Why San Marcos in Tenerife North is the place for me

by BardofEly

San Marcos is a seaside village on the northwest coast of Tenerife. It is very popular with local people and a wonderful place to live.

No better place than San Marcos
San Marcos in the north of Tenerife is where I live and I often think that I cannot think of a better place to be. It is my dream village by the seaside and I have a balcony that looks down the coast to neighbouring Garachico with its El Roque islet, and at night I can see the lighthouse flashing from a point further along in Teno.

San Marcos is the ideal seaside home for me

Why San Marcos is such a wonderful place to live

At fiesta times the music from the village stage I can hear easily, and in the dark I can see the lights from the festival easily because I live in an apartment block that overlooks where the main square and cultural centre are located.

But otherwise San Marcos is generally a quiet and peaceful place with only three shops - the Supermercado Lourdes supermarket two floors above me in the Edificio Lourdes block I live in, and a general stores and a chemist on the sea front.

San Marcos has a regular bus service that can take you to the nearby city of Icod de los Vinos and that is where I go if I need a bank, post office or a better selection of shops. There is also a bus station in Icod with services to the rest of the island and it is a really great place to begin bus journeys in Tenerife.

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View over San Marcos

Looking down to the coast
Farmland, Edificio Lourdes and the view over San Marcos
Farmland, Edificio Lourdes and the vi...

San Marcos beach

Playa San Marcos
View over seafront and beach of San Marcos
View over seafront and beach of San M...

Rentals in San Marcos Tenerife.

A look at apartment blocks and the seafront in San Marcos

Tenerife pyramids

A local mystery

San Marcos has a couple of pyramids too. The better one of these is on a banana plantation down a side road and is about 15 minutes walk from where I live. I remember exploring the area when I first moved here and my excitement at spotting a pyramid as I strolled down the country road.

The road they are in is called Camino de la Suerte which translates as the "Pathway to the Luck", and I certainly felt lucky finding local pyramids near where I lived.

San Marcos beachfront is about 10 minutes walk from where I live and is a very popular place with the locals. The black sand beach is in a sheltered cove surrounded by cliffs and is ideal for swimmers and sunbathers.

San Marcos is a fishing village and you can often see the little boats bobbing gently on the sea. In the evening there are often spectacular sunsets and I like to watch them from my favourite restaurant here - Italia in Bocca - where I enjoy a pizza and a Dorada Especial beer.

Sometimes at fiesta time they set up a little stage on the seafront walkway and also they celebrate festival times on the beach, especially on the night of San Juan.

Locals flock to the village on that special night and there is a procession, fire-jugglers, dancers and fireworks. Candles light up the dark beach packed with people.

Camino de la Suerte Pyramid

Tenerife pyramid outside Icod de los Vinos
Pyramid near San Marcos
Pyramid near San Marcos

Snow covered Mt Teide

As viewed from San Marcos
Mt Teide from outside Edificio Lourdes in San Marcos
Mt Teide from outside Edificio Lourde...


The natural world

There is plenty of wildlife in the area too. I have seen Herons flying over, and Egrets, the occasional Kestrel and Buzzard hawk, Monk Parakeets, plenty of Swifts and Pigeons, Blackbirds and Chiffchaffs, wild Canaries, Canary Island Blue Tits, and Owls at night.

Lizards and geckos and skinks are common. Treefrogs gather around the irrigation tank reservoirs on the banana plantations and fincas in the spring and the sound of their croaking fills the night air.

Hummingbird Hawk moths and Monarch butterflies can sometimes be seen visiting the flowers that are grown in San Marcos and add further beauty to the village's delights. By night bats flit about hunting for moths and other insect prey.

Sunset in San Marcos

Looking down the coast to Garachico
Sunset over Garachico as seen from San Marcos
Sunset over Garachico as seen from Sa...

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Guanche caves

Cliffs to climb

In the cliffs of San Marcos there are caves, some of which were used by the ancient Guanche people, who were the original inhabitants of the island before the Spanish conquest. The cliffs of a ravine,or barranco as they are known on the island, is a popular site for rock-climbers and you can often see young men scaling the rocky cliff-face.

There are also wonderful views to be had of Mt Teide that overlooks Icod and San Marcos. In winter the mountain is often covered in snow and looks magical as it gleams in the sun or moonlight.

Yesterday evening I went down the bay for a meal and drink at my favourite eating place here and on the way down a couple called out a friendly "Hola" to me. At Italia in Bocca as soon as I arrived, all the staff addressed me by name and I enjoyed my Pizza Campañola with mushrooms and black olives washed down with a Dorada as the sun went down.

At another table there was a Spanish family and they had a little pug dog that was sitting at one of the seats with them and being treated with helpings of pizza too. The dog was as much a part of the family as any of the people and I thought how lovely that was, and how it should be.

On the way home I stopped for a short while to watch a Hummingbird Hawk sipping nectar as it hovered over a purple-flowered Bougainvillea, and once again I thought: "Why would I want to live anywhere else but here in my home in San Marcos?"

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

White Indians of Nivaria by Gordon Kennedy

Best book to buy about The Guanches
The White Indians of Nivaria: The Untold Story of the Last Indo-European Tribes

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Italia in Bocca restaurant

Popular restaurant and bar in San Marcos
A great pizza restaurant by the sea
A great pizza restaurant by the sea

Video of The Bay of San Marcos,Tenerife.

Views of San Marcos
Updated: 02/19/2013, BardofEly
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BardofEly on 11/01/2012

Thanks for commenting! Yes, it is!

whitemoss on 11/01/2012

Looks lovely- so different from the overdeveloped areas in the south of the island

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