Los Realejos Travel Guide


Located in the eastern side of the Orotava Valley, Los Realejos is perhaps on the face of things slightly more modern and commercial than its neighbouring Canarian towns. A lively and bustling high street runs through its centre with many modern shops catering for all needs. But scratching below the surface of this steep hillside town one will find that Los Realejos is perhaps one of the merriest municipalities on the island, celebrating more than 80 popular religious feasts and festivals throughout the year.

Celebrated during the month of May, the Festival of the Cross is among the most revered festival not just in Los Realejos but throughout the island as a whole and today the town has over three hundred crosses and Christian symbols that are present in chapels, on roadsides and in the forests at La Degollada de Fregel at a height of 1400 metres above sea level.

The town of Los Realejos is split into two sections, Realejo Alto (Upper Realejo) and Realejo Bajo (Lower Realejo), both separated by a large water gully known as a Barranco. The highest point of Los Realejos sits at around 420 metres above sea level and stretches up towards Mount Teide where lush, fertile farmlands produce a range of crops, helping to drive the town’s economy forward into the 21st century. The lower district of Los Realejos is home to the historic old quarter, where traditional16th and 17th century influences are ever present in its many fine houses and small, narrow streets that line the area around the Plaza de la Iglesias.

Many impressive Drago trees are situated within the town, each dating back over several hundred years and Los Realejos is also the home to the oldest Christian church on the island, the Church of Santiago Apóstol, dating back to 1498.

The climate in Los Realejos is influenced by the prevailing trade winds, lending higher temperatures and less rainfall to the lower region of the town whilst the higher, more mountainous region sees slightly lower temperatures and more rainfall, helping to benefit the land and keep crop plantations fertile. Los Realejos is located west of Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava, about 42 km south west of the island's capital and around 80 km north of Tenerife South Airport. The inhabitants are known in Spanish as Realejeros.


Los Realejos became a district in Spain when the two towns of Realejo Alto and Realejo Bajo amalgamated during the mid 20th century. The names of these initial two towns stem from the positions held by each army during the Spanish conquest period during the late 1400’s. The island natives, known as the Guanches, held a position towards the upper area of the town, whilst the Spanish army occupied the lower regions.

The Guanches were headed by their Mencey (King) Bentor, son of Mencey Bencomo who lost his life during the battle of Acentejo against the Spanish forces led by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. Bentor led the remaining Guanche allies deep into the hills of the Orotava Valley where they prepared to defend themselves with sticks and stones.

Unfortunately, many of the Guanche allies had either died or succumbed to a strange viral illness, reportedly brought over by the Spanish who were seemingly more immune than their rivals. After a hard fought battle, Bentor and the Guanches surrendered to the Spanish on July 25th 1496 and the announcement of Tenerife’s seizure was made to the Spanish Crown of Queen Isabel and Don King Fernando.

It was after the conquest that the Spanish decided to build a church in the region of which they named the Apóstol Santiago, thus becoming the first parochial church on the island and the site where the outstanding nine Menceys duly received their baptismal waters. It is said that the defeated Mencey Bentor later threw himself to his death from the cliffs of Tigaiga, proclaiming “Achaman, Achaman!” meaning God, God!

Realejo Alto and Realejo Bajo united to form today’s vibrant and cultural Los Realejos on December 23rd 1954.


Los Realejos is as cultured as any typically true Canarian town situated in the north of the island. A college positioned in the heart of the community means weekdays are usually a lively affair with activity from the students and the high street Avenida los Remedios. A number of classes can be taken in a wide range of activities that include pottery, art, photography, yoga, traditional dance and theatre and there is a lively music scene amongst Los Realejos too.

Religion is at the forefront of the community in Los Realejos, with many beautiful festivals and feasts taking place in the town throughout the year. A highlight in the festival calendar is The Festival of the Cross on May 3rd, featuring a stunning firework display.


Los Realejos is typically centred on tourism and the services sector due to the ever increasing popularity of nearby Puerto de la Cruz. The town enjoys playing a strong role in the islands agricultural output, with the production and cultivation of grapes, potatoes and bananas as well as a variety of other fruits and vegetables. With the northern half of Los Realejos set deep into the hills of Mount Teide and the Orotava Valley, the region’s climate is perfectly balanced to generating an abundance of fresh crops all year round.

A vibrant fishing trade is also active within Los Realejos, with many restaurants specialising in fresh seafood caught by local fisherman to be served later that evening to the towns many visitors.

How to get there

By Bus:
Several TITSA buses run to Los Realejos:
From La Orotava: TITSA Bus 347 runs eight times daily.
From Puerto de la Cruz: TITSA Bus 352, 353 and 390 and 391 departs regularly to Los Realejos, you will have no problem catching one in every hour.

By Car:
If driving from the north (Santa Cruz, La Laguna or Puerto de la Cruz), take Autopista del Norte (TF-5). 
Coming from the south, the fastest route to take is Autopista del Sur (TF-1), followed by Autopista del Norte (TF-5). 
A more scenic alternative would be through Teide National Park, via TF- 51 and 21.




