Garachico it has an intrinsic beauty, both natural and heritage, thanks to the legacy left by its ancestors. The first has been able to take advantage of it, even from misfortunes, such as the eruption of the Trevejo or Arenas Negras volcano, which in 1706 almost completely destroyed the town, and its port and agricultural land were buried under lava. A catastrophe that gave rise to the natural pools of The Caleton, one of its main tourist attractions today.
The second has been cared for and pampered. Its historical buildings, facades and churches date from the 16th and 17th centuries and its historic center, declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC) is one of the best preserved in the Canary Islands.
The municipality also has the Gold Medal of Fine Arts for its artistic treasures. The House of the Counts of La Gomera, the church of San Pedro de Daute -the first in the region- the hermitage of San Roque, the church of Santa Ana, the convent of San Francisco or the hermitage of the Kings, a tiny jewel It is not visited much because it is hidden, these are just some examples.
All these efforts have had their well-deserved rewards. According to Turismo de Tenerife, Garachico is the third most visited place on the island and the most recent, to be considered as one of the most beautiful towns from Spain and the only one in Tenerife that has entered this national tourist network dedicated to towns with less than 15,000 inhabitants (it has 4,869 according to 2020 data from the National Institute of Statistics).
A distinction that he received officially on Friday and that will provide him with certain advantages, such as greater external projection, promotion, and certain opportunities that until now he did not have when accessing certain types of financing from higher administrations. An important door that opens thanks to direct contact with some central government departments, mainly those that have to do with tourist and depopulation areas.
But the most important wealth is perhaps that which is not seen: its people, emphasizes the mayor, José Heriberto González. An affirmation with which José Velázquez Méndez, official chronicler and Domingo González, parish priest of the municipality agree.
La Villa y Puerto has been adding awards. In 2019, it obtained its first two blue flags for the beach of El Muelle and the natural pools of El Caletón, which it renewed this year, in which it also entered the Network after passing the ‘quality charter’, a rigorous audit with more than 40 criteria that it more than met.
However, the difficult thing comes from now on, clarifies the mayor, “because not only do we have to maintain them but every year to show that the town is improving.” In this sense, sustainable mobility, the energy transition and clean energies are on the list of commandments that the most beautiful towns in Spain have and in which Garachico has a great task to undertake.
Nobody said it will be easy, that’s why the City Council is already taking the first steps. The pedestrianization of more streets that the widening of the sidewalks will bring with it, will undoubtedly be a great bet and at the same time the only possible solution to give priority to pedestrians, an “added value” for tourism visiting these types of places and that he does not want to walk “mixing with a lot of cars”, maintains the mayor.
Complicity of the administrations
To improve mobility it is necessary for the Town Hall to have the complicity of other administrations. Specifically, the Cabildo de Tenerife and the Government of the Canary Islands, because one of the big problems is that Avenida Adolfo Suárez -former Avenida Marítima-, the main access to the municipality and the region, is a road of regional interest.
Currently the northern town has three hotels in the historic complex, one in the El Guincho area and other housing solutions distributed in different parts of the town.
Entering the network will, from now on, mean an increase in the number of visitors. “Let them come, but not many more so that you can continue walking quietly through the streets, which is one of the charms of Garachico. We do not want full restaurants, clogged streets and full bathing areas, because that will generate discontent among visitors and problems with neighbors, ”says José Heriberto González.
Once this distinction has been officially received, the City Council will be able to place the poster that proves, in case there are people who still doubt it, that Garachico is the ‘handsome’ of Tenerife. The exact place has yet to be determined, but it will undoubtedly be in a location that can also be boasted.
Words of encouragement and solidarity with La Palma in the official act
Garachico suffered an event similar to the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. “What we are seeing in the Aridane Valley must be similar to what happened here 315 years ago and now we have the town that we have,” the mayor, José Heriberto González, recalled on Friday during the official act that was held in the roundabout of San Francisco with the assistance of the president of the Association of The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain, Francisco Mestre.