Alcala is a former fishing village in the south of the island that has retained its unique character and atmosphere. This place is perfect for travellers who like less touristy places and seclusion. However, the lack of tourist crowds does not mean there is nothing to do.
In Alcala, you can relax in great hotels and apartments, dine in authentic restaurants and sunbathe on black volcanic sand beaches. Read on to find out why go to Alcala and what to do there.
Alcala is a relatively untouristy place in the south of Tenerife. I say ‘relatively’ because Tenerife is a trendy tourist destination, but you can still find places with fewer tourists.
In Alcala, you will mostly hear Spanish speech on the streets, not English, like in Playa de las America.
This village has a fascinating history. It is more than just a resort that has sprung up as a commercial project.
The settlement of Alcala began as a fishing village, and for many years it remained so. The development of the small village into a town was made possible by the development of industry and agriculture.
The first important industrial activity in Alcala, which gave a boost to the socio-economic development of the village, was the production of canned fish in two factories. This brought prosperity to the villagers.
A historical photo of Alcala:
Salt production was established in Alсala in the 1940s.
Then Alcala became an agricultural town, where tomatoes and bananas were grown.
Nowadays Alcala is one of the biggest fishing villages in the southern part of Tenerife. As a result, you can always enjoy the freshest fish.
The village of Alcalá is famous for its grand celebrations in honour of its patron saint, the Virgin Candelaria.
I like Alcalá for its authenticity, peculiar atmosphere, and charm.
There are a lot of old houses with their own unique architectural style. The black lava rocks, black beach and colourful houses create a vivid and contrasting landscape in Alcala.
Playa Alcala Tenerife and Neighboring Beaches
There are three beaches in the resort of Alcala Tenerife. The first, Playa de Alcala, is right in the centre of town, near the town square and the fishing port, where you can enjoy freshly caught fish and seafood.
Despite its tiny size, only 30 metres long, the beach is very cosy and almost deserted. The water entry is gentle and suitable for children.
The beach is located in a beautiful natural cove, surrounded by sharp black rocks.
Next to the sandy beach, there is also a concrete “beach” designated for sunbathing. Here locals and travellers sunbathe on sun-heated stone benches or their own chairs, deckchairs, blankets, and inflatable mattresses. Swimming lanes with steps and handrails are provided for bathing in the ocean.
Near Alcala beach, you will see many traditional wooden boats. This gives the feeling that Alcala used to be a fishing village.
Nearby is another beach, Playa Méndez, and a little further along, about 10 minutes walk along the beautiful modern promenade, you’ll find Playa la Jaquita beach.
Alcala Natural Pools
An alternative to the typical beaches are the natural pools, a feature of Tenerife, thanks to the island’s volcanic origin.
In Alcalá, you can swim in two natural pools – it’s romantic and unusual experience. These infinity pools created by nature from the lava are second to none. Even children swim here because these pools are relatively shallow.
However, when the ocean is stormy, and the waves are high, you can’t swim in these pools because the waves hit the pool and can knock a swimmer against a rock. In such weather, natural pools are fenced off and closed to holidaymakers.
Alcala Tenerife Hotels
The atmosphere of a fishing village doesn’t mean there is no luxury in Alcalá. Alcalá is home to one of Tenerife’s most chic hotels, the Gran Melia Alcala Tenerife.
It looks like a palace and has all the services and facilities to make you feel like a VIP.
If the ocean is rough, you can enjoy the hotel’s enormous turquoise pools, which are lake-like in size.
Click here for more information about the hotel Gran Melia.
You will find accommodation in Alcalá in a variety of price ranges. If you want to live like a local islander, it’s a good idea to rent an apartment in Alcalá.
Alcala Tenerife restaurants
As you already know, Alcala is a former fishing village that still has a small port. This means that there are several fish restaurants where you can enjoy freshly caught fish on the grill.
Honestly, it’s hard to find restaurants with bad food in Tenerife. The abundance of fresh fish and seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, all guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with the food in Tenerife’s restaurants, and in Alcalá in particular.
I recommend lunch or dinner at one of these restaurants: Restaurante Muelle Viejo, Restaurante Casa Mon, Restaurante Saúco, Tasca la Cueva, Restaurante Tu Rincon.
If you are planning to visit Alcalá with a child, Restaurante Tu Rincon would be an excellent choice as there is a playground nearby.
More things to do in Alcala
In addition to sunbathing on the beach, swimming in natural pools and sampling the local cuisine in the many restaurants, there are other interesting ways to spend your time in Alcala.
1 – Go shopping like a local
In Alcala, you can feel like a Canarian by going shopping not in the supermarket but in the local small shops. If you plan to stay in an apartment and cook on your own, you will go to Carniceria for meat, Fruteria for fruit and vegetables, Pescaderia for fish and Panaderia for bread and pastries. I hasten to point out that the vendors everywhere are very friendly and smiling. A shopping trip like this is a great opportunity to practise your Spanish.
2 – Spend your holiday actively enjoying a range of sports
In Alcala, you can enjoy a relaxing but also active holiday. Alcala has the facilities to do all this. You can swim, dive, run along the ocean and do water sports. In addition, Alcala has several facilities for volleyball, basketball, skateboarding and other sports, and a free outdoor gym.
3 – Let your children enjoy playing outdoors
Alcala has some great playgrounds, children will always have something to do here.
4 – Take a coastal walk along the promenade
Near Alcala, right along the ocean, there’s a promenade that’s a delight to stroll along at sunrise and sunset. Just looking out at the ocean, breathing in the clean ocean air and enjoying the views of tropical greenery is bliss.
5 – Hunt for local souvenirs at the local market
Every Monday there is an open-air street market in the Plaza del Llano in Alcalá, which is a must if you want to buy something local, Canarian.
The market is open from 9am to 2pm. Here you can find unusual souvenirs, handmade clothes and products from local farmers.
6 – Have a coffee in the colourful Plaza del Llano
Plaza del Llano is Alcala’s main square that hosts various events. The square is a delight to the eye with colourful buildings and pleasant cafés where you can cool down with a cold drink or refresh yourself with a good cup of coffee.