Los Gigantes
Where the land plunges into Ocean

Los Gigantes - the place where the land abruptly ends plunging in steep cliffs into the Atlantic Ocean. Place where you can relax, get a good local fish meal and embark on a “hunting” trip for dolphins and orcas (only cameras are allowed).

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Los Gigantes pictures - Tenerife.

      The name Los Gigantes (The Giants) comes from the spectacular rocky walls rising steeply from the sea to a height of 500-800 meters (1,600-2,600 feet) of the west coast of Tenerife.

The imposing cliffs of Teno Mountains embrace the small resort town tightly "glued" to the little available spots of land.

Gigantic cliffs dominate the landscape....

View from the scenic point.....

For our ancestors, the known world was ending in this heavenly place created by nature. Think about it a moment - Gigantic walls of rock washed in the blue waters of the ocean, surrounded by the omnipresent sun and relentlessly caressed by the fresh breeze …. Isn’t it really the “natural edge” of Known and Unknown, sort of demarcation line between “our world” and the one inhabited by frightening sea-monsters?

What more do you need for the place to be worshipped?

Coming down the winding road we stopped at the cafe-bar “Mirador Archipenque”. The bar with the large wooden terrace is quite mysteriously attached to the rocky cliff, you almost feel the tightness of the place on your back.

One of rare examples of "flat" areas along the coastal road - just at the entrance to Los Gigantes

Bar-Cafeteria "Mirador Archipenque” - as the name suggests, it's not only the bar but also (and maybe first of all) - the Scenic Viewpoint!

       A quick scan of the scenery opening in front of us from the terrace quickly convinced us that souvenirs, food, and even coffee - are not the best that the Mirador Bar can offer. Its “Specialité de la maison” is the spectacular and breathtaking view….. You may stay there for long minutes in silence literally "inhaling the visual symphony" of nature spreading in front of your eyes….. The power of sky, sea, rocks and here and there dots of exotic vegetation, soothed by gentle breeze is truly irresistible.

Don’t believe me? Well, so here are Los Gigantes pictures ….

Gigantic-rock walls dramatically drop down to the water

Los Gigantes cliffs from close up expose dramatic features in their twisted layers of lava. 

          Being in Los Gigantes almost obliges to try the local food. Fresh sardines look so “inviting” on the plate, but I have to tell you that it is quite a work once you stop gazing at them and start the consumption.

But where will you ever get more fresh sardines if not in Los Gigantes? So I couldn’t pass that opportunity. And fresh papaya from the nearby tree can make it up for “thousands of bones”….

Local, most likely organic and fresh - what a combination!

Beautiful balconies, narrow, mostly one-way streets, great places to get refreshments and food and this is just the starting point of the visit to Los Gigantes.

Los Gigantes - street lamps lead the way to the harbour for the sailboat trip.     

  Taking the sailing trip on one of the boats is very rewarding. Note that Canary Islands are on the yearly migration path of whales and dolphins, and Los Gigantes seem to be their favorite stopover place…

Like in every “paradise” – an abundance of all kinds of fish that you can easily see through the clear waters of the ocean, company of friendly dolphins and always mysterious orcas testing your photographer’s skills in a "cat and mouse game" is exciting. Add to that the stunning beauty of the Los Gigantes' cliffs that this time you can see from the close distance.

Beaches are not particularly attractive here (unless you love black ones). The small nearby Los Guios Beach offers rather a nice scenic point with views on the cliffs rather than the sunbathing place (note that black sand absorbs heat, so walking barefoot on the beach requires the skills and stamina of fearless fakirs.

Leaving the port for the "hunting" trip with ready to use cameras

Wow, what a catch (on camera's screen) :-)

Successful hunting for orcas - this one moves like a torpedo. 

Every inch of real estate is precious here....

      The last picture shows how the Los Gigantes town using every little “opening” in the cliff is clinging to the rocky walls. Unfortunately - as it usually happens in our times, the pressure for more and more space results in environmentally questionable decisions of digging and leveling the cliffs to allow for farther expansion of the town. 

Nature (here the papaya tree) can always find its way...

      The sacred cliffs that are the spirit and soul of Los Gigantes, but also a magnet for the hoardes of tourists..!

Do we always need the wounded nature to stand up for herself (like recently in Madera - February 2010) to realize how negligent and self-centered we are in our relentless conquest of nature? By “grabbing” for individual needs in our devastating selfishness most of what the Mother Nature created for all of us :-(.....

      These were the thoughts going through my mind when leaving Los Gigantes. Climbing the narrow winding road out of the town we left behind the pure beauty of the place, hoping that what you see on these pictures will be still there for generations to come. Hopping that this special and unworldly site will feed our souls as it was doing over centuries for local inhabitants – Guanches.

Time to go back - here last look at Los Gigantes from the sea....

To continue the tour of Canaries click:
Tenerife - Iod de los Vinos (previous) or Short history of Canary Islands (next)

On top of amazing pictures, I also promise to tell you where from came the name "Canary Islands"!

If you want to take 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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