Abades - Tenerife


Written by: Amy Tebbs


Abades is known as the ‘ghost town’ of Tenerife due to the history of the lepers being buried here. All of the white houses here look the same with flat roofs and green windows. The streets are named after towns around the island such as Calle Fasnia, Calle Arafo and Calle Arico; and as Abades is a fishing village, a number of colourful fishing boats can be seen on the beach.

There is a beautiful golden sand beach which is fantastic for diving or just relaxing and taking a dip in the ocean. There are a number of cafes and restaurants along the beach front which are perfect for a drink, light snack or delicious evening meal.

  • History

    Leprosy was a big problem in the Canary Islands and in 1943, Abades was designated to keep lepers away from the rest of the population. A hospital, a crematorium and a church were built although the hospital was never finished and the idea was abandoned when drugs were created to heal the sick from leprosy. The resort was later used as a military training base.

    Since then, new white houses have been built on the hill and it often seems like a ghost town due to the quiet and serenity of the once disease stricken village.

    The lighthouse between Abades and El Poris de Abona was built in 1902 and replaced in 1978. The opening of the South Airport in November 1978 and the TF1 motorway had certainly triggered the development of Abades, followed by the 1986 Abades project. The town changed its name to Abades the same year and more public amenities were subsequently built.

  • Culture

    Abades is a very small village with only local residents and those who own holiday homes, mostly Germans, residing here. There is little going on in the town of Abades and is a peaceful place for residents without worrying too much about tourism.

    The church of Abades was built in 1987 and holds mass every fourth Saturday of the month at 8pm.

  • Economy

    Abades is still an active fishing village as you can see by the small fishing boats by the beach. The village cafes are always full of fisherman and whilst Abades can be seen as a typical northern village, fishing is the basis of its economy.

  • How to get there

    Abades is central between Las Americas/Los Cristianos in the south and Santa Cruz in the north.

    By Bus:
    The TITSA number 111 runs to both of these destinations from Abades, via the south airport, every half an hour from 05:30 until 22:30 and then every hour or so until 04:30.

    By Car:
    Driving from Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Los Cristianos, take the motorway TF-1, travelling time around 30 minutes.