Experience the Magic of Christmas in Tenerife

The island that awakens emotions is filled with lights and excitement during the Christmas season, offering everyone who visits an unparalleled sensory adventure

Haven’t experienced Christmas in Tenerife yet? Travelling to the island in December brings the joy of the festive atmosphere in a privileged and unrivalled climate. Every corner of the island is adorned with colour, lights and people enjoying the festive season with the warmth of its people. Christmas decorations bring a sense of wonder to the streets, in harmony with the Christmas agenda: from concerts, nativity scenes and street markets to fairs, carols and events.

An unforgettable experience where you can set your new year’s resolutions with a glass of wine from our designation of origin wineries in hand, after an afternoon of Christmas shopping on Tenerife’s most iconic streets. A little slice of paradise where you can celebrate Christmas with a host of activities, and always with the possibility of enjoying the sun on our unbeatable beaches!

Illuminated enclaves to explore

As of late November, Tenerife’s municipalities light up Christmas with a spectacular display of lights. Christmas decorations take centre stage wherever you go, whether you explore the streets of San Cristóbal de La Laguna – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – or the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where you can discover the magic that their streets hold every step of the way. Or immerse yourself in the bright lights of Plaza del Adelantado or Plaza del Príncipe, or visit the north of the island and discover a wonderland ambience in Puerto de la Cruz or La Orotava, or stroll through the south of the island and the Golden Mile, in Arona, to the sound of music.

Santa Cruz, La Orotava and La Laguna will be among the first to turn on their lights, as from the last weekend of November. Check the municipal agendas to discover the dates for Christmas lights, and shine in Tenerife!

Savour the festivities

We gather on Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25), on New Year’s Eve (December 31) and New Year’s Day (January 1), and on Three Kings’ Day (January 6), and on these occasions, gastronomy is key. You can enjoy chestnuts, typical of the season, as well as quality local products like our wines with their designation of origin, Canarian potatoes, cheeses from Tenerife, or local fish and meat, thanks to our exceptional climate. The island also awakens emotions through the palate alongside a perfect sunset, with great weather conditions in a unique environment.

A touch of sweetness should never be missing at these events: pastries are essential on our island. At Christmas, Tenerife savours yam pastries in all its homes, one of the most typical sweets of the season on the island, although several other options can be found. Do you want to taste all the Christmas sweets that Tenerife has to offer?

Children’s excitement

Undoubtedly, Christmas is the most longed-for time of the year for the little ones, who eagerly await the arrival of December. Everyone can enjoy the PIT, the Children and Youth Park of Tenerife, which is set up on the Trade Fair site from mid-December to early January and also features attractions, trampolines and workshops for families to spend a day in a festive atmosphere.

The island also has fairs, which are located in different points of Tenerife every year for young people to have fun on rides, with the smell of candy floss and emotions running high. In addition, Christmas workshops for children are held in all municipalities, and in the Museum, with educational/recreational activities where you can have fun, be creative and learn.

Visiting nativity scenes

The creation of nativity scenes, representing the birth of Jesus Christ, is one of the most entrenched religious traditions on the island. Many and very original nativity scenes are created, and among the most famous are those displayed at the headquarters of CajaCanarias in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and at the Island Council building, also in the capital of Tenerife, as well as those organised by the town halls and other organisations. In fact, nativity scene contests are organised, allowing you to establish a route to visit them.

In the Realejero area of Tigaiga, a tradition that dates back more than 50 years comes to life. Under the slope of the same name, every Christmas Day, they travel back in time with a new edition of its traditional Living Nativity in the square and streets of the neighbourhood, with the performance starting at nightfall. This year, Santa Cruz will also have a Living Nativity in Plaza de la Candelaria.

Let’s experience a journey of the senses?

A world full of light, nature and life awaits those who wish to enjoy the Palmetum in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Nature illuminated arrives on the island once again to transport you to transoceanic journeys from the 16th Century, with a maritime expedition where the ocean, through its flora and fauna, will rock you in its waves to take you to remote and surprising places. There you will find wonderful vegetation made up of lush leaves and exotic fruits in a luminous experience full of magic.

The Christmas soundtrack

Puerto de Santa Cruz becomes the stage for one of the most important music events of the year, the Extraordinary Christmas Concert of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST). Held every 25 December in Dársena de Los Llanos, the event brings together a crowd of spectators who enjoy classical music outdoors in an exciting concert full of surprises.

Christmas atmosphere in every corner

Carols fill the streets, and the smell of chestnuts permeates the air: Christmas is in the air. It’s easy to find in any corner of the island, with groups performing traditional Canarian Christmas carols as people go about their Christmas shopping. The celebration can be enjoyed in the markets, where you can find the perfect gift, just as the Craft Fair is held annually in early December in Santa Cruz, or the one held in Tegueste in mid-December. You can also enjoy the Gastro Navidad Market Fest in Plaza de España.

New Year’s Eve celebration, and a swim!

The streets of the island are filled with people who want to eat twelve grapes to close off the year and welcome the new one in; if you eat them all, this will bring you good luck and prosperity. Towns and villages celebrate the end of the year with fireworks, music and dances, like in Plaza de la Candelaria.

Tenerife also has a particular tradition: taking a swim on the first day of January. Starting the year escaping the cold to enjoy the beach, sun and nature is possible thanks to the always warm and pleasant temperatures on the island, and this has become an event that no-one wants to miss.

Historical Christmas theatre in Tejina

The Auto de los Reyes Magos de Tejina, which represents the episode of the Adoration of the Three Wise Men, is considered one of the most renowned dramatic pieces of Christmas theatre in the Canary Islands. It is known to have been continuously performed since the early 20th Century, as referenced in the Noticiero Canario of 1905, which reported that on the night of 5 January, the choir of the Church of San Bartolomé de Tejina collapses due to the high turnout of residents watching the performance.

Over the years, this religious tradition has evolved, becoming increasingly popular, and now has a peculiar combination of religious and secular elements, although the same texts have been respected throughout the years.

The Three Wise Men of the East are coming!

The night of 5 January is an essential date for them: the Three Wise Men are coming! Each municipality organises its own procession, in which Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar bring excitement in a parade of floats with many Christmas helpers. Wherever you are, from Garachico to Güímar, you can feel the magic of the Three Wise Men with their processions and walks through the streets. Enjoy the magic that Tenerife offers you!

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