Relatively speaking Tenerife is a small island, but it’s still far too big to do justice in one day of rally driving around the island to try to pack in all the best sights and attractions.
Additionally, different people have differing tastes. One person’s fascinating historic town is another’s dullsville. To help with ideas for sightseeing journeys by car, we’ll be publishing a series of suggested trips. First up is a classic sights itinerary from the main southern resorts.
You’ve got the car, slapped on the sun cream, adjusted the shades and negotiated your way out of the confusing maze of streets that is your resort. It’s time to hit that open road.
Pit Stop #1 Los Gigantes
Heading west, the first major sight along the route are the cliffs at Los Gigantes. There’s no need to drive all the way into the town itself, there’s a cracker of a viewpoint, and café, with stunning views of the cliffs and La Gomera.
Pit Stop #2 Masca
The winding road from Los Gigantes to Santiago del Teide is a bit of a gentle appetiser of what’s to come. This is where you really leave the resorts behind to head into the heart of rural Tenerife. From Santiago del Teide it feels as though you’ve left civilisation behind as well as you start the short, but unforgettable journey to the hamlet of Masca nestling deep in the ancient ravines. It’s one of the wonders of Tenerife’s world and should be a ‘must’ on everyone’s agenda. After the testing drive to get there it’s worth a café stop and maybe a try of a local speciality, cactus lemonade.
Pit Stop #3 Garachico
The good news is if you continue on the road through Masca getting out isn’t quite so hair-raising as getting in. You drive through some dramatic ‘off the beaten track’ countryside before eventually arriving on the north west coast where a short drive brings you to another Tenerife highlight, Garachico. As well as being Tenerife’s prettiest town, there’s also the attraction of the famous lava rock pools. Garachico’s a good spot for lunch with fish and seafood figuring highly. For something creatively different head back a couple of streets to the Mirador de Garachico.
Pit Stop #4 Icod de los Vinos
The historic hill town has many qualities, but it’s not as attractive as the likes of Garachico or La Orotava. However, it does have an unusual and ancient tree (exact age is a mystery) in the multi-headed Millennium Drago Tree which is worth a brief stop. You can get a good view of the tree from the road that skirts the town as it heads back inland to Santiago del Teide.
Pit Stop #5 Teide National Park
The drive might be long, but it is a scenic one as you climb back to Santiago del Teide and then take the road via Chio to reach Teide National Park from its western approach. After a day of Tenerife sights it’ll take something special to impress and the mighty mountain surrounded by the wildly surreal volcanic landscape is like nothing you’ve seen before.
Pit Stop #6 Vilaflor
For something completely different again, pause for refreshments surrounded by pines at lovely Vilaflor. It’s a delightfully Alpine-esque setting and a nice way to round off a long day before descending back to the south coast and home.
Category : days out
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