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Northern Tenerife: where to buy a second home or spend a holiday
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Northern Tenerife: where to buy a second home or spend a holiday

Tenerife is the largest and most popular destination of the Canary Islands for holiday home buyers and tourists. Every year, about five million foreign citizens head there for its amazing climate: in summer, temperatures range from 24−26°C and 18−20°C in winter — not to mention that the sun shines for more than 300 days a year. The island has two international airports, twelve Blue Flag beaches, three Michelin-star restaurants, nine golf courses and a volcano. The El Teide volcano is the highest peak in Spain and Tenerife's main landmark. It is now also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The northern half of the island is greener, cooler and gets more rain, but it also has more traditional villages and many interesting landmarks.

-> Southern Tenerife: where to buy a second home or spend a holiday

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife and the island's largest city. It is home to the local parliament, some ministries and foreign embassies. This town is an excellent choice for visitors who love culture, as there are many art galleries, exhibitions, dance competitions, contemporary and classical music concerts. There are also several theatres including the Teatro Guimerá, which is the oldest in the Canary Islands, dating back to the 19th century. Some historical highlights of Santa Cruz include the TEA art gallery (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes), the Museum of Nature and Man (Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre), the Museum of Military History of the Canary Islands (Museo Histórico Militar de Canarias) and the Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes).

The Auditorio de Tenerife building is designed like a spaceship

The Auditorio de Tenerife concert hall located near the city's central square (Plaza de España) is the city’s architectural landmark. This distinctive building with its unusual futuristic design hosts the annual Tenerife International Film Music Festival (Festival Internacional de Música de Cine de Tenerife) as well as regular local symphony orchestra concerts. Another favourite leisure area is the Parque García Sanabria, the largest park of the archipelago.

The average property price in Santa Cruz is €1,400 per sq m. Prices for flats start from €80,000−100,000 and villas cost up to €2−3M. Apartments in residential complexes located by the sea sell for €170,000−200,000.

Icod de los Vinos

Icod de los Vinos was founded back in the 15th century, making it one of the most ancient villages in Tenerife. Today it is a welcoming town that is famous for its winemaking. It is surrounded by some stunning landscapes because it is on the slope of a hill, bordered by a pine woods on one side and the ocean on the other. Outside the town, there are endless banana plantations and vineyards. The main landmark of the town is the giant dragon tree (Drago Milenario de Icod de los Vinos), which is estimated to nearly 800 years old.

The Drago Milenario is one of the symbols of Tenerife

In the old part of Icod de los Vinos, some buildings date back to the 16th century like the church La Iglesia de San Marcos and the Plaza de la Pila square. Neigbouring districts are modern and equipped with all the essentials: supermarkets, cafés, pharmacies and more. Icod de los Vinos also has a park filled with thousands of exotic butterflies (Mariposario del Drago) and the world's longest underground cave labyrinth (Cueva del Viento), which was sculpted during the island’s volcanic past.

One- or two-bedroom flats located near the centre of Icod de los Vinos sell for €150,000−250,000. A four-bedroom home with a pool and a garden costs about €500,000−600,000.

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is the second most popular destination with tourists on the island after Playa de las Américas in the south. The central beach, surrounded by palm trees, was awarded a Blue Flag for its pristine waters. However, the sea can get quite rough so locals often prefer to swim in the pools of the Lago Martianez, an artificial saltwater lake located right beside the ocean.

Puerto de la Cruz is one of the most picturesque cities of Tenerife

Puerto de la Cruz is one of the most picturesque cities of Tenerife. It has a botanical garden (Jardín Botánico) with 5,000 plant species, an orchid garden (Jardín Sitio Litre) and the Risco Belle Aquatic Gardens with lakes and waterfalls, as well as the archipelago’s largest zoo, the Loro Parque. There are many UK and German nationals in Puerto de la Cruz because the town is more focused on relaxation and there are few amusements for young people.

The architectural landscape is a mix of high-rise hotels, historical mansions and modern residential complexes. The average property price in Puerto de la Cruz is €1,500 per sq m. One-bedroom apartments sell for €80,000−120,000.

Los Realejos

Los Realejos is a small town surrounded by natural parks and banana plantations. It has two parts that once were two separate villages. The historic area of the town is located by the ocean while the upper half has many modern residential buildings separated from the beach by dozens of steep steps.

Los Realejos hosts the very popular Paragliding Championship

Los Realejos is known for its beautiful beaches: La Fajana, Castro and El Socorro. The Blue Flag El Socorro beach is popular with windsurfers and hosts the four-day Los Realejos International Paragliding and Free Flying Festival (Festival Internacional de Parapente de Los Realejos — FLYPA) every May.

The average property price in Los Realejos is €1,100 per sq m. Two-bedroom flats have prices starting from €150,000.

La Orotava

La Orotava is one of the most beautiful towns on the island, located in a green valley at a height of 335m above sea level. It is also home to a large portion of Teide National Park and "the lungs of Tenerife" La Corona Forestal National Park. The historic centre is considered a national treasure and looks like an open-air museum. Most of the buildings here date back to the 16th and 18th century.

La Orotava is located at a height of 335 metres above sea level

In June, La Orotava organises the most outstanding Corpus Christi feast during which locals decorate the streets with carpets made of flowers and colourful volcanic sand. One of their masterpieces even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest image made of sand.

Property in La Orotava costs €980 per sq m, but prices for villas can be up to €3,000−4,000 per sq m. Most houses in the town come with land. A four- or five-bedroom home with a garden and a swimming pool costs upwards of €500,000.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna

Until 1837, San Cristóbal de La Laguna (or simply La Laguna) was the capital of Tenerife, and today it is the unofficial cultural capital of the island. In 1999 the city was listed as a World Heritage Site. The town had a substantial population of aristocrats in the past so there are many luxurious mansions that are still intact today. There are also ancient churches in the city and there are whole districts of houses constructed in the 17th and 18th century, not to mention small art galleries, cafés, bars, designer boutiques and souvenir shops.

The districts of La Laguna reflect the many centuries of tradition in Tenerife

The most ancient university of the Canary Islands (Universidad de La Laguna) is located here. That's why the city is almost always full of young people and has lots of activities and nightlife. For example, in the central Cuadrilatero district alone (near the campus), there are about a hundred bars and clubs.

The average property price in La Laguna is about €1,000 per sq m. Flats in the city cost upwards of €70,000−80,000. House prices start from €300,000.

Tranio recommends:

  • families and holidaymakers: Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • romantics: Icod de los Vinos, Los Realejos, La Orotava
  • for young people: San Cristóbal de la Laguna

Julia Gushchina, Tranio

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