Lively small streets and narrow lanes define the townscape of the Canarian metropolis. Town houses with impressive facades and numerous shady plazas are typical for this place.
More commonly referred to just as Santa Cruz, the city is the located on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands and acting as capital together with the city of Las Palmas. Interestingly enough, this is the largest metropolitan agglomeration of the European Union which is located outside of Europe, since the Canary Islands are located off Africa’s western shore, making this an interesting trip for any skipper.
The city itself sits on the eastern tip of Tenerife, facing the sea, thus offering to the intrepid explorer some of the finest beaches and sailing conditions this side of the Atlantic. It also has a long history which started with the conquest of the Castilians. Today, it’s a thriving metropolis, full of interesting sites, with a great cultural life and even better tourism tradition.
Travel & Arrival
For those tourists who like to fly to their holiday place every year, Santa Cruz actually has 2 airports, one in south side of the island and the other in the north which is closer to the city and which recently became available for international flights. From the airport you can catch a bus or a cab.
The other way to get to the island and the city is by water, the way the old sailors used to do it. You’ll be glad to know that the Santa Cruz port is the largest in the region so there are many ferries that arrive here daily. The trip from Cadiz on the Spanish mainland takes two days and that’s why not too many guests venture to make. Instead, most of the tourists arriving by boat come from the neighboring islands.
Avant & Apres Sail
Though an old city, Santa Cruz is today full of modern buildings with interesting architecture that have become tourists attractions, such as the Auditorium of Tenerife, the Towers of Santa Cruz, the Tenerife Space of Arts and the International Center for Trade Fairs and Congresses.
But that doesn’t mean that the locals aren’t proud of their history. A walk about the center of the town will reveal lots of museums, like the Anthropology museum, the History museum, the Science museum and the Military museum which has always been popular with the male demographic.
Shopping in Santa Cruz is divided into three separate categories the small shops, the big commercial centers and the traditional markets. Every one of these offers something new to the guest. The small shops can be found in the old part of town selling all sorts of souvenirs, the shopping centers can be found in the new part of town, while the markets are located in the central plazas, being not only a source of fresh products for the locals but at the same time a touristic attraction.
Santa Cruz will tempt you with a mixed cuisine between the local Canaries dishes, Spanish and of course, international. gourmets will surely enjoy the typical Canary dishes which contain hot sauces (mojo) or the fish cooked in hundreds of ways. Most of the restaurant offer good deals but there are a few tourist traps in the harbor region.
Though the nightlife is not as busy or as exuberant as the one in neighboring La Laguna which is a university town. Still, you’ll find that there’s plenty for you and your friends to do after dark. The industrial region is where you’ll find the clubs, the pubs and bars where you can grab a bite to eat are centered around the Antonio Dominguez street and the harbor region though many establishments here were closed in the late 90s.
Events & Actions
Spanish cities in general have an annual Carnival, and Santa Cruz is no exception. In fact, along with the festival in Cadiz, this is one of the most famous across Spain and one of the biggest in the world. It happens every February and it’s a time when people dress up in fancy costumes and parade on the streets, much to the delight of tourists.