Isle of Tenerife

Holiday in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz: Vacation in the Capital City of Tenerife

Map TenerifeSanta Cruz de Tenerife, the island capital, is also the administrative centre for the western Canary Islands of El Hierro, La Palma and Tenerife and is the second biggest city in the archipelago.

One of the most beautiful beaches, called Playa de las Teresitas, is situated in the north-east of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Playa de las Teresitas has been created artificially with sand from the Sahara desert, you can enjoy a safe bathing pleasure as well adequate for children.

While on the face of it the city may not appear to offer much for the sightseeing tourist, it is nevertheless a busy and bustling metropolitan area offering a variety of cultural and retail experiences.

It also has a number of splendid Spanish colonial-style buildings. Santa Cruz itself has a population of just over 220,000. But with its neighbours La Laguna, Candelaria and Tegueste the city forms a metropolitan area of over 420,000.

Situated in a large natural bay, the Santa Cruz is set against the towering peaks of the Anaga mountains.

The harbour of Santa Cruz is one of the busiest in Spain, providing docking facilities for container vessels, cruise ships, hydrofoils and the many ferry services that run between the mainland, madeira and the other canary islands.

These days, the economy of Santa Cruz centres around its port, which serves as a crossroads for trade between Europe and the Americas.

The city's annual carnival is regarded as Europe's best and is ranked in world terms second only to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It has been estimated in recent years that as many as 280,000 people from all over the world have been on the streets of Santa Cruz at the height of the celebrations.

The Plaza de España is the focal point for the revellers dancing to an array of bands performing simultaneously on stages dotted around or to a cacophony of rock music reverberating from the many kiosks lining the streets.

In recent years, the city has seen widespread redevelopment, with some revolutionary new buildings such as the eye-catching new concert hall and opera house, the Auditorio, designed by the celebrated Spanish architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava Valls.

Since 2007 a tram (metro) connects Santa Cruz with La Laguna. This metropolitan runs from the Plaza de España to Avenida Trinidad in neighbouring La Laguna.

Other towns & holiday spots in the municipality of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are Afur, Chamorga, Igueste, Las Caletillas, Taganana and San Andrés.


History of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Initially a simple fishing village, Santa Cruz's excellent deep-water harbour made it a natural successor to the island's earlier main port, Garachico, which was devasted by the lava flows of a volcanic eruption in 1706.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife became the major port of the island and, after becoming independent from the then island capital, La Laguna, was declared by King Ferdinand VII the capital of the Canary Islands province in the 19th century.

Due to its strategic location Tenerife has been attacked many times, particularly by the British and the Dutch, and Santa Cruz Bay was the scene of two notable naval engagements involving two of the most famous British admirals.

In 1656, Admiral Robert Blake destroyed a Spanish silver fleet of 16 ships for the loss of one of his own, despite being under fire from shore batteries and attacking and withdrawing on the tide.

Fifty years later, the British under John Genings were defeated when they attacked the island on November 6, 1706 during the War of the Spanish Succession.

In 1797 Admiral Horatio Nelson had his arm blown off in a bloody attack on the city. In an action still annually celebrated to this day, the garrison and citizens of Santa Cruz repelled an attack by a flotilla of seven British ships led by Nelson, who was planning on capturing a Spanish treasure ship lying up in the harbour. It was a costly action for the British, resulting in the deaths of 153 sailors, many of them drowned.

Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar eight years later, lost his right arm in the engagement before the ships of the Royal Navy were forced to withdraw. A first attack by British troops was foiled on July 21. But Nelson persisted with the operation and planned a second assault on July 24, this time focusing the attack on the harbour.
The 1,000 men who landed were met with heavy fire from local defences. Nelson's right elbow was hit and his stepson, Josiah, applied a tourniquet to his arm. Nelson returned to HMS Theseus to have his arm amputated by the ship's surgeon Thomas Eshelby. Officers of the remaining British troops negotiated a surrender with the city defenders and returned to their ships.

Captured British flags can be seen in the Church of Our Lady of the Conception, while El Tigre, the giant cannon that caused such devastation to the attacking force, can be seen at the military museum, the Castillo de Paso Alto.


Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife

The Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife - Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife (OST) - has a long history, dating back to its formation as the Chamber Orchestra of the Canaries in 1935. The orchestra is based in the island capital of Santa Cruz, at the city's recently-opened magnificent concert hall, the Auditorio de Tenerife:

Symphony Orchestra Auditorio Tenerife
The Auditorio of Tenerife,
home of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra is no stranger to touring, having appeared in all of the major cities on the Spanish mainland and featured regularly in music festivals across Europe.


Beaches in & near Santa Cruz de Tenerife

»  Beaches Tenerife South

»  Beaches Tenerife North

»  Naturist Beaches in Tenerife-South


Holiday destinations around Santa Cruz

The closest vacation spots around Santa Cruz de Tenerife you can get to are Candelaria, Tegueste, Igueste, San Andrés, El Rosario and La Laguna.





Holidays in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Tenerife Northeast: Accommodation and holiday rentals such as a holiday home, vacation home, hotel, apartment, bed and breakfast, lodging, guest house, pension, inn, chalet, bungalow, villa, cottage or country house. Vacation and holiday in hotels, apartments, holiday houses and other vacation rentals in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the northeast coast of Tenerife.