Northern Tenerife

Garachico, one of the most popular spots for day-trippers on Tenerife, might have been the most important town on the island if nature hadn’t intervened spectacularly.

Just over three hundred years ago, Garachico had it all. As the main port on an island at the crossroads of Europe and the New World it enjoyed such wealth that there are stories one street was made of marble; paupers were only allowed to walk it one day each week. Its noble houses were home to wealthy merchants, clergymen, titled families and artists.

In 1706 nature cruelly snatched riches away from Garachico when Montaña Negra erupted, spewing out rivers of lava that swept through the town to destroy its golden goose, the harbour. That disaster ended Garachico’s run as the most important port on Tenerife.

As though lava running through your streets wasn’t bad enough, Garachico also endured plagues of locusts, outbreaks of disease, fire and flooding. It’s a town with a history that could have come straight from the pages of the Old Testament.

Instead of defeating the people of Garachico, the natural disasters they survived made them stronger. Ironically, losing its status as Tenerife’s premier port all those centuries ago resulted in Garachico remaining better preserved than the towns and cities which thrived.

El Caletón (natural rock pools)

Below the Castillo de San Miguel, natural pools of El Caletón have been shaped by the volcanic eruptions. Stairways and paths lead the way to the rocky pools which lead out to the ocean. Be careful when swimming as the tide can push you against one of the rock faces. Some pools are of impressive depth and have created an unusual water world.