Worth a visit: Candelaria

By Lucy Oliver

Book your flight to a beautiful town dedicated to Our Lady.

Candelaria lies on the eastern coast of Tenerife and is famed in the Canary Islands for its basilica dedicated to the Virgen de Candelaria. The picturesque town is in an area surrounded by prehistoric caves where mummified remains of the island’s ancient rulers, the Guanches, have been found.

It is said that at the end of the 14th century in Candelaria, two 'guanche' shepherds were greeted by a lady and her child blocking the path of their herd. Each tried in vain to move her on: one threw a stone and found his arm locked in place, the other wounded himself with his own knife. After the story became known, the visitation was declared a holy one and Our Lady became the patron saint of the islands.

Today you can visit the beautiful white stone basilica in her honour and the cave believed to be the site of the apparition. There are also quaint shops to explore and views to enjoy across the black-sanded beach. Book your stay for the Fiestas of Our Lady of Candelaria on 2 February and 14 August, when pilgrims flock to the town and celebrate in the streets.