The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is held in January or February every year. This year the party starts on February 7th and carries on for almost the whole month. The theme for 2018 is 'fantasy', which means feathers, sequins and loads of sparkle.
There are different events held across the month, in Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz and Güímar. You can expect live music, open-air concerts, parades and a giant paper sardine carried through the streets! Yep – the ‘burial of the sardine’ signifies the first day of Lent, and involves locals dressed in black carrying a huge sardine effigy through the streets and then burning it. You’ll be pleased to hear that the rest of the events are mainly dedicated to dance, South American music and fabulous costumes – it’s just one big street party.
Here’s what you really shouldn’t miss…
Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 - Election of the Carnival Queen
Friday, February 9th, 2018 - Carnival Opening Parade
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 - Main Parade
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 - Burial of the Sardine
Saturday, February 17th, 2018 - Daytime Carnival
Sunday, February 18th, 2018 - Parade of Vintage Cars
Puerto de la Cruz
Thursday, February 8th, 2018 - Election of the Carnival Queen
Saturday, February 10th, 2018 - Proclamatory Parade
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 - Burial of the Sardine
Friday, February 16th, 2018 - Men's Marathon in High Heels
Saturday, February 17th, 2018 - Main Parade
Friday, February 16th, 2018 - Las Burras de Güímar
Tenerife’s renowned event has been going on for a long time – since the first European settlement back in the 15th century, to be exact. It started off as an outdoor festival with live bands playing traditional South American music, and has slowly descended into a spectacle of colour, costumes, parades and street parties. In 1987, Guinness World Records officially declared the carnival as the largest outdoor concert in the world. And, ever since then, it’s had a different theme every year, ranging from space and horror to Ancient Egypt and the 80s. Revellers go all out with their costumes too, and plan them months in advance.
If you love lazing on the beach, head to the white sand stretches in Playa da las Americas and Costa Adeje, where you can top up your tan and get stuck into the watersports. Or, if you prefer getting out and about and exploring natural landscapes, head to Mount Teide National Park – home to the third largest volcano in the world – where you’ll find other-worldly landscapes covered in solidified lava, craters and cacti. You can explore hiking trails or take a cable car to the top and enjoy the impressive views over the island. Head there at night and you’ll see it’s an amazing spot for stargazing.
And that’s not all. There are also plenty of top shopping spots, big clubs and waterparks to hit, including Siam Park – a giant Thai-themed waterpark which lines up a wave pool, a vertical drop slide for those adrenaline-junkies, and the world’s longest lazy river.
The wallet-friendly Be Live Experience Playa la Arena is within easy distance of the carnival, and right next to a volcanic black-sand beach. It also boasts two pools and loads of activities on the agenda to keep you busy when you’re not partying.
If you’re after something a little more upmarket, pick the Hotel RIU Garoe from our Platinum collection. This place is set among gorgeous landscaped gardens and features a pretty pool scene and a beauty centre to help you get costume-ready.
The Hovima Hotel Costa Adeje is just two minutes’ walk from a black sand beach
There’s an award-winning spa and a long list of à la carte restaurants at the Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden
The Landmar Playa la Arena is set among spacious, manicured gardens, and right by a volcanic, black-sand beach.
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