Granadilla de Abona

El Médano, Tenerife

Beach and Montaña Roja, El Médano. Photo by Berthold Werner

Granadilla de Abona is a municipality of Tenerife, located in the south of the island, occupying an area of 155 square kilometers. Its population in 1991 was 17,141. In recent years, the population has greatly increased due to an influx of immigrants, many of them illegal, from Western Sahara, Colombia, Cuba, and other African and Latin American countries.

The municipality extends from the altitudinous center of the island -the mountain of Guajara (2,718 meters) is situated in this municipality- to the Atlantic Ocean. Guajara is the second-highest mountain on the island, after El Teide. The municipality’s landscape, similar to the entire south of the island, is dry and desert-like.

San Antonio de Padua, Granadilla de Abona

San Antonio de Padua Church. Photo by Berthold Werner

Reina Sofía Airport is located in this municipality, as well as the beachside town of El Médano (“The Sand Dune”), where many important windsurfing competitions are held. A place of strong winds, it has been the site for various windsurfing competitions and championships, though in recent years, an increase in the number of high-rise hotels and apartment buildings has reduced these winds’ power. However, El Médano is still one of the world’s best windsurfing/kitesurfing locations, with three different windsurfing spots, the Bay (flat/swell), the Harbour Wall (wavespot sideshore), and Cabezo Beach (wavespot onshore).

Old Harbour, El Médano, Tenerife

Old Harbour, El Médano. Photo by Berthold Werner

The town is situated near the largest natural beaches of Tenerife, the Playa Grande and the Playa Tejita. Between the beaches is La Montaña Roja (“The Red Mountain”), a volcanic cone that is a protected natural reserve. It’s a great place to relax and wind down. There is a large town square in front of the main beach, which holds many local fiestas, especially during the summer months and a spectacular annual public firework display across the bay. Around this square are many bars and restaurants where you can take a coffee or eat Spanish tapas or sea food. El Medano is located just south of the Reina Sofia airport, located in the south of Tenerife. Aircraft noise can be heard quite regularly. This is a small coastal resort that has a more Spanish theme than most other resorts in the south of Tenerife, frequented, especially on weekends, by local people with their children, to enjoy bathing in the shallow seas. Parking can be a big problem at weekends.

Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro, El Médano, Tenerife

Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro, El Médano. Photo by Berthold Werner

Near El Medano is a cave-shrine dedicated to Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur (Canary first saint). The Cave-Shrine of Santo Hermano Pedro is considered one of the most important pilgrimage spots of the Canary Islands, which annually attracts over 300.000 visitors. In this cave is where saint stood with his flock to rest to recover and walk again forces the way to his small village in the highlands of Vilaflor. Currently inside the cave is a wooden statue of the saint, the cave has a section that is completely surrounded with votive offerings of the faithful.

Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife

Granadilla de Abona. Photo by Berthold Werner