A bustling arts destination with a historic centre where the world’s second-largest carnival is held, and a sunkissed, golden-sand beach, Santa Cruz de Tenerife holidays have it all. First stop should be Las Teresitas beach, a palm-fringed stretch of sand set against the rugged Anaga Mountains. If you prefer things wilder, there are the black volcanic sands of Los Gaviotas beach. Once you’ve hit your sunbathing quota, there’s shopping to be done – try Calle de Castillo for quirky boutiques and low-key pavement cafés, or visit arts-and-crafts hub Nuestra Senora de Africa, a covered market.
When it comes to dining, on holidays to Santa Cruz de Tenerife you’re spoilt for choice. After being wowed by the old town’s pretty squares, you can duck into a neighbourhood eatery for top-notch tapas. Calle de la Noria is good for Canarian food and street musicians, while more upscale restaurants can be found around the Plaza de Espana. If you’re after sun, shopping and seriously good food, the possibilities are endless.
Catch a concert
Head to the Santiago Calatrava-designed Auditorio de Tenerife, a 1,600-seat auditorium where opera, jazz and pop concerts take place. The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra often performs here, too.
Swoon at the palms
You’d never know that Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Palmetum used to be a landfill – now it’s a tranquil botanical garden with waterfalls, streams and ponds and a palm-themed museum.
Chill out in style and enjoy wonderful ocean views at Parque Maritimo – a complex of saltwater swimming pools where you’ll also find shops and a restaurant designed by Cesar Manrique.