Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Visions in Pink - The Almond Trees of Santiago del Teide, Tenerife

The Santiago del Teide Valley is an uplifting place to walk at any time of the year – old farmers in fedora hats stop their backbreaking work tending fields to wave as you walk by, old women in straw hats gossip on the corners of a small hamlet and the scenery shifts from gentle agricultural lands to pine forest to bizarre volcanic formations – but in January and February it is positively magical.

This is the time when the almond trees blossom and fill parts of the valley with their delicate pink flowers. They are a beautiful if short-lived sight to behold and make exploring the area that little bit more special.

For anyone who’s lucky enough to be on Tenerife during this blooming marvelous time and who wants to discover the charms of the Santiago Valley for themselves our ‘Into the Valley’ walking route traverses much of the valley.

Tenerife Island Walks are always a real joy to put together and the Santiago del Teide Valley route was no exception. The routes which follow former merchant and Guanche shepherd trails have some moments where the scenery is so stunning it could almost knock you on to your backside. Standing overlooking the valley with the road snaking to Masca on the opposite valley wall and La Palma, La Gomera and occasionally El Hierro floating on the horizon comes as a standard 'WOW' moment on this walk.

At this time of year, the flowering almond trees are just an added bonus.

The Santiago del Teide council organizes guided ‘Ruta del Almendro en Flor’ (Almond Trees in Flower Route) each February. This year’s takes place on the 6th, but such is the popularity that it’s already full – however, it does give you an idea of around which date the locals consider it best to view the almonds in flower.

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