Santa Ursula on the north coast of Tenerife, just over a mile west of Puerto de la Cruz, is not your typical Tenerife holiday destination. This functioning Canarian town isn't a holiday resort. Far from it. Santa Ursula is a functioning - albeit peaceful - Tenerife town. Don't expect manic nights or bustling tourist attractions. The area is actually preferred as a base for hiking and walking holidays with routes that take in all the beauty of Mount Teide National Park and the Orotava Valley.
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The surrounding greenery of Santa Ursula is hiker’s heaven, as the designated pathways provide a stretch of adventure and exercise and unforgettable views of the town. The verdant hillsides stretch to the lip of the beach, supplying a welcoming green backdrop to the golden sand and turquoise sea. Watch the sun go down and wander across the old ports in the evening where you can grab some authentic cuisine and a glass of local red. Whatever’s on the agenda, the crystal clear skies are to be taken advantage of on Santa Ursula holidays.
If you’re a fan of festivals Tenerife is the right resort for you. Summer celebrations include the Fiestas de San Pedro and the Festival of San Juan, both consisting of parades and conveying the playful and creative side of Spain. Music festivals and arts and craft fairs are also dotted around the island throughout the year, presenting local talent that makes this area of Spain so unique. Culture vultures should take the short trip across the island to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where you can marvel at architectural wonders such as the Auditorio de Tenerife, Basilica of Candelaria and Iglesia de la Concepción. If after a day of visiting sites you fancy something a little lively, head to Veronicas Strip in Playa de las Americas, where the tourists contribute to a colourful atmosphere never short of a bit of excess.
As the town is located on the coast of the island, one of the top Santa Ursula attractions is to indulge in the delicious and freshly caught seafood that is served up in eateries all around town. From grilled fish to mouth-watering tapas, it is hard to go hungry in a place that truly enjoys the food . Anybody who's missing their home comforts may enjoy some food and music at one of the traditional English pubs in nearby Puerto de la Cruz.
For a great day of family fun, you should head to Loro Parque, home to numerous fascinating wildlife species located in the nearby town or Puerto de la Cruz. Children will enjoy watching the penguins on their manmade iceberg here, as well as getting up close and personal with some of the most entertaining group of animals. There are also plenty of beaches nearby that can cater to families with small children; shallow beaches, calm waves and close to amenities so you can make a whole day of it. If you don't fancy any great physical exertion, then take the cable car up to the top of the Mount Teide, from where there are some beautiful sights to take in and family photo opportunities to be had. You should also include a trip to the beach of Playa Jardin on your travel itinerary. Here you will find splendid tropical gardens and charming little cafés, the ideal place for a refreshing beverage on a hot afternoon.
Not far from Santa Ursula you will find the world-renowned beach area of Puerto de la Cruz. You might be tempted to explore the rocky coves or perhaps even try out some water sports in this place, perfect for those searching for some aquatic things to do in Santa Ursula. There are few better European surf spots than Playa Martiànez, especially during the month of March – worldwide surfing championships are held nearby for good reason. Keen hikers are advised to spend some time visiting the extinct volcano of Mount Teide while here in Santa Ursula.
The region of Santa Ursula actually has many miles of beaches, but few beaches. How is that possible? Well. The northern Tenerife coast is predominately formed of high cliffs which make most of the coast inaccessible unless you want to hop on a boat.
Ancon Beach, which is located between Santa Ursula and La Orotava, is an example of this. It's tricky to reach the beach, but this is perfect if you want to have somewhere secluded and peaceful to lay down your towel.
If you're more keen on bustling beaches with a typical tourist strip and plenty of facilities, Puerto de la Cruz is home to the immensely popular Playa Jardin. Playa Jardin is arguably one of the best beaches on the north coast, but expect it to be busy in the peak season. Worth a visit if beach days are your ba, though.
For a fun-filled evening make a trip to the bars and nightclubs of Puerto de la Cruz. Whatever your musical tastes may be you are guaranteed to have a good night out in these top class venues. 'Element' is a quaint bar in this city, located in the favoured Ranilla District, and a hangout for holidaymakers looking for good music and tasty cocktails.
The Colour Café is another trendy bar, situated in Plaza del Charco. You can chill out in the Canarian courtyard while listening to the live music or discs, played by the resident DJ.
For a really laid-back evening, you should visit the Pequeno Buda, where seating comes in the form of comfortable pouffes and cushions, there is also a great variety of cocktails on offer here. If you're feeling lucky on your holiday spend the evening at the Casino Taoro, where there is the usual assortment of roulette wheels and poker tables.
Santa Ursula is ideal for a couples holiday which involves exploration, peace and excellent access to some of the best bits of Tenerife's northern coastline. You'll find some lovely hotels in the area which offer all-inclusive packages, or if it's more your kind of thing, book a self-catering apartment and try your hand at cooking up a Canarian delight for your partner.
Cultural connoisseurs won't want to miss out on a visit to the colonial town of La Orotava to the northeast of Tenerife. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon stroll along the quaint old streets and then have some tapas in one of the restaurants. Discover the multiculturalism of the party town of Puerto de la Cruz and satisfy your sweet tooth at one of the surprisingly many German bakeries, before learning about the colonial past of the Canaries. The Old Town is not as old as one may think, but it does blend in quite nicely with the other historic buildings.