La Orotava
"Muy Noble y Leal Villa"...

...That is the title granted to La Orotava by the King Alfonso XIII, meaning "very noble and loyal town". The visitors wouldn´t disagree with this. Once you enter the town and get acquainted with the locals you can feel the special atmosphere in the very attractive and historic place.

La Orotava - Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall). Iglesia de La Concepción on the background

La Orotova is the largest city in the north of Tenerife with an area of ​​close to 200 km² and about 42.000 inhabitants. This denote the importance of this municipality in the Island. It is located in a high position above sea level, with very steep streets, and in a prosperous land in the valley of Orotava.

Its historic center has a very traditional architecture and beautiful cobbled streets that evoke memory to a prestigious past in which wealthy aristocratic immigrants and merchants built their historic houses.

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La Orotava - Accommodation

Just like in the northern towns of Tenerife, in which much less tourists come to visit in comparison to the southern resorts, La Orotava has fewer options of accommodation. This, however, does not mean that the quality of accommodation is lower. Far from that, the few hotels, guest houses and casas rurales (rural houses) maintain a good quality of service aligned with the warmness of the people you meet here. That means that you will feel welcome all the time.

Hotel Rural Orotava - 3-star

This charming rural house is a converted mansion located right in the heart of the city. It is very well-known for its beautiful decoration and the traditional restaurant "Sabor Canario", which serves delicious local dishes in the lovely courtyard of the hotel. The staff is also very professional and friendly, and the rooms comfortable and cozy.

The prices for the night with breakfast can go from 80 € per couple.

Hotel Rural Victoria - 3-star

This 16-century mansion has an original architecture and a perfect location - with view of the sea and the mountains. It has 13 double rooms and a suite, all very well decorated. The service provided is also of good quality. The restaurant of the hotel serves local dishes and wines. The prices for a double room goes from 70 €, including breakfast.

Rural House Maestre Juan

Courtyard of Maestre Juan

This beautiful house has about 150 years and is located in the area of La Florida, in a land with all kinds of plantation, including grapes for wine,  and others trees of fruits. The balcony has a privileged view of the nearby cities, the sea and the volcano El Teide.

The main house has a room that accommodates 2 people, a bathroom and a full kitchen, apart from a living / dining room. In the exterior yard you can have a relaxing meal or even prepare a nice barbecue with your family. The price per night starts from 80 €.

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La Orotava - Beaches

The town is known more for its history and architecture than for the beaches. However, the few the belong to La Orotava are just as beautiful and secluded with dark volcanic sand. They are located in the area of El Rincón, surrounded by banana plantations:

El Rincón and the cliffs to the beaches of La Orotava

Area of El Rincón. From there is possible to see all the banana plantations and the difficulty to reach the beaches of La Orotava

Playa de El Bollullo

The views of this beach are quite spectacular  considering that to get there you need to unclimb a steep cliff. So, if you are not in a hurry, this is a perfect scenery for beautiful pictures.

Although beautiful, it is very dangerous for bathing, as the strong tidal currents are very common. Therefore exercise extra care, even if you are a surfer looking for good waves, also considering that not always you can find a lifeguard there. The color of the flag that is waving is also a good indication of the care you should have.

The beach is divided into two smaller ones, and there is a small bar where you can snack and take some refreshments and ice cream. 

Access to the beach can be done by car, and you can park in the corner of the restaurant San Diego, or by bus, via the line 376 which runs every two hours. If you prefer to walk and have some time available, also possible from La Orotava (about 1 hour walk). Just walk along the roadside littered with palm trees and on the last leg around different orchards of banana, apart from the steep cliff.

Playa de Los Patos

Playa de Los Patos, and right next to it, El Bollullo. Puerto de La Cruz on the background

In the sequence from the bottom: Playa de Los Patos, El Bollullo and Puerto de La Cruz

Located between the beaches of El Bollullo and El Ancón. Mainly visited by surfers and also difficult to reach on foot, therefore it is recommended to wear sport tennis as the road goes over the cliff. Just as El Bollullo, be careful with the strong waves and bring some food, lots of water and sunscreen protection for your skin, as there is bar or restaurant services down there. It is also known for being one of the nude beaches in Tenerife.

The access to the beach is similar to the access to El Bollullo, and the bus line is also 376.

