Summer kicks off big time in Tenerife in July; the low-key months are over as Spanish visitors arrive from the mainland (and other Canary Islands) in their droves. In the south, the open air clubbing scene raves throughout July. In northern parts like Puerto de la Cruz, the Spanish influx adds a vibrancy to life and everybody slows down (even more than usual) for a month where there is too much to mention going on. This is our pick of the best.
The Best Fiestas on Tenerife in July
Virgen del Carmen Fiestas
It’s the time of year for Tenerife’s fishermen to cut loose and party. The serious part of the Virgen del Carmen fiestas involves carrying her (she’s no Hollywood stick insect so not easy going) through the streets and onto a waiting and very privileged boat for an annual cruise around whatever bay is celebrating. The fun part is the music, games and usually sea themed frolics that go along with the celebrations. Puerto de la Cruz (10th) is probably the place to be as the Dia de la Embarcación forms part of the town’s fiestas patronales. There’s partying the whole day before the ‘Virgen’ goes on her little trip late afternoon/early evening.
Santa Cruz on the 16th is also a good bet for watching a virgin take to the sea. Anyone who doesn’t want to stray too far from the south should head to Las Galletas on the 15th for their celebrations. Other locations in the south also have Virgen del Carmen processions but in places like Los Cristianos and Alcalá these are held later in the summer.
The Día de las Tradiciones
Step back in time 50 years in Chirche (Guia de Isora) on the 8th when the town goes time-travelling and people dress the way they did before bikinis, T-shirts and flip flops came onto the scene. Houses are decked out the way they would have been decades ago when life in Tenerife’s hills revolved around agriculture. There’s transport from nearby Guia de Isora from around 10.0am.
Dia de la Trilla
A favourite of ours and more Tenerife time travelling; a small and simple affair where horses and oxen thresh wheat, people sing and everyone wears a straw hat. You might even win a pig in a lottery. Also usually good for picking up local cheeses and breads. San José de los Llanos in El Tanque at the end of the month (no date confirmed yet but it’s usually the last Saturday in July).
Sansofé in El Médano runs from 7th July to 25th August. Normally it involves an attractive mix of traditional, contemporary and world music events as well as interesting activities. However, in true Tenerife fashion, the local council hasn’t posted details on their website yet.
The Best Music Festivals on Tenerife
There’s masses of good music on Tenerife this month, this is only a selection.
Sunblast Festival (Golf Costa Adeje; 20th)
Over 21 DJs, headlined by the UK’s Carl Cox, turn up the heat on the greens. Rod Stewart and Elton John it’s not. Tickets cost from €26.
Magma 2012 (Palacio de Congresos, Costa Adeje; 14th)
Costa Adeje is really going for the title of Tenerife’s clubbing capital with 18 hours of music, exhibitions and art from more than 15 DJs including Germany’s Mathias Kaden and Gran Canaria’s Javier Caballo. I’m not going to pretend I know who these two are but if you’re into the club scene presumably they’re worth getting excited about. Tickets cost from €28.
The Vertigo Tour with Juanjo Martin(Annex CD Marino Stadium, Playa de las Américas; 7th)
Adeje’s neighbours Playa de las Américas gets into the act with Spanish DJ, Juanjo Martin and a disc-spinning host of other DJs. Tickets cost from €28.
Mumes 2012 (Municipal Football Ground Car Park, El Médano; 15th)
And yet more cool sounds in south Tenerife, this time in the equally cool El Médano. Mumes features Macaco, NayaBand, Ethiocolor, Karlovy Vary, Dj Kali and tickets cost €25.
Canarias Jazz y Más (Various locations between 11th and 14th)
A bit of a trimmed down programme this year, but Canarias Jazz and Más will still deliver the sultry, smoking goods. Africa Night (Plaza Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz; 13th) with Manao feat Lara Bello; Munit & Jorg; and the wonderfully named Blick Bassy promises to be one of the most interesting musical events this month. Whilst the music fest in the same place on the following evening with the Henna Hito Trío; Milles Smiles feat Wallace Roney, Joey De Francesco, Robben Ford, Darryl Jones, Omar Hakim y Rick Margitza; Gretchen Parlato and Renegade Creation feat Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Jimmy Haslip y Gary Novak will be a treat for jazz fans. Both are free and both start at 8pm.
Fimucité 2012 (Various locations between 7th and 14th)
Tenerife’s annual music from the movies festival offers film and classical music buffs a chance to listen to some rip-roaring movie themes. The main themes of this year’s festival are Universal Pictures and the music of Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s). There are concerts in Santa Cruz, La Laguna and Los Cristianos. The Universal Pictures homage that closes the festival on the 14th sounds a blast of movie classics – where else would you get Dracula and To Kill a Mockingbird on the same musical menu? Tickets cost €10-€15.
A couple of other little music fests with a Latino beat are Somos Salseros (Santa Cruz till 6th) and the Festival de Habaneros (also Santa Cruz; 13th and 14th).
Alternative Events to Perk Up the Interest on Tenerife
IV European Police and Firemen Games (7th to 15th)
Who needs the Olympics when you’ve got the best of Europe’s policemen and firemen competing in over 49 sports over the course of 9 days? Events will be held in Santa Cruz, La Laguna, El Rosario, Tacoronte, El Sauzal, La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Realejos, Los Silos and Garachico. If you’re in the north of Tenerife you won’t be able to go anywhere without falling over a boy in blue or a hose-wielding fireman. If you’re in the south, make sure your house is secure and whatever you do don’t play with matches – the emergency forces might be a bit thin on the ground.
Canarias Infinity Extreme (Puerto de la Cruz, 14th, 5pm)
An SAS assault course meets It’s a Knock-out (surely I must be able to dig up a more recent cultural reference) beside the harbour in Puerto de la Cruz. Great fun… to watch that is.
Nelson Gets His Ass Kicked (Santa Cruz, 25th)
The crisis might mean that Admiral Nelson isn’t humiliated this year. Or it might mean that the opposing forces aren’t so much armies as a few blokes in funny outfits.
Artisan Fair (Garachico, 7th & 8th)
Pick up some local goodies and early Christmas pressies at the handicraft fair in one of Tenerife’s prettiest towns.