Spending Christmas abroad can be an unforgettable experience, but it can also take a bit of getting used to. At least for those of us who come from Northern Europe, spending Christmas Day under a palm tree in warm and sunny Tenerife can feel a bit odd at first.
Luckily, Tenerife is a great place to spend your Christmas holiday. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you make the most of the festive season.
Celebrating Christmas in Tenerife
Like mainland Spain, Christmas here is mainly celebrated on Christmas Eve. This is when the locals have a family dinner at home with many shops and restaurants closing early. Many Spanish people also like to attend Midnight Mass (misa del gallo) after dinner.
Restaurants in the main tourist spots usually stay open on Christmas Eve, although booking ahead may be wise. You shouldn’t experience any problems in the southern resorts such as Playa de Las Americas, but if you’re staying in Puerto de La Cruz, you might want to eat early.
Many restaurants offer a Christmas lunch with turkey on Christmas Day. Boxing Day isn’t a holiday in Spain, so it’s back to business as usual.
Here are a few tips on how to get into the festive spirit over the next couple of weeks. You can follow the links to get more information (most of the websites mentioned here are in Spanish, but you can use Google to translate).
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz, 30.11.–13.1.
This lively Christmas Market has dozens of stalls where you can shop for arts and crafts, presents, souvenirs, food and so on. The daily program is packed with entertainment including live music, children’s shows and workshops, and even Father Christmas makes an appearance on Christmas Eve.
More information and opening times: Mercado Puerto de la Cruz on Facebook
Plaza del Llano, Alcalá, 22.12.
Mercadillo Alcalá is a small but bustling market located in a picturesque plaza in the town centre of this fishing village. The regular Monday market has everything from clothes to jewellery, toys, leather goods and gardening supplies. A special Christmas Market will be held this Saturday 22 December with lots of delicious food, handicrafts and children’s workshops on offer. With something for the whole family, it should be a great way to get into the festive spirit.
More information: Guía de Isora
Dársena de Los Llanos, Santa Cruz, 25.12. 9pm
The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual Christmas Concert on Christmas Day at 9pm. It will take place at Dársena de Los Llanos at the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Tickets and more information: sinfonicadetenerife.es
Tigaiga, Los Realejos, 25.12. 9pm
The nativity scene is a typical Spanish Christmas tradition with beautifully handcrafted sets decorating many homes this time of the year. A live nativity scene, which involves local actors dressing up to recreate the birth of Baby Jesus, is a very popular tradition with visitors and locals alike. The event takes place in Tigaiga, Los Realejos on Christmas Day at 9pm.
More information: Los Realejos Travel
Circolandia Christmas Special
Auditorio Infanta Leonor, Los Cristianos, 30.12. 5pm
This interactive children’s circus has always been a huge hit when it has come to Tenerife, and this year it’s back with a special Christmas Edition. The show is packed with music, rhythm and humour and features clowns, magicians, trapeze artists and much more. Tickets are available online (12€) or at the door (15€).
Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz, 27.12.–4.1.
Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz has brought some of the best musicals to Tenerife every Christmas season. Past performances have included Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia, the Sound of Music and Sister Act.
This year, after two seasons in London’s West End, the hit eighties musical Dirty Dancing arrives in Tenerife as part of a nationwide tour. Tickets starting at 17.50€ are available to buy online now.
Tickets and more information: dirty-dancing.es
Then again you might just want to leave anything Christmas-related behind this year. Luckily, there are lots of alternative things to do across the island. Xwander offers lots of different outdoor activities, such as hiking, scuba diving and surfing nearly every day throughout the season. We’re only closing our doors on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Check out all our activities and book yours today!