Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is the 'real' Tenerife

The perfect combination of Canarian culture, lifestyle and charm with all the facilities of a holiday resort, Puerto is a million miles away from the purpose-built resorts of the south and west.

Cobbled streets, pretty plazas and pavement cafes are the trademarks of this former fishing village where life still revolves around its picturesque harbour. A resident population of almost 37,000 is served by over 300 restaurants, most of them serving traditional Canarian and seafood menus, and amongst them you'll find some culinary diamonds.

Not just a place for culture seekers, the fabulous Lago Martiánez Swimming Pools was designed by César Manrique; has wondrous sculptures, a lake-sized pool, an island bar and children’s water parks and after dark it morphs into the über cool entrance to a casino beneath the lake.

A green destination

A tropical paradise where everything grows at a frankly alarming rate, Puerto has banana and fruit plantations, palm groves and a proliferation of exotic flora which remind you that you're only 300km off the coast of West Africa. From orchid gardens where Agatha Christie and Marianne North spent their days, to the Botanical Gardens which feel like a slice of every Central and South American jungle assembled in one spot, over-fed on Baby Bio, watered liberally and left to their own devices, Puerto is a gardener’s dream destination.

It's a cultural crossroads

The perfect base for exploring the best of Tenerife, within easy reach are picturesque Garachico which was buried by a volcanic eruption in 1706; the UNESCO World Heritage former capital of La Laguna; Icod de los Vinos with its allegedly 1000-year-old Drago tree and beautiful La Orotava - Tenerife's most aristocratic historic centre. The vibrant capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with its culture, nightlife and shopping is only a 40-minute bus ride away.

There’s almost always something going on

In November, hot braziers roast chestnuts and the new wine is opened to celebrate San Andrés; in June, Jazz fills the night air at the Heineken Jazz Festival and a giant beach party welcomes the summer solstice; in July, 30,000 descend on the harbour for the Fiestas Del Carmen and on New Year’s Eve spectacular fireworks fill the sky and there's all night open air partying. And the perfect antidote to Northern European winter blues, February sees Carnaval in Tenerife: it's time to party!

In short Puerto is, in my opinion Tenerife’s nicest resort, but then I’m biased - I live there.