Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands is the charming town of Icod de los Vinos. This hidden gem boasts a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and of course, some of the finest wine in the Canary Islands.
What is Icod de los Vinos?
Icod de los Vinos is a picturesque town located in the northwest of Tenerife. The town is known for its vineyards, which produce some of the best wines in the Canary Islands. Icod de los Vinos is also home to the famous Dragon Tree, an ancient tree that is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.
History of Icod de los Vinos
Icod de los Vinos has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century when the town was founded. The town was an important commercial center, and its vineyards were highly regarded throughout Europe. Over the centuries, Icod de los Vinos has been influenced by a variety of cultures, including Spanish, Portuguese, and English. This cultural diversity is reflected in the town’s architecture and cuisine.
Things to Do in Icod de los Vinos
Icod de los Vinos offers a wide range of activities for visitors. One of the town’s main attractions is the Dragon Tree, which is located in the town center. Visitors can also explore the town’s historic streets and buildings, including the San Marcos church and the Casa de los Caceres.
El Drago, the Dragon’s Blood Tree
Many myths have been spun around the dragon’s blood tree in Icod de los Vinos. The tree, whose age is disputed, is tenderly cared for by the townspeople, who take great pride in housing a symbol of Tenerife.
Today, many people visit El Drago, the dragon’s blood tree in the town. Throughout the city, you walk on streets paved with black lava rock, and during your walk towards the tree, you pass the church of San Marcos before finally arriving at the impressive tree which is 20 meters high and measures 10 meters in circumference.
The gnarled, scraggly trunk makes you think of an ancient oak tree that has stood since the beginning of time. Now, El Drago is not an oak at all, because it is neither a conifer nor a deciduous tree. It is still very unclear what kind of tree it is. Some people claim that the dragon’s blood tree belongs to the lily family (and thus would be related to the lily of the valley), while others claim that it is a species of the agave family.
Whatever its affiliation, it is a very impressive tree that you can only experience in Icod de los Vinos.
The townspeople call El Drago “el arbol millenario”, the thousand-year-old tree.
The tree’s crown is very wide and dense, and the dark green, thick, narrow, lanceolate, half-meter-long leaves sit in dense rosettes at the tips of the branches.
The beige flowers are arranged in large clusters, and the tree’s fruits turn orange.
However, it is very rare for the entire crown to be in flower, it usually happens about every hundred years. The last time this happened was in 1994.
Nature lovers will also be in awe of Icod de los Vinos’ breathtaking landscapes. The town is located near the Teide National Park, which offers stunning views of the island’s volcanic landscapes. Visitors can also explore the nearby Garachico Natural Pools, a series of natural pools carved into the volcanic rock.
Where to Eat in Icod de los Vinos
Icod de los Vinos offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Canarian cuisine to international dishes. Some of the town’s best restaurants include Restaurante El Mortero, which serves traditional Canarian dishes, and La Finca, which offers a unique dining experience in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Wine lovers will also be in heaven in Icod de los Vinos, as the town is home to some of the best vineyards in the Canary Islands. Visitors can take a wine tour and sample some of the local wines, including the famous Malvasia wine.
Where to Stay in Icod de los Vinos
Icod de los Vinos offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Some of the town’s best hotels include Hotel San Agustín, a beautiful 18th-century mansion, and Hotel Drago San Antonio, which offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding vineyards.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Icod de los Vinos
Icod de los Vinos is easily accessible by car or public transport. The town is located about 45 minutes from Tenerife North Airport and about 1 hour from Tenerife South Airport.
What is the Dragon Tree?
The Dragon Tree is an ancient tree that is estimated to be over 1,000 years old. It is located in the center of Icod de los Vinos and is one of the town’s main attractions.
What is the best time to visit Icod de los Vinos?
The best time to visit Icod de los Vinos is during the summer months when the weather is warm and everything in town is in full bloom.