The Southern Shore

The southern shore is a dry and desert-like landscape. Many people are tempted to take the fast motorway north but they are cheating themselves for a great experience. If you take your time and follow the highway a little bit further into the country, you will not regret it. The landscape is beautiful and changes between deep barrancosolder volcano craters, beautiful nature and you pass through bigger and smaller towns. The people living here speak almost only spanish, but you get by with a few spanish words and a little bit of english.

Make sure to leave Los Cristianos by the motorway and take the highway to Valle San Lorenzo. The road rises slowly up the mountain side, and gradually as you get higher up, you will notice the view on the southern shore. You will also notice left overs from old and long ago extinct volcanoes.

After a few kilometres drive you will arrive at a point, from which there is a view called ”Mirador de la Centinela”. It’s not marked, but notice the place where the road seems to split in two, and stay to the right. There are a few steps to the top, which is marked with a cross. It may not be possible to get all the way to the top because of work beeing done on the place, probably to make an arrangement for tourists. But the view is there. You can see the Reina Sofia Airport, where all tourists arrive. You can also see Punta Rojo (The Red Mountain), where you find a nice bathing beach.

You pass through the towns San Miguel, Granadilla and several more. El Medano is a nice little fishing village with a nice – but often windy - bathing beach.

If you go on and leave Granadilla, the winding road takes you across deep barrancos. The vegetation becomes more desert-like. You go on through Lomo de Arico and Arico Nuevo to Fasnia. Take the effort to drive to the nearby volcano cone at Los Roches. On the top a little chapel has been build.

The second largest city, Candelaria, Candelaria, lies by the ocean, and is known as a city for pilgrims. A madonna statue was washed ashore in 1390, and miracles happened. The statue was lost to the sea in a storm in 1826, and the one now displayed in the church is a replacement. Every year on July 26th. ”Maria” is celebrated. On the seadside of the church square, a line of statues resembling the original population the guanchers is displayed.

From here you can continue on to Santa Cruz, or you can go back.

It’s also possible to drive past Arona on to Vilaflor. As you approach Vilaflor several vineyards turn up. But Vilaflor is also known for its clean air and the production of mineral water, sold on the island. The road rises a good deal, so bring warm clothes.

From here, the road continues through a pine forest, and after about 15 kilometres you rise above the tree limit and reach the entrance to the Las Canadas Crater.

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