If you are planning your La Orotava holidays the following information may help by giving you an overview of the resort .
To go on a La Orotava holiday is to have a holiday in a delightful old town located south east of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife,one of the most popular and accessible excursions destinations. La Orotava is also the regional centre of the temperate and fertile valley which bears its name. Set in a vast valley of banana plantation, Fray Alsonso de Espinosa was quoted as saying in 1594 … ‘Around Orotava is the finest, most fertile land in these islands, and even in the whole of Spain, because on it can be grown and bred anything you may desire. The coat of arms of La Orotava has the words villa muy noble y leal- a most loyal and noble town, and a holiday in La Orotava makes an interesting contrast with a coastal holiday. La Orotava is high above sea level and its streets are steep.
You may experience difficulties trying to find La Orotava as it is not very well sign-posted, but once there the sites are helpfully marked out and a useful tourist map is available at the tourist office. La Orotava was founded in the 16th century in the prosperous agricultural land of the Orotava Valley. It then attracted aristocratic immigrants and a number of religious orders. The town has some great examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
The old town of La Orotava is well preserved and in its steep central streets and squares visitors can enjoy its fine churches and beautiful mansions almost unchanged, notably the elaborate wooden balconies that are such a photogenic feature of the islands. Several of the best houses are now tourist attractions containing handicraft shops and museums, such a the Ponte family mansion which houses Casa Lercaro, a place to enjoy local wines and cheeses in the bodega. Once part of the richest of the ancient Guanche kingdoms, La Orotava has now expanded from its historic core, spilling down the green slopes towards the former fishing village that is still its coastal trading outlet – Puerto de la Cruz.
Things to do on your La Orotava holiday
La Casa de los Balcones
La Orotava is justifiably called the craft centre of Tenerife. This is an outstanding attraction for visitors, combining one of La Orotava’s most striking 17th century buildings with a chance to watch traditional embroidery and lace demonstrations, buy handicrafts and visit a small folk museum. Visit El Pueblo Guanche and saunter through Tenerife’s pre-colonial history on the upper floors of an old Canarian house. This also serves as an embroidery school with around 20 students each year. This started as 2 separate buildings which were joined together. The exterior has a series of balconies with wrought iron railings. Inside you will find a charming courtyard with carved wooden balconies decorated with geraniums and ferns. Additional attractions include a charming bodega restaurant and crafts on sale.
Hijuela del Botanico
This small but exquisite garden in La Orotava is crammed and rare palm and exotic palms. Located to the rear of the Ayuntamiento [Town Hall] these gardens are an offshoot of the more famous botanical gardens in Puerto de la Cruz. With a collection of over 3000 subtropical plants including an impressive Dragon tree.
Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion
Just a short stroll from the Town Hall you will find La Orotavas most important church. Distinguished by its twin towers and dome, the church was built in the late 18th century in Baroque style on the site of an earlier church destroyed by an earthquake. Inside there are statues by José Juján Pérez and Fernando Estévez [a native of La Orotava]. Look for the marble altar and tabernacle both of which are Italian in origin and survivors from the original church. Also take a look at the carved choir stalls.
Jardines Marquesado de la Quinta Roja
These colourful 19th century gardens cover more then 11, 600m2 of ravines and terraces, crowned by the mausoleum of Don Diego Castillo who was denied a church burial because he was a Mason.
Oasis de Valle
A family day out in La Orotava with exotic gardens, camel and pony tides, assorted wildlife and a Canarian restaurant . This is a tasteful theme park with a banana plantation, gofio mill, museum of Canarian customs and gardens.
Corpus Christi Festival
If you are in La Orotava in late May or early June then don’t miss the Corpus Christi Festival. Scattering flowers on the pavements is not unusual in Spain to celebrate this special festival on the religious calendar, but it has become a fine art in La Orotava. Both flowers and volcanic sand are used for the decorations. The designs are geometric, floral, or depict scenes from the bible [the 2010 festival depicted The Last Supper]. No artificial colouring is used on either the flowers or the soil. The best displays can be found on the Town Hall Square and the nearby streets. The first flower carpets in La Orotava date from the 1840s but the tradition more or less died out until it was revived in 1906 for a visit by King Alfonso XIII. The Town Hall [Auyuntamiento] itself is an imposing neoclassical building which gives a idea as to how important La Orotava once was.
LA OROTAVA – MAP
By its very nature much of the information in our travel guides is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they are relying with the relevant authorities. Corona Holidays [UK] Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.