Four Quirky Corners Off the Beaten Track in Tenerife

Fri, October 18th, 2013 - By Andrea Montgomery

Depending on how often you’ve visited a place, the phrase ‘off the beaten track’ can mean very different things to different people. If you’re a first time visitor to Tenerife, just getting away from the popular resorts of Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje can feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. The travel editor of a UK broadsheet once described Teide National Park as ‘off the beaten track’ which, considering it’s Tenerife’s most popular day trip destination, just goes to show how subjective the phrase can be.

But for those who know Tenerife very well and think they’ve seen it all, here are four quirky corners you just might not have come across before.

 

Icor, Tenerife

 

Icor
Constructed of local stone in the traditional style of rural Tenerife, the eleven houses of the village of Icor are so well camouflaged against its arid landscape that they’re almost invisible and you could easily miss them.

Lying alongside the TF28 between Arico Viejo and Fasnia, Icor was once a community of farmers but the construction of the TF1 motorway took traffic and life away and one by one everyone left, emigrating to South America or moving to Santa Cruz in search of work. Over time the village was abandoned, the houses fell derelict and the village became a ghost. Today one or two of the homes are being renovated as weekend cottages and life is slowly returning.

The Leper Colony
Destined to be a leper colony for Spain’s leprosy patients after the Spanish Civil War, the Arico Sanatorium was designed by Jose Enrique Marrero Regalado, the same architect who designed the basilica in Candelaria and the Cabildo building and Our Lady of Africa market in Santa Cruz.

 

Abandoned leper colony, Tenerife

 

But as new treatments for leprosy were discovered, the grandiose designs were never completed and the now derelict remains of what might have been are crumbling beneath the unforgiving sun and winds of the east coast.

Dance with the Devil
Take the Buenavista del Norte road into Masca and you’ll pass through the village of El Palmar where, roadside, you’ll see one of the oddest looking groups of statues you’re likely to encounter on Tenerife.

 

Statues, El Palmar, Tenerife

 

The strange quintet featuring musicians, dancers and a Dusty Bin lookalike who represents El Diablo (the devil) are permanent embodiments of the area’s popular harvest festival dance of Baile de Las Libreas during which the devil is set alight to rampage amongst townsfolk before finally being defeated in the age-old battle of good against evil.

Drago Tree Forest
To find the drago tree forest of Chamorga you have to go a long way off the beaten track, to the very end of the road in fact.

 

Drago Milenario tree, Tenerife

 

In the beautiful Anaga Mountains, at the end of the TF123 lies the rural hamlet of Chamorga. The starting point for one of Tenerife’s best and most challenging walks, Chamorga is also home to the island’s only drago tree forest. Whilst admittedly the trees are not yet the size of Drago Milenario in Icod de los Vinos (above), they’re abundant in this part of the island and make a fine display.

Posted : Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 4:41 pm
Category : about tenerife
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