Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Guide to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital and largest town on the island.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Canary Islands

Tenerife Towns - Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - With over one third of the population of Tenerife, some 240,000, the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is by far the largest town on the island. Located in the north-east of Tenerife it is named after the Holy Cross of the Spanish conquistadors and it became an important harbour and port way back in the 16th Century. Santa Cruz became the capital of Tenerife in 1723 and was for a time the administrative capital of all the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz de Tenerife was where the famous Admiral Horacio Lord Nelson lost his arm during an unsuccessful attack on the town in 1797.

Today the splendid deepwater harbour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife attracts both cargo ships and huge luxury liners and cruise ships.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located on a large natural bay and has the backdrop of the Anaga Mountains which rise to some 3,281 feet, it has a pretty seafront promenade which is a perfect place to take an evening stroll. Santa Cruz is also the main shopping centre for Tenerife and this is the place to head for a bit of retail therapy should you wish to get away from the busy beaches.

Santa Cruz is the home of the Parliament of the Canary Islands (shared on a 4 yearly term with La Palma on Gran Canaria).

There is plenty to see and do in and around Santa Cruz de Tenerife and it has some fine churches including the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Conception located in Calle Dominguez Alfonso, originally built in 1498 but later rebuilt during the 18th Century. The church contains a spectacular altar designed by José Luján Peréz and also has on display the captured British flag from Nelson’s failed attack in 1797 and a silver Holy Cross (Santa Cruz) from the Spanish conquistadors.

Also worth a visit is the Iglesia San Francisco, a Franciscan Abbey dating from 1680 but again rebuilt during the 18th Century, which contains a splendid example of a 17th Century wooden altar.

Playa de las Teresitas San Andres BayThere are also a couple of interesting museums to visit in the town - the Museo de Belles Artes founded in 1898 has some fine works of art on display both old and modern. The Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, located in what was formerly a military hospital, outlines the archaeology, geology and wildlife of the Canary Islands and Tenerife including some skulls of the original inhabitants, the Guanches.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Beaches: There are not too many good beaches in Santa Cruz de Tenerife itself, but to the north at San Andres you will find one of the best beaches on the island at Playa de las Teresitas, a man made beach composed of golden sand imported from the Sahara Desert. This beach can get pretty packed at weekends, especially when the weather is good (which it usually is!), as the local people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife head here as well as the usual hoards of holidaymakers.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife holds the biggest and most spectacular carnival in the whole of Tenerife, beginning the week before Ash Wednesday, preparations begin many months before.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife has a good selection of hotels and accommodation so you should have no problem finding something suitable for a stay in the town.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Links: Santa Cruz de Tenerife Weather - Santa Cruz de Tenerife Map

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Property: Advertise your Santa Cruz de Tenerife property on this page: Advertise Here.

Tenerife Hotels: Principe Tenerife

Tenerife Golf: Amarilla Golf - Golf del Sur

Other Places: Puerto de la Cruz - Playa de las Americas - Los Cristianos - Los Gigantes - Adeje - Arona - Caleta - Callao Salvaje - Chayofa - Costa del Silencio - Fanabe - Las Galletas - Playa Paraiso

Related: Gran Canaria - Lanzarote - La Palma - Fuerteventura - El Hierro - La Gomera - Builders