Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is a treasure trove of hidden gems. Among them is the picturesque town of Garachico, a place where history, nature, and culture intertwine. Let’s dive deep into what makes Garachico a must-visit spot in Tenerife.
1. Overview of Garachico
History of Garachico
Garachico was once the main port of Tenerife, bustling with trade and commerce. However, in 1706, a volcanic eruption dramatically changed its landscape, filling the harbor with lava. This catastrophe, while devastating, gave birth to the unique natural pools and landscapes that attract visitors today. The town’s resilience is evident in its beautifully restored buildings and vibrant community spirit.
Location and Accessibility
Located on the northwest coast of Tenerife, Garachico is about 60 km from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island’s capital. The TF-42 road connects it to other parts of the island, making it easily accessible by car or bus.
2. Top Attractions in Garachico
Plaza de la Libertad
The heart of Garachico, this square is surrounded by historic buildings and offers a glimpse into the town’s daily life. It’s a perfect spot to relax and watch the world go by.
Ex Convent of San Francisco
A testament to Garachico’s rich history, this former convent now serves as a cultural center and museum, showcasing artifacts and exhibitions related to the town’s past.
Church of Our Lady of the Angels
This beautiful church, with its intricate wooden ceilings and impressive altar, stands as a symbol of Garachico’s faith and resilience.
Roque de Garachico
An iconic volcanic rock formation off the coast, it’s a testament to the town’s volcanic history and a favorite spot for photographers.
Natural pools El Caleton
Formed by the 1706 eruption, these natural pools offer a unique swimming experience, with the Atlantic waves crashing against the rocks.
Playa de Garachico
While not the typical sandy beach, this black volcanic sand beach offers a unique seaside experience, with stunning views of the Roque de Garachico.
Fortress of San Miguel
Once a defense against pirate attacks, this fortress now offers panoramic views of the town and the sea.
Plaza Juan Gonzales de la Torre
A quieter square adorned with fountains and surrounded by cafes, it’s a perfect spot for a leisurely coffee.
Museum of Sacred Art
Located within the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, this museum showcases religious artifacts and art from the Canary Islands.
Parque de la Puerta de Tierra
A serene park ideal for relaxation, with pathways, benches, and a children’s play area.
3. Tours and Sightseeing in Garachico
Ways to Tour Garachico
- Guided walking tours
- Self-guided exploration with a map
- Interactive mobile apps offering historical insights
- Hiking trails around the volcanic landscapes
- Snorkeling in the natural pools
- Photography tours capturing the town’s essence
Cultural and Theme Tours
- Historical walks through the town
- Art and craft workshops
- Local music and dance performances
For those arriving by sea, local operators offer tailored tours covering the town’s highlights.
Private and Custom Tours
For a more personalized experience, several agencies offer custom tours based on individual preferences.
4. Dining Options in Garachico
Best Restaurants in Garachico
|El Mirador||Canarian||Sea views|
|La Taskita||Tapas||Local wines|
|Casa Gaspar||Seafood||Fresh catches|
From its rich history to its unique natural beauty, Garachico offers a slice of authentic Tenerife. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a serene getaway, Garachico promises a memorable experience.
More about the eruption of 1706
The volcanic eruptions that occurred in 1706 in Garachico were some of the most devastating events in the town’s history. The eruptions were part of a larger volcanic episode that lasted for several months and occurred on the slopes of the nearby Mount Teide, which is the highest point in Spain.
On May 5, 1706, a fissure opened up in the ground near Garachico, and lava began to flow towards the town. Over the next few weeks, the lava destroyed much of the town’s infrastructure, including homes, churches, and the port. The lava flow also created a natural harbor, which is now known as the Caletón, and destroyed the old port of Garachico, which was the main commercial center of the island at the time.
The eruption was also accompanied by earthquakes, which caused further damage to the town and claimed many lives. The residents of Garachico were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in nearby towns and villages.
Despite the devastation caused by the eruption, the town was eventually rebuilt, and many of its historic buildings were restored. Today, visitors to Garachico can still see the scars of the eruption in the town’s architecture and landscape, including the natural swimming pools that were created by the lava flow. The event remains an important part of the town’s history and is commemorated every year on May 5 with a festival called the Fiestas de San Roque.