Trickling water hypnotises me, the sound is calming and soothing and I can find all thoughts are erased from my mind as the sound of running water has me spellbound. Not that I’m saying when I turn on the tap in the kitchen I fall into a trance. Where the water is trickling from is an essential part of the spell. Nature obviously does it best (streams, waterfalls etc.) but man-made fountains can have the same effect as a gurgling brook. No matter how many times I pass the swan fountain in Puerto de la Cruz I’m compelled to stop awhile and just stare at its tranquil beauty.
I thought about Tenerife fountains after stumbling across an image of the swan whilst looking through my photo library for something else. Fountains on Tenerife come in all shapes and sizes; they don’t have to be big to impress, they just have to have something which makes them stand out from the crowd. For me that has to involve a certain amount of individuality.
With that in mind, these are twelve Tenerife fountains which will stop me in my tracks every time.
The Swan Fountain, Puerto de la Cruz
As I’ve already mentioned it I’ll start with the swan. With or without a faded emerald swan in the centre of an elegant shell, Plaza de la Iglesia in Puerto de la Cruz is one of the prettiest plazas on Tenerife and seats set around the fountain are conveniently places for allowing yourself to be transfixed. It’s also a good people watching spot, especially when there’s a wedding in the church in the plaza.
Fecundidad, Santa Cruz
The voluptuous nude female and centrepiece of Parque García Sanabria in Santa Cruz is my favourite fountain on Tenerife. She’s a fascinating piece, considered one of the best works by artist Francisco Borges Salas who created her to honour the mayor responsible for the park’s existence. Fecundidad was the first nude sculpture to be displayed in a public place on Tenerife. In the prudish 1950s she was actually removed and hidden away for twenty years until the more liberated 70s.
The Dancing Fountain, Playa de las Américas
Anyone who is still describing Playa de las Américas as being cheap and tacky clearly hasn’t been to the area around the Safari Centre where nightly the colourful plumes of the dancing fountain delights visitors whilst in the background are an army of female archers atop mock Roman columns. Cheap and tacky? Never. Vegas-type kitsch and a lot of fun? Most certainly.
Sitio Litre, Puerto de la Cruz
There’s no arguing that there’s something Brits abroad about the fountain in the Sitio Litre gardens. But I’m not talking of the footie shirt wearing, belly-busting English breakfast seeking variety. This is Brits straight out of an Agatha Christie novel. That’s no random connection as the author spent time in the gardens, possibly staring at the fountain whilst contemplating where it had all gone wrong. It wasn’t the best period of her life when she visited Puerto.
Beach Fountain, Los Cristianos
As well as being one of the most popular beaches with visitors to the south of Tenerife, Playa de las Vistas boasts a stand-out feature. It has a towering fountain on a little artificial rock island which spouts sea water into the sky way above the slowly roasting sunbathers.
The Trout Farm, Aguamansa
It might seem an odd inclusion but I really like the wooden spouts from which water gushes enthusiastically into fish tanks at the trout farm in Aguamansa. There’s something pure and natural about them, and the water looks invitingly drinkable. The most simple construction can give as much joy as the most elaborate.
Plaza Weyler, Santa Cruz
From simple to Baroque. It was a toss up between this and the fountain in Plaza del Adelantado in La Laguna with which it shares a few similarities. Where La Laguna’s is French, the 6m high column of white marble with its water-spouting dolphins in Plaza Weyler is Italian. Since the market moved in La Laguna, Plaza del Adelantado doesn’t have the same buzz, whereas Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz is still a bustling hub of local life.
The Bathers, Costa del Silencio
Although it doesn’t have quite the same effect on some of the residents, Las Bañistas in Costa del Silencio always put a big beam on my face. With their protective sunglasses and heads turning in search of the rays they appear to be gently mocking sun-seeking tourists, maybe the reason they’re not liked by some. There aren’t many ‘things to see’ in Costa del Silencio, the bathers are one of them.
Los Patos, Santa Cruz
Although the plaza’s formal name is Plaza de 25 de Julio, named after Nelson’s famous defeat, it’s really known as Plaza de los Patos. The fountain in the centre might be familiar to anyone who’s visited Seville as it is a replica of the Fuente de las Ranas in Parque de María Luisa. The tiled benches are unique on Tenerife and perfect for sitting and staring at the fountain’s frogs who may or may not be spouting water.
Los Lavaderos, El Sauzal
The old communal washing areas (lavaderos) found across the island are part of social history, in some places you might even still find washing materials beside the stone basins. Now most are small scale attractions of interest to anyone who wants to know Tenerife and not just its beaches. The ones in the gardens of the same name in El Sauzal are particularly attractive and there are some of the best views of Mount Teide and the north coast as a bonus.
More Dancing Fountains, Guia de Isora
If anything, the dancing fountains in Alcalá are even prettier than those in Playa de las Américas. Unfortunately you have to be a guest at the Gran Melia Palacio de Isora to enjoy them… and their stylish surroundings – the best ‘hotel’ plaza on the island we’ve seen.
Lago Martiánez, Puerto de la Cruz
During the process of writing this, more and more favourite Tenerife fountains trickled into my consciousness. Charming and artistic ones in gardens, off the beaten track fountains, roundabout fountains (although those lack the same aesthetics), historic fountains in traditional towns, new fountains spurting upwards from the pavement. But in the end the ones on this list are personal favourites and I just couldn’t leave out Lago Martiánez where you get not one but two of the most impressive fountains on Tenerife. Best is the dense wall of water which rises high into the air from an island in the man-made lagoon and which falls back to earth with the force of a hailstones shower (a shock the first time you experience it).
On the occasions it’s working at night and illuminated by a rainbow of colours it is especially mesmeric.