The Changing Coastal Face Of West Tenerife

Any excuse for a stroll, with big waves battering some parts of Tenerife and a storm on the way in, I leapt through the window of opportunity to revisit my west coast roots. First stop was to have been Alcala but the weather was so gloriously sunny and the sea relatively well behaved so I hoped off he bus at Playa San Juan to take the coastal path.

The first surprise was work done to the corner entering the path, the two layers of natural terrace had gained some slatted wood walkways and a few guide rails and some people were taking full advantage of the natural sun trap. I had expected to find the sea lapping high up the rocks but it was just tickling them and posing for a few camera shots.

It’s a nice undulating pathway that shows off the rugged beauty of this part of the coast and half way to Alcala is the little hamlet of Fonsalia, the closes point in Tenerife to the island of La Gomera. Ever since I arrived 12 years ago there has been talk of a new ferry port at this point but work has only started recently and I was keen to see how it was progressing. Slowly is the word, the framework of a couple of buildings is creeping up but it looks many years away from resembling a port. I took the short detour through the one main street of Fonsalia and back down to the path through the building area, the workmen didn’t look unduly concerned.

There were plenty of other walkers enjoying the sun and the only slightly challenging way behind the rocky outcrops. Alcala soon came into view as the path became a small street giving a sneak peak over to the quayside. When I scribbled for The Western Sun our office was in a back street and I loved taking my lunch break down on the quay for a swim followed by sarnies. The sea has been calmed a little since then with a dyke under the water and plenty were sat down there with a dip on their minds, there were even a couple on the micro small Playa Arena with its bold missionary cross.

Walking through it was good to see the old tuna canning factory overlooking the quay now has a small bar and tables outside, they even advertise live Saturday night music. Following the promenade past the Palicio de Isora hotel brought me into the new modern extension of Alcala, much of the landscaping and children’s play areas were part of a trade off with the hotel and it looks good. The target of my visit was the newly revamped Playa Jaquita a bit further along, last visit it was still a work in progress but now it’s open and in use although still waiting showers, lifeguards etc. Top marks to the planners for combining three black sand coves with two rock pool areas, a good blend of nature and modern tourism.

Walking round to the main road I noticed several new shops and bars, Alcala is on the rise, I stopped for a drink and chat with an old friend at Sun Bean a fine example of converting a run down shop into a bright modern food and drink stop popular with visitors and locals. Satisfied I was leaving Alcala in good hands I caught the Titsa express bus back south pleased to have given my rotting trainers a good walking send off before they are humanely destroyed.


January 11th, 2014 3:02 am

Welcome back to the sunniest part of the island Colin. Glad you enjoyed your trip. The Port Buildings at Fonsalia are in fact being worked on quite actively at the moment. What really needs to be done is the completion of the new link road from this area to the TF1 extension. All the main bridges etc seem to be complete so lets get on with the road and relieve the terrible daily queues on the existing coast road.