To discover the magic of La Laguna, you have to be on foot. Park up your car and get ready to walk. Your steps will inevitably lead you to the historic quarter in the city centre, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. This is a source of great pride for the locals. Why not start by visiting the majestic cathedral, which was recently reopened after a long refurbishment process that has left it in sparkling condition.
Another symbol of La Laguna is the Iglesia de la Concepción tower, which you can climb to the top of to get fantastic views of the city. You will find all the information you need at the tourist information office on Calle de la Carrera. This is one of the most popular streets in the city, together with the adjacent Calle Herradores. Take a leisurely stroll down these two picturesque streets to get a taste of colonial architecture close-up. You can stop at any of the cafés or restaurants dotted about the city centre for a drink or a bite to eat. You will need to recharge your batteries to keep on exploring.
Other unmissable attractions include the refurbished and quaint Leal Theatre, the Cabrera Pinto Institute, the Casa Lercaro, the Santa Catalina convent and the Tenerife History Museum, where you will learn all about the Island's past. The museum, together with a whole host of other buildings, make up the city's cultural wealth and confer it with an erudite and elegant air.
Guided tours of the historic quarter are available from the tourist information office if you are interested. There are a number of themed options to choose from that will take you around the various emblematic buildings. But that's not all! This university city is filled with youngsters every year, giving La Laguna a youthful, vibrant feel. Their favourite meeting place is the area known as El Cuadrilátero, right by the university. Its streets are lined with bars and cafés that are buzzing until closing time.
Outside the old town is the Science and Cosmos Museum. It is packed with hands-on fun for all age groups. A peak through its powerful telescope will make you feel sky high.
The local festivities pay tribute to the Cristo de La Laguna and take place throughout month of September. The most magical event is fireworks night on the 14th. The city's skies light up with a spectacular display of colours and shapes as thousands of people look on in awe.
Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo
The coast is about 10 km (6.2 miles) outside the city itself and houses La Laguna's small but stunning seaside areas: Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo, where you are welcome to take a dip in their natural pools. A good soak will leave you feeling good as new. And if you're looking for what to do next, stay right there! The sun has a special bond with this side of the Island, creating outrageously beautiful sunsets. The best thing to do is take a seat at one of the area's restaurant terraces and tuck into some fresh fish while watching the sun drop into the sea. And don't miss the view from the lookout points on Monte de las Mercedes. The sight of the city below is a real treat.
Before visiting La Laguna, we have one piece of advice: It is one of Tenerife's coolest cities, in every sense of the word. Make sure you take a jumper, even in summer.
We especially recommend you take the trail which, surrounded by laurel forest, takes you from Cruz del Carmen (where you will find the visitors centre and lookout point) down to Punta del Hidalgo.
An ecological jewel
Like the claws of a sleeping giant. This is a simile you might use to describe the great cliffs of the mountain range that houses Anaga Country Park, which you can drive to on the TF-12. This natural area is home to one of Europe's most valuable treasures: a laurel forest that dates back to the Tertiary period. Its untouched vegetation is bathed in a blanket of clouds practically all year round. The forest has been christened El Terciario in honour of the era it belongs to. You can venture into its depths along one of many trails and call in at a nearby restaurant. They serve fantastic goat's meat and a delicious Canarian stew. Don't forget to order some local wine to wash it down.
If you follow the meandering road down, you will reach the coast and its various secluded villages, including Taganana. The charm of this village lies in its fabulous beach, steep sloping landscapes and small restaurants, where you can savour some of the Canary Islands' finest dishes. We recommend their beautifully cooked fish.