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Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com

How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife


Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
www.hellocanaryislands.com
07 Mar 2016

Even if I didn't know what month it was I could tell when carnival on Tenerife is nearly upon us. In my house, about 3km outside Puerto de la Cruz, I can hear the rhythmic beat of drums floating up the valley from comparsas (carnival groups) practicing in the town.

The drums beat out a clear message – 'carnival is coming, carnival is coming'. With that message also comes a surge of excited anticipation.

Carnival on Tenerife is all consuming fun. For a week in February/March (dates change slightly  yearly) forget trying to do anything productive. You might as well give in, embrace carnival in all its hedonistic and flamboyant glory and have a lot of fun.

Experience carnival on Tenerife

Carnival on Tenerife is made up of a series of events which include shows such as galas to elect carnival queens, colourful parades and, my favourite aspect of carnival, street parties.

Carnival opening parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Although carnival takes place in towns across Tenerife, two of the most interesting for visitors are the carnivals in Santa Cruz, the biggest on the island, and Puerto de la Cruz, a traditional town which is also a tourist resort.

As neither are far apart (just under 40km) I like to flit between both to enjoy my favourite events, starting with the gala to elect the carnival queen in Santa Cruz. It's an epic variety show featuring top Spanish and Canarian pop singers, dance groups and, the highlight of the evening, the carnival queen candidates revealing their wildly imaginative chariot-sized costumes for the first time. When I say epic I mean epic; I've spent seven hours at this theatrical extravaganza, the time whizzing by.

Tenerife carnival hits its stride with the Cabalgata Anunciadora in Santa Cruz, the opening parade which announces carnival in the street has started. It's an electric, vibrant affair consisting of musicians, dancers, carnival queens and dames, and hordes of people in fancy dress costumes. The best bits are being able to see the carnival queen costumes up close and spotting the most imagimative outfits in the parade.

After that, it's time for carnival's street parties to begin.

Carnival street parties on Tenerife

Almost every night for a week, in both Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz, thousands of people put on fancy dress outfits and take to the streets to dance the night away to live bands. The first year I went to a carnival street party I made two mistakes. I turned up too early (parties don't really get going till midnight) and I didn't dress up. It was an enjoyable experience but, as almost every other person was wearing a fancy dress outfit, I didn't feel part of carnival. Dressing up is the key to discovering what carnival is all about... and it's more fun.

Clown in Parade, Carnival, Tenerife

I never made the same mistakes again. Over the years I've been a hippy, cowboy, ghoul, vampire, demon monk and William Wallace, complete with painted saltire face. Although there's a theme to each carnival it doesn't matter what costume you wear.

Carnival street parties last almost until dawn, but I usually reluctantly dragging myself away around 5am when they're still going strong.

More carnival parades and events on Tenerife

The carnival event which attracts most tourists from Tenerife's southern resorts is the Coso Apoteosis in Santa Cruz on the Tuesday of carnival week. Traditionally it's supposed to represent the city's carnival closing parade; however, the party continues until the following weekend.

Ash Wednesday sees one of the most surreal carnival events, the Burial of the Sardine. Wailing and screeching 'drag' widows follow a huge silver sardine (usually in full make-up) through the streets before the fish is 'cremated' and sent on its way to fishy heaven accompanied by a firework display. Men wanting to join in with this carnival event should pull on a pair of stockings and slip into a little black number to look the part. It is as mad as it sounds.

Jack and Andy Montgomery (and friend), Carnival Street Party, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

The most outrageous and funniest carnival event takes place on the last Friday of carnival week in Puerto de la Cruz. The High Heels Drag Marathon (Mascarita Ponte Tacon) is an event I never miss as it is laugh out loud hilarious. Although there is a crazy race at the end of the night, it's really more about participants teetering theatrically around in vertigo-inducing heels and hamming it up to delighted onlookers. It's become one of the most enjoyable carnival events on Tenerife.

Although the Coso Apoteosis in Santa Cruz takes place on the Tuesday of carnival week, in Puerto de la Cruz the closing parade is on the last Saturday of carnival, which adds an extra dollop of fun to the atmosphere. There's a sense carnival goers give it their all for one last big carnival bash before the whole exuberant shebang is over for another year.

By this point I'm exhausted and usually declare I'll be giving the following year's carnival a miss.

12 months later, the drum beats start and once again a feeling of anticipation and excitement surges through my veins. Carnival on Tenerife is just too addictive to miss.

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Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
www.hellocanaryislands.com