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Introduction

Garachico is a small city in Tenerife. Garachico (from Guanche gara, or 'island', and Spanish chico, or 'small') is named after the uninhabited rocky islet off the coast, which has become the emblem of the town. The area was settled in 1496 by Italian merchants, and was established as a town in 1500. Its economy was based on sugarcane and wine, and it quickly became the most important harbour on the north coast. Following a devastating fire in 1697, and the volcanic eruption in 1706 of Trevejo, during which much of the city and its harbour were destroyed by lava flows, the city lost its importance.

Some parts of the original town survived, while the rest was rebuilt on top of the new rock. Along the coast visitors can still clearly see the lava flows which reached to the sea. During the week the town is quiet, apart from the many visitors who arrive on tourist buses and enjoy inexpensive midday meals. On weekends things tend to be a bit livelier, usually with locals.

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Sights and Activities

Iglesia de Santa Ana (Church of Santa Ana). The first church was built in 1520, but it suffered severe damage in the 1706 eruption and was largely rebuilt following the original plan; the original carved wooden doors however survived. Especially noteworthy inside is the 16th-century Mexican crucifix, crafted by indigenous Tarascan artisans using a widespread Pre-Hispanic technique of molded corn paste and vegetable dyes.
Convento de San Francisco, Plaza Libertad, s/n. M-F 11:00-14:00 15:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-16:00. The 16th-century convent now functions as a municipal library and museum, and hosts contemporary art exhibits. €2 (adults), free (children).
Castillo de San Miguel, Avda Tomé Cano, s/n (directly by the former harbour). M-Sa 10:00-16:00. The small fortress was built in the mid-16th century to protect the town from pirates. After the destruction of the harbour following the volcanic eruption of 1706, the fortress was no longer required, and the building was put to other uses. It now houses a small municipal museum with exhibits about the history of the city, the 1706 eruption, and the regional flora and fauna (labels in Spanish only). The tower offers good views of the town and of the coast. €2 (adults), free (children).
Liberty Square (Plaza de La Libertad). 24/7. Historic square surrounded by colonial architecture. Free.

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Getting There

By Car

Highway TF-42, which connects Icod de los Vinos with Buena Vista del Norte, passes through Garachico. From Masca and Santiago del Teide in the south, travellers can cross the Teno Mountains on highway TF-82, and in El Tanque pick up TF-421, which descends along hairpin curves to the coast.

By Bus

Titsa bus 363 connects the town with Icod de los Vinos (€1.45, 11 min) and with Puerto de la Cruz (€3.75, 55 min), leaving every 30-60 minutes. From Santa Cruz, La Laguna, La Orotava, and Icod de los Vinos, bus 107 runs every two hours (€1.45-8.15, 11 min - 2 hr).

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Getting Around

The town is on a relatively flat part of the coast and is therefore easy to navigate by foot.

There several free car parks, with one car park along the coastal road across from a retaining wall, and a second car park on the western end of the city by the former harbour. If all spots are taken, there is another smaller car park a bit further along the road heading west.

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Eat

Restaurante Los Pinos, C/ Pérez Zamora, 6, ☏ +34 922 830 134, ✉ carmenseguridadmaestra@hotmail.com. Serves tapas and traditional Canarian cuisine.
Restaurante Aristides, C/ Francisco Montes de Oca, 3, ☏ +34 922 133 412. Specializes in seafood.

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Sleep

Hotel La Quinta Roja, Plaza de la Libertad, 1 (Glorieta San Francisco), ☏ +34 922 133 377, ✉ hotelquintaroja@quintaroja.com. Check-in: 13:00-24:00, check-out: 12:00. In a fully-restored 16th-century palace, facilities include an on-site bar, airport shuttle service (surcharge), and free use of bicycles. Free Wi-Fi, pets permitted by request. €141+, breakfast included.
Hotel San Roque, C/ Esteban de Ponte, 32, ☏ +34 922 133 435, ✉ info@hotelsanroque.com. Check-in: 13:00-24:00, check-out: 12:00-12:30. In an 18th-century mansion, this boutique hotel has an outdoor pool with onsite bar and restaurant. Free Wi-Fi, free parking, pets permitted by request for no extra charge. €216+.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:31 on Apr 7, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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