After an often unsettled November, December on Tenerife is usually a warm and sunny month. The early part of the month can be quite quiet in tourist terms although the bigger traditional towns hustle and bustle with locals preparing for the festive season. In the parts of Tenerife devoted to tourism it might not be so obvious that it is the festive season but in Tenerife’s northern towns, the streets are festooned with decorations, brass bands play familiar and not so familiar Christmas tunes and beautifully detailed nativity scenes called belenes spring up all over the place (don’t forget top look out for El Caganer). Things really liven up after 24th December with the season hitting its stride from then until the 6th of January by which time Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) have visited Canarian children and left their presents and everyone digs deep into purses and wallets to find some spends for the January sales.
The best fiestas on Tenerife in December
It’s no surprise to learn that the best fiestas on Tenerife in December have a Christmas theme. Christmas Eve itself is a bit of a non-event unless you’re part of a Canarian family. The Spanish enjoy their big Christmas meal on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) and as a result many restaurants (including those in hotels) close early. Those staying in one of the south of Tenerife’s purpose built resorts won’t really be affected but anyone staying in Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz, La Orotava etc. should make sure they eat early.
New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja) is party night and the traditional north holds the best street parties and firework displays although there are places in the south of the island which hold decent Nochevieja shindigs as well. Tenerife’s Christmas Eve falls on the 5th of January when Los Reyes Magos ride into town bestowing gifts on well behaved children. There are parades in towns across Tenerife.
Christmas in Puerto de la Cruz
As always, Puerto de la Cruz overdoses on the Christmas spirit at this time of year with classical, jazz and folklore concerts, an exhibition of belenes (from the 8th) and all sorts of activities throughout December including a beer festival (22nd) as well as the wonderful New Year’s Eve party at Plaza del Charco. See full programme here.
Christmas in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz also has a packed cultural Christmas programme and we’ll add full details when the council reveals them. But the city is one of THE places to be in the run up to Christmas. For anyone who wants to do something completely different on Christmas Day, the city will be hosting its free Christmas Day concert by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (from 10pm) at the port. This year’s concert will include classics from Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Johann Strauss.
Christmas in La Orotava and La Laguna
La Orotava and La Laguna are also worth a visit to see Christmas decorations and belenes exhibitions and both have events throughout the month.
Christmas in Adeje
Adeje in the south of Tenerife puts on a good festive show close to the main resorts. Wednesday the 5th sees the turning on of the Christmas lights in Adeje town (7.30pm) when there’s also a tapas route on Calle Grande, worth going for both. There are also Christmas markets, concerts and a living belén (22nd, 8pm) which, if the pictures are anything to go by, looks cheesy good fun. For a traditional end to the year head to La Caleta on New Year’s Eve where there’s always a great fin de año party. See full programme.
Christmas in Arona
Plenty of music, theatre and dance going on around Arona, the municipality where Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos are situated although events are a bit more spread out than in some places. See programme of activities here.
Christmas in Santiago del Teide
Most of the events in Santiago del Teide will be taking place in Plaza la Vigilla in Puerto Santiago where there will be a Christmas Day Concert (7pm) featuring some of the famous Sabandeños. One exception is the Fin de Año party which takes place in Plaza Bougainvillea in Los Gigantes. See full programme.
Music and Other Festivals on Tenerife in November
Beauty and the Beast (Santa Cruz; Tenerife Auditorium; 28 Dec to 6 January)
The festive season always brings a big show to Tenerife’s auditorium and this year is the age old tale of love conquering all in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – the musical.
The King Gospel Choir; Merry Christmas & Civil Rights a tribute to Martin Luther King (Santa Cruz; Tenerife Auditorium; 15 December; 9pm)
With Silent Night and songs from the 60s civil rights movement on the agenda, this sounds like a worthy and emotional concert.
Festival Internacional del Cuento de Los Silos 2012 (Los Silos; 5 to 8th December)
The International Storytelling Festival in Los Silos attracts story weavers from across the globe for a few days of tale telling in one of Tenerife’s delightfully secret corners. You may not understand everything that’s being recounted, but it is enchanting nonetheless.
PIT 2012 (Santa Cruz; Recinto Ferial; 21 December to 6 January)
One for the kiddywinkles is the annual PIT fair at the Recinto Ferial which is basically a conference centre filled with fun things for children. This year has juicy attractions like the house of fear, the witches train. snowball fights, safari train, karts and a Viking boat to keep the smaller members of the family amused.
Canarias Folk Fest – Los Cristianos & Playa de las Américas
The Canarias Folk Fest returns to Los Cristianos (Promenade, Thursday 8.30pm) and in Playa de las Américas (Plaza del C.C. City Centre, Friday 8.30pm) until March 2013. The fiesta features traditional Canarian dancing and music and is staged for visitors, bringing some of the local colour and culture from the traditional towns into the main southern resort areas.
Whilst these are our pick of the most interesting events on Tenerife, there is an overwhelming amount of interesting activities on Tenerife each month. Cultural Centres are excellent places to find out what’s happening wherever you are on Tenerife.