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Things to see in Icod de los Vinos: a centuries-old tree and hundreds of butterflies

If someone asks about things to see in Icod de los Vinos, the answer is obvious: there are many types of attractions for everyone. The town admirably combines natural resources, popular and artistic heritage, agriculture and even geological singularities.

Of all the things to see in Icod de los Vinos, the most iconic feature is the Drago Milenario. This dragon tree, with a height of nearly 20 metres, has become the symbol of both the town and of the entire island.

Nevertheless, there are many other things to see in Icod de los Vinos, whose historic centre has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. In fact, the town’s name combines its Guanche and Castilian history: ‘Icod’ is related to fire in the Guanche language; and ‘de los Vinos’ (‘of wine’ in Spanish) refers to the wine produced in the area (vincular a URL sobre Tenerife wineries) since the sixteenth century.

 

 

The dragon tree in Icod de los Vinos

The Drago Milenario [Thousand-Year-Old Dragon Tree] is, therefore, a must (and a surprising one) among the things to see in Icod de los Vinos. Remember that ‘thousand-year-old’ is an overstatement since, according to the experts, the enormous tree is not 1,000 years but between 500 and 800 years old.

In any case, this is far from negligible for a specimen whose base circumference is around 20 metres. The dragon tree species (Dracaena draco) is endemic to Macaronesia, a subtropical area which includes the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, the Madeira archipelago and the Azores.

The Drago Milenario is so unique (and beautiful) that it was worth creating a picturesque garden around it (Drago Park). It includes several species endemic to the island of Tenerife and to the Canary Islands: apart from other dragon trees, there are Canary Island spurges, Euphorbia atropurpurea and others.

Other things to see in Icod de los Vinos

Below are the main highlights among the many monuments and tourist attractions:

  • Casa Lorenzo-Cáceres [Lorenzo-Cáceres House]: This late eighteenth-century house was ordered to be built by Nicolás de Lorenzo Delgado y Cáceres on the site of several burned-down houses. It is a magnificent neo-Classical building with an unusual use of wood in its numerous construction components. It is currently used as a music centre (Casa de la Música) and hosts all types of exhibitions.
  • Convento de San Francisco [Convent of Saint Francis]: This mid-seventeenth-century monastery has an appealing chapel (of Our Lady of Sorrows), built in a striking Portuguese Rococo style. It is one of the few convents in Tenerife which have survived the fires over the centuries. It currently houses the Icod Town Library.
  • ARTlandya-Doll Museum: It is a unique museum in its genre and houses works from over 50 international artists and dolls of all tastes and sizes.
  • Cueva del Viento [Wind Cave]: It is an enormous lava tunnel formed around 27,000 years ago. At present, around 18 kilometres have been documented, so it is clearly one of the longest in the world. A unique feature is that around 190 species of plants, animals and fungi have survived inside the cave.
  • Bodega Cueva del Rey: You must visit at least one winery in Icod de los Vinos. The Cueva del Rey winery is clearly one of the most representative because of its size and quality wines, which have won several international awards.

Drago Butterfly Park

One of the musts on your list of the things to see in Icod de los Vinos is clearly the Butterfly Park. It is next to Drago Park and home to over 800 specimens of tropical butterflies belonging to around 150 species. They all have striking patterns, are very colourful, and their wings have original shapes.

Since each butterfly needs a different type of plant to survive, this Butterfly Park is also a veritable botanical garden. In the park you can see all types of flowers and plants from the remotest corners of the planet.

Guanche Museum

Inside the La Magalona shopping centre, very close to Drago Park, you will find the Guanche Museum, one of the most interesting things to see in Icod de los Vinos.

Using an attractive and innovative exhibition system, it recreates the way of life of the islands’ pre-Hispanic settlers: the Guanches. Many are surprised by the life-size figures emulating, with real names, the aboriginal inhabitants of Tenerife and of the rest of the archipelago.

Restaurants in Icod de los Vinos

Icod de los Vinos is undoubtedly one of the best places to sample Tenerife’s finest traditional food. Below are some of the town’s best restaurants:

  • Tasca La Parada (Rambla Pérez del Cristo, 2): It defines itself as an ‘eatery’. The cliché of homemade meals based on the market and season is somehow perpetuated at the restaurant. It provides traditional home cooking. It is always best to book, especially during the weekend.
  • El Mortero (San Sebastián, 7): Although it serves traditional Tenerife and Canary Island food, it also has room for foreign ingredients with a nod towards modern Spanish and international cuisine.
  • Guachinche Rincón de Mari (Antonio González, 20): Local eateries called guachinches are one of the most authentic ways to sample Tenerife cuisine. The homemade meals prepared by this one are just as authentic as the owners’ tender loving care and pleasantries.

Information of interest

  • How to arrive

From Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Icod de los Vinos is around 50 kilometres from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. By car it is around 50 minutes on the TF-5 motorway. You can also take the bus (Route 108), which has several daily frequencies.

From Tenerife Sur airport: Icod de los Vinos is around 60 kilometres from the airport on the TF-1 motorway. The trip is around 1 hour.

From Tenerife Norte airport: The trip is around 45 minutes (47 kilometres) on the TF-5 motorway.

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