Icod de Los Vinos is situated in the North East of Tenerife and covers an area of some 90km2 and is situated on the coast at the base of the pine covered mountains leading to Mount Teide. The town can be found in a very fertile valley which has given rise to the growing of some excellent grape varieties and hence some…even better…wines, hence the name Icod de Los Vinos, vino being the Spanish word for wine. In times gone by, Icod de Los Vinos was actually the Capital city of Tenerife but was changed supposedly due to the better protected waters for shipping in Santa Cruz.
On the night of the 29th of November, every year, no matter what the day, the fiesta of San Andrés takes place where, usually the younger people of the town and local area take wooden sleds, and slide down the cobbled streets of the town. The braver participants make for one of the central streets which are extremely steep and have crash barriers at the bottom constructed from used tyres to stop the participants from crashing into the crowd at the bottom of the hill.
The Romaria of Icod is also held in the church square, where a family member needs to go and reserve and pay for a table for the family to get together that evening. The party goes on all night with music and traditional dancing with everyone wearing their traditional dress.
The beach of San Marcos is close by, having the natural black sand that is common for the beaches on the north. Again, you won’t be short of places to eat and drink in San Marcos as it has a small fishing fleet that supplies the local fish restaurants.
There is a good range of shops and banks here and cafés and restaurants line the cobbled streets offering mainly traditional food, also two national supermarkets have recently opened newly built stores on the outskirts of town.
Icod is also famous for the Dragon Tree and the stories that abound regarding the red sap and historical events. This type of tree does not have rings to tell the age of it, but it is said to be over 1,000 years old. The Drago park houses the tree and is worth a visit, as not only can you see the tree up close, but there is also a very large array of plants from the island.
Thanks to the excellent quality of its wines, Icod has become famous worldwide and some of the wines have the famous stamp of quality from the Regulatory Board of the Denominación de Origen Ycoden-Daute-Isora, which serves as a guarantee of the quality of the wine having been produced from the area.
There is an excellent bus service from the main bus station in Icod to the south going over the mountain, stopping at many towns and villages on the way and ending up at the main bus station in Playa de Las Americas.
I have made a short video of the church square where you can see the Dragon Tree of Icod and hear about some of the things to see and do in Icod de Los Vinos, Tenerife.