The legend goes that when Hercules went head to head with a dragon in the Garden of Hesperides (maybe not quite head to head as Hercules only had one whereas the dragon had 100) and came out victorious, from every drop of dragon blood spilled a drago tree grew.
The question is, as there would have been a lot of blood gushing across the Garden of Hesperides, subsequently resulting in many drago trees, why is there only one decent specimen left in the modern day Garden of Hesperides, i.e. Tenerife?
The answer is that there isn’t only one old drago tree on Tenerife, there are quite a few. The Millennium Drago in Icod de los Vinos is the most visually impressive, coyly oldest (nobody really knows its age) and attracts nearly all of the attention. But there are many more drago trees to be found by anyone interested in tracking them down.
Icod de los Vinos itself boasts more than one decent drago, but most visitors don’t make the short walk up the hill from the main plaza to see the Millennium Drago’s little sister, propped up and ‘hidden’ between the old buildings.
The hills above the northern coast are good hunting grounds for drago trees. San Juan del Reparo, not far from Icod, has a good specimen behind the main street. You’d never spot it unless you follow the merchants’ trail linking the village with Garachico on the coast.
There was a monster of a drago tree in La Orotava, so big it was said a family lived inside, but that was blown down during a hurricane in the 19th century. The historic town hasn’t been left without any dragos and there are trees in the gardens behind the town hall as well as at the small plaza just up the hill from Casa de los Balcones.
A drago tree forest exists in a remote part Anaga, not as impressive as it sounds, whilst big dragos blend almost anonymously into the scenery around Taganana.
Drago trees can even be found on the southern side of the island. One makes an attractive addition to the gardens beside the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista in Arico Casco.
The place to see the best selection of mature dragos is in one of the most historic municipalities on Tenerife, Los Realejos.
The view from Mirador San Pedro along the north west coast is one of my favourite coastal views on Tenerife. It’s enhanced by a single drago standing tall amidst a green sea of banana palms.
The urban centre of Los Realejos has dragos that are big enough to warrant being given names. In the upper part of town is the Drago de San Francisco whilst the lower part has the Drago de Sietefuentes which only the most intrepid will find as it involves negotiating a maze of streets and one way systems.
Possibly the most unusual specimens lie in-between. Outside of the Parroquia de la Concepción are not one but two drago trees, appropriately known as Los Gemelos – the twins.
Next time someone asks if you’ve seen the drago tree in Tenerife, you can reply ‘which one?’
Category : about tenerife
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