The Metropolitan Area lies on a peninsula in the far north-east of Tenerife. It covers 322.13 km² and a large part of it is occupied by Anaga Rural Park, located in the mountain range of the same name. This area of land was once one of the nine menceyatos guanches (native kingdoms) into which the island was divided.
The region is comprised of four municipalities and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on all but one side. These municipalities are: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tegueste and El Rosario. The largest is Santa Cruz de Tenerife (150.56 km²) and the smallest is Tegueste (26.41 km²).
In terms of its natural spaces, the Metropolitan region is home to Anaga Rural Park, a Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve. This is a fascinating space due to its landscape, flora and fauna. Some of the most impressive features are its rock formations, cliffs, deep ravines and the sea of clouds that can often be admired here. The coastline is very steep in the areas that lie close to the Anaga massif while, in contrast, it is gentle and easy to access in the south-west.
The two most interesting urban centres in the region are Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island’s current capital, and San Cristóbal de La Laguna—or La Laguna—the former capital. The first is an essential stop during your visit thanks to its wide range of cultural and architectural attractions, wonderful food and stunning beaches, such as Playa de las Teresitas. When visiting La Laguna, be sure to appreciate the town’s layout, which was designed according to Renaissance and Neoplatonic ideals. Its streets are lined with palaces with beautiful interior courtyards, convents, churches, and a cathedral. In fact, its old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only one in the archipelago to have earned this distinction.
The most unusual municipality is Tegueste because it’s nestled in La Laguna and therefore has no access to the ocean. At present, it’s mainly used as a housing district for people who work in the aforementioned cities. El Rosario is the least populated municipality, and the size of its territory has seen many changes over the years. Its town hall is located in La Esperanza, the last town that can be seen when travelling from La Laguna to Teide National Park. It’s worth paying this municipality a visit to admire its traditional architecture and archaeological sites. And of course, no visit to Anaga would be complete without a trip to the beach, such as Varadero, with its volcanic sand and pebbles, Radazul or La Nea, which has a small seafront promenade that is perfect for a relaxing stroll. Water sports enthusiasts will also enjoy the marina at Radazul.
The Metropolitan area is one of the most wide-ranging in Tenerife as it has something for everyone—city lovers, hikers and anyone interested in exploring ravines.
When in Tenerife, the Nuestra Señora de África Market is a must-visit due to its history, stalls and insight into daily life in the city of Santa Cruz.
There are spots you just can’t miss in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, from museums and historic monuments to unique restaurants and paradisiacal beaches.
A youthful ambience, but a colonial style: that is La Laguna, home to the Canary Islands’ oldest university, and a stamping ground for students every weekend. A magical city, steeped in contrasts.