Parroquia Santiago Apóstol (Church)

This church can be described best as the icon of Los Realejos, with its piercing spire that dominates the surrounding landscape. The church is the oldest on Tenerife with it dating back to the late 15th century. The Church of Santiago Apóstol was built to acknowledge the spot where the last Guanche King handed over power to the Spanish in 1496, therefore giving the monument an important chapter in the island’s history. Inside you will find some of La Orotava valley’s oldest and most valuable works of art including a priceless, 17th century filigree style silver cross and various other sculptures. It is worth noting that the church is not always open to the public, but a simple knock on the door and you will be warmly welcomed.

Address: Avenida de Los Remedios (towards Plaza Viera y Clavijo and Avenida Tres de Mayo), 38410 Los Realejos, Tenerife.

San Francisco Drago Tree

This is the next popular drago tree after the Drago Milenario in Icod de los Vinos. Legend has it that blood from the mortal wounds of a dragon fell on the Canary Islands, and from each drop grew a drago tree. Looking like a giant towering candelabrum with clusters of twisted branches expanding from its strong and sturdy trunk, it is truly one of a kind. The native of the island, the Guanches, regarded highly the healing properties and spiritual nature of these awe-inspiring flora species.

Location: the corner of Calle del Medio and Cruz Verde, 38412 Los Realejos, Tenerife.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Church)

The once grand Church of the Conception was almost destroyed by fire in 1978, though is now a fine example of modern Christianity on the island. The contrast between the Baroques influenced exterior that survived the fire, against the white washed interior is an interesting collaboration of old meets new and is of particular interest to architectural enthusiasts and tourists alike. The church houses the only two remaining paintings that were salvaged from the blaze; one of Our Lady of El Rosario and one of the Madonna, almost as a sentiment to the church’s past grandeur.  Along with these 16th century paintings is the 18th century silver gilded custody, the final piece to be recovered from the fire.

Address: Calle Cruz Verde, 38412 Los Realejos, Tenerife.
Telephone: +34 922 340 353
Opening hours: during church service.

Water Elevator of La Gordejuela

The derelict water plant is found on Los Realejos’s rocky coastline, adding a unique and almost surreal landmark in contrast to the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Built in the early 20th century by English businessmen, the old factory is a great picture moment as its four-tiered Victorian, skeleton sits stubbornly to the cliff side as if it has been left behind on the long trip back to England. In its heyday the water house was a revolution to the island, with it housing Tenerife’s first steam pump that enabled hundreds of locals up in the Valley of Orotava to receive fresh water. However, as modern times drew in and steam power was replaced by electricity, there was no longer a need for the building and it now sits on the coastline, down from the beach of Los Roques, as testament to the island’s brief industrial revolution.

La Corona Mirador (View Point)

This viewpoint is found not in Los Realejos as such, but as you head away from the town up towards Icod de los Vinos in the mountains. As you ascent the hills of Tigaiga, the great views of La Orotava valley stretches out before your eyes. Things come to a peak when reaching La Corona point, a place where the land breaks away to leave a great expanse of the blue Atlantic ocean. From this point is possibly the best scenery of the north of the island, as the landscape stretches all the way down the coast past Puerto de la Cruz and up to El Sauzal on the northeast tip of Tenerife. Hand-gliders are often found converging at the viewpoint with it being the perfect place to set out from, along with the spectators and general tourists who sit in the neighbouring restaurant. This point can easily be reached by the 354 bus, with the journey lasting roughly ten minutes from the centre of town.




More adventurous activities can also be enjoyed within the town, such as scuba diving around the beaches and coves of El Socorro, hiking along the winding footpaths that venture deep into the hills of Mount Teide as well as paragliding. The Flypa International Paragliding Festival held on El Socorro beach that lasting over four days features paragliders from the around the world and includes beach parties and music from international bands. 


The beach of Socorro is one of the top surf spots in Tenerife with year-round good waves. Not just an ideal place to practice surfing, this sandy beach of 300 meters also hosts many national and international surfing championships and various concerts, parties and outdoor cinemas in the summer.

Escuela de Surf Playa "El Socorro" (Surf School)
Address: Mercado Municipal de Los Realejos, 38410 Los Realejos, Tenerife.
Telephone: +34 675 690 862
*Note: as at the time of writing, this surf schools offers courses in Spanish and during the summer only. The nearest alternative is La Marea Surf School in Puerto de la Cruz offering surfboards and wetsuits rental and courses in English.

La Marea Surf School
Handily located at Playa Martiánez where the surf lessons are taught, this surf school offers introductory and advanced courses for children and adults. A two-hour lesson starts from €20 (child) and €30 (adult). Rental of surfboards and wetsuits are also available.

Address: Playa Martiánez s/n, 38300 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.
Telephone: +34 922 105 534


Warm water temperature, interesting underwater formations (caves, tunnels, stone arches) and diverse flora and founa species made Los Realejos and the nearby Puerto de la Cruz popular diving places in the north. One of the most talked about dive sites in the Los Realejos region is the “Baja de Los Realejos”. It consists of a large submerge basalt peak, about 5-10 meters from the water surface, which rises from the steep bottom. The currents in this area can be quite strong yet underneath it reveals some amazing underwater faunas the likes of morays, barracudas, amberjacks amongst smaller groups of fish.

