Icod de los Vinos & Garachico
Your guide to Icod de los Vinos & Garachico in Tenerife. Insider information from people who live there.
Icod de los Vinos
A visit to Tenerife would not be complete without visiting Icod de los Vinos, which is home to what has been described as the oldest living thing on earth - El Drago Milenario (the Dragon Tree). The Dragon Tree is estimated to be between 600-3000 years old, and has been the source of many a legend. Apart from its extraordinary age, its sap turns the colour of blood on contact with the air. This led the early Guanche settlers to believe that the tree had magical powers and used it in their mummification processes and as a source of medicine. At 17 metres high and 6 metres wide, the tree is easily seen from the beautiful, ornate square next to the church - Iglesia de San Marcos, however, if you would like a closer look, entrance into the garden where it is located is 3€. There are not many other sights here except for the Butterfly Zoo, which is home to hundreds of butterflies from around the world.
Along with La Laguna and La Orotava, Garachico was very important to the early commercial development of Tenerife. Due to its deep waters it made an excellent port from which to export local produce. However, a series of natural disasters brought all this to an end. The first occurred in 1645 as a result of a landslide, which engulfed the town, killing around a 100 people. If this was not bad enough in 1706 the volcano above the town erupted and two large rivers of lava engulfed the town and flowed into the sea, also ruining the town's status as a port.