Taganana is the most important settlement in the Anaga massif and one of the oldest towns on the island, retaining its status of independent municipality throughout the 19th century. Its relatively remote location in the Anaga massif has spared it from destructive mass tourism, and it retains much of its authenticity which translates into traditional houses with rich architectural heritage and several wineries. The name is of Guanche origins and derived of the word taganan which means 'ascent' or 'slope'.
The Taganana valley has been continuously inhabited since the Guanche era, as evidenced by archaeological finds in the area. One of the most important sites is the so-called Stone of Taganana, which played an important role in the mummification practices of the Guanche aborigines.
Following the conquest of the island in 1496, the lands were divided between conquerors and settlers, and the town was officially founded in 1501 by a group of settlers from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. From the early 16th century, the economy was dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane, and resulted in the construction of the Las Vueltas path, the first connection between the Taganana valley and the capital city San Cristóbal de La Laguna. When sugar trade declined in the 17th century, agriculture switched to wine making, and extensive vineyards were planted on the fertile hill slopes, which are still considered a hallmark of the town.
Taganana has been included in the Anaga Rural Park since 1994.
Taganana can be reached over the road by highway TF134, although accessibility is difficult due to the steep 16% inclination of the road at several points through the Anaga massif. Take highway TF12 west from San Cristóbal de La Laguna, or north from San Andrés, until the intersection with the TF134 just 1 south of El Bailadero.
Taganana is small enough to get around by foot, and you wouldn't find many parking spots for a vehicle anyway.
- 1 Church of Our Lady of the Snows (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves), Camino La Cuestilla. Catholic church dating back to the 16th century. It is the seat of the parish of Taganana, one of the first to be founded after the conquest in 1515. The building has 3 naves, thick masonry walls, with red tuff ashlars in the corners. The northern corner of the main facade features a red stonework tower with semicircular arches that house the bells. A similar structure was planned on the opposite side but never completed.
- 2 Monastery of St. Catherine (Ermita de Santa Catalina Mártir de Alejandría), Camino La Cuestilla. Built in 1621 in honour of St Catherine, martyr of Alexandria. Every year on 25 November, St. Catherine is celebrated here with a mass and procession of her image through the streets of Taganana.
- 3 Roque de las Bodegas beach (Playa del Roque de las Bodegas). 24/7. A cobblestone beach between Taganana and Almáciga. Free.