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Thursday, July 11, 2013 (read 410 times)
Los Realejos in Tenerifeby Imogen
A great holiday destination in Spain
Los Realejos is a municipal district town located the northern part of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. It is located in the very picturesque and fertile Valley of La Orotava, and stretches to the coast. Its beautiful coastline and beaches prove to be a big attraction for tourists, yet the historical town of Los Realejos also has a past well worth discovering.
History: Los Realejos used to consist of two towns; Realejo Alto (upper) and Realejo Bajo (lower), until they combined to become a district in the mid-20thCentury. Its name meaning “the royalists” dates back to the surrender of the town by the then local “Guanches” on 25th of July, 1496 during the Spanish conquest. The beautiful churches and old buildings serve as a reminder of the tales behind this enchanting town. Realejo Alto and Realejo Bajo were accordingly named due to the position held by the old island natives, “Guanches”, and the Spanish army during the conquest. This lay-out of the town can explain the sheer steepness of some streets. The upper part famously contains the churchof Santiago Apóstol, the first Christian church built on the island. The lower part of the town is the Old Quarter where you will find many buildings dating back to the 16thand 17thCenturies, another pretty church square, and lots of narrow streets.
Tourism: The coastal region is one of the most stunning of the island. The volcanic sand lining the shores and hidden coves means the beach can get quite popular during the warmer summer months, in particular Playa Socorro; one of Tenerife’s major beaches. Surfing is also very popular at this beach due to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, with a lifeguard on duty, it is still safe to enter the water for a swim. This beach boasts the blue flag status and proposals have even been made with incentives to make this beach one of the technological variety. With the installation of a webcam, a defibrillator and free Wi-Fi, it sure sounds like it will give other beaches a good run for their money! The beaches of La Fajana, Castro and La Grimona are smaller and more isolated; it may just require a little bit of a trek to get there! Hiking in Los Realejos’ district involves some breath-taking views and scenery, aided by the district’s large cultivation culture of grapes, bananas and vegetables, as well as the famous Canary island plants of flora and fauna. Paragliding is another popular sport in Los Realejos, where it hosts The International Festival of Paragliding.
Culture and Festivities: The town’s friendly inhabitants, known as the Realejeros, are extremely proud of their culture. In fact, Los Realejos could be considered one of the cheeriest municipalities on the island, enjoying more than 80 religious festivals throughout the year. Fiesta de la Cruz, or Festival of the Cross, takes place on May 3rd, and is the most cherished and famous festival in the local area. People from all over the island, as well as tourists, can enjoy the massive firework battle between Los Realejos and Santa Barbara, considered one of the best displays in Europe. Granted the official “Tourist Interest in the Canaries” stamp, this festival is almost 300 years old, stemming from the island’s take-over in the Spanish Conquest. Many other religious festivities take place throughout the year, notably the pilgrimage of San Isidroand Santa María de la Cabeza (declared of national tourist interest) at the end of May and the festivity of Nuestra Senora del Carmen on July 16th. Los Realejos makes for a great holiday destination boasting beautiful beaches, scenery and a fascinating history; it is not a place to be missed.
Keywords: canary islands,tenerife,destinations in spain,tenerife canary islands,learn spanish in spain