Hello, Des! How are you doing? I would never leave you. But I can show you many Abandoned places in Tenerife that have a special charm. Does it sound strange to you, if I refer to such places with the description of charm and specialness? Together with me you will discover, that these places have something very attractive. I have talked about such places and their eventful or even completely unknown past on other occasions. Now they are struggling not to disappear – both physically and from our collective memory.
This is exactly the objective of this post: to get to know and appreciate 8 Abandoned places in Tenerife that are very remarkable. So put on comfortable shoes and clothes and always be careful about the condition of the sites (read the clues carefully). And now let’s go!
1. Elevador de La Gordejuela (Los Realejos)
One of my favourite paths on the island connects the Rambla de Castro with its beautiful palm grove with the beach of Los Roques, which is another gift of nature. We are in the municipality of Los Realejos and half way we find this imposing building, the Elevador de La Gordejuela.
It is impressive, because it was built here despite a quite complicated landscape (which adds to the beauty). Especially if one considers that the building dates back to 1903.
According to the records of the town hall of Los Realejos, the building was used to transport sea water as the driving force for the operation of a mill and at the same time to irrigate the surrounding banana plantations of the area. Since I have known this place, only the structure of the building exists, which is very photogenic in its historical appearance and therefore deserves a special place in this list of Abandoned places in Tenerife.
2. Ancient leprosy station (Abades, Arico)
Another irresistible excursion is the town of Abades on the coast of Arico. Even before your arrival, you will discover a mysterious abandoned church from the southern motorway, whose cross has considerable dimensions. You can reach it from Abades in a few minutes on foot or take a longer route from the Punta de Abona lighthouse. Your amazement at this place will increase as you learn what the village around the church was originally built for. It should have been a leprosy station! You hear correctly, a centre where they wanted to bring together people, who suffered from this disease.
This initiative was taken in the 40s of the last century, but the work was never completed. As you walk through the remnants of the project, you will see that its dimensions extend over several kilometres and numerous adjacent buildings. The reason? The leprosy station was simply never completed and the site was used by the military for decades.
The traces and symbols of this military use can be found all over the area. Curiously, a few years ago, this huge terrain was to be turned into a tourist destination. But time stands still here, creating another of the Abandoned places in Tenerife.
3. The antenna of a power plant (El Médano, Granadilla)
El Médano has always been one of my favourite places to relax from everyday life. And I thought that I would know this area of Granadilla very well. Until one day I climbed the mountain Montaña Pelada and suddenly a parabolic antenna appeared. But not just any antenna. It was huge! So after I went down again after an obligatory swim, I approached. It’s very easy to find, you just have to follow a gravel road on the opposite side of the hotel Arenas de Mar and a few minutes later you’ll be amazed. Gigantic dimensions!
What has it been used for? An information in the archive of the newspaper El Día clarifies: in December 2008 they started the construction of a thermoelectric solar power plant with which they wanted to produce and store fuel. And this despite the great concerns of the neighboring residents, who accused the lack of appropriate permits, especially as the plant was on protected ground.
These were the aspects of a story. A story that meant an early end for a colossal project and left an indelible memory. This super paella pan, which lives up to this nickname, has its own place among the Abandoned places in Tenerife.
4. Hotel Neptuno (Bajamar, La Laguna)
Neptune is the god of the sea and was also the god of tourism in the coastal region of La Laguna, namely through a hotel that bears his name. In the 60’s and 70’s of the last century, Bajamar was a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. A development, that in the following years led to the almost explosive emergence of alternative holiday destinations in the south of the island.
The Hotel Neptuno, still remembered by many today, was a symbolic place to rest, enjoy the privileged view and even organize weddings and other celebrations. After it had lost its importance and could not be brought back to life by various owners, the 21st century brought its decline until its closure. Since then, this building, with almost a hundred rooms and around thirty individual villas, has been heard of only because of vandalism and fires.
To avoid this, it had to be bricked up to a large extent, although it is still possible to get inside and contemplate about how badly it has aged. It is worth mentioning that the villas have been «revitalized» by famous urban artists. They revived the facades with paint and gave them the light, which time had taken from them.
