Candelaria is a coastal town in Tenerife with a rich history as a fishing village and religious center. Unlike other tourist destinations in North Tenerife, it’s very quiet, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and disconnecting from the daily grind.
What we loved most about Candelaria, Tenerife is that there were very few tourists, allowing us to blend in with the locals and discover the authentic essence of the island. Furthermore, it can serve as a base camp for exploring other places in Tenerife, as there are several excellent hotels in Candelaria.
To ensure you make the most of your visit, I’m going to share all the must-see attractions and exciting things to do in Candelaria, Tenerife. I strongly recommend dedicating at least a day to exploring this charming town, but if you’re short on time, you can take this guided tour (in Spanish) to see all the highlights.
1. See the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria, something you must do in Candelaria
Visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria is one of the best things to do in Candelaria. This basilica is an Asset of Cultural Interest dedicated to the Virgin of Candelaria, the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands.
While it was originally constructed in the late 18th century, there was a devastating fire in 1959, which led to it being almost completely reconstructed. However, the basilica still retains the decoration and architectural style typical of Canarian churches from that period, making it one of the popular attractions in Candelaria, Tenerife.
Inside, you’ll find three naves, a grand central dome, and a bell tower. Additionally, a replica of the wooden carving of the Virgin of Candelaria, discovered by two Guanche shepherds in the late 14th century (regrettably lost in a flood in 1826), can be found here.
This carving held immense significance for the people of Tenerife, transforming the basilica into a pilgrimage center for residents across the Canary Islands. For all these reasons, visiting the basilica is one of the top things to do in Candelaria, as it will allow you to learn more about the religious history of the Canary Archipelago.
2. Los Menceyes, the famous Guanche statues of Candelaria, Tenerife
The island of Tenerife was divided into nine menceyatos or territories, each ruled by a mencey (leader). Los Menceyes Guanches is a group of statues in Candelaria, Tenerife that were erected to pay tribute to the nine menceyes who governed Tenerife in 1496, at the time of the conquest.
The nine bronze statues are located in the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias and are arranged in such a way that they appear to be welcoming visitors. Crafted by the renowned Tenerife sculptor José Abad in 1993, these statues hold significant historical importance, making them one of the best things to see in Candelaria, Tenerife.
3. La Arena Beach and other beaches to visit in Candelaria, Tenerife
Candelaria, Tenerife is a coastal town, offering several beautiful beaches to explore. La Arena is a famous beach in Candelaria, characterized by its black sand as well as its tranquil and picturesque setting. While it may get more crowded during the summer, it remains relatively quiet compared to the southern beaches of Tenerife.
Keep in mind that the waves here can be quite strong, so exercise caution when swimming, especially if you’re with children.
Playa de Punta Larga is another beach in Candelaria, also featuring black sand and gravel. This beach tends to have more visitors, particularly in the summer. Of course, most of the beachgoers here are locals. Additionally, this beach permits nudism, so if you wish to sunbathe without tan lines, this is the perfect place for you.
Candelaria Beach is another option, although it tends to be one of the busiest, especially during peak travel season. This beach boasts black sand and gravel, and its waves are usually quite robust, so be cautious while swimming.
You can see that along the Candelaria coast, there are several wonderful beaches. While some are quieter than others, all of them are exceptionally beautiful.
4. Go to the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias, one of the best things to do in Candelaria
The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is one of the most important squares to see in Candelaria, Tenerife.
In this square, there once stood the Castillo de San Pedro, a structure constructed in the late 17th century. Unfortunately, it was completely destroyed due to the flood of 1826, the same event that caused the original wooden carving of the Virgin of Candelaria to disappear.
However, the square remains a popular place to visit in Candelaria since it is home to the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria and the nine Los Menceyes statues.
This square also serves as a focal point for festivities and important events, making it a socially and culturally significant place in Candelaria, Tenerife. Moreover, it is located in front of the ocean, so you can enjoy its breathtaking views.
5. Visit the Hermitage of San Blas, another interesting thing to do in Candelaria
The Hermitage of San Blas, connected to the Achbinico Cave, is a Catholic sanctuary with profound historical and archaeological significance, making it one of the most important places to visit in Candelaria.
