During the run-up to the festivities in honour of the Virgin of Candelaria (on 15 August), thousands of people embark on a pilgrimage to the Basilica that stands in the town of Candelaria, named after the Virgin. Devout pilgrims set off from a variety of locations, some so far away that it takes them several days to get there.
This is the Island's longest-standing pilgrimage and was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2008, under the Historical Site category. Although the path has not yet been restored, it is still the alternative most widely used each year by the pilgrims. The Island Council of Tenerife is currently working on a project to improve the path and its signposting. We therefore only recommend doing the pilgrimage with people who know the area for the time being.
But don't let that put you off! The route is of great historical and ethnographic value, and some stretches follow the old road that linked the city of San Cristóbal de la Laguna to Villa Mariana. Ever since the Conquest, it became established as the route for the annual pilgrimage to the Virgin of Candelaria shrine, a tradition that survives to this day. On the way, pilgrims will journey through the Island's typical leeward farmland, overlooking the Güímar Valley with all its natural riches. The route is also a reminder of this part of the Island's past, with the ruins of traditional old buildings still standing. A clear example would be the hamlets of Pasacola or La Jiménez in Igueste de Candelaria. There are also legends that still live on, such as the old walls of what may have been home to one the Island's most notorious pirates: Amaro Pargo.
More information: Candelaria Tourist Information Office.
Phone number: (+34) 922 03 22 30