Icod in the northwest of Tenerife reaches from the slopes of Teide down to the Atlantic coast. It is, in my opinion, a pleasant if not the most exciting of places. The reason most people visit is to see the famous Drago tree which won´t take long, but if you have made the effort to go then check out the places below as the tree is not the only attraction.
Plaza de Andrés de Lorenzo Cáceres
Located in the historic centre of town the shady square was built in the 16th century and extended in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a popular leafy spot to rest and enjoy the town’s white-walled church that dominates the area. The views are breath taking, from one side you can see down to the ocean. Another side leads to the town, whilst the other side leads to the famous Dragon Tree.
Iglesia de San Marcos
The 16th century church has an interesting baroque interior, wood panelling, and ceiling (Mudejar) an 18th century altar and an ornate silver filigree 2m high cross. The church and adjacent buildings were declared monuments of Cultural Interest in 2006.
Plaza de La Pila
The small Plaza also called Plaza de la Constitución is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Canary Islands. Some marvellous 17th and 19th century buildings surround it, including the Casa-Palacio of the Lorenzo-Cáceres family and the old hospital of Los Dolores run by the sisters of the Orden Del Buen Consejo. The square is full of plants, some extremely rare. There is also an elegant stone fountain, sometimes used as a giant plant pot, which has been there since the early 18th century.
House of Caceres
Built in the early 19th century, by the family of Caceres, the mansion has 365 doors and windows. It is open to the public and used for exhibitions and cultural events and is an example of neo-classical architecture not normally found on the island. The building is built around a central courtyard with stone facades and symmetrically placed windows. Inside everything is carved from wood, emphasising the grandeur of the house.
Convent of San Francisco
Located in the historic centre and attached to the Chapel of the Dolores and the Church of San Francisco, the Convent was founded in 1641. Popularly known ‘El Spiritu Santo’. Today, it houses the Public Library.
This is what all the fuss is about. It is estimated that the tree is 1000 years old, one of the oldest in the world. Like Teide, it is a symbol of Tenerife and has appeared in paintings, postage stamps and before the Euro on the 1,000 peseta note. The park is up the hill and round the corner from San Marcos church.
Playa de San Marcos
Finally, you can end your visit to Icod on the black sand beach with its view of Teide.
If you are staying in the area I think it best to head to pretty picture postcard Garachico for accommodation where you will find hotels suitable for tourists.