The coast of Arona and Adeje is home to a large part of the infrastructure for tourism of the island of Tenerife. The Hotels of your dreams, marinas, shopping centres, golf courses and kilometres of beach run one after another along the coastline, in order to offer the thousands of visitors all kinds of fun and attractions. Extremely well communicated one with another, and located very close to the southern motorway, it is very easy to reach the main holiday resorts: Playa de Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje, which make up a unique and extensive metropolis of leisure.
In order to get to know the area, the best thing is to park your car and take a walk along the seafront promenade in the company of the agreeable sea breeze, and the beautiful view of the Ocean, with the silhouette of the nearby island of La Gomera on the horizon. Once you come to the last hotels on Costa Adeje, the promenade comes to an end and it is necessary to take your car to reach Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraíso, the next holiday resorts. In the port of Los Cristianos, a small fishing village which did not receive the first foreign tourists until the nineteen-fifties, there is still significant fishing activity apart from the ferry traffic between Tenerife and La Gomera and other islands. From here the Guaza road leads along the coast to Playa de Las Galletas, Costa del Silencio, another important holiday resort area in Arona.
FAR FROM THE COAST
If the busy tourist industry has developed near the coast, the upper areas of Arona and Adeje are full of tradition, culture and enchantment. The geographical location of both towns is a result of the economic activity of the inhabitants for many years, that is to say agriculture. The country people sought out the higher lands, which were more fertile, and fled from the powerful sun and drought of the coast. From Playa de los Cristianos a road goes up, after crossing the Southern Motorway, to the town of Arona, the capital of the district. The historical centre of the town stands around the church of San Antonio Abad and offers an excellent representation of traditional architecture. Old noble mansions and peaceful cobbled streets faithfully maintain the spirit of old times. The TF-28 road leads from Arona to Adeje. This town shows interesting examples of its rich, historical past, which goes back to the period prior to the Conquest. At that time, according to the old Guanche legend, this was the place of residence of the Mencey Axerax or Gran Tinerfe, the last king of all Tenerife before its partition into nine separate menceyatos or princedoms. It is said that it was his division which, later, made possible the conquest by the Castilians, who took advantage of the disunity and the rivalries of the different Menceys. The churches of Santa Úrsula and of the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and San Pablo, on the main street, are together with the nearby Casa Fuerte, the most outstanding buildings. The Casa Fuerte is an old 16th Century fortress, which is now largely in ruins, devoted to repelling the pirate raids of the times and to storing the sugar cane production of the district.
AT 1500 METRES ABOVE SEA LEVEL
It is necessary to go back to the town of Arona, so as to set off from there to visit the small and tranquil village of Vilaflor, located at a height of 1500
metres above sea level. In this village, the highest anywhere in Spain, the church of San Pedro and the monastery in honour of the Saint, Brother Pedro of Bethencourt, who was born here, are outstanding. Vilaflor is surrounded by extensive pinewoods. Next to the road which goes up to Mount Teide, immediately after leaving the village is the Pino Gordo, one of the oldest and most outstanding examples of the tough Canarian pine, that not even fire can
bring down. The circumference of the Pino Gordo is over ten metres. Very close by is the beginning of the footpath that goes up to the Lunar Landscape, another striking example of nature on the island.