Tenerife’s first tourist resort, Puerto de la Cruz, doesn’t attract as many British visitors as the newer southern resorts these days. But the town which was so popular with explorers and Victorian travellers is still a favourite with other European visitors and the mainland Spanish who descend in their thousands during summer months. For those wanting a healthy dose of Canarian Culture served with their sunshine, it’s a hard place to beat.

Sunset over Taoro

The former casino and hotel frequented by Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie looks straight out of the British Raj in India as the sun descends westward. Sadly unused at the moment, some local politicians want it turned into a Parador. Sounds like a winning idea to me.

Left a Bit”¦Right a Bit”¦

Puerto’s harbour beach may attract local sunseekers, but early morning, fishing is the main business. In true Tenerife style when any maintenance of boats or nets is required it invariably involves one person actually doing the work and twenty others advising.

Look out Behind You

It’s true what they say about Puerto de la Cruz, it’s a lot wetter than the south of Tenerife. This picture proves it – I mean look at that downpour. And as for that blue stuff in the sky, god knows what that is. Lago Martiánez – the place to cool down in Puerto, but watch out for that fountain, it comes back to earth like golf ball sized hailstones on your head.

Fairies’ Stepping Stones

The Botanical Gardens in the La Paz area of Puerto de la Cruz are an enchanted paradise with magical corners, lily ponds and plants which look as though they belong in Jurassic Park; just check out the mutant strelitzias (bird of paradise plants) the size of palm trees. The lily pond is a spot to inspire poets: “˜There was a young man from La Paz, who slipped and fell on his”¦’ err, maybe not.

Puerto’s Water Park

Who needs a multi-million dollar water park when you’ve got a harbour? This is where much of Puerto’s water based activities take place such as sunbathing, fishing, swimming, diving in from the harbour walls and”¦washing goats. Surfing is a bit of a non-starter though unless, like the guy in the picture, you happen to have an oar with you.

Golden Throne

Puerto de la Cruz was once known as “˜the golden port’ and this is why. When the sun heads to bed it sends its rays straight into the town’s heart, turning the walls of its old buildings, like the customs house in the picture, golden. This liquid light is a photographer’s dream.