Take a bus ride or a drive into the Tenerife hills at this time of year and you’ll encounter spring fever painting kaleidoscopic swathes of wild flowers across the landscape, turning even the most mundane of views into a picture postcard. But there are some places on Tenerife that are worthy of a wider canvas regardless of what time of year you visit. Here is my pick of the crop.
Hardly well kept secrets, both of them being amongst the most visited places on the island, but any list of Tenerife’s most picturesque villages that doesn’t include Garachico and Masca holds no credence whatsoever. If you’re one of the few visitors to the island who hasn’t seen either or both of them, it’s time to rectify that – they’re not popular for no reason.
Sitting quietly in the hills of the east coast above Los Abades, the 18th century village of Arico el Nuevo has changed very little since it was built by wealthy landowners. All white cottages with green shutters and sleepy cobbled streets, it’s one of Tenerife’s best kept secrets.
Head north beyond La Laguna and deep into the Anaga Mountains and you’ll discover lots of tiny hamlets nestling at ridiculous angles on cliffs that look like they were drawn by a five year old. Many of the coach tours head straight to Taganana’s coastal district of Roque de Las Bodegas for a fresh fish lunch but the real beauty of the area is the tiny town of Taganana itself which is beset on all sides by jagged mountains.
Another on the beaten track location that gets ignored by the vast majority of people who pass through it en route to Masca is Santiago del Teide. Its best profile is around the 16th century Church of Fernando Rey and the eucalyptus tree lined picnic area opposite. For a really good overview picture, climb the short trail marked by white crosses which begins on the other side of the Fuente de la Virgen bridge and ends at a small altar in the rocks with perfect views over the valley.
Drive through Santa Cruz to San Andres and climb above Las Teresitas beach to the very end of the road to discover the little village of Igueste. So fertile that just spitting out your apple pips passes for farming, this little place once provided Santa Cruz with most of its home grown goodness. Today its terraces brim with fruit trees and trailing bougainvillea while ducks inhabit its barranco. Nice.
By complete contrast, Vilaflor has an Alpine beauty that’s rare on Tenerife, backed as it is by lofty pine forests and fronted by neat terraces tumbling down towards the south like layers on a wedding cake. Flower lined streets, a cobbled plaza and peace, perfect peace. What more could you want?
Last but not least is one of my absolute favourite villages well, small towns, Tegueste in the humid north west corner of Tenerife. Its picturesque Plaza de San Marcos is unique on the island, having a church in the centre surrounded by the plaza which is in turn surrounded by the most important buildings in the town. A rustically gorgeous valley setting and completely off-the-wall character complete the pretty picture.
Category : about tenerife
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