The idea of spending Christmas in Tenerife may seem a little strange – perhaps you love the thought of Christmas Day spent lying on a sun bed on the beach or maybe you can’t think of anything less Christmassy. If beach-going is too far removed from your idea of the perfect Christmas, take heart: most people who live in the Canaries don’t spend their Christmas at the beach or by the pool either. Instead, they take advantage of the many festive activities that take place around the island. Curious as to what they are? Here are some of our favourites:
Visit a nativity scene
From early December onwards, many towns and villages proudly display nativity scenes that are genuine works of art, reflecting the true holiday spirit of the associations, companies and people that create them. What better way to discover some of Tenerife’s most characteristic towns and villages than by visiting their nativity scenes? While you’re there you can also try some local wines in each area and typical Christmas pastries, truchas. Their name may be a little misleading (“trout”) but they’re actually delicious sweet patties filled with squash jam or sweet potato, coated in sugar. Some of the island’s best nativities can be found in Santa Cruz and La Laguna. The more traditional birth scene offered in the Tenerife Cabildo is hugely popular, with its typical Canarian landscapes depicted and hand-made figurines. If you prefer to feel a little chilly at Christmas, head to the historic centre of La Laguna, where you can enjoy visiting all six of the nativity scenes on show in this World Heritage Site.
You never imagined you’d be able to go ice skating in Tenerife, did you? Well you can! Sunbathe all morning and then hit the ice in the afternoon. The Rink Magma returns this year bigger and better than ever, giving the young and old the chance to show everyone what they’re made of on the ice. Open during the months of November, December and January, you’ll have plenty of time to get some practice in and return home something of an expert. Don’t forget to take some warm clothing with you – you may be in Tenerife, but ice is still cold, even here!
No Christmas is complete without some manic shopping. Luckily, in south Tenerife you have a wide selection of shops, boutiques and malls to discover, where you can stop for a bite to eat or something to drink, enjoy some window shopping or go on a full-blown spending spree! Don’t forget to visit the fantastic Siam Mall, where aside from picking up the latest fashions you can also have your picture taken with Father Christmas himself – if you’ve been good you may even get a lollipop! If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to listen to the carol singers making their way around the shopping centre, filling the air with that wonderful Christmas spirit. For the ultimate luxury shopping experience, and to appreciate some gorgeous Christmas decorations, head to Plaza del Duque, the stunning circular shopping centre in Costa Adeje.
Christmas is the perfect time to go and see a show, whether it’s a captivating ballet performance or a fabulous musical. This Christmas, apart from the hugely popular Mamma Mia musical and concerts from the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in the Adan Martin Auditorium in Santa Cruz, you can also enjoy a beautiful production of The Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet in the Infanta Leonor Auditorium, Los Cristianos, on December 8th. The South Carolina Gospel Chorale will also be giving a one-off concert in Tenerife’s Auditorium in Santa Cruz, performing a wonderful mix of traditional soul and modern gospel. With so much variety of top-class shows to choose from, all you need to do is decide which you fancy, buy your tickets and enjoy an unforgettable night out.
Every year in Santa Cruz on Christmas Day, there is the traditional Concierto de Navidad (Christmas Concert) given by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. Classical music lovers will enjoy not only listening to an incredible open-air concert of a selection of international artists but also the fantastic firework display that marks the end of this much-loved musical event.
Christmas activities for the kids
The youngest members of the family are also guaranteed to have a great time in Tenerife at Christmas. Not only will they be able to brag to all their friends that they spent their Christmas holidays in shorts and a t-shirt, they’ll also be able to say they went ice skating, found nativity displays and went on rides at the fair in Los Cristianos. To bring out their inner artist, the town halls in Adeje and Los Cristianos also offer Christmas handicraft workshops and other fun activities for them to enjoy. You’ll be setting the bar very high for next year after a Christmas spent here in Tenerife…