The unique characteristic of this hermitage is that it connects to a small cave that was once used for everyday activities like milking goats as well as for religious ceremonies honoring the Virgin of Candelaria. This place also served as the town’s exclusive burial ground until the first quarter of the 16th century.
Currently, you can see a replica of the image of the Virgin of Candelaria inside the cave. Within the hermitage, there’s also a small wooden carving of San Blas de Sebaste. To reach this charming sanctuary, simply follow the Paseo de San Blas. It’s conveniently situated just behind the Basilica de Candelaria and beneath the coastal cliff of La Magdalena, making it easy to find.
Despite its simplicity, visiting this site is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Candelaria since it holds a significant place in the religious history of the village.
6. Explore the charming streets and local shops in Candelaria, Tenerife
One of the best things to do in Candelaria is to take a walk through its streets and immerse yourself in the history of the Guanches. Additionally, this allows you to explore local shops, including Casa de las Miquelas, a beautifully restored house that showcases examples of traditional pottery work.
Beyond exploring the town on foot, I recommend taking a stroll along a section of the Camino Real or Camino Viejo de Candelaria, which has over five centuries of history. This historic path was once tread by pilgrims journeying to the basilica of the patron saint of the Canary Islands.
As you can see, Candelaria is a pedestrian-friendly town where every street and corner reveals a piece of authentic Tenerife.
Best hotels in Candelaria, Tenerife
Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing vacation in Candelaria, Tenerife, or use this town as a base to explore other parts of the island, rest assured that you will find accommodation that suits your needs.
Our favorite hotel in Candelaria is the Catalonia Punta del Rey. It offers excellent value for money, making it one of the cheapest hotels in Tenerife. Here, you’ll find simple yet charming rooms with impeccable decor. Some even come with balconies overlooking the ocean. Additionally, the hotel features a heated outdoor pool, a gym, a restaurant, and other facilities.
Another great choice is Abi&Lei VV, where the rooms come equipped with kitchenettes, allowing you to save on meals or prepare picnics for your outings. For those seeking something more luxurious, I recommend Villa La Perla, a complex offering apartments, suites, studios, and lofts.
Best restaurants in Candelaria
Enjoying traditional Canarian dishes is one of the best things to do in Candelaria. You can go to a guachinche, a typical family-run Canarian restaurant. Guachinche La Basílica is one of the top choices, offering not only a warm and family-friendly atmosphere but also delicious food like wrinkled potatoes and other delicacies at reasonable prices.
Another option is Casona del Vino, a restaurant specializing in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. The friendliness and dedication of the staff make it a welcoming place from the moment you arrive. Plus, all the dishes are excellent, offering a true taste of Candelaria’s food.
You can also try Olegario Restaurant, which is budget-friendly and specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Here, you’ll find a friendly staff and a wide variety of dishes, all prepared with care and using the finest ingredients.
If you plan to be in Candelaria for a few days and want to explore the surrounding areas, you can check out our guide on where to eat in Tenerife to discover other restaurants.
How to get to Candelaria
I always recommend renting a car in Tenerife, as it is a very convenient and comfortable way to get around the island. If you want to rent a car, I suggest using Rentalcars, a website we use because it consistently offers the best prices. This allows you to have your vehicle ready as soon as you arrive on the island.
If you prefer not to drive, you can book a private transfer through this link. It’s a convenient and practical way to get to Candelaria from the airport, although it is a bit more expensive than other options.
For budget-conscious travelers, consider using the local Canarian bus, known as guagua. Once you arrive at Tenerife North Airport, take bus line 20 to Santa Cruz de Tenerife and then switch to line 120 to reach Candelaria. From Tenerife South Airport, take bus 10 to Caletillas and then the 120 to Candelaria. You can find bus schedules and detailed information on the TITSA website.
Map of Candelaria, Tenerife
Now that you know all the best things to do in Candelaria, here’s a map to help you locate them:
I hope this guide has helped you learn more about the town of Candelaria, one of the must-visit places in Tenerife. If you have any questions or recommendations about what to see in Candelaria, please feel free to leave a comment below. I will be delighted to hear from you!
Enjoy your time in Candelaria!