Garachico is a glorious little town on Tenerife’s north coast. Its star attractions include a historic port, the famous natural pools and the peaceful atmosphere.
Garachico on the northern coast of Tenerife was one of the Canaries’ original villages, and was once centred on the old port. In 1706, an eruption causing rivers of lava meant rebuilding was required, and it’s now home to a very well preserved historic district. You can now hike the Garachico Natural Pools trails to follow where lava flow traced its route.
Garachico is nestled in a valley surrounded by tree-clad hills and banana plantations, and has a rugged, unspoiled coastline. Compared to other destinations in Europe and the Canary Islands, it’s relatively undeveloped, with no high rise hotels. It’s the most beautiful village to spend time in.
The pleasures of staying in or visiting Garachico include swimming in the natural coves, discovering the architecture and history, hiking in the hills, sampling local cuisine and soaking up the sun and stunning scenery.
If you like the sound of what Garachico has to offer, read on to plan your visit to this small spot in the north of the island of Tenerife.
The Best Time to Visit
You can visit Garachico all year round, though if you want to swim in the natural pools then it’s best to come here between June and October. Northern parts of the coast of Tenerife are cooler than the south, so the pools tend to close during late autumn, spring and winter due to rough seas and colder waters.
In summer, Garachico is warm and sunny, and the northern trade winds stop it from getting too hot. Cooler evenings and wetter days are to be expected in this northern part of Tenerife.
July sees the least rainfall, while August is warmest. Overall, the microclimate here means that
September has the best weather overall.The chilliest months in Garachico are between December and April, and it’s wettest in December and January.
How to Get to Garachico
Playa de Las Americas / Costa Adeje to Garachico
To get to Garachico from Playa de Las Americas or Costa Adeje you can take the bus no. 460. It takes around an hour and 30 minutes to get there and costs 6.40€. You can also take a taxi which costs €65 – €80 and takes about 45 minutes.
Los Gigantes to Garachico
You can visit Garachico from the Los Gigantes area by taking the bus no. 325. The trip takes about 45 minutes and costs 4.10€. You can also take a taxi which takes around 40 minutes and costs €45 – €55.
Puerto de la Cruz to Garachico
If you’re travelling from Puerto de la Cruz, catch the bus no. 363 to reach Garachico. It’ll take about an hour to get there and costs around 3.75€.
Things to Do in Garachico
There is a tourist office in Garachico which can help you plan your visit. It is located here, near the Playa de Garachico beach car park.
Stroll Around the Plaza de la Libertad
This attractive square has shady palm trees, a monument to Simon Bolivar and the white Santa Ana church. In the streets surrounding the square, lines of brightly painted homes give the area an appealing look. The cute cafes also give the plaza a vibrant, welcoming feel.
On the western side of the plaza stands the grand Iglesia Santa Ana, the town’s main church, topped by a six-storey belltower and containing a fine wooden ceiling.
Location: Google Maps
Climb the Santa Ana Church Tower
Iglesia de Santa Ana church is on the western side of the square. The exterior is white, and has a multi-storied bell tower, doors dating from the 16th century and a wooden ceiling inside.
This church was originally dedicated to St Anne – Santa Ana – but was later reconstructed due to volcanic damage. You can enter the church for a €1 fee, and ascend the tower for €2. This gives you far-reaching views over the area.
Discover Convento de San Francisco
This Seraphic order convent (location) is now home to a little history museum and a small library. This shares the history of Garachico, including via old photos and archived documents. It also has a collection of locks and keys, geological finds, stuffed birds, shells and even modern sculptures.
The building is also interesting and exotic-looking, with decorative wooden detailing and palm trees out front. Artistic and cultural events are also held here, and it’s situated in the centre of the Old Town district.
Plunge into the Natural Pools of El Caleton
The Natural Pools of El Caleton often top the list of what to do in Garachico, and are popular with locals as well as tourists. People come here during all seasons, and the pools are entirely as nature – or rather lava – intended. They are behind the Castle of San Miguel (location), and the bathing here is only possible at low tide, when the ocean is calm.
You can park for free (find the parking here on Google Maps), but do take care when entering the Garachico natural swimming pools as the rocky surface can be slippery. A lifeguard service is supplied in summer, and close by you’ll also find a restaurant built over lava itself, a public swimming pool, the modern port, a beach and plenty of eateries and shops.
Bathe at Playa de Garachico
Playa del Garachico is a small but beautifully formed bay with clear waters and a rocky floor. Beach shoes are thus recommended. You can swim, sunbathe or simply relax and unwind here. Even during high season, it’s not normally crowded. There is parking available right by the beach too.
Where: Find it on Google Maps here.
