Tierra del Trigo the Land of Wheat in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and is popular with extreme cyclists
The Land of Wheat in Tenerife
Tierra del Trigo means “Land of Wheat”, and indeed this crop is grown in fields outside this charming Tenerife village.
Tierra del Trigo is above the coastal parts of La Isla Baja (“The Low Island”) in Tenerife’s northwest, and its closest neighbour is the town of El Tanque some 3km away.
Because Tierra del Trigo is so high above the coastal area below it is popular with extreme cyclists who can use the road that zigzags down the cliffs.
Tierra del Trigo photos
A tall tower and a stick of blood
The road is clearly signposted from El Tanque to Tierra del Trigo and a tall tower, acting as a landmark, stands out in the direction you would need to take. The tower is deserted although you may spy a pair of buzzards circling in the skies above.
Right by this tower is a tiny patch of woodland made up of Canary Pine trees (Pinus canariensis) and Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus). From the hillside at this point there are incredible views down to the coast below. The mountain known as Montaña de Taco, which has a reservoir in its crater, can be clearly seen overlooking Buenavista del Norte.
Tierra del Trigo is a rather small country village, and one that many people have never heard of, but it is still big enough to have its own cultural centre.
What really puts Tierra del Trigo on the map and makes it a place of interest, is the amazing road that zigzags its way down to the coastal farmland near Los Silos.
A conspicuous warning sign at the top of this road cautions would-be users about the danger of falling rocks and points out that great care must be taken.
There are websites that describe the road as one of the most difficult cycling routes in the whole world. It comes recommended only for extreme cycling experts due to its hairpin bends and steep incline. The incredible road from Santiago del Teide to the mountain village of Masca is its only rival in the Canary Islands.
Tierra del Trigo has many endemic wild plants and succulents of interest to botanists, such as species of the tiny Monanthes and the Aeonium houseleeks that flourish on the rocks and cliffs in the area.
Stick of Blood
A beautiful Canary Island medicinal herb known as Palo de Sangre (Marcetella moquiniana), is plentiful along the roadsides. Its name means “Stick of Blood” if translated into English and it was called this because of the red felt that covers its stems.
Palo de Sangre is actually a member of the rose family, although you probably wouldn’t realise this unless you were a botanist.
The Canary Palm (Phoenix canariensis) forms groves and looks majestic with a backdrop of volcanic cliffs behind the trees. This is one place on the island of Tenerife where this endemic tree grows in its natural habitat.
The walk from El Tanque to Tierra del Trigo and down to Los Silos is certainly an unforgettable experience and makes this village well worth seeking out even though it is off the beaten track.
The Tierra del Trigo road by car
Where is Tierra del Trigo?
© 2010 Steve Andrews
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