s Interpretation Service offers free guided walking tours, setting out from the Cañada Blanca Visitors’ Centre, or sometimes from the El Portillo Alto park office. You need to book in advance by calling the National Park offices on one of the following numbers: Phone 922 922 371 (Opening times: Monday to Friday, from 9 to 14 h).