3 things to do in Tenerife to experience Christmas like a local

Even though there are many things you can do and see in Tenerife at Christmas, we suggest that you do 3 things, typical of the area, during your Christmas holidays on the island because, in our opinion, they’ll help you enjoy this moving time like a real local.

Enjoy the most expected nativity scenes in Tenerife, wander through the streets of the two most historic towns of the island and enjoy the cosmos in one of the best places in the world to stargaze.

This is our list of essential things you should do to enjoy Christmas in Tenerife like a local. We hope you like them!

Be enthralled by the best nativity scenes in Tenerife

In Tenerife there is a big nativity scene tradition. In fact, the biggest nativity scene in the Canary Islands is found on this beautiful island. Even though there are so many nativity scenes you could see at Christmas, we have picked out the most spectacular.

La Orotava nativity scene, the largest in the Canary Islands

This contains over 300 life-size pieces with an average height of 1.80m (5ft 10). In this fascinating portrayal of the birth of baby Jesus, in the historic town hall square of La Orotava, you will be able to spot from a 2.85m camel, the tallest piece in the nativity scene, to little birds and newly hatched chicks of just a few centimetres, a waterwheel, a windmill with a bakery, traditional carpet stalls, earthenware, fabrics and fruit and vegetables, stables, shepherds and even a stall selling oriental liquorice.

Enjoy your Christmas vacation by discovering this different nativity scene in which you will find yourself amazed by various scenes that capture the culture of the Canary Islands, through fine details and a range of objects such as fabrics, woven baskets, earthenware, traditional dress from these Islands or the flowers of Tenerife.

The largest nativity scene in the Canary Islands

And if, on top of that, you prolong your visit until sunset, you will be able to enjoy it beneath the Christmas lights of this town with fine old houses, with the startling illumination of the elegant front of the town hall as a backdrop.

Enjoy Christmas by strolling through the streets of these historic spots in Tenerife

Tenerife has a distinctive history. What better than making the most of the fact that its streets are brimming with the spirit of Christmas by walking through them to discover the most historic part of the island?

Castles, fortresses and villages with several centuries of history behind them and architecture that carries you back to former times, all of which with a touch of Christmas!

A Christmas walk through the enchanting town of La Laguna

The town La Laguna, once the capital of the island, was one of the most important and busiest places on the Canary Islands.

Today, it continues to be a touchstone of the culture and leisure of the people of the island.

This Christmas, take a walk through the streets of its historic centre, a World Heritage site since 1999, and discover for yourself renaissance mansions and churches made from volcanic stone. And if you also want to combine the exquisite architecture with a visit to a museum so that you can learn more of the history of this beautiful island, be sure to go to Tenerife’s History and Anthropology Museum, situated in Casa Lercaro and Casa de Carta. 

Christmas in Tenerife - historic centres

Let yourself be carried away by the traditional architecture of the Canary Islands in the old town of La Orotava

La Orotava, for years the home of the palaces of great families of the island, is an absolute must, owing to its cultural wealth, distinctive food and history. And even more so now, at Christmas, when you can get to see its stunning nativity scene.

By walking through its less frequented cobbled streets, you can enjoy discovering one of the best historic and artistic heritage sites in the Canary Islands

Visit the Iberoamerican Handicrafts Museum, situated in the old convent of San Benito Abad and then pop over to Molino de Gofio, close to this museum, to learn more about the tradition of roasting cereals to make flour. In this windmill, you will even be able to try some delicious gofio bars.

Another must-see museum is the Carpet Museum. In this small museum you will be able to learn the secrets behind one of the most authentic aspects of local culture: the way traditional carpets of flowers and volcanic sand for the Corpus Christi festivities are made, with materials from the Teide National Park!

In this town of palaces, ornate churches, large ancient mansions, and squares with gardens, full of character, we have no hesitation in recommending that you should go to the Telesforo Bravo Visitors Centre, an ideal place to travel back in time and to get an idea of what the island used to be like through the eyes of distinguished travellers. Through its display you will also explore Tenerife from its coast to its mountain top.

Visit La Orotava during Christmas

Enjoy the cosmos in one of the best places in the world to stargaze

Do you love stars and the infinite cosmos that envelops us? 

Welcome to one of the best places in the world to stargaze

In Tenerife we are lucky to be able to enjoy the heavenly show from the front row, thanks to the National Park’s sky that is pure, clear, far from light pollution from large cities, and certified, in 2014, as the Starlight Destination in the “Tourism Destination” category.

Furthermore, in the National Park, at an altitude of 2,390 m is the largest solar observatory in the world: the Teide Observatory, which houses solar and nocturnal telescopes owned by more than 60 institutions from 19 countries, and where important scientific discoveries were made, such as the fact that the Sun has its own frequency and beats, like a heart, every five minutes.

Begin exploring the Universe in the Museum of Science and the Cosmos

Even though its name indicates that it is to do with a museum, in truth the Museum of Science and the Cosmos is not a usual museum.

This is an interactive museum, in which you can pleasantly learn about different areas of science: from geology to astrophysics.

It is true that it was designed for children, but adults can have just as much fun here. The thing is we all still children at heart, ready to touch everything in order to understand the world around us.

Visit it during your Christmas vacation in Tenerife.

Discover the largest solar observatory in the world

Modern astrophysics in the Canary Islands began here, in the Teide Observatory, as long ago as the sixties.

The ideal geographical location of the Teide Observatory, the clearness and excellent astronomical quality of the sky over the Teide National Park have contributed to making this important centre a place mainly dedicated to studying the Sun. Therefore, it has drawn in the best European solar telescopes and it can boast being the largest solar observatory in the world.

This Christmas, join one of our guided visits and enjoy science, the Universe and Europe’s most visited national park at the same time.

On our guided tour you will discover what the purpose of the observatory is, how its telescopes work and the importance of astronomy for mankind. Furthermore, you will visit a nocturnal telescope, discover the fascinating history behind its elements, and you will also observe the Sun and its prominences or “flares” using professional solar telescopes.

What to do during Christmas in Tenerife - visit the Teide Observatory


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