Top 15 fiestas in Tenerife: celebrating tradition and popular culture

The Canary Islands offer the perfect setting to bask in the sun, relax on the beach, indulge in delightful cuisine, and undoubtedly, revel in the finest fiestas found in Tenerife.

The Canary Islands offer an exceptional opportunity to unwind and relish the sunshine, sandy beaches, and delectable local cuisine served in its renowned guachinches. Moreover, they boast a diverse array of festivities (fiestas), with vibrant celebrations in every locality across the archipelago, as well as grand music festivals and globally acclaimed events, such as the dazzling Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

We’ve meticulously curated a list of the finest fiestas in Tenerife, arranged chronologically. After these two years of pandemic, should you desire, you won’t miss a single one, enabling you to once again immerse yourself in the infectious energy that epitomizes the Canary Islanders on the streets.


Top 15 fiestas in Tenerife: celebrating tradition and popular culture

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival stands as the pinnacle among the archipelago’s festivals, earning the prestigious title of Festival of International Tourist Interest in 1980, a distinction unique to this grand celebration in the Canary Islands. It has garnered global acclaim, breaking world attendance records on two occasions: once with the electrifying performance by Juan Luis Guerra, and another with the iconic spectacle featuring Celia Cruz, where over 400,000 revelers danced through the streets in 2019 and more than 250,000 in 1987.

The carnival festivities span a month, commencing with lively competitions among musical groups, rondallas, murgas, and comparsas. The excitement crescendos on the Wednesday preceding the first weekend, marked by the Grand Gala for the Election of the Carnival Queen. The subsequent Friday heralds the Cabalgata Anunciadora, a captivating parade featuring murgas, rondallas, floats, and the carnival court, traversing the streets of Santa Cruz for over four hours amidst the pulsating beats of batucadas and Latin rhythms. This procession is eagerly anticipated by tourists flocking to the capital of Tenerife during this period.

Saturday is dedicated entirely to street revelry, with vibrant stages in Plaza de la Candelaria and Avenida de Anaga, complemented by floats and kiosks adorning the streets surrounding Plaza de España. The festivities include the highly anticipated comparsas competition, Ritmo y Armonía (Rhythm and Harmony). Sunday sees the culmination of costume extravagance during the Day Carnival.

Monday evening sees the main stages hosting performances by renowned artists, filling the air with infectious rhythms. Tuesday marks the Gran Coso Apoteosis, a majestic cavalcade where musical groups and floats parade once more, officially concluding the Carnival. Tourists and locals alike throng the stands and streets, savoring a riot of color, music, dance, and revelry.

But the festivities don’t cease there. Ash Wednesday brings the solemn yet symbolic Burial of the Sardine. Finally, Saturday and Piñata Sunday wrap up the carnival season with daytime festivities and a dazzling fireworks display, marking the unforgettable culmination of Tenerife’s finest celebrations.


Top 15 fiestas in Tenerife: celebrating tradition and popular culture

The annual celebration known as Las Burras de Güímar has been a cherished tradition since 1992, typically held between February and March, specifically on the Friday following Shrove Tuesday. This unique festivity incorporates elements of legend, magic, fire, and witchcraft, all deeply rooted in the history of the municipality.

The festivities commence with the solemn procession of the Burial of the Sardine, featuring widows and peasants who traverse the path to Plaza de San Pedro. Along the way, they are observed by donkey-like creatures, which are actually witches in disguise, stealthily weaving their enchantments.

Upon reaching the square, the peasants test the donkeys with knives to discern if they are indeed sorceresses, prompting the invocation of Satan and the initiation of a witch’s coven. It is then that the Holy Inquisition intervenes, led by the Bishop, who calls upon the Archangel Michael to confront the devil. Following a dramatic battle, during which evil is vanquished, the witches are condemned to the stake and burnt along with the symbolic Sardina del Carnaval.

Crafted by the Asociación Cultural de Las Burras de Güímar, this performance is meticulously staged, with members acting out roles and creating costumes and masks to authentically recreate the intense struggle between good and evil. Captivating audiences with its special effects, Las Burras de Güímar offers a captivating glimpse into a world where ancient folklore intertwines with theatrical spectacle.


Top 15 fiestas in Tenerife: celebrating tradition and popular culture

‘Mascarita Ponte Tacón’ stands out as one of the most highly anticipated events during the International Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz, held annually between February and March.

This lively race is hailed as the most entertaining on this side of the Atlantic, where men don their wildest costumes and heels measuring over eight centimetres to dash through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz, embarking on a spirited journey from Plaza de Reyes Católicos to Plaza del Charco. Along the way, they encounter obstacles which they navigate with remarkable agility and charm.

