History Amid The Canaries; Hilary Danailova; Times of Israel

Spain – San Cristóbal de La Laguna

It’s fair to say that culture and history are not the top draw for travelers to Tenerife, the Canary Island that many consider the jewel of Spain’s resort archipelago.

But just a 15-minute drive through verdant forests from the beaches of Tenerife’s main city, Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal de la Laguna — commonly known as simply La Laguna — is a city that may challenge your notions of a Canary Islands vacation.

La Laguna has no beach. Its historic center, with hundreds of architecturally distinguished buildings from the 16th through 18th centuries, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Perhaps most appealingly, La Laguna, a university town of about 150,000 residents, has very few tourists.

As pine forest gives way to eucalyptus and La Laguna comes into view, its setting, in a valley nestled amid green mountains, is reminiscent of South American cities.

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