When you decide to do a feature on Tenerife’s top ten museums, you have to ask yourself two questions: Firstly, are there actually 10 museums in Tenerife and secondly, who cares?
Well the answer to the first may surprise you. So far, by TMs reckoning there are actually 24 museums on Tenerife and there may be some we’ve missed.
The second question is definitely worthy of consideration when you have offspring intoning “boooooring” at the very notion of a museum, so in choosing our top ten we’ve used the words “˜fun’, “˜quirky’ and/or “˜fascinating’ as our criteria.
1. Museum of Science and the Cosmos ““ La Laguna
This museum epitomises the concept that learning should be fun; play cosmonauts, lift a car with one finger, lose yourself in a hall of mirrors ““ the possibilities are as endless as the cosmos itself.
2. Museum of Anthropology ““ Valle De Guerra
Everybody loves to nosey around someone else’s house and there are oodles of house and grounds to explore and discover in this 18th century version of Through the Keyhole meets Upstairs Downstairs.
3. Museum of Man & Nature ““ Santa Cruz
Three vast floors cover everything from the Canaries’ explosive creation to present day with the top floor ‘mummies’ grabbing the macabre highlight. If you don’t find something of interest here, check your pulse.
4. Military Museum ““ Santa Cruz
Housed in a working barracks and proudly displaying a scale model of the whole sorry Nelson vs Tenerife affair alongside enough military exhibits to fill a battle ground. This is Nirvana for Call of Duty addicts.
5. Wine Museum ““ El Sauzal
Send the kids off to count the hairs on a giant bee’s knees in the adjoining honey museum while you get acquainted with the finer qualities of Tenerife’s viticulture. Bonus points for the excellent restaurant.
6. Masca Museum ““ Masca
Rudimentary tools, utilities and living conditions in a remote rural settlement before the advent of tourism”¦set in a remote rural settlement after the advent of tourism. Fascinating social history in an unrivalled location.
7. El Portillo Visitor Centre ““ Teide National Park
Violent eruptions on film and interactive displays that explain how the whole volcano thing works; all set within a mock volcanic tube. The colony of lizards who live outside the entrance add an extra, lively exhibit.
8. Casa Méndez-Fonseca ““ La Orotava
If you’ve ever wondered what life was like behind those intricately carved balconies, now’s your chance to find out, for the price of a shoestring. Dusty, creaky, unpretentious history in this quirkiest of museums.
9. History Museum ““ Granadilla
Another quirky gem, this time in the back streets of Granadilla. Exhibits include a wonderful, macabre diorama featuring a Guanche mummy in this museum which is not much bigger than a large doll’s house, with the headroom to match.
10. Pyramids of GÃ¼Ãmar ““ GÃ¼Ãmar
From Columbus to Thor Heyerdahl, the fascination of exploration and discovery is beautifully presented in this museum within a museum. Join the “are they or aren’t they” debate about the origins of the pyramids and learn how to build a reed ship; you never know when that might come in handy.