Playa de El Ancón

Playa de El Ancón

Due to the difficulties to reach them, the beaches of La Orotava (like El Ancón, above) are not so crowded like others in Puerto de La Cruz and in the south

This beach is shared between La Orotava and Santa Ursula (where is known as Santa Ana or Santana). A wonderful beach of dark sand, bordering part of the cliff of this area. There are some stairs available to reach the beach, but that are irregular, so you should always be careful when getting there. Essential to bring some food, water, sunscreen and maybe an umbrella for the sun. Considering that the access is a bit complicated, not many bathers come to this beach, making  the beauty of El Ancón even greater.

Just as the other two beaches of the area, you won´t find always a lifeguard, so extra care when surfing or bathing there. Always consider the color of the flags in the beach (red and yellow means danger!, whereas green just some extra care).

To get there, you can also do it by car (there are some parking places available nearby), or by bus, with the line 376, running from La Orotava. Walking down there is also possible, with beautiful views on the way. In the last leg you will be surrounded by several private properties with different plantations of banana.

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La Orotava - Attractions and Activities

The town preserve several monuments and buildings with Spanish colonial architecture, beautiful balconies and interior courtyards. On top of this, you have the chance to visit several museums, churches and convents, that makes it the perfect town to travel back to the past in search for a superb architecture. Essential to visit:

  • La Iglesia/Ermita del Calvario (Calvary Church), where you can find the image of San Isidro (La Orotava´s patron) and Santa Maria Virgen de la Cabeza. During summer  you can presence the festivities of the town, with special reference to the Corpus Christi Carpets;

Tenerife Travel Secret

During the festivals of Corpus Christi (specifically in the 8th day, in late May, beginning of June), you can admire the flower carpets that decorate the old town. Flowers and volcanic soil (the latter only in the City Hall square) are used for the decoration, in which the design depict scenes from the Bible. The best displays are in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and streets close to that.

Carpets of volcanic soil at Plaza del Ayuntamiento during the festivities of La Orotava

  • Iglesia de San Augustin (Church), belonging to an old monastery and the Plaza de la Consitituición;
Iglesia de San Augustín
  • Liceo Tahoro, a private club with free access to the terrace, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the valley;
Liceo Tahoro
  • Jardines Victoria (Gardens), which hosts various events throughout the year;
Jardines Victoria
Casa de Los Balcones
Casa del Turista
  • Casa Lercaro and other houses and mansions of Calle Colegio with Renaissance architecture blended with traditional Canarian influence;
  • Iglesia de Santo Domingo and Convento de San Benito Abad;
  • Ruta Sacra, which discloses the cultural and architectural heritage of the town of La Orotava teaching particularities and uniqueness of the streets, squares and corners of the historic town center. There are two routes: "La Orotava Coventual" held on 24 April and 15 May and "Los Templos Parroquiales" that take place on 8 and 22 May;
  • Route "de Los Molinos de Gofio", where you can discover the different buildings where there was (and some still occurs) a production of this precious food from the Canaries, basic for many of the local dishes;
  • Pueblo Chico - a theme park representing the different monuments, and natural and historic areas that can be found in the Canary Islands in general. The models are made to 1:25 scale reproducing landscapes and historic buildings, art and technology, as well as nature and leisure. The visit takes about an hour. Visiting hours at the park are from 9.00 am to 18.00 pm every day of the year, and the prices are € 12.50 (adults) and € 6.50 (children aged 4 to 11 years). Children up to 3 enter free of charge and residents of the island benefit from some discounts;
  • The valley of La Orotava retains part of its former glory, and its magnificent views can be enjoyed from the viewpoint of Humboldt. there you can appreciate the banana plantations, the coast and the majestic El Teide. The entry into the valley from the highway from Santa Cruz de Tenerife would be more impressive though if the region had not suffered an overwelming urban growth in recent years;
  • Bodegón Restaurante Casa Matias: one of the best places to taste some delicious local dishes. The several options available in the menu include chesse, sauces, meat, fish and of course local wines;
  • Las Cañadas del Teide: so many reasons to be visited and enjoyed... Scenery for several film productions and television commercials, is a place where you can feel that you've reached another planet, considering that its unique vegetation and geography. Essential to use sunscreen in this area. We cover more of Las Cañadas and El Teide in specific pages of this website

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La Orotava - Getting There

A La Orotava can be reached by bus from almost everywhere on the island, including the resorts in the south. Also by car, but bare in mind that most of the historic center is not suitable for parking, for what is better to enjoy a smooth and beautiful walk around its steep and flowered streets. After this walk you might want to recover your energies with some drinks. There is no better place for that then in the courtyard of Casa Don Egon found on the steep Calle León. In winter we recommend a hot chocolate and a piece of one of the homemade cakes in Don Egon.

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