If you’re looking for a quiet, picturesque town to relax in during your visit to Tenerife, El Palmar is perfect. This town is located on the island’s northwest and is known for its lovely rural landscape, stunning mountain views, and hiking trails. Wandering the streets of El Palmar, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time or discovered the well-kept, breathtaking secret of this famous isle. So if you’re looking for a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of city life, be sure to add El Palmar to your itinerary!
Why Visit El Palmar
Most holiday makers stay in touristy towns like Las Américas or Los Cristianos. However, several smaller villages on the island are worth a visit, especially if you want to experience the genuine Tenerife.
El Palmar is nestled in a rich valley that gives the hamlet its name. It is in one of the island’s greenest places, between the Teno Mountains and the nature preserve of Monte del Agua.Apart from the spectacular scenery surrounding it, the town is beautifully stuck in time. Classic Canarian architecture and a small economy relying on agriculture and traditional handicrafts still characterize this village of only 800 residents.
Keep reading if you’d want to take a trip to this charming colonial-style village surrounded by breathtaking natural topography!
Exploring as far away from the beaten path as possible is the best way to truly experience Tenerife’s culture at its most authentic. This is because untouristy smaller towns and villages found all across the island are home to some of its most well-kept secrets.
At an elevation that ranges from 300 to 500 meters (985 to 1,640 feet), the charming hamlet of El Palmar is burrowed in a valley in the center of Teno Natural Park. It is encompassed on all sides by mountains and boasts a breathtakingly beautiful natural setting. The Teno Massif, one of the three volcanic structures that contributed to the formation of Tenerife many thousands of years ago, is also located within the park.
Castilian conquistadors who were interested in the fertile soil in the area were the ones who established the historic settlement. This countryside is filled with quaint little traditional dwellings, and the restaurants in the area provide a diverse selection of authentic Canarian fare. While strolling through town, you may catch a whiff of freshly milled gofio, a roasted grain flour created in the Canaries for centuries. In addition, it is home to a number of significant architectural features, including old ranchos and the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación.
Stone terraces and fields hem in El Palmar. It is at its most beautiful and vibrant during the springtime when flowers begin to bloom and you can hear the bees buzzing about. In some parts of the town and surrounding mountains, you can admire the unique beauty of Montaña de El Palmar, also known as Montaña Zahorra. It has crumbled sections, giving the appearance of a pie with slices missing. This fascinating terrain is a vestige of its past use as a source for the supply of building materials for local housing.
Take a walk in the footsteps of the Guanches, Tenerife’s first inhabitants, to get a sense of how life used to be on the Canary Islands. They created a network of routes or the caminos reales, which translates to royal roads or highways, around 500 years ago as they moved their livestock between summer and winter grazing areas. These paths provide stunning vistas and a tangible link to the island’s past.
One of Tenerife’s best-kept secrets is the El Palmar Valley. While strolling through the vale, every step comes with a view of birds flying overhead and the sound of goat bells ringing in the distance. No walk around the village is complete without a visit to the local shops for the most pungent cheeses you’ll find in this part of the globe.
Although the hamlet alone is worth the visit, exploring the many trails that criss-cross the area is a must. One of the most popular is the easy two-hour journey on foot to Teno Alto. Beginning at El Palmar, one travels up the steep slope of the valley on a winding, narrow road that passes through groves of prickly pear and pine trees as well as fields of potatoes and vines on either side. With each step you take, the vistas get better and better, culminating in an incredible panorama of the entire valley, with Mount Teide just visible over the Monte del Agua on a clear day.
As you make your way through the chilly forest and over the slope of emerald hills, you’ll eventually reach the hamlet of Teno Alto. There are two dining options in the quaint village, one of which offers a wide variety of local products, including award-winning cheeses.Taking the same route back to your starting point has two significant advantages. To begin with, it’s nearly all downhill, and secondly, you’ve got that cheese to keep your stamina going.
Apart from the captivating linear hiking trail above the valley, there are a number of other hiking paths that originate in El Palmar, as well as many that cross or end there. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, here are the ones you should put on top of your list:
- El Palmar – Teno Alto – El Palmar
- El Palmar – Las Lagunetas – El Monte del Agua (where you will find an ancient Laurel forest.
- El Palmar – Monte del Agua – Las Lagunetas – Montañeta de El Palmar
- Buenavista – Teno Alto – El Palmar
- El Palmar – Teno alto – Mirador de Baracán – El Palmar
- El Palmar – Casas de Talavera – El Palmar
- El Palmar – Faro de