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Candelaria is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Canaries, as many people come here to visit the Church of Our Lady of Candelaria, which is the patron saint of all the Canary Islands.
The town of Candelaria is not very popular among foreign visitors to Tenerife, although it is a place rich in culture and history, located in the Valley of Guimar, a very picturesque landscape, which was created by a massive landslide. The coast around Candelaria has beaches with pebbled and black volcanic sand and as a backdrop, you get a gorgeous view of the tall mountains that still surround the valley.
The area of Tenerife where Candelaria is located enjoys mild temperatures all year long, which is great not only if you want to enjoy the beaches (away from the busy resorts in the south), but it's great also for people who want to go hiking on the many hiking trails in the municipality. These networks of trails were once used by the ancient people living in Tenerife as the only means of transport and communication, so it will be like going back in time, exploring old paths, while taking in the views of the coast of Candelaria.
La Villa de Candelaria is located in the municipality which shares the same name and it is located very close to the capital of Santa Cruz, only 20 minutes away by car.
The Virgin of Candelaria is the general patron of the Canary Islands, so during the fiestas dedicated in her honor, the town of Candelaria is the host of the largest and most important processions in all of Tenerife.
In 2011, the church in Candelaria was elevated to the status of Basilica Menor by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Square of the Patron of the Canaries is the main square in Candelaria and it is dominated by the presence of the Basilica. This is where all major events in Candelaria happen and if you have the chance to see the square all decorated in a festive way for a fiesta, we highly recommend that you don't skip it.
Another must-see in Candelaria is the group of the Menceyes Guanches statues, which represent the nine Menceyes who ruled Tenerife when it was conquered by the Spaniards in 1496.
At that time the island of Tenerife was divided into nine kingdoms: Abona, Adeje, Anaga, Daute, Guimar, Icod, Tacoronte, Taoro and Tegueste and the island's inhabitants were known as Guanches and their rulers Mencey.
On the coastal promenade next to the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias you will see these large nine statues, representing the former kings of the island, so it's a great place to see in Tenerife if you're interested in history and legends.
The statues were made from bronze in 1993 by the renowned sculptor José Abad, with the purpose of reminding visitors of the island's aboriginal past.
This came was used as a shelter by immigrants coming from Fuerteventura in the 1940s to work on farms or as construction workers for the Basilica. In order to get to the cave you just have to walk on the promenade by the sea, behind the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria.
The building of the Old Town Hall is situated in close proximity to the Basilica, next to the Pilgrim's Fountain.
It was built in the XVIIth century but nowadays it hosts different exhibits and cultural activities.
This is a very old church, built in 1575, which still hold the image of Santa Ana, patron of the municipality. The Iglesia de Santa Ana is only a few minutes away on foot from the Basilica and the main square, so it's really easy to take a short walk to see the best sights in Candelaria.
Playa de La Arena is one of the most popular beaches in the municipality of Candelaria.
It has easy access from Avenida La Constitucion and it's a typical beach for this part of Tenerife, with fine black sand and small pebbles in some sections. At 800 m long, this beach is the best one in the town in Candelaria, close to many restaurants and bars and with a large parking nearby.
Just like other towns in Tenerife, Candelaria organizes its own carnival, which is much smaller than the one in Santa Cruz. If you want to take part in a local event, with more residents than tourists, you can go to the carnival in Candelaria.