Icod de los Vinos -Tenerife
Dragon Tree & Wine

Icod de los Vinos (Tenerife)- the municipality famous for its 1000 years old Dragon Tree and wine

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Dragon Tree - the symbol of Icod de los Vinos.

      The Dragon Tree is native to the Canary Islands (but also to Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde). Its characteristic “muscular” branches fanning-out from a trunk create a very powerful image of the twisted in everlasting convulsions crown ending with the layer of thick leaves.

The Mighty Dragon Tree.

Note: this picture does not have its HR version

        The Dragon Tree in Icod de los Vinos is claimed to be a thousand years old (no wonder, it is proudly called by the local population as Drago Milenario.  Although there is no scientific data confirming its age, it seems to be the oldest known dragon tree in the world.

Strangely enough, the dragon tree does not grow the same way as normal trees so the annual rings cannot be used to estimate its age. Instead the number of branch forking occurrences can be used for that purpose as they indicate the number of flowering events. 

The name “Dragon Tree” certainly reflects its strange, imagination capturing appearance and feelings of respect for its muscular body.

      Some associate the name "Dragon Tree" with the reddish resin from its bark or leaves. Some look for an inspiration from the tale of Hercules and his journey to the Garden of Hesperides (possibly located on Canary Islands ?). According to the myth, the dragon tree sprang from the blood of the hundred-headed dragon killed by Hercules.

Actually I like this version because to me Tenerife seems to be a perfect and “natural” location of the ancient paradise garden!

Above and below: Walking Tree

Multi-arm candlestick tree

Casa de Lorenzo Cáceres.

       Military engineer - Colonel Gonzalo de Lorenzo Cáceres build his house in Icod de los Vinos at the beginning of the 19th century. The three-story building designed around the central courtyard is a beautiful example of the neoclassical architecture in Tenerife. Recently, after restoration, it serves as a local Art Center.

Casa de Lorenzo Cáceres: Entrance

Casa de Lorenzo Cáceres: Interior

    Icod de los Vinos has more to offer than just the Dragon Tree (undoubtedly an important attraction!). The city, thanks to its location on the north-western part of the island, seems to be a one big garden with abundant subtropical vegetation (in contrast to the south-eastern rather arid part of the island).

Local architecture with characteristic wooded balcony

Thanks to the good climate in Icod de los Vinos everything thrives and flourishes

As it would be expected from the earthly Garden of Eden - life may not be eternal here, but it certainly lasts for hundred of years :-)

“Wrinkled” roots are a convincing sign of the time, but the healthy trunk still seems to be in its early stage of life.

No wonder - it is also the home to the “Butterfly Garden”.

For watchers of these flying fairy-tale's beauties it is the part of the island’s paradise – but please be careful – quite often at the entry you will find a “watchful” although seemingly lazy guardian – Lizard (probably a property of the owner). 

I was not sure – if he was watching visitors, or just taking an afternoon nap?

Butterfly Monarch (Icod de los Vinos - Butterfly Garden)

Go to: Butterflies Garden  - as part of the Icod de los Vinos tour. 

        And very important – as you may guess, the full Icod’s name makes the reference to the “godly elixir” mostly known under the name of wine. According to connoisseurs and persons close to the “well-informed circles”, the quality of Icod’s wines regained the ancient prestige, so please do not lose the opportunity…….

Anyhow, it is a good idea to finish the exhausting day with the glass of wine :-) - cheers!

To continue the tour of Tenerife click:
Santa Cruz -Tenerife (previous) or Los Gigantos -Tenerife (next)

If you want to make a tour of the Tenerife's El-Teide National Park, get friendly with animals in the Loro Parque, experience the bird's view of the island when paragliding, visit the secluded village Masca, taste local potatoes or witness the unique whistling language in La Gomera then click any of the following links:

El-Teide Volcano Park - and follow several pages
La Piedra de la Rosa
Tandem Paragliding in Tenerife
Canarian potatoes
Whistling Language in la Gomera
Loro Parque-Tenerife
Masca Village

If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)

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