Los Realejos is, by all accounts, fairly off the beaten track when it comes to Tenerife tourism. Located on the slopes of the Tigaiga Mountain Range in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife region (the capital, Santa Cruz, is just under 30 miles away), Los Realejos is not far from the busier areas of La Orotava to the west and the much more popular Puerto de la Cruz to the southwest.
However, Los Realejos is of historic importance as one of the final spots of the battle between the Guanche kings and the Spanish conquistadors in the 15th century. The town is also divided up into two areas, Alto and Bajo (high and low) and the walk between the two affords some lovely views of this Canary Island.
Los Realejos’ main attraction is its Bajo region, the older part of the town. Home to a host of 16th and 17th-century buildings around the main plaza, the Plaza de la Iglesia. There’s also great access to the north coast of Tenerife, a range of restaurants and even, during the May season, a festival to attend.
The best spot to enjoy a meal in Los Realejos is the Meson el Monasterio. Located at the foot of the Montana de Los Frailes, this purpose-built commercial area is full of restaurants centred on a large garden. There’s a range of cuisines and restaurants available catering to a variety of nationalities and tourists.
Los Realejos is a good base for a family looking for a quiet, more traditional Canarian holiday. Heading up and down the northern coast is good for those looking for the sparkle of adventure. There’s a lot of beaches that are harder to access than the Playa del Socorro, so if you’re looking for an easier sort of holiday, head up the coast to Puerto de la Cruz. There’s no reason why you couldn’t enjoy a quiet walk around the Bajo part of Los Realejos, though.
Plenty of watersports are available along the northern Tenerife coast because of the winds that roll in along Playa del Socorro and the other beaches. Most of the beaches are harder to access and the hike down the cliffs to the black sands is often half the fun of the beach day. If you like watersports, with an emphasis on surfing, then set up shop in Los Realejos: you’ll appreciate the quick access to the sea.
The closest and most popular beach to Los Realejos is Playa del Socorro. This black sand volcanic beach is a hit with surfers, as the waves get large in the winter. During the summer, though, the waves are a lot smaller, and you can start out as a beginner quite easily here. For those that don’t like surfing, Playa del Socorro is one of the few sandy beaches in north Tenerife, ideal for kids. Swimming is not recommended, as even during the summer the currents are strong. Work-out equipment and a promenade make this a top pick for fitness enthusiasts.
Los Realejos is not known for its nightlife. Instead, try Puerto de la Cruz. Puerto de la Cruz is located a 30-minute drive from Los Realejos and is one of the largest resorts in the area. Here’s where you want to visit for the mega-tourist attractions, such as nightclubs, fancy hotels and beaches with lots of facilities
The same much applies to families as it does couples in Los Realejos. If you’re looking for adventure along harder-to-reach coastlines and a bit of peace and quiet away from Tenerife’s larger resorts, you’re in luck. Wander the Bajo, head down to Playa del Socorro or take a walk along the coast to the stunning Fortin de San Fernando, a building (an old water elevator) almost collapsing into the sea. If hiking is your idea of love then northern Tenerife is ideal.
Los Realejos is, overall, a place where Canarian’s live and work. The Alto section has many shops and restaurants that cater to the residents of the mid-size town. In the Bajo region, the older part of town, there’s lots of older buildings and the church (Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion) which is the focal point of the old town.