With over 400 participants adorning the streets with their boundless creativity, this event is marked by laughter and joy, interspersed with the occasional fall and stumble, creating an atmosphere that epitomizes the essence of Tenerife’s finest celebrations. While the primary motive for the participants is amusement and camaraderie, prizes are also awarded to those who emerge victorious, display the most inventive disguises, and exhibit the fiercest prowess on their elevated heels.

Undoubtedly, ‘Mascarita Ponte Tacón’ is a spectacle unlike any other, possessing a distinct identity brimming with humour and merriment, making it an integral part of the vibrant tapestry of Tenerife’s carnival festivities.


In 2009, the Crosses and May Fires festivities were bestowed the prestigious title of Fiesta of Tourist Interest of the Canary Islands, and their significance was further elevated in 2015 when they were declared of National Tourist Interest by the Spanish Ministry of Tourism.

Throughout the municipality, over 300 crosses are meticulously erected and displayed in chapels, courtyards, and façades, with the bustling streets of El Sol and El Medio serving as the primary venues for the grand procession of the Cross.

These vibrant celebrations seamlessly blend age-old traditions with the renowned fireworks displays that have become synonymous with the island. The dazzling spectacle of harmonious rhythms, illuminated skies, and vibrant hues captivates spectators, becoming the crowning glory of the festivities.

The origins of this homage to the Holy Cross are steeped in intriguing history. It is said to have emerged from a rivalry between the residents of Calle del Sol, predominantly farmers, and those of Calle del Medio, consisting of aristocrats and the bourgeoisie, over the superiority of their respective Cross decorations. This rivalry eventually escalated into spectacular displays of fireworks during the 18th century, a tradition that continues to this day, adding a dynamic and thrilling element to the festivities.


Mueca, the International Street Art Festival held in Puerto de la Cruz, serves as a vibrant platform that unites companies, artists, and professional collectives from around the world, showcasing their innovative initiatives across various artistic disciplines. In 2022, the festival will mark its twentieth edition, a testament to its enduring popularity and significance.

During this captivating event, both national and international artists captivate audiences with their extraordinary and visually striking performances, drawing in locals and visitors alike to the enchanting streets of the island.

Over the course of four days, Mueca transforms Puerto de la Cruz into a dynamic hub of creativity and expression, as streets pulsate with a diverse array of performances spanning theatre, circus acts, music, and dance. This immersive experience immerses attendees in a kaleidoscope of artistry and colour, fostering a sense of connection and wonderment within the community.


La Orotava, renowned for its picturesque charm and profound historical significance, shines brightest during its Patronal Festivities, particularly during the Corpus Christi events. Among the highlights are the famous Alfombras de La Orotava, the Baile de Magos, and the Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador and Santa María de la Cabeza.

The Corpus Christi Carpets of La Orotava were bestowed the esteemed title of Asset of Cultural Interest with island-wide status by the Canary Islands Government on May 15, 2007. This cherished tradition involves adorning the streets and the Town Hall square of La Orotava with meticulously crafted carpets made of flowers and volcanic sand. These vibrant creations, brimming with creativity and fervour, form the path for the Octave of Corpus Christi procession in June each year.

Originating in the mid-19th century, the flower carpets are a true work of art, crafted by alfombristas who begin their intricate work in the early hours of the morning before Corpus Christi day, claiming their designated spaces along the route. Today, the processional route winds through four streets—Colegio, Carrera, Tomás Pérez, and Inocencio García—where over 30 carpets, featuring tapestries and corridos, adorn the path.

Since the early 20th century, the carpet in the Town Hall square has predominantly been crafted using volcanic sands sourced from Las Cañadas del Teide National Park. This shift has extended the creation process from one day, when flowers were utilized, to nearly two months today.

Spanning over 900 square metres and requiring two tons of volcanic sand, this masterpiece also holds a Guinness World Record, with over 20 individuals contributing to its creation.

The historical significance of La Orotava dates back to the 16th century when it flourished as a prosperous town, serving as a pivotal hub for exporting the renowned wines produced in the northwest of Tenerife. This rich cultural heritage, coupled with its architectural charm, has transformed the old town into a captivating backdrop for numerous series and films, including ‘La Templanza,’ an Amazon Prime Video super-production depicting the Canary Islands’ historical commercial ties with the world.


The festivities honoring the Virgen del Carmen occur in the heart of July, specifically on the Tuesday preceding the 16th, marked by a blend of religious reverence and joyful celebration, drawing crowds of thousands.

The Embarcación de la Virgen del Puerto de la Cruz holds significant importance for the residents of the municipality, particularly the fishermen, parishes, and brotherhoods, rendering it one of the most cherished celebrations in Tenerife, brimming with cultural significance and merriment.

