What is Fenautica officially?
Self-described as "the most popular nautical fair in Tenerife", Fenautica is a marine-focused festival designed for pretty much everyone. The official website claims to target professional individuals and companies in the nautical sector, as well as sport lovers, nautical activity fans, tourists and the local population.
To win over such a diverse audience, Fenautica combines sea, tourism, nautical activities, leisure and fun into a 2-day event that's free to experience. These airy words translate into 7,000 m² of floating and onshore attractions, including a boat exhibition, craft stalls, sailing regatta, gastronomic corner, performances, concerts, workshops, boat charters and water sports.
What is Fenautica really?
Fenautica has massive potential and yet falls short every year. Las Galletas would seem the perfect setting to hold such an event. With a museum, several pontoons and a cluster of restaurants and bars at the entrance, the stage should be set for a good day.
The problem seems to be the organisers' target audience, which in this case is everyone. Very admirable, but to make that work would require the docks and arena the size of the O2. Not a medium-size pier with a winkle barge sinking of the end of it.
Unfortunately, the powers that be still continue year after year following the same unsuccessful formula.
Ian's Fenautica review
What's going on here? They really need to pick an audience.
There's a trade tent with some awesome-looking motorboats next to a life-saving class next to a children's recycled modelling workshop next to a estate agent...I'm confused.
I go every year, vainly hoping to see or maybe have a go at something different, but it's so unclear.
The walk to the end of the harbour is stressful. The big powerboats take up a lot of room on the left and the safety rail is way back from the water's edge on the right. This leaves hardly any room for 2-way traffic, so you're forced to go through bottlenecks every few seconds to get to where you want to be.
The food area is fine at early doors. But as soon as the crowds turn up, it's chaotic.
Now the shows are embarrassing. One featured 2 talent-less dancers (possibly a mother and daughter) in striptease-like clothing that made them look like they'd had a fight on the way in. Picture ripped fishnets and whatnot. And their makeup looked like I'd done it.
Fenautica's only saving grace is the marching drum team. And the sardines which, to be fair, were delicious. My overall rating is on the generous side, but some people did look happy to be there. I just wasn't one of them.
Overall rating: ⅖
Nicky's Fenautica review
We've been to Fenautica 3 times and, sadly, it seems to get worse every year. A few years back, the main thing that attracted us there was that all the water sports were available to try for free. This turned out not to be true - only the non-motorised water sports were free, which was a little more believable.
But while you could simply queue up and wait your turn for some of the water sports (like stand-up paddle boarding) others you had to request a ticket for first thing in the morning. This would have been fine if there was a sign or something saying this. But we only found out after trying to get in a kayak in the afternoon that we needed to get a ticket hours and hours ago.
Having rules about how to go about things without actually displaying the information, combined with the lack of space for a surprisingly large number of people makes Fenautica something of a disordered scramble.
When trying to get from one side of the port to the other, not only do you have to dodge the other visitors who aren't really sure what's going on, but you also have to try and sneak past the promotional people for the stalls who are handing out plastic bags filled with paper leaflets.
This didn't feel right, since a good chunk of the fair was about recycling and taking care of the environment.
If you're in the Las Galletas/Costa del Silencio/El Fraile area when Fenautica happens to be on, I suppose it's worth 15 minutes of your time. But I definitely wouldn't recommend you make a special effort to go there. There are better places to get sardines that don't make you feel like one.
Overall rating: ⅕
Insider tips for Fenautica
Check out the 'Batucada'
The Batucada (a lively drum procession) is one of the definite highlights of Fenautica. It involves around 20 or so men and women of all ages dressed in nautically-themed outfits banging drums, shouting, dancing and marching along the marina.
The procession begins at the entrance to the marina and travels along the road, ending at the stage at the other side. Grab a programme and check what time it starts. It's usually around 1pm, plus the mandatory 30 minute delay waiting for the drummers to actually show up. Our favourite place to watch it is from sitting on the wall at the entrance.
Important info about Fenautica
Official name: Fenautica
Official website: www.festivalmueca.com
Address: Marina del Sur, Las Galletas
Festival dates: Usually the first or second weekend of June. Beginning on Saturday and ending on Sunday.
Suggested time: 2 hours
Prices: It's completely free to walk around and have a look, but things such as motorised water sports, boat trips and additional purchases will cost you.