Mirador de La Centinela: Panoramic Views of the South of Tenerife

Wed, July 20th, 2011 - By Linda

I’d lived in Tenerife for a few years when a friend suggested dining somewhere called La Centinela in Valle San Lorenzo. I’d never heard about it, and so was unprepared for the amazing sight as I walked down the stairs and into the restaurant. It seemed as if half the island lay before me through the wrap-around, floor to ceiling windows. La Centinela isn’t just a restaurant it is also a mirador.

 

The island of Tenerife has a network of 43 miradors, places where one can stop to marvel at the vista of the mountains or coast. Most, however, are in the northern part of the island or in the mountains, including several in the Teide National Park and on the road between the Park and the historic city of La Laguna. They afford stunning views down onto Puerto de la Cruz, or over to the island of La Palma.

Created and well-maintained by the island’s government, most have signs to explain what it is you’re looking at, the names of the mountains and islands etc in front of you.

The south, whilst rich in its weather, is a bit less fortunate in its panoramas and boasts only two miradors. If you’ve visited Tenerife before you might have stopped by the best-known one on the west coast, which overlooks the magnificent cliffs at the feet of which nestles the resort of Los Gigantes.

The lesser known one, La Centinela, is well worth a visit. The building, seen from below, seems to hang precariously on the hillside and as well as the restaurant, there is a gift shop. Around and above the building are steps and walkways culminating on the peak behind the restaurant from which you have nothing less than a 360º view of south Tenerife. All this set around attractively landscaped gardens with native plants and cacti.

Before me, on that first visit, lay Costa del Silencio and Las Galletas, inland villages, Reina Sofia Airport and Montaña Roja guarding the beach of La Tejita and the town of El Médano. Atop the hill behind the restaurant stands the inevitable cross where the view is even more breathtaking. An honest observation here – even the government guide to the miradors mentions “creeping plastic” which is taking over a part of the landscape. Under those ugly covers grow some of the island’s tomato and banana crops, and the guide euphemistically refers to them as “a final descriptive flourish”. A poetic view indeed, but the sheer sweep and scale of the view tends to diminish their ugliness.

Turning your back on the plastic, a different landscape is revealed; terraced fields, vineyards, mountain villages and the coastal landscape dotted with volcanic cones, unchanged for millions of years. The mountains obscure views of Los Cristianos or Playa de las Americas, although the edges of those resorts can be seen as they climb the hillside. On a clear day you can spot three of the other islands; Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro.

I’ve always thought it must be a wonderful place to watch the sunset, the traditional cuisine in the restaurant is excellent. What a great combination of the pleasures of sight and taste– really must move that up my to-do list.

Posted : Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 at 9:50 am
Category : days out
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2 Responses to “Mirador de La Centinela: Panoramic Views of the South of Tenerife”

  1. […] you will get the island of Gran Canaria as a backdrop. Earlier this year I ventured at dawn to La Centinela, in Valle San Lorenzo to see how it looked from there, and it was well worth getting up early […]

  2. […] another age. One of them took me from the sleepy village of San Miguel de Abona to the mirador of La Centinela in Valle San Lorenzo, but it turned out to be more than just good exercise, and taught me new […]

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