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Garachico in Tenerife survived a volcanic eruption long ago

Updated on October 8, 2013

Garachico is a coastal town with a difference

Garachico is a charming coastal town in the northwest part of Tenerife known as the Isla Baja (low island). El Tanque, Los Silos and Buenavista del Norte are also included in this area. But Garachico is a town with a real difference though because it once survived a volcanic eruption.

Back in 1706, the Trevejo Volcano erupted and the lava streamed downhill engulfing the bustling seaport of Garachico. At the time, Garachico was actually the commercial capitol of Tenerife, so this came a a terrible blow to not only the people who lived there but to the island.

The lava was halted when it hit the ocean and left behind large volcanic natural swimming pools that are popular with bathers today. The beach where these pools are is known as El Caléton.

Garachico photos

View over Garachico showing El Roque
View over Garachico showing El Roque
Volcanic pools in Garachico
Volcanic pools in Garachico

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What to see in Garachico

Visitors to Garachico will find much to see and do. One of its focal points is the rocky islet known as El Roque. This can be seen clearly in the fantastic views available from the mountainous road high above that winds its way down from El Tanque into Icod de los Vinos, which is not far from Garachico along the coastal road.

El Roque gave the town its name because "gara" means island in the ancient Guanche language, whilst "chico" is a Spanish diminutive meaning little. So Garachico means "little island".

In the town itself, much of which was rebuilt following the disaster, you will find plenty of Spanish colonial architecture with attractive balconies and many historic buildings. Of Garachico's house-palaces the House of the Marquises of Villafuerte, the Hacienda El Lamero and the Ponte House are all good examples.

The town has several churches and convents as well as a typical Canarian style square. The old monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi now houses a museum and on the seafront you will find the 16th century fortress known as the Castle of San Miguel, which is open to the public and there are steps up onto the roof as well as exhibits inside the building.

Back in Garachico town centre there is a sunken garden that serves as a small park. Parque Puerta de Tierra offers some greenery and flowers amongst the buildings and streets of the town.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops and regular buses that will take you to Icod de los Vinos and on to Puerto de la Cruz in one direction and further along into the Teno area in the other where the towns of Los Silos and Buenavista del Norte are located.

Right next to Garachico is the tiny coastal village of El Guincho (the Osprey) where visitors to the island might like to stay at the El Patio Hotel.

Garachico is one of the "must-see" places to visit in the north of Tenerife.

Where is Garachico?

© 2010 Steve Andrews


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