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In the fertile lowlands of Tenerife’s North West tip, Garachico is officially one of the unluckiest towns on the planet. In its short history Garachico has endured Bubonic plague, floods, storms, fires, plagues of locusts and volcanic eruptions, the worst of which in 1706 destroyed a large part of the town and the source of its wealth; the harbour.
What remains is one of Tenerife’s prettiest destinations with cobbled streets, beautifully restored churches, two fabulous hotels, coastal sea water swimming pools hewn from volcanic rock and a steadfastly traditional Canarian character.
The sea water rock pools are an absolute must for visitors to Garachico, and at their best when the sun is shining. Wander their paths spotting all sorts of tropical fish under rocks and darting under the surface. In autumn and spring, avoid the high tides as the pools are cordoned off for safety.
In Plaza de La Libertad, pay the small fee to wander the ruins of the former Convent of San Francisco which dates from the 16th century and is the oldest in the town. In Hotel Quinta Roja’s shop, take a peek through to the courtyard of this beautiful hotel and make a promise to yourself to return one day for a sojourn.
Delicious sea food is the order of the day at Arístides, opposite Plaza de La Libertad. The chopitos (crispy fried baby squid) are second to none, as are the mussels. But don’t grab a table if you’re in a hurry; service is slow and the food is cooked to order. Lunch here is a very leisurely affair.
Follow the clock tower to the
If you’ve time, walk back along the promenade, via the small museum housed in a former water mill which has images and witness reports from the 1706 eruption, to the little ermita of San Roque and opposite, the stunning former Convent of San Sebastián; possibly the most stunning façade on Tenerife.
Time your visit to coincide with the August festival of San Roque which takes place on 16th August 2008 and enjoy the fabulous spectacle of oxen pulled carts filled with locals in traditional dress parading the streets and giving out free food and wine to everyone.
Museo de Carpintería y Vinoteca
Part exhibition of craftsmen’s tools part wine shop and bar. Interesting combination and free to boot.
Calle República de Venezuela, 17; Garachico
Castillo San Miguel
Tardis like castle with exhibits tracing Garachico’s history. Great views over the pools from the battlements.
Entrance €0.50, Avda Tome Cano; Garachico
Convento San Francisco
Eclectic mix of exhibits in the town’s museum, but it’s the building which is worth the entrance price.
Entrance €0.60, Plaza la Libertad; Garachico