Municipality: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The white walls of the houses stand out brightly amidst the deep green mountains. Taganana is a disperse little hamlet inside Anaga Country Park. It is surrounded by virgin beaches and rock formations rising out of the sea just off the coast, with a mysterious yet at the same time magical air about them. A lovely panoramic photograph can be taken from the lookout point at El Bailadero.
Taganana is reached from Santa Cruz along a windy road, or alternatively from La Laguna through the laurel forests. The town is still true to the Island's traditional customs and architecture, which includes pieces such as the church of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, one of the oldest in Tenerife. Those who visit the church enjoy taking pictures of its famous triptych painted in the 16th century Flamenco style.
There are a number of other hamlets near Taganana, so you can continue your tour along the coast towards Roque de las Bodegas along a pretty little beach. You will then come to Almáciga, a small hamlet with a long-standing farming tradition and a little chapel devoted to Nuestra Señora de Begoña, as well as its beach with large waves making it a paradise for surfers.
History has it that in the mid 20th century, a group of pilgrims from Bilbao in northern Spain threw a bottle into the sea bearing a picture of the virgin as they sailed towards Santiago de Compostela. Eight months later, the bottle was washed up on the shores of Almáciga, where the locals responded to the message. As a gift, they received a statue of the Virgin of Begoña and made her their patron saint.
After Almáciga you can take the trail from there towards other recommendable hamlets. Benijo, for instance, is home to roughly two dozen inhabitants and there are records of its existence as early as 1536, when the first houses, shacks, wine cellars and even a winery were built. It once housed a chapel devoted to Santiago Apóstol dating from 1630, which unfortunately collapsed a century later and was never rebuilt. Today, you will find a number of restaurants serving Canarian cuisine that make it a great stop for replenishment.
Nearby are the hamlets of El Draguillo and Las Palmas de Anaga, with wonderful elements of traditional Canarian architecture. We would highlight the houses of Casas Principales and the adjacent chapel of San Gonzalo. This 17th century edifice features wonderful coffered ceilings, though they are in a slight state of disrepair.
The Anaga mountain range houses a great many more little settlements dotted all around. The hamlet of Chamorga has a population of less than 100 people, which is what creates much of its charm as visitors will rightfully feel like they have come to a delightfully remote location, away from the modern world. Adding to that feeling are its pretty, distinctive little houses. Further along the way is Roque Bermejo with its beach. You can also go on to explore the hamlets of Roque Negro, Afur and Taborno.