Eating Out on Tenerife

Sat, April 23rd, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

We have a Galileo thermometer in our living room which has little coloured glass balls with weight tags on that sink to the bottom as it gets hotter until, when 26°C has been surpassed, there are none left in the tube.

Bought as a gift, it’s an ornament as much as a scientific instrument, its reading only being accurate to within a range of four degrees C. But it does allow us to express the temperature via disparaging remarks about the inventor and I’m happy to report that for the past week, Galileo has had no balls. That means it’s officially time to break out the picnic basket and head for the hills.

Eating al fresco on Tenerife is a national weekend pastime and the interior and north of the island is peppered with zonas recreativas, or picnic areas. Invariably set within the shade of an orchard or the pine forests, the main zones have wooden tables and benches with seating capacity for anything up to 300 people; barbecues, water stand pipes, toilets and recycling bins. But head into any rural area, or even parks within towns, and you’re almost guaranteed to stumble across a picnic table or two in the dappled shade, just crying out for a picnic basket.

For the Tinerfeños, weekends – and particularly Sundays – are all about packing up a small restaurant’s worth of food and wine, cramming all the family, close relations and the dog into a convoy of 4X4s and driving up into Teide National Park for a picnic which can last from around 1pm until late into the afternoon.

If you’d prefer to avoid the impromptu concerts, barbecuing of entire animals and noisy joie de vivre of the locals, take advantage of the fact that you’re on holidays to head up to a zone mid week where you’ll most likely have the place all to yourself.

Here’s a quick run down of my favourite picnic zones:

Las Raíces, La Esperanza (TF24 from La Laguna) – not only do you get to see one of the nicest island drives with views down both coasts, but you arrive in a wonderland of fragrant tranquillity where the pine needles provide a velvet carpet to 58 tables hidden amidst the dappled silence.

Las Lajas (TF21 between Vilaflor and Teide National Park) – a vast woodland site with 50 tables set in scented pine forest and red earth . If you fancy the setting but can’t be bothered preparing a picnic, there’s a great little restaurant on site that does a mean steak and a succulent rabbit in red wine.

Chio (TF38 above Los Gigantes and Guia de Isora) – set within Teide National Park alongside  Chio is possibly the largest picnic zone area on the island with 63 tables set beneath the trees in acres of hot pine forest with crater views.

La Caldera (TF21 above Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava) 48 tables are set within a crown of laurel and eucalyptus trees surrounding a volcanic crater in the pine forest above La Orotava. There’s a log cabin with a sunny, garden terrace alongside and it’s the setting off point for a myriad of walking trails.

Posted : Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 at 8:37 am
Category : days out
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8 Responses to “Eating Out on Tenerife”

  1. Chris Shaw says:

    A lovely blog, as always… So envious of a Tenerife picnic right now…

    • Andy says:

      Cheers, Chris. I have to admit, it’s one of my favourite Tenerife pastimes, especially when combined with a hike through the forest – the perfect Tenerife day 🙂

  2. […] add a flagon or two of wine to keep it company. Then head up into the pine forests to one of the picnic sites and eat, drink and play until you fall asleep in the dappled, pine scented paradise. […]

  3. […] tent to the sound of gentle hammering in the distance and bleary-eyed, we follow the noise to the picnic zone where half a dozen woodpeckers are tucking into breakfast on the pine trees, their tapping beaks […]

  4. […] the way Grandma used to make it) with a bottle of Flor de Chasna local wine. In summer, head to the picnic zone of Las Lajas and enjoy a good steak and some of those delicious local potatoes at the restaurant in […]

  5. […] is positioned right on Playa Jardin. As traditional as 25 family members packed into a 4X4 for a Sunday trip to Teide National Park, Los Faroles has a huge indoor dining area and a tropically floral outside courtyard where you can […]

  6. […] compared to, say rugby or long-distance running. It didn’t take long to change my opinion. I was picnicking in Las Lajas, the recreational area above Vilaflor, when a young man bumped down the dirt path on […]

  7. […] a picnic in the dappled serenity of Tenerife’s pine forests with only the chatter of birds to hear or […]

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