Introduction to Tenerife, Canary Islands: Santa Cruz tour highlights

Please enjoy the following guest submission on the tour highlights of Santa Cruz. All pictures are thumbnails so click to enlarge.

As a blogger, I’ve become a savvy traveller (I tend to think so but reality might be different) and learnt to figure my way round my destinations, embarking on solo tours and expeditions to lesser-known towns because I have a base knowledge of where to go and where to get information but I always think back to when I first started out.
Going on your first trip overseas or visiting a country you know nothing about can be quite intimidating especially when the destination doesn’t speak your home language but luckily most of the popular holiday destinations have friendly people and this is quite prevalent on any of the Canary Islands.

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The Spanish Square (Plaza De España)

This is usually the starting point for most tours of Santa Cruz, mainly for its laid-back atmosphere. After the plane ride and transfer from the airport, then booking into the hotel and getting settled, I found it a calm transition into being on holiday (I understand why people like stay-cations, the stress of travel can overwhelm). Depending on your arrival time and disposition, you can have a coffee, ice-cream, beer or a mojito in any one of the cafés in the Plaza and take in the sights, sounds and smells of this island capital.

The Market of Our Lady of Africa (Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África)

Although I’ve worked in many countries, I am definitely a trinket hound and typical tourist, I’m sure merchants see me and my money coming a mile away and get all the curios they can out in front of me. And I love it. The market has little shops that sell wine, olive oil, jams and preserves. Stalls sell local art, statues, clothing, beads and other jewellery as well as their fish market and local foods made fresh. I’m used to the loud markets of Tunisia and Turkey but at here, people leave you be to mull around and look at things, there was never any feeling of pressure to buy anything, but me being me, I wanted to buy everything.

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The Almeida Military Barracks (Cuartel De Almeida)

I’ve always been interested in the military history of countries. What they have or don’t have or have but never used illustrates the amount of sacrifice one country has made and what the local people have suffered. You get a unique glimpse at the heart of the people. These barracks were converted into the Regional Military Museum in the early 1940’s and houses two important cannons, the Hercules and the Tiger (El Tigre), most noted for injuring Admiral Horatio Nelson during battle in 1797. The museum also highlights historical cartography, history of the San Cristóbal castle and a display of weapons used during the conquest of Tenerife.

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A Guide to Getting There & Back

There are a number of charter flights that connect the islands with mainland Spain as well as most European countries have flights to Tenerife leaving from the main cities at cheap rates. There are also a number of ferry services that run weekly ferries Cádiz, via Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Puerto de Rosario (Fuerteventura) and Arrecife (Lanzarote), departing every Monday at around 3pm.

The island has so much more to offer than the above list, which was in no particular order but it’s up to you to visit the island and see what gems the island has to offer, as well as adopt the Tinerfeños motto of ‘pleasure before business’. I’m positive I’ve forgotten many attractions, so what are your favourite places to visit on the island?

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