It’s Almond Blossom Time in Tenerife

Sat, January 15th, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

Whether it’s fiestas, cultural events or seasonal displays, you can pretty much guarantee that there’ll be something spectacular to see or do every month of the year on Tenerife. And for me, once the Three Kings have delivered their gifts, January is all about the almond blossom.

It may surprise some to discover that Tenerife doesn’t just grow five star hotels and golden beaches, it also cultivates an abundance of fruit and vegetables.
Apart from the ubiquitous bananas whose tattered leaves carpet the north of the island and lie hidden beneath swathes of plastic coating along the west coast, Tenerife’s fertile, volcanic soil also produces avocados, onions, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, cucumber, green peppers and of course vines – to name just the main crops.

Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that Tenerife has for centuries produced another delicious product – almonds.
Climb into the hills around Santiago del Teide and you’ll see almendras (almonds) for sale in many guises from the naked nut to cakes, biscuits, tea infusions and puddings.
The nuts won’t be ready for harvesting until late summer/early autumn but in late January and early February, the fruit trees burst into clouds of delicate blossom in shades of white and pink, transforming the landscape into a candy floss wonderland.

The best place to see the almond blossom displays is around Santiago Valley, Tamaimo and in Chinyero National Park in the hills above Valle de Ariba and Santiago Del Teide. The local authority organise an annual walk from the town of Santiago to the little hamlet of Arguayo. The walk is known as the Ruta del Almendra (the almond walk) and it takes place on Saturday 29th January this year.
It’s a fantastic walk but it’s also quite a demanding one at 10 kilometres and four hours in length and for many people, the idea of spending precious holiday hours trudging through bridle paths and gasping for breath on the side of yet another volcanic cone is about as appealing as attending a timeshare sales talk.

But there’s good news for holidaymakers who want to see a spectacular floral side to Tenerife this month and still get their sunbathing quota in – you can catch some excellent displays simply by driving through the Santiago del Teide Valley.

The west coast road which climbs out of Los Gigantes towards Tamaimo and Santiago del Teide is already showing its first blossoms and in the next two to three weeks will burst into full technicolour glory. Just don’t get too carried away with gawping at nature’s beauty and forget that you’re on a winding mountain road, particularly if you happen to be the driver.

And if seeing the almond blossom whets your appetite for more, there’s a spectacular drive called the Flower of the Valley which will take you from Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Américas and the south west resorts of Los Gigantes, Puerto Santiago, Playa de la Arena and Playa San Juan through the almond blossom-strewn Santiago Valley to the picturesque village of Santiago, the hamlet of Arguayo with its traditional pottery workshop and onto Spain’s highest village nestling amongst the pines.

I think you’ll have to agree, whatever the time of year, Tenerife’s blooming marvellous.

Posted : Saturday, January 15th, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Category : days out
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One Response to “It’s Almond Blossom Time in Tenerife”

  1. […] renewal is to take one of the hiking trails around Santiago del Teide in late January to see the almond blossoms in full bloom, but if hiking isn’t your thing, a drive will yield some wonderful photo ops. Though not in such […]

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