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Find information on La Oratava in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
La Oratava situated in the north of Tenerife is a region as well as a town. Historically it was one of the richest regions in the island and, when it fell into Spanish hands, the town attracted much of the nobility. The evidence of this lies in the wonderful architecture that is found in La Oratava. It is a town that thrives on culture and traditions. An Oratava holiday offers relaxation in an area of outstanding natural beauty with a plethora of sightseeing opportunities and leisure activities. The area is home to a large part of the Teide National Park.
La Oratava holidays offer a peaceful base from which to explore the forests and mountains of the area as well as the neighbouring towns and villages. Although the town itself is not on the coast, the region has a number of small black sandy beaches within its boundaries.
La Oratava holidays are popular with those looking for a relaxing holiday in the sun. It attracts couples of all ages as well as hikers who come here to walk in the fertile valleys and in the mountains. Those with an interest in the history and culture of the island will not be disappointed.
A La Oratava holiday can be taken at any time of year. Summer temperatures can reach thirty degrees with winter temperatures in the high teens. Early and later season are popular times for walking holidays when the weather is a little cooler.
The fertile land around Oratava stands in sharp contrast to its backdrop of barren hills and the distant Mount Teide. The forested hills and the fruit plantations that surround the town are said to be the lungs of Tenerife. The architecture in Oratava is on a grand scale with wide streets opening into picturesque squares containing graceful churches and seventeenth century noblemen’s houses. The houses have wonderful shady courtyards and balconies brimming with flowers and with blossoming plants creeping up the walls. Some of the more popular sights include the Church of the Conception, the House of the Balconies from 1632, the Church of Saint Augustine and the Botanical Gardens.
The region has some black sandy coves and beaches where the clarity of the water invites snorkelling and scuba diving.
La Oratava is host to many festivals and cultural events but the most spectacular is the feast of Corpus Christi in June. The streets through which the procession passes are lined with floral tributes which culminate in the square where there are enormous tapestries on the ground depicting scenes from the bible. Crafted from volcanic pebbles and sand, flowers and vegetation, it is a truly remarkable sight.
A short distance outside the town is the Mirador de Humboldt which gives the most amazing views over the town, the Oratava Valley and Mount Teide.
There are many footpaths and tracks for hikers which lead into the Oratava Mountains.
Nightlife in La Oratava is fairly sophisticated with bars and restaurants providing evening entertainment. For a livelier time, take a taxi to Puerto de la Cruz where there are bars and pubs that remain open until the early hours of the morning.
La Oratova has a large number of shops selling a variety of goods. It is renowned for its craftsmen and women and is an excellent place to buy your holiday gifts and mementoes such as ceramics, lace and leather goods. Since one of the attractions of shopping in Tenerife is that it is duty free, with bargains to be found in perfumes, cameras and electronic goods, alcohol and cigarettes, those looking for a wider range should take a trip to the capital Santa Cruz.
La Oratava has some very fine restaurants providing a range of menu from traditional to international cuisine. If you wish to mark a special occasion with a meal to remember look no further than the seventeenth century Casa de Ponte-Fonte where you will find Zona Kiu.
Typical Canarian food is the spicy mojo sauce and salty new potatoes that are boiled in sea water before being baked. Ordering tapas is a good way to try out small portions of local food either as a first course or to fill the sometimes long gap between lunch and dinner. Fish features prominently on menus and is often served with the green variety of mojo sauce.
La Oratava is well known for its wines produced from the vineyards surrounding it.