5. Cottage of a residential complex (El Porís, Arico)
Now we go back to the municipality of Arico, a coastal town of El Porís. If you cross the road towards the aforementioned Faro de la Punta de Abona, on the right side of the road, you can see some very strange houses. I did not hesitate to include them in the collection of the Abandoned places in Tenerife. A dirt road leads us to them and we see three constructions that in their appearance are rather typical for a film about Indians and cowboys. Although they were spiced up with street art.
Next to it there is a half-finished house; in front of a swimming pool that has also been shut down; and behind it some dizzying stairs that lead nowhere. What was all that? As far as I could find out, it was the model apartment of a never built residential complex, and the houses in question – about which no one could tell me what they were meant for – were painted by the Canarian artist Lauro Samblás (creator of murals, e.g. in Santa Cruz de Tenerife). If you go swimming in the area, don’t forget to stop by and tell me what you think about it.
6. The Bunker (Santa Úrsula)
The remains of wars always encourage me to take a historical journey in my imagination and where is better to do that than in a bunker. There are several remaining all over the island.
They could represent for themselves a parade of Abandoned places in Tenerife. But this time I will choose only one, the one of La Quinta de Santa Úrsula. Basically for three reasons: It’s easy to find (I’ll tell you more about it soon); you can enter without problems and get an impression about it and it offers a unique panoramic view of the north coast and especially the Teide (the sunsets are spectacular here).
As I said, go to La Quinta, head towards a sports complex on Avenida Los Pesqueros s/n. and follow this road down until you literally reach the end of the asphalt. Here you can see a simple parking lot on a cliff. If you look beyond the sparse vegetation, you will discover the semi-hidden bunker, which you can reach on foot after a few meters. It’s just a pity that it’s not very clean, both inside and out, because it’s one of the most interesting places.
7. The Skeleton (La Matanza)
On our coasts there are many attacks of the city on nature. Two buildings stand out due to their decay. On the one hand the huge unfinished hotel of Añaza in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (which theoretically has to be demolished) and on the other hand the project «El Esqueleto» (The Skeleton) in La Matanza. If I have chosen the latter for this selection of Abandoned places in Tenerife, because of the incredible fact, that they let it ascend halfway to the edge of a cliff and in an a priori protected landscape.
Apart from legislative and environmental issues that would already lead to a broad debate, I would like to know how they managed to work in such an abrupt and complicated terrain. It consists of two cores, each with several floors, which are almost inaccessible and the beauty of this area is incredible. It is made up of two cores, each with several floors, which are almost inaccessible and which are incredibly detrimental to the beauty of the area.
If you want to see it with your own eyes, you can do it from above via the residential complex Urbanización Puntillo del Sol or from below if you follow the promenade of the Costa de El Sauzal. And not to forget: it seems that in the 70s of the 20th century, it was planned to build the buildings as an additional accommodation for tourists.
8. Jetty House (Playa de San Juan, Guía de Isora)
We have begun this journey along Abandoned places in Tenerife in a ruin in La Gordejuela and we will end it in another ruin in Guía de Isora. Surely you have already heard of San Juan, be it because of its beach or because of its restaurants. Well, adjacent to the main bathing area there is a path that leads you up the cliff coast towards the Abama Hotel. A coast that suddenly offers you a view of this dilapidated house by the sea. You can descend a spiral staircase and approach the remains.
There is no definitive explanation about their purpose. It is said that there was a jetty for the local use and the neighbouring Finca de Aguadulce. There was also a motor pumping water from a well. An active past that led to a quiet present.
Although this does not diminish the curiosity to learn more about this place. And when it’s hot, like on the day I was there, you can enjoy a nice swim there.
I hope that these 8 Abandoned places in Tenerife will inspire you as much as I do and I am sure that we will be able to discover and share many more of them in the future. As always: if you want to tell me something about these places or talk about the wonders of this island, share your thoughts with me openly. It would make me happy! And I bid you farewell to what I said at the beginning – these places can be in very bad condition or access can even be forbidden. So always approach them with caution.
Which place was the most interesting? A difficult choice, I know, but tell me, which is your favorite among the Abandoned places in Tenerife? See you next time, Des!
*Translation: Denise Wildenhayn