Passing through the village of Arguayo, on my way to Santiago del Teide, I was reminded of Andy’s post about the pottery museum, and also that below was a new stretch of the autopista, a ring road which will eventually circle the island, making touring easier.
Some villages will then be off the beaten track. Yet many have something unique, making it worth breaking a journey to check out – maybe a quirky bar, a photogenic church, panoramic views, or a small museum.
Perhaps you want to stop en route, but don’t know where to choose. So I thought it might be useful to note these ‘places in between’. I began with a popular tourist route from Los Cristianos to the hillside town of Vilaflor, which leads eventually to the Teide National Park.
Less than five minutes after you duck under the TF1 you pass a petrol station on the right. If you take the access road and sharp right it takes you to El Cerro Luna camel safari and restaurant – maybe better to stop on the road home to Costa Adeje or Playa de las Americas. The restaurant is very relaxing, pleasingly laid out in terraces and nooks, some with panoramic views, over the south coast.
30 seconds on, is La Camella. This is where you make a left turn and begin to climb into the mountains. The road meanders round until you come to Arona, where Café Aroma makes a charming stop for pastry and cake lovers.
Winding upwards, vistas down to the south and east coasts can be quite stunning, and there is a brand new mirador – super photo op! If you want a drink with your view, you might try one of the bars at the hamlet of Alta Vista, but be warned that, being a bit remote, they seem to keep hours to suit themselves.
Ever upwards, a distinctive junction, marked by a multi-directional signpost, leads to the hamlet of Ifonche. Not a destination much known to those of us who like to road trip, but well-known to walkers, Ifonche is a crossroads, from both Arona and Adeje, for several island walking routes, but for the casual passer-by it presents a charming photo op in its tiny church, perched on the edge of a ravine.
The main road, as often happens here, slices through the next village, Escalona. The houses and bars which front the main road are pretty, with flowering plants in hanging baskets and planters, but, honestly, there is nothing worth stopping for.
After Escalona the road becomes more interesting. It’s less steep as far as Vilaflor, and you pass through agricultural fields, mainly vineyards, with the resurgence of Tenerife wines in recent years. There are 3 vineyards along this stretch of road, but only one which opens with any reliability, and that is the Bodega Reverón. There is also a Craft Center just outside Vilaflor. Staffed by non-locals it offers a few, overpriced, Canarian wines and a lot of made-in-Asia tat – avoid, unless you want to have a quick drink on their terrace, which does afford a tranquil view over green cultivation.
This is not a long journey, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how quickly you drive, but along the way you will find a world very different from the resorts you left behind, with many photo ops.
Category : days out
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