Sampling a taste of Tacoronte

Famous for wine, but rich in history and culture, Tacoronte is part way between Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz. I saw enough on a brief stop off a year ago to vow to return for a more in depth look. Yesterday a 40 minute 101 Titsa bus transported me from Santa Cruz to the heart of Tacoronte, to be greeted by low cloud and a cool slightly clinging feel to the air.

I love to see places where the local council show an obvious pride, Tacoronte definately ticks that box. The Information Centre offers plenty of helpful pointers and 2 walking routes, complete with good signposting and notes on the history of the main attractions. I decided to skirt the town centre, heading down to the Plaza del Cristo, where the old basalt church nestles next to the former Convent San Agustin. The white stone of the convent contrasts the darker bell tower topped church that dates back to 1662. The plaza was framed by autumnal looking golden brown leaves on the partly bare trees, all adding to the quiet and sedate mood.

The church was suitably ornate and grand inside, a young chap with his hoodie covering most of his head, walked in and took a pew near the front and sat there in quiet contemplation. I admired the stained glass windows and old wooden rafters before popping next door to see the convent. The balconies of the courtyard looked weather beaten but the gardens were well tended, I could easily imagine the nuns gliding around the corridors on their daily duties.

Heading on down the Carretera Tacoronte-Tejina, I found a small garden, the Plaza Oscar Dominguez, dedicated to the famous La Laguna born painter. A fine example of a knarled and twisted Drago tree was encased in a metal base, open at the back and with a large key peeling back some of the covering at the side. This looked familiar, and just above the main display I noticed the old sardine tin frame, complete with key, that used to frame the door of Oscars birth house in La Laguna. Quite unusual but very fitting for a surrealist painter.

There was a double delight further down the road, a modern water based artisitc homage to the wine growers of the area, and La Alhondiga, the 1685 corn exchange. The corn exchange used to be a focal point of the town, and even though it showed its age, it had a certain dignity about it. The wine sculpture was a nice contrast, bringing together ancient and modern, water trickled between the spokes and the tall barrel shaped pole was etched with scenes of wine presses and grape harvesting. Small lights were embedded in the concrete surround, it must look quite stunning when they pick  it out in the dark.

Crossing the road, the Parque Hamilton awaited, it looked quite small from the entrance but once inside, I blossomed into a green wonderland. Again the care and dedication of the council shone through, each flower, tree and bush was clearly identified, and new stone slabs marked out the pathways. The main park is another reference to the local wine heritage, different methods of growing vines are shown from trailing the plants over low trellaces to the low circular walls built around the plants to protect them from the winds. A detailed information wall showed the advantages of each method and which islands favoured them.

Following the main path up and through the woody copses and into a lane alongside the park, I emerged back at the Plaza del Cristo, rounding off a very enjoyable couple of hours. I still haven’t done Tacoronte justice, I feel another visit is needed, this time on a sunnier day so I can head down to the coast and explore the beaches. In the meantime it was easy to catch the half hourly bus back to Santa Cruz and the chance to see the sculptures of French master Rodin, famous for The Thinker and The Kiss. You can catch up with that visit at