On the appointed day, the images of the Virgen del Carmen and San Telmo are solemnly carried in procession by the fishermen from the Iglesia Matriz de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia and the Ermita de San Telmo, respectively, to the shores of the fishing dock. Here, they are ceremoniously embarked upon vessels to commence their coastal journey along the shores of Puerto de la Cruz. Upon their return to the quay, a spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky, marking the culmination of the procession. The fishermen then reverently return the images of the Virgen del Carmen and San Telmo to their respective churches.

In a poignant twist of fate, the year 2021 marked the centenary of the first recorded boat procession in Puerto de la Cruz, dating back to 1921. However, due to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional boat procession in honor of the Virgen del Carmen and San Telmo was regrettably unable to take place, underscoring the enduring impact of these revered festivities amidst adversity.


The festivities honoring the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of the Canary Islands, unfold with great reverence and joy between the 14th and 15th of August. Declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest, this celebration holds a profound religious significance.

At the heart of the festivities lies the renowned Pilgrimage to Candelaria, where thousands of devotees embark on a journey from various parts of the island to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria. Walking several kilometers, they pay homage to their beloved patron saint, affectionately known as ‘La Morenita’ throughout the Archipelago.

The pilgrimage attracts pilgrims far and wide, drawn by a rich array of events including the Solemn Mass, the Procession around the Basilica square, the military parade, and the reenactment of the Virgin’s apparition to the Guanches, rooted in ancient aboriginal tradition. Another highlight is the athletic floral offering, where hundreds of athletes trek from La Granja Park in the capital of Tenerife to the Basilica, bearing bouquets of flowers as tokens of devotion.

Among the eagerly anticipated events is the Guanche ceremony, a cherished tradition symbolizing the discovery of the Virgin on the beach of Chimisay (now El Socorro) 250 years ago. This poignant reenactment is carried out by the esteemed collective Los Guanches de Candelaria, drawing throngs of spectators to the square of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands.

Whether during these festivities or at any other time of the year, a visit to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria is a must. This sacred site, the first Marian temple in the archipelago, is adorned with relics such as the nine Guanche menceys, the Dominican convent, and the Achbinico or San Blas cave, where the Guanches once sheltered their cherished Virgin. This cave, steeped in mysticism and history, remains a hidden gem awaiting discovery.

Undoubtedly, the festivities in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria infuse the streets of Candelaria with an atmosphere of love and popular fervor, making it one of the most cherished celebrations in Tenerife.


Tejina is a village located in the northeast of Tenerife, in which its patron saint festivities dedicated to San Bartolomé, the “Corazones de Tejina”, stand out. They are more than 100 years old and were declared of Cultural Interest in 2003. Under this premise it undoubtedly deserves to be among the best fiestas in Tenerife.

They are held around the 24th of August and are one of the most striking traditions of the Canary Islands. The people of Tejina do their utmost to preserve the festival of the Hearts. Three streets, Abajo, Arriba and El Pico, each make two huge hearts with fruit, flowers and flour cakes on a cross-shaped structure. Each street tries to be the most original, creating hearts that reach almost 1,000 kg and 12 metres in height.

Finally, these structures are placed in the church square and, between celebrations, each neighbourhood graciously criticises the hearts of its neighbours.

Also very popular among these celebrations are the fireworks of Tejina and the Verbena de la Pamela, a fiesta in which there is no lack of orchestral music and fun, sustained by the originality of those who even today continue to decorate their hats to wear the most creative pamela.


Puerto de la Cruz is renowned for its vibrant festivals steeped in culture and tradition, offering a rich tapestry of events such as the iconic Virgen del Carmen boat procession, the lively ‘Mascarita Ponte Tacón’ of the International Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz, and the more recent addition of the Summer Carnival, known as the Carnestolendas de Verano del Puerto de la Cruz since 2016.

Held at the onset of September, the Summer Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz made waves in its 2021 edition by breaking stereotypes and embracing diversity. The gala was a dazzling spectacle, brimming with captivating performances interspersed with the grand parade featuring 15 candidates vying for the coveted title of King of the Carnival.

Batucadas, talented artists, vibrant comparsas, and spirited orchestras converge amidst a riot of color, sun, and infectious carnival rhythms, creating an electrifying atmosphere that epitomizes the essence of Tenerife’s finest celebrations. This fusion of culture and revelry transforms Puerto de la Cruz into a vibrant hub of festivities, solidifying its reputation not only as a premier tourist destination but also as a cultural epicenter within the Canary Islands.


In Las Eras, Fasnia, the vibrant festivities honoring the Virgen del Carmen take place during the fourth week of September, creating a lively atmosphere filled with cultural richness and joy.

