When taking yourself off on a blissful holiday you want to ensure that you have plenty of time to not only relax by the pool and indulge in delicious dinners and spa experiences, but head out and discover the natural surroundings in which you find yourself, too.
Tenerife is one such destination that perfectly blends exciting excursions, stunning natural surroundings, and sights to cherish as well as all of those relaxing and indulgent treats we mentioned above. Next time you head out to this interesting holiday hot spot, make sure you find some time to explore the variety of natural parks available to you.
You will be entering a world with a thousand tales to tell, full of spectacular landscapes that have been shaped into exotic locations of breath-taking natural beauty. Take a stroll amidst orchids, dragon trees and palms as the dappled sunlight shines through bamboo canes. Lovely sculptures and statues are hidden in the vegetation, lulled by the sound of waterfalls and streams flowing into the sea.
We take a look at five natural parks in Tenerife – the perfect places to indulge in nature.
Jardín Botánico – garden located in Tenerife North
Jardín Botánico has major collections of tropical and sub-tropical plants, with special emphasis on varieties of palms such as Bromeliacea, Araceas and Moracea. There are many plants and trees that are interesting because of their beauty, size, age, rarity or remote place of origin.
As a scientific institution, the gardens carry out international germo-plasm exchanges, it has a herb garden specialising in native Canary flora, with more than 30,000 files and develops research programmes on the flora and vegetation of the Canary Islands and the conservation of endemic species. Ever since it was created, the gardens have had an exhibition area of 20,000 m2, which is presently being increased, and an adjacent area of 40,000 m2.
Garden: 9am to 6pm
Closed: 1st January, Good Friday and Christmas Day
Library and Herbarium: 9am to 1pm (Monday to Friday by appointment)
The Orchid Garden Sitio Litre – garden located in Tenerife North
The oldest garden in Tenerife (over 220 years old) it has a private mansion that dates from 1730 and, luckily for us, the owners have decided to open this magnificent garden to the public. They have the largest collection of orchids on the island, the largest and oldest dragon tree in Puerto de la Cruz and souvenirs from important visitors like the famous German botanist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and Agatha Christie.
It has a café and a shop that specialises in typical products, and there is an exhibition of paintings on loan from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in London, with whom they have a collaboration agreement.
In the summer (from 1st May to 31st October): 9.30am to 6pm
In winter (from 1st November to 30th April): 9.30am to 5pm
Santa Cruz Palmetum
The Santa Cruz Palmetum constitutes a unique project, which has transformed a rubbish tip into a space for leisure and botanical culture. In the gardens, there is the best collection of palm trees in Europe, and one of the best in the world.
With over 2,000 species of plants from tropical and sub-tropical climates, the botanical family of the palms is the best represented in the collection with over 500 species arranged throughout the park according to their geographical origin. On the tour, the visitor will be transported to such exotic locations as the Caribbean, Madagascar, Africa and Australia.
The Santa Cruz Palmetum is more than a reclaimed rubbish dump and is also greater than a botanical garden with significant plants, it has splendid landscapes, with stupendous views of the sea and the city, waterfalls, lakes and streams, all of which make this a unique spot.
For the last few years, the Palmetum has been the best location for bird watching in the city of Santa Cruz. Year after year, the mountain has been colonised by a multitude of species which have made this spot their new home.
Parque del Drago – park located in Tenerife North
The Parque del Drago, or Drago Park, is the main attraction of Icod de los Vinos. The famous ‘thousand-year-old Dragon (although its age is officially 800 years) is one of the most important natural, cultural and historic symbols of the Canary Islands. The Icod Dragon tree (Dracaena draco canariensis), considered the oldest specimen on the islands, is more than 16 metres tall and measures some 20 metres around the base.
A garden of endemic species has been created around the tree, which is especially enriching and illustrative for visitors, with small dragon trees, cactus spurge, sweet spurge, and more.
From April to September: 9am to 8pm
October to March: 10am to 6pm
Adults €5, students and pensioners €3, children under eight years old €2,50, Icod residents – free of charge.
Hijuela del Botánico
These romantic gardens, built in 1788, cover an expanse of 4,000 square metres (roughly one acre) and have been classed as an Asset of Cultural Interest since 2008. They stand just behind the Town Hall in La Orotava.
They were built at the behest of the 6th Marquise of Villanueva del Prado, Alfonso de Nava y Grimón, and were initially an addition to the Acclimatisation Gardens in La Orotava, which are known as the Botanical Gardens of Puerto de la Cruz.
Don’t miss a delightful stroll surrounded by its hundreds of different species, which include horse-chestnut trees, flame trees, sapotes, bunya pines and a beautiful dragon tree.
9am to 2pm. All year round
All imagery courtesy of Turismo de Tenerife