Visit Puerta de Tierra Park
The original 16th century gateway to the harbour can be found within Puerta de Tierra Park. Other things to see here include a poet’s corner devoted to Rafael Alberti and an ancient wine press.
Like other parts of town, the green and well-kept park is a permanent reminder of how volcanic activity has literally shaped Garachico. Though the stone façade was once by the sea, it’s now in the town centre.
Location: Google Maps
Explore Castillo de San Miguel
San Miguel castle by the harbour (Google Maps) dates back to the 16th century. It’s a square-shaped fortress – and an asset of cultural interest. The coastal view from the top is also spectacular, and you can clearly see how the lava from the volcanic eruption formed the natural pools.
The story of the 1706 eruption is also told here – albeit in Spanish. You can collect a translation at the desk, though. The island’s natural science is also explained here, again partially via images of flora and fauna and also via fossils and rocks.
Go to the Garachico Viewpoints
There are two viewpoints near Garachico that we highly recommend you visit. The first is called Mirador de Garachico (location) and it has not only great views over the town but also a restaurant of the same name (find out more about that below). There’s also a tasteful souvenir shop selling lovely handicraft items.
Drive a bit further down and you can also try the other viewpoints here. Mirador de Garachico El Lagarito (located here) has very little parking, though. At Mirador de Atalaya (Google Maps) there is a pleasant observation deck.
The second recommended viewpoint is Mirador El Guincho. Though the views of Garachico aren’t as good, the panoramas of the natural landscape and coastline are truly amazing here. It’s a very beautiful place. You can see El Guincho cliffs, El Roque rock formations, local farmland and the new port. Find the viewpoint here.
Experience the Romería de San Roque Festival
Held on 16 August, Garachico is soon packed with partygoers and pilgrims alike when this festival approaches. The reason behind it is that St Roch – or San Roque is said to have saved residents from the bubonic plague of 1601. After rampaging through the town, the pandemic suddenly vanished.
This is one of the most popular festivals in the Canaries, and is a time filled with music, processions, ceremonies and celebrations. Lavishly decorated boats, carts and animals such as oxen are seen all over town. If you’re here in mid-August and wondering what to see in Garachico, don’t miss this. It’s an event of National Tourist Interest.
Our Favorite Restaurants in Garachico
For modern Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, head to Mirador de Garachico. It’s located at the viewpoint mentioned above, and the seafood, views and local wines are outstanding.
This place by the port offers Canarian specialities, superb seafood and healthy, homemade dishes. It’s a great place to try and share authentic tapas.
This slick, elegant eatery is ultra cool and contemporary. It’s right in the town centre by the plaza and both the food and service are of an excellent standard.
One of the best restaurants in Garachico, Sargo Carbon is the place to come for street food or to fill up on healthy fare. The laid-back vibe here belies the quality of the dishes.
For delicious food with a sea view, head to this eatery. Spanish, Mediterranean and fusion fare is offered, and you can also stay for late night drinks. The seafood is also exceptional.
Best Ice Cream and Pastry Shops
Le Patissier – Best for Baked Goods
For everything from croissants to Spanish tortilla, quiche and sweet treats, try this bakery in the centre of town.
Heladería Artesanal Italiana Fragola – Best for Ice Cream
All manner of ice cream flavours are sold from this little place, and portions are very generous. Try the refreshing sorbetti on a hot day.
Those with a sweet tooth are spoiled for choice in Garachico, where this ice cream outlet also serves up a tempting range of flavours.
To explore Tenerife to the fullest and at your own pace, we highly recommend renting a car. Our favourite place for car rental is the RentalCars website. It allows you to compare different providers and pick the best deal. You also get the best protection and flexibility for booking terms.
We also recommend taking at least one guided tour. Our favourite place for booking tours in Tenerife is GetYourGuide.
Top 3 excursions on the island:
- A whale and dolphin watching (pick by location: Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes).
- Stargazing in Teide National Park
- Kayaking and Snorkeling with Turtles
The best hotels for families with kids (in our opinion):
Luxury: GF Victoria (Costa Adeje) or Bahia Principe Fantasia (Golf del Sur)
Mid-Range: Spring Hotel Bitácora (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Bouganville Playa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: GF Isabel (Costa Adeje) or Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel (Los Cristianos)
The best adults-only hotels:
Luxury: Iberostar Grand El Mirador (Costa Adeje) or Gran Melia Palacio de Isora (Alcalá)
Mid-Range: Tigotan Lovers & Friends (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Selection Sábila (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Barceló Santiago (Puerto de Santiago)
Top hotels for everyone:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama or Bahia del Duque (Costa Adeje)
Mid-Range: Hard Rock Hotel (Playa Paraiso) or Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Alexandre Hotel Gala or Olé Tropical Tenerife (both Playa de las Americas)