Have you booked a holiday to the Hotel Jardín Tecina in La Gomera but are not sure where to go on a day trip? Why not organise a visit to one of the nearby islands and explore their fascinating capital cities?
We’ve recommended four different capitals and some exciting attractions you won’t want to miss.
Located on the eastern tip of Tenerife is Santa Cruz, the bustling capital city. Here you can observe some amazing architecture, shop till you drop and visit the historic harbour. Many cruise ships stop off at the Santa Cruz Harbour so, if you’re relaxing on the beach, expect a large influx of cruisers to join you.
If it’s the city’s landmarks and history you wish to see,why not hop on the open-top bus tour and see all of the best sites in a short space of time. One of the main spots is the Auditorium of Tenerife, an avant-garde architectural building that puts on shows from jazz and opera to dance and pop,so there’s something for everyone.
Attend Carnival if you visit between February and March as you’ll get to see all the locals dressed up in brightly-coloured outfits, dancing down the winding streets and blasting music in the plazas.
Located in the north-eastern part of the island is its capital, Las Palmas, a gorgeous city that includes two beautiful bays lined with several beaches. If you wish to learn the county’s historical and cultural heritage, visit the oldest quarter in town, Vegueta. This small area is home to many pastel-coloured houses, narrow lanes and pleasant squares lined with buildings showcasing traditional Canarian elements. Engross yourself in the local’s culture when visiting the urban village and watch the Pueblo Canario's folk performances - you’ll want to jump up and get involved.
We also recommend wandering around the stunning Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santa Ana, the most important monument of Canarian religious architecture. However, if you wish to see more of the island’s picturesque landscape, the Caldera de Bandama is a must-see. This volcanic crater has a 200-metre-deep cauldron you won’t want to miss.
San Sebastián is a seaside capital that has a rich,historic core shown through its multi-coloured buildings, peaceful plazas and pedestrianised, cobbled streets lined with small shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s a commercial port that was used by Christopher Columbus himself when he set off for his famous travels.
The photogenic Church of the Assumption showcases a mix of Baroque and Gothic styles and is where the famous discoverer prayed before setting off. It’s well worth a look inside as it exhibits an impeccable carved-wooden trance and fascinating religious images. The elegant Casa de Colón, where Columbus stayed when visiting the island, should also be on your checklist. It’s now a museum displaying stunning pottery, art and photography.
If the locals’ way of life intrigues you, visit their typical meeting points like Plaza de la Americas, a public square surrounded by bars and shops that holds regular markets selling local produce.
Santa Cruz De La Palma is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in the whole of the Canary Islands, so make sure you bring your camera to capture its beauty. This capital city will be sure to take your breath away with its stretched-out shore and lush, green hills in the background. Mix with the locals and get a taste of their day-to-day life by relaxing in local coffee bars during the mornings and eating in family-owned restaurants in the evenings.
When wandering down the windy streets, you’ll stumble upon astounding palaces, colonial-style buildings and houses displaying traditional Canarian architecture. The Shrine of Virgen De Las Nieves should be on your to-do list due to its image of the island's patron saint inside, as well as its 17th–century silver altar and astonishing Flemish paintings and carvings.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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