Puerto de la Cruz: tourism was born here

Puerto de la Cruz: tourism was born here

festivalgoer, because not everything is going to be music, sun and beach, we invite you to browse through the evolution of an authentic city that went from being a commercial port to the European center of tourism, and that today is reinventing itself to become referent of cultural tourism.

Not everyone knows it, but certainly Cross port it is loaded with history. Although it is now an 'alternative' vacation destination that offers the 21st century visitor unique and original experiences, this municipality in the north of Tenerife (the smallest on the island with 8.7 km2) was the place where tourism began in the Canary Islands in the first decades of the 19th century.

There are even those who say that this city was always touristy, even when what is now known as tourism did not exist. In fact, there are archaeological evidence ⎼necropolises and burial caves⎼ that bear witness to how the island's aborigines, the guanchesThey moved to the coast of Orotava Valley in search of a more pleasant climate to spend the winter months. Come on, some precursors of tourism in high season.

And it is that when making trips for the pleasure of knowing other cultures, landscapes turned out to be exotic, and the spectacular nature of the natural environment, the mild climate and the sky of the Port had called the attention of many scientific expeditions who in the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century visited the island on their way to America, Africa or the East. You know why? Well, because of the proximity to which It was believed then that it was the highest mountain in the world, the Teide, venerated both by merchants and navigators as well as by travelers.

But the imposing volcano was not the only thing that allowed the development of tourism in the Canary Islands, and in particular in Puerto de la Cruz, since its geographical and historical singularities they made merits to lift him up in the number one of the tourist destinations par excellence, displacing Madeira and Europe.

From the first decades of the 19th century, and after the opening of the waters of the Atlantic at the end of the Napoleonic wars, British people with health problems began to arrive on the island in search of a climate that would better favor their convalescence, that is, a health resort. AND Cross port, at that time the main port of the island, became the first tourist destination in Tenerife and the Canary Islands.

One of the discoverers of the touristic and curative qualities of the Port was William Robert Wilde, one of the most recognized figures in medicine in Victorian Britain and father of writer Oscar Wilde. He made a visit to the valley of La Orotava and recommended Puerto de la Cruz as a better destination than Madeira and the Italian and French Rivieras, it was an unparalleled propaganda accolade for the city.

But therapeutic holidays were not the only objective of visitors to the municipality at that time. there was also “hikers” for leisure or pleasure. The historian Nicolás González Lemus tells us that “in 1848 a British expedition arrived from Madeira to take an excursion to Teide”. Long before the first tour organized by Thomas Cook to the Alps!

One could not speak of a tourist movement such as today, neither Tenerife nor the rest of the archipelago had a solvent accommodation infrastructure, and yet Cross port It had some hotel establishments. The first inn in the Canary Islands it was opened there in 1814 when an English carpenter rented a house on Zamora Street to make it the lodging place for many British people. And this was the origin of later significant projects that began to consider tourism as an economic activity, as is the case of the Marquesa, Monopol and Buenavista hotels and the representative Hotel Taoro.

The most significant of all was the first sanatorium of the Canary Islands to welcome sick tourists, the Hotel Orotava, which opened on September 12, 1886 as first Spanish tourist center in Europe with services designed to provide rest, comfort and personalized attention to foreign visitors.

It is from then on Puerto de la Cruz is consecrated as the first tourist enclave of the Canary Islands. Among the anecdotes that are told of the time, it is said that in the winter of 1887-1888 it was recorded the first overbooked of the history of tourism in the Canary Islands, given the success of the call of this city among British visitors.

Cross port then lived great moments. Today tourism has changed but the city continues to preserve an exuberant physical and natural setting, a temperate climate with warm summers and pleasant winters, a historic center where tradition and modernity coexist and a cultural offer that is more than attractive for those who are no longer satisfied with spend the holidays lying on the beach. 

5 reasons not to miss Phe Festival

Less than 20 days left. Phe Festival is here, and with the concert of 6th August on the esplanade of the wharf Cross port, a sample of the festival that we dream of having in Tenerife in the future. We know that devotees of good music will not miss the opportunity to join the experience, but if there is still someone undecided, we have chosen 5 reasons not to miss.


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1. It is celebrated in Puerto de la Cuz

Ok, we'll throw the topic: any excuse is good to visit Cross port, one of the most charming destinations in Tenerife with a mild climate all year round, multicolored skies and an intense smell of the sea. And it is because its history is linked to the history of tourism and today it is evolving by leaps and bounds to become a benchmark for cultural tourism. It is true that Phe Festival It is not the only festival that is celebrated next to the beach, within the wide range of summer offers in our country. But it is the only one that takes place in a destination where you can take baths in the sun or in the water of the Atlantic in beautiful black sand beaches (Martiánez and Playa Jardín) with the masterful figure of the Mount Teide at the bottom. Without leaving the promenade you will find the pool complex Lago Martianez, a work of art designed by Cesar Manrique where you can refresh yourself with all the comforts. Because art and culture can be breathed in every corner, from the beauty of the mansions and buildings that are part of its historic complex, to the different cultural projects that support the Cultural Strategy of Puerto de la Cruz (ECPC2020), in which its greatest attraction stands out, a city focused on culture that transmits its enthusiasm to those who visit it. Go, an ideal vacation plan.


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2. Great direct

Music is variety, and that is Phe Festival. Indie, rock, dance, electronic, artists to discover, the best national groups, proposals made in Canary Islands… Cycle, Of faith,The Red Room, Belako, Red Beard, Kostrok a firm commitment to groups that are a reference in the independent national sphere and electronics with international claim that do not usually go through Tenerife. Can we ask for more? Yes, Mr Paradise as continuity dj.


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3. Innovation and Culture also in summer

One of the most interesting proposals of the festival program are the meetings Ph I+C, which this year will analyze through encounters, exhibitions and networking the value of culture as an accelerator of the sustainable development of cities. Among many other things, they will have ambassadors from two first-rate cultural projects, one recently launched, such as the Atlantic Museum of Lanzarote and the Benicassim International Festival, a veteran in these fights. If there is something that will be talked about, and a lot, it is the interactive installation of mapping from Simone Martin about sculptures of Julius Grandson. will be the friday august 5 in the Cultural Space Castle, one day before the concert.


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4. Cheaper, impossible

One of the efforts of Phe Festival is to offer entertainment and knowledge for a more than affordable price. An 8-hour concert with 6 groups for only €20? As it is. And the best of all is that for students of the University of La Laguna the ticket has a discount of 20%. And above the educational-informative day on Friday, August 5 is free


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5. Things of good eating

If what you like is good food, you will have at your disposal in the venue where the concert will be held a selection of gastronets (say food trucks) Y food stalls with the most varied menus so you can enjoy live music like a maharajah. As if this were not enough, in Puerto de la Cruz you have a interesting culinary offer, where you can taste everything from the best Canarian fish with wrinkled potatoes and home-style mojo picón to signature cuisine.

Hey!!

As you know, our colleague ‘plug-in’ translator isn’t perfect, but Its good enough to get a rough idea of how cool PHE FESTIVAL is ;)

In case you have any questions, we will be happy to help you by mail or social media.