Dive Centre Atlantik
Founded and runs by 2 brothers - Dirk and Thomas, this dive centre offers diver excursions in various dive spots and PADI courses ranging from Open Water to Divemaster and Instructor. Single dive starts from €36 and there are different dive packages to suit your preference and level.

Address: Hotel Maritim, Camino El Burgado 1, 38417 Los Realejos, Tenerife.
Telephone: +34 922 362 801


Based in Los Realejos but would like to hike some of the best trails around Tenerife? Join a group of like-minded hikers to explore Masca gorge, climb Teide, or simply marvel at the beauty of the Anaga mountains. Free pick up from Los Realejos available. Click here for more info on the excursions.


Whether you are a novice, a experienced paraglider or a first timer, Los Realejos is one of Tenerife’s favourite hot spots for this high-thrill sport. With its diverse sceneries, calm weather condition and excellent thermal currents, no wonder it is home to the annual Flypa International Paragliding Festival. The paragliding route in Los Realejos is the "La Corona to Playa Socorro", taking off from the hillside of La Corona. Other popular route around the island are "Izaña to Puerto de la Cruz" and "Barranco Mesa Mar"



Playa del Socorro

A Blue Flag awarded beach for its water quality and environmental management, this beautiful volcanic sandy beach also hosts many national and international surfing championships and various concerts, parties and outdoor cinemas in the summer. The beach is easily accessible and equipped parking space, restaurants, bars and life-guards. Do take care when swimming as the swells here can get quite strong.



It is said that Los Releajos is a municipal with the most celebrations in Spain. There’s always some form of event or festivity going on in one of its villages.

Some of the popular festivities are listed below:

January 22nd - Festivity of San Vicente Mártir
January 16th - Pilgrimage of San Antonio Abad (Tigaiga)
February - March - Carnival
March - April - Holy Week
May 3rd - Festivities of the Cross (San Vicente, La Cruz Santa and Realejo Alto) -
Last Sunday of May - Regional Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador
July 16th - Festivity of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Third week of August -  Festivity of Nuestra Señora de los Afligidos
December 8th - Festivity of Inmaculada Concepción




Meson el Monasterio

This is an old monastery located on the hill now converted into a beautiful gastronomic kingdom with 5 restaurants (listed below) offering various specialities at various time of the day. From breakfast or brunch overlooking the coast to tapas, snacks, coffees and cakes to fondue and meat on hot stone, you will never go hungry and but instead, be spoilt of choice. There’s a large on-site free parking and a small animal park to keep the little ones amused.

Hacienda San Pedro – seafood specialists alongside traditional Spanish cuisine. Closed on Mondays.
Bodega de San Pedro – extensive tapas menu and meats on hot stone. Closed on Mondays.
La Cabaña – family restaurant specialising in fondues and raclettes. Open from 18:00, closed on Mondays.
Comedor Principal - main restaurant with terraces and lounges serving tapas, Canary and Spanish dishes.
El Mirador – traditional haute cuisine, homemade truffles, chocolates and cakes. It is popular amongst the locals for its breakfasts and brunches. Closed on Tuesdays.

There are also a banquet hall for special functions, wine cellar with wide selection of local and international wines, and shop (Casa Rocio) selling homemade breads, cakes, ham, cheeses, jams and wines.

Address: Montañeta S/N, 38419 Los Realejos, Tenerife.
Telephone: +34 922 340 707/ 922 344 311

Restaurante-Tasca El Cany

This relatively new restaurant by Carlos Rivero specialises in typical Spanish cuisine utilising fresh local meat, seafood and vegetables.

Address: Calle Viera y Clavijo 100 Bajo Los Realejos (next to the football stadium), 38410 Los Realejos, Tenerife.




Nightlife in Los Realejos can be somewhat of a mixed affair. Weekdays are relatively quiet yet on weekends the students from the local college come out to party at a number of small bars that are dotted around the town.

Bar Central and Bar Ruperta, both on Avenida Los Remedios, offer a lively scene on Friday and Saturday nights with well priced drinks and bar food and loud music until the early hours.

Bodegon El Acueducto on Avenida de Canarias, perhaps more a lunch or dinner stop-off with its excellent menu, offers a more relaxed atmosphere of an evening providing a strong local wine list and competitively priced local and imported beers.



Shopping in Los Realejos is more a local affair than a typical tourist’s paradise. Avenida los Remedios, being the main hub of the town, offers a wide variety of shops such as men’s and women’s fashion, a well stocked pharmacy, a supermarket, hardware stores and cafes. The number of tourist style trinket and souvenir shops have taken somewhat of a backseat in Los Realejos; the result not rendering the town any less welcoming for intrepid explorers but simply helping to state Los Realejos’ claim as a commercial and business savvy region within the island.