Places to swim

Lago Martiánez

Bathe in contemporary art

“El Lago”, a place that the locals are very proud of, is one of the most admired examples of coastal landscape transformation for leisure in the world; A museum of contemporary outdoor art, built with basalt rock, emerald waters, gardens and sculptures, with imposing views of Mount Teide in the backdrop.

The Costa Martiánez tourist complex was designed by the painter, sculptor and designer César Manrique – World Ecology and Tourism Award Winner 1978 – using elements of traditional Canarian architecture and endemic flora. Within the enclosure are six of its sculptures: Los Alisios, La Jibia, Barlovento, Raíces al Viento, a tribute to William Reich and Monumento al mar. The large lake has about 27,000 cubic metres of sea water and is surrounded by four swimming pools for adults and three children’s pools. In its interior there are 5 islands with bars, restaurants, steak house and rooms of celebrations and gatherings.

The first swimming pools were inaugurated in 1971, on a beach and natural pools in Llanos de Martiánez, and was the place where the first tourists bathed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Years later, in 1977, its final phase was completed and in 2005 it was declared a place of Cultural Interest and categorised as an historical garden.

On the stretch of the promenade that leads up to San Telmo Chapel you will come across three gates, inspired by the one that guards the chapel, that control the access to the pools.

This piece of art is a lively place, which hosts concerts and all kinds of events throughout the year. Find out if there´s anything going on during your stay.

Address: Avenida de Colón, nº 1

Telephone: 922 378 400 ext. 3902

Opening hours: 10am-5pm everyday with the option of stay in the complex up until 6pm.

Price: General rate € 5.5

Playa Martiánez

Surf on the cliff´s edge

In the heart of the tourist area, at the entrance to the city, on the cliffside, you will be welcomed by black sand and pebbled. This is surfers’ paradise and the local surfers favourite place to ride the waves. It is also a habitual landing place for paragliders.

Not only do the cliffs and hillside have an enormous ethnographic value, due to archaeological remains of a large Guanche necropolis being found in the area, but it also boasts enormous geological and ecological value.

Fishing Port

The heart of the city

It is the place where you can observe the most authentic Puerto de la Cruz: fishing boats, youngsters diving into the sea, stalls selling fresh fish, terraces that smell of squid. It is the Heart of the city, close to Plaza del Charco; A place where ships loaded with bananas would start their journey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the doorway of the arrival of new ideas of the Enlightenment; Today a place of meeting and celebration of traditions.

Puerto de la Cruz was during the 18th century, it was one of the most dynamic ports in the archipelago and, along with Santa Cruz´ port, the most important in Tenerife. The commercial activity of the “new quay” and the other port Penitente, disappeared in the summer of 1936, coinciding with the Spanish civil war and the death of the last founder of the fruit and shipping company Yeoward Brothers.

Nowadays the pier is a calmer place, a place to have a swim and berth for small fishing boats. The fishermen continue to go out every morning to fish in their small artisanal fishing boats, bringing fresh fish, which is sold on small counters on the pier.

Look out for: The only public water stream that is still in operation. On the eve of San Juan (June 23rd), it is decorated with flowers, branches and fruits, just like the other six jets of the city.

Also in the festivities of San Juan, in the month of June – the arrival of the summer or Beñesmén, the name given by the Guanche, – the waters of the old port are visited by some very peculiar bathers: several herds of goats are guided by their shepherds towards the shore, and are submerged, one by one, in the purifying water (June 24rd).

And it is in the month of July, when Puerto celebrates its most beloved party: la Embarcación de la Virgen del Carmen. Tens of thousands of visitors congregate in this place, to pay tribute to their Patron, in a religious festivity that lasts several days and transforms this maritime city into a colourful place, decorated with flowers.

Not far from the pier and overlooking the sea, on the historic Calle Las Lonjas, is the Eduardo Westerdahl Contemporary Art Museum; A valuable legacy and great insight into history of the city: The Old House of the Royal Customs. The Tourist Information Office is found there.

Playa Jardín

El Teide from the shore

Its name says it all: A fine black sand beach, with easy access through a seafront promenade with 17,000 m2 of recreational areas, comfortable trails, gardens of canary plants, waterfalls and stone caves awaits you. Ideal for bathing, doing sports or taking a stroll at dusk.

It was designed in the nineties by the renowned Canarian artist César Manrique and is one of the most famous beaches in the north of the island, with magnificent views of the volcano Teide with 3,718 meters.

It is divided into three sections: Playa del Castillo, Playa del Charcón and Punta Brava Beach. You can swim here almost all year round thanks to its breakwater, or surf in the open zones. A path connects the beach with the gardens, children’s areas, terraces and cafeterias and there is even a stand in the form of a temple for musical performances.

It also has services for renting sunbeds and umbrellas, showers, locker rooms and wheelchair access. There are itineraries available leading down from the roads to the beach and to the sea, and the pieces of urban furniture have also been adapted. There is a single continuous route from the car park to the beach, linking areas that comply with all the parameters of universal accessibility.

In addition to the removal of physical barriers, there are two accessible entrances from Avenida Francisco Afonso Carrillo which are connected to the parking spaces reserved for people with reduced mobility.

Visit the Castle of San Felipe, a small 17th century fortress converted into a cultural space, which usually hosts contemporary art exhibitions, small scale concerts and other cultural events.

Every June 23rd the bonfires of San Juan are lit on the beach; A festival of pagan origin, on the shortest night of the year, which uses fire as a purifying element to welcome the summer. Thousands of people gather on the sand, to dance to the sound of live music and enjoy the traditional spectacle of fireworks.

San Telmo

The small lava flow

Located on the central promenade of San Telmo, this picturesque cove is also one of the favourite places for the locals to enjoy a swim in the sea. Depending on the height of the tides, small puddles are formed which are natural pools, very crowded at certain times of the year.

It has special accesses for people with reduced mobility and there is an accessible itinerary from the Paseo San Telmo to the beach. This is possible thanks to the ramps that connect the two without the presence of stairs, steps, etc.

Sometimes it is prohibited to swim due to strong waves, so be very careful before diving into the water. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals. Enjoy this wonderful space and … borrow a snorkel mask and discover an underwater world as spectacular as the beauty on land.

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