If you don’t leave the resort areas of Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos, where bright bougainvillea and oleander line the streets and gardens, you may think that the Canary Islands’ claim to year-round-sunshine means there are no seasons, but you would be wrong. You won’t find consistent extremes of temperature here, but if you want to swap scarlet hibiscus for gentle, pink blossoms or wild lavender, here are a few ideas for excursions, because it’s all a matter of knowing where to go.
Tenerife’s nickname, The Island of Eternal Spring, is a just one. The season begins early here, you could say it’s pretty much the six months between New Year and the beginning of the school holidays at the end of June. An increasingly popular way to greet Nature’s renewal is to take one of the hiking trails around Santiago del Teide in late January to see the almond blossoms in full bloom, but if hiking isn’t your thing, a drive will yield some wonderful photo ops. Though not in such profusion, you can find almond trees scattered by the roadsides in Granadilla de Abona and Arico too.
In February a walk from Costa del Silencio, over Montaña Amarilla, towards Golf del Sur will take you across Playa Achile, an at-the-moment forgotten little stretch of coastline, where carpets of wild lavender and margaritas sway. In fact you’ll find both on the hillsides around Arona, and on the old, walking trail which leads down from Adeje center to Costa Adeje, and along the paths of the west coast around Guia de Isora too.
The higher you go, the more evidence of spring you will find. March through June as you wind up the mountain roads from the south you begin to spot clumps of brilliant orange. The first time I saw them I mistook them for crocus, they have that same, rich tone, but they’re California Poppies. At their most prolific in April and May, they thrive between 1,000 ft and 2,000 ft above sea level, and whole fields can be seen around Vilaflor, looking like a scene from the Wizard of Oz.
If you take a trip to the Teide National Park in March you can spot the poppies beginning to flower by the roadside. As you get higher, flora is less obvious. In all honesty, you probably need to know something about alpine plants to appreciate the delicate clusters which shelter between the rocks in the caldera, but return to the coast via Chio, and another scene worthy of a movie is revealed. Descending through the pine forests, jumbles of cheerful, yellow lotus campylocladus spill over from the undergrowth to the stony roadsides.
I can’t deny, however, that the north of the island has the lusher springtime displays, the hillsides of Icod de los Vinos are dotted with plum trees, and the fields around La Laguna are an invitation to lose yourself in a meadow the likes of which I never remember in England, although I was brought up in the countryside.
So, my answer to those people who ask me if I miss the seasons is an emphatic ‘no.’ If I feel like a change from the hot crimsons and purples of the desert I can take a drive to springtime.
Category : about tenerife
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