March is the month when the season changes and winter gives way to spring on Tenerife, sometimes very reluctantly. There is often a storm on Tenerife at some during February or March and this year proves no exception with the first weekend in March being welcomed in with a forecast of high swells, heavy rain and possibly hurricane level gusts of wind. To people unfamiliar with the weather on Tenerife the rain may sound like nothing special. But when it falls during a storm it can do so with monsoon force and the topography of the island means it comes rushing dangerously down those barrancos sweeping away anything in its path. Apart from the risk of a storm or two, the temperatures rise slightly and the flowers bloom. Rain isn’t banished for the year yet but it rarely lasts long when it comes.
In fiesta terms, traditional Tenerife in March is quiet with locals recovering from the excesses of carnival whereas the resorts see a boost in numbers with more Northern Europeans descending on the island. Easter creeps into March this year giving those interested in local culture a chance to see the emotional ways in which Semana Santa is celebrated, if that is the right word, on Tenerife.
The best fiestas on Tenerife in March
Easter on Tenerife
Semana Santa in La Laguna
Unless you’re in the resorts forget parties and fun-filled fiestas, Easter (Semana Santa) in Tenerife is a serious affair. That’s not to say it isn’t interesting. Witnessing hooded brotherhoods silently parading through the old streets of La Laguna is a sight you won’t forget. The two main processions are the Magna (5pm, Good Friday) and the Silent Procession (9pm, Good Friday). Both are quite unnerving and moving, especially when the city’s lights are turned off during the Silent Procession and ghostly figures pass by lit only by flickering candles.
The Passion in Adeje and Candelaria
An alternative Semana Santa celebration that is equally moving if not quite so unusual is the Passion;. In Adeje town, not far from the main southern resorts, over 300 of the townsfolk take part in an ambitious piece of street theatre that depicts the last hours of Jesus Christ.
A similar sized Passion is also re-enacted in the plaza beside the Basilica in Candelaria but that one tends to get less publicity in the English language press and websites and subsequently attracts mainly Canarios.
Carnaval on Tenerife
Although northern parts are in carnival recovery mode, there are still smaller versions taking place in southern parts of the island with Los Cristianos being a favourite with tourists and ex-pats.
Carnival in Los Cristianos (Theme – Brazil)
Cabalgata (opening parade): 2 March, 7.30pm
Election of Carnival Queen: 7 March, 9pm
Coso (main parade): 10 March, 5pm
Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine): 11 March, 8pm
Carnival in Granadilla de Abona (Theme – Tropical)
There’s just time to catch the last of the carnival celebrations in Granadilla de Abona which holds its closing parade and the Burial of the Sardine on 2 March. There’s also another carnival parade in Chimiche on 9 March.
Carnival in San Miguel de Abona
San Miguel de Abona’s main carnival parade doesn’t take place until 16 March when there’s a parade in Costa San Miguel at 5pm. Costa where? San Miguel seems to have been trying to do a ‘Costa Adeje’ marketing job for a couple of years now with Golf del Sur especially suffering an identity crisis which has seen it referred to as San Miguel de Abona, San Blas and now, apparently, Costa San Miguel. The carnival also coincides with a tapas route in the municipality when tapas and a drink costs €2 in participating restaurants.
Carnival in Buenavista del Norte
Even in the north you can still stumble across smaller carnivals like the one in Buenavista del Norte on 8 & 9 March.
The Best Festivals on Tenerife in March
I Love Music (Siam Park, 29 March)
There’s not a lot of ‘big’ events around in March but there is the annual festival to welcome in Spring, the I Love Music marathon music fest at Siam Park. This year’s festival includes Chuckie, Laidback Luke, Glowinthedark and Nville (not knowing who any of them are makes me realise a) I’m getting really old and b) living in Tenerife can lift you right out of the cultural loop.
Magma 2013 (Magma Centre, 30 March)
Costa Adeje is also the setting for another music festival on 30 March with the 8th edition of Magma with around 17 DJs blasting out the sounds from 7pm on the 30 March until dawn on the 31st.
Elite – On the Go (Omni Beach, Puerto de la Cruz, 9 March)
At Omni Beach, Puerto de la Cruz’ open air art, music and restaurant zone behind Playa Jardín, Alex Kentucky, Niko, Logannn and Drummer make up the line-up for the On the Go festival from 9pm. Tickets are €6.
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.