La Orotava Spain
To discover one of Tenerife's most charming old towns, make sure you pay a visit to La Orotava. Sitting on the north west coast near to Puerto de la Cruz, the town was once home to the wealthy Spaniards who came to the island after the conquest. Arriving in La Orotava, you'll be greeted by cobbled streets and historic buildings, all surrounded by beautiful green valleys. The town is still very affluent today, and as you wander through the streets you'll see Renaissance-era mansions alongside picturesque churches, boutique shops and impressive landscaped gardens. On your visit to the town, make sure you go to Casa de los Balcones. As you explore the museum building, you'll see ornate balconies, Canarian artwork and beautiful courtyards. Go and see traditional pottery at the Museo de Ceramica, and handicrafts at the Museo de Artesana Iberoamericana. The Baroque church Iglesia de San Agustin and the Gothic Iglesia de la Concepción are also must-sees. If you fancy a real treat, make sure you go and eat at one of the town's high end restaurants. At Casa de Ponte-Fonte you can eat lunch in the courtyard or enjoy a candlelit dinner in the evening, while sipping on the local wines. The Botanical Gardens are also nearby, and well worth a few hours of your time as you explore the exotic plants, palm trees and waterfalls. If you're feeling energetic, you can go hiking in the valleys surrounding the town, taking in the breathtaking ocean views along the way.