The Guardian has picked the five best places to live … and Santa Cruz is one of the five!
Yes, Tenerife. But not that Tenerife. As if. No, this is The Other Tenerife. The capital bears no relation to the island more familiar to Brits. Turn a few corners on the coast road and it’s like, well, Spain. Santa Cruz is magnificently, sexily exotic. Its neighbourhoods mostly date from the 1890s to the 1930s, all pastels and gin slings, though the long-lost recent economic boom has left its mark, too, with a new art gallery and public square by architects Herzog & De Meuron, and the obligatory “thing” (Is it a bird? Is it a plane?) by Santiago Calatrava. The tourist-free city is big enough not to be dull, small enough to be manageable – about the size of Leicester, only, alas, without its charms, although Santa Cruz does have bright placitas filled with orange trees and dark, drowsy coffee bars full of old men playing dominos, as well as a brilliant food market, Nuestra Señora de Africa. And when it all gets too much, there’s a series of great beaches (the Las Teresitas being perhaps the best), a great coastline for swooning driving, and mountains for hiking. Guardian