Throughout the week-long celebration, residents and visitors alike are treated to a plethora of entertainment activities and performances. These include exhilarating batucadas, engaging traditional games held in the square, immersive workshops, captivating storytelling sessions, vibrant folklore group performances, and delightful craft exhibitions. Children can enjoy bouncing castles while everyone can marvel at the spectacular fireworks displays lighting up the night sky.

Central to the festivities is the celebration of the Eucharist in honor of Our Lady of Carmen, followed by the solemn procession featuring the revered images of the Virgin of Carmen and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Plaza Hilario Trujillo in Las Eras takes on a special significance as the epicenter of open-air dances, where Canarian orchestras fill the air with lively music, inviting attendees to dance and revel in the joyful ambiance. These celebrations are widely regarded as among the finest in Tenerife, offering performances and workshops suitable for all audiences and ensuring a memorable experience for everyone involved.


The Canary Islands saw their inaugural Noche en Blanco event in 2009, hosted in the esteemed World Heritage city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. As the first of its kind in the archipelago, this event holds special significance and is widely regarded as the most prominent across the islands.

La Noche en Blanco de La Laguna is a vibrant celebration that marks the commencement of the Christmas commercial campaign, typically taking place in mid-November following the illumination of the festive lights.

This dynamic street party offers a captivating fusion of culture, art, and commerce, captivating attendees with an array of events and activities.

Delving into its origins, the Noche en Blanco traces back to a cultural initiative that originated in Paris in 2002. Over time, this concept gained traction and popularity, spreading to various cities across Europe before making its debut in the Canary Islands. Today, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure of cultural exchange and celebration, bringing communities together in the spirit of creativity and festivity.


Annually, on the 29th and 30th of November, the municipality of Icod de los Vinos comes alive with the vibrant celebration known as the Fiesta de las Tablas de San Andrés.

During this unique event, locals partake in the traditional practice of sliding down steep streets on wooden planks, a playful and exhilarating custom that has become one of the most beloved and original festivals in the entire Archipelago, distinguishing it as one of the premier celebrations in Tenerife.

The roots of this tradition trace back to the historical practice of transporting wood from the mountainous regions to the coastal areas, where workers would navigate the rugged terrain by sliding down on wooden boards. Over time, this practical activity evolved into a cherished local custom, embodying the spirit of community and camaraderie.

Moreover, Icod de los Vinos is renowned for its ancient dragon tree, a majestic specimen that stands as a symbol of the town’s rich heritage and natural beauty. A visit to this iconic landmark is a must for anyone exploring Tenerife, offering a glimpse into the island’s fascinating history and ecological diversity.


Los Silos, nestled in the picturesque northeast of Tenerife, transforms into a haven for lovers of fairy tales every December, as it plays host to the renowned International Storytelling Festival.

Since its inception in 1996, the festival, affectionately dubbed ‘Cuentacuentos de Los Silos’, has captivated audiences with its enchanting exhibitions and storytelling performances, showcasing a rich tapestry of national and international literature.

Throughout the month of December, the municipality comes alive with a vibrant array of activities designed to ignite imaginations and evoke dreams. From engaging workshops and captivating concerts tailored for schoolchildren to a bustling book fair brimming with literary treasures, the festival offers something for everyone.

Central to the festivities are the storytelling sessions, where skilled narrators weave tales of wonder and magic, transporting listeners to far-off lands and fantastical realms. Additionally, visitors can immerse themselves in exhibitions and presentations highlighting literary works, further enriching the cultural tapestry of the event.

The International Storytelling Festival of Los Silos is not merely a celebration of literature; it is a celebration of the power of storytelling to inspire, enchant, and unite communities, fostering a sense of joy and wonder that reverberates throughout the municipality during this magical time of year.


Let’s not overlook the vibrant music festivals that take centre stage, particularly in the southern region of the island, firmly establishing themselves as premier events in Tenerife’s festive calendar.

These festivals, often held during Easter and the summer months, offer an enticing array of entertainment options, perfect for those seeking unique and enjoyable experiences. Among the standout events are Sunblast 360, Greenworld, Elrow, Planet Love, Ritmos del Mundo, and Arona Summer.

Drawing crowds from across the Canary Islands and beyond, these parties have garnered international acclaim, featuring spectacular stages, top-notch DJs, and a diverse range of musical genres including indie, house, rock, techno, urban, electronic, and more.

In addition to these electrifying music festivals, local celebrations such as pilgrimages and magician’s dances also rank among the best fiestas in Tenerife. These festivities provide a vibrant celebration of Canarian traditions, complete with decorated carts, lively parrandas, elaborate magician’s costumes, and delectable traditional cuisine from the archipelago. It’s a delightful fusion of culture, music, and gastronomy that showcases the rich heritage and spirit of Tenerife’s vibrant community.

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