A Travellerspoint blog

An Archipelago and a Songbird

Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

View Around the World! - Part 3 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to spend two incredible days exploring the enchanting Canary Islands! Our adventure led us to the captivating island of Tenerife, where we found ourselves in the vibrant port city of Santa Cruz.


Santa Cruz, the beating heart of the province, is a city steeped in history and culture. For centuries, the region has relied on the bounties of the land and sea, with agriculture and fishing serving as the backbone of the local economy. However, in recent years, the allure of this sun-drenched paradise has beckoned travelers from far and wide, transforming tourism into the driving force behind the province's prosperity. From our docking point, we embarked on a journey to the other side of the island, where we were captivated by the charming sights of quaint Spanish towns nestled along the way.


First stop on our tour of the island was the city of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second most populous city on the island, and the third most populous in the archipelago. It was the capital of the Canary Islands before Santa Cruz replaced it in 1833. We enjoyed strolling down the streets, lined with old shops and some fascinating architeture.


On the opposite side of the island the breathtaking landscape unfolded before us, revealing majestic cliffsides that towered above the striking black sandy beaches, creating a stunning contrast that left us in awe.


Did you know that the renowned mystery writer Agatha Christie once spent time on the island, where she worked on some of her novels? It's an interesting bit of trivia that my fellow book lovers and even her most ardent fans might not be aware of.


The island's lush vegetation left us utterly enchanted, as we marveled at the vibrant kaleidoscope of colors that painted the landscape. Our attention was particularly drawn to the unusual trees that seemed to thrive in this unique environment, their distinctive shapes and hues adding to the captivating tapestry of Tenerife's natural beauty.


We even caught a glimpse of the magnificent volcano, standing tall as the highest peak in all of Spain, adding to the already impressive array of natural wonders that Tenerife had to offer. Here you can see the 12,000 ft. Teide Volcano just peaking through the clouds ...


To reach the old harbor, which was our final stop, we took a stroll along the waterfront promenade, which was lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. One of my favorite sites was the old Batería de Santa Bárbara ... and not just because of its name! This crumbling 18th-century fort sits atop a hill overlooking the old harbor. The fort was built to protect the island from pirate attacks and invasions, which were common threats during that era. Although the fort is now in ruins, I was in awe of the ancient decorative piece of artillary and stunning views of the harbor.


Despite this archipelago sharing its name with the cheerful yellow songbird, the islands were not actually named after the canary. In fact, the name "Canary Islands" has a much more intriguing origin, derived from the Latin term "Canariae Insulae," which translates to "Islands of the Dogs." Interestingly, the canary birds, which are native to the islands, got their name from the islands and not the other way around. [And yet another piece of trivia .. My great grandfather used to raise canaries and my mom had a pet canary named "Petie".]

Posted by Where2FromHere 14:16 Archived in Spain

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