Los Cristianos has a mixed population of approximately 20,000 (2010) and is situated on the south coast of Tenerife.
It is in the municipality of Arona and is located in a natural nook of the island which has proven helpful in the creation of the fishing port.
The town is protected by the mountains of Chayofita to the west and Guaza (the one with the big TV masts on top) to the east. The main town centre is focused on the harbour area but over the years the town has spread both upwards and outwards towards the TF1 motorway.
For centuries the town was known as a fishing village, in fact there is historical reference to from the 16th Century. Los Cristianos was an important port throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries but due to the threat of pirate attacks it remained unsettled until the early 19th Century when the threat of pirate attacks was over.
The first permanent settlement of Los Cristianos was in the 1860’s when it was described by Pedro de Olive as “a hamlet in Arona with three one-storey houses, one two-storey house and a hut” and was later officially recognised in governmental records as being established in 1888 with 29 houses and a cave.
In 1909 the first quay was built to harbour ships used for the import and export of goods for the local distillery, in fact it still remains today and is called the “Old Quay” or “El Puerto Viejo”.
Apart from the distillery, there were other industries at this time and they included a resin factory, salt mines and a fish salting factory. It wasn’t until 1914 that agriculture became a feature in Los Cristianos, when Teofilo Bello Rodriguez was granted permission to run a pipe from his home in Villaflor to his father’s land in Los Cristianos.
This enabled the landowners to produce tomatoes and bananas which created the need for a workforce and the town grew as more property was built. There are still some signs of old properties in Los Cristianos that would have had something to do with the plantations or the fishing industry both along the promenade and in town.
In 1934 a larger port was constructed in Los Cristianos to accommodate larger ships which then increased the importance of the commercial shipping businesses and the fishing industry. In 1975, the first commercial ferry was introduced between Los Cristianos and the nearby island of la Gomera.
Los Cristianos has two world class beaches; one in front of the port simply called Playa de Los Cristianos and the second is on the other side of the port and is called Playa Las Vistas.
Both have golden sand – the original sand in Tenerife is volcanic black – and have great facilities with water sports, beach volleyball, showers and information centres.
Both beaches in Los Cristianos are clean and guarded well by Lifeguards. They also have an abundance sun beds which are approximately €10 for the whole day.
Tourism exploded in Los Cristianos in the early to mid 60’s and is now the town’s main source of business. During these times there was a massive increase in building with apartments for residents and holidaymakers alike.
Hotels sprung up all over the place taking over the land from the banana and tomato plantations, in fact the last banana crop was harvested in the early 1990’s.
Los Cristianos now has a mixed Spanish and International flavour with a bustling town incorporating many national stores along with local stores offering delights from all over the world. Cafés and restaurants are a plenty, again offering food from Spain and other countries.
Although there is still a small fishing fleet, this has now predominantly been replaced by day cruises, whale and dolphin excursions, fishing trips and general water sports.
Los Cristianos is connected by the TF1 motorway to Santa Cruz, the capital city, which is approximately 45 minutes away by car and the Reina Sofia airport in the south which is approximately 15 – 20 minutes by car. Playa de Las Americas is only a 10 minute car journey away.
The town has its own busy bus terminal which has regular services all over the island to the west, east and north. There are daily ferry services to and from the neighbouring islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro and can be found in the main harbour and taxis are readily available and quite reasonable in price.
There is a large hospital/medical centre in the town centre and the El Mojon hospital is only a 10 minute drive up the hill towards Chayofa. The hospital El Mojon is being developed and extended into a much larger facility and will be the general hospital for the south of the island.
Property in Los Cristianos can be found at both spectrums of the price range. There are many holiday apartments from studios to villas and also plenty of residential property too.
Being mainly a holiday destination, Los Cristianos has plenty of holiday apartment complexes and there is always a good amount of property for sale in these complexes.