January is the month winter really begins on Tenerife. Often balmy Decembers give way to a cooler January when warm days turn to quite chilly nights and, away from the coasts, the smell of wood smoke from cosy fires permeates the night air. Rain can fall during January, but the default setting is still sunshine.
As with every month in the year, about 350,000 visitors touch down on Tenerife soil and although there is a post Christmas drop in British visitors, numbers are boosted by holidaymakers from Scandinavian countries. For seekers of traditional Tenerife, the month is bookended by some wonderful fiestas; the beginning catering for children whilst at the end of the month it’s the island’s animals that are pampered.
The best fiestas on Tenerife in January
Los Reyes Magos
The spirit of Christmas lingers on until the 6th when Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) bestow gifts on Spain’s well behaved children just like they did on a certain new born baby a couple of millennia ago. On the night of the 5th January, every town is visited by the Reyes Magos, arriving by boat, camel and even helicopter depending on where you are. In the south Los Cristianos, Adeje (town not the resort) and Los Gigantes are good places to catch the kings and their subsequent parade through the streets. In the north, Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava and La Laguna put on great parades with dancers, floats and monsoons of sweeties (protective goggles recommended) but in truth, any traditional town will have a Reyes Magos parade worth seeing. Best of all is in the capital, Santa Cruz, where the Magos arrive by helicopter at CD Tenerife’s Heliodoro Stadium before taking to the streets with a colourful army.
Parades usually take place around 7.30pm but check December’s agendas for details.
Fiesta de San Abad
There are lots of animals on show on Tenerife during January with fiestas in honour of San Abad.
Adeje and Arona
Tourists don’t have to travel far to see the Romería de San Sebastián (20th) and the annual horse bathing as it is at Playa Enramada between Del Duque and La Caleta in Costa Adeje. The fiesta usually lasts from midday till midnight and attracts thousands of onlookers.
Arona town celebrates San Abad with a romería on the 15th (provisional date as the council hasn’t posted details on their website yet).
The biggest events take place in the north with Buenavista del Norte and La Matanza holding huge San Abad fiestas that involve oxen, goats, horses, donkeys hunting dogs, lizards, snakes and cats and dogs whose dignity will be in shreds thanks to their owners dressing them in silly costumes.
These San Abad celebrations usually take place on the third Sunday of the month. We prefer the one in La Matanza but Buenavista del Norte’s is probably more suited to San Abad first timers.
Tenerife’s fiesta capital, Los Realejos outdoes everyone with three fiestas in the month, the best being the Romería de San Antonio on the 16th.
Music and Other Festivals on Tenerife in January
Cirque du Soleil ‘Alegría’ (Santa Cruz; Pabellón Insular Santiago Martín; 13 to 20 January)
Cirque du Soleil shows are pure magic; circus for surrealists. Alegría is their latest creation, a jubilant take on power that moves from ancient monarchs to young democracies and includes kings’ fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats and clowns. That’s more or less what the blurb says but the story doesn’t really matter – Alegría guarantees an enchanting experience. Tickets from €33.
29th Canary Islands Music Festival
If you’re a lover of classical music then the Canary Islands is the place to be over the next couple of months. The 29th Canary Islands Music Festival features performances by symphony orchestras from around the world with the London Philharmonic performing at Tenerife’s Auditorium on 11 and 12 January (8.30pm, tickets from €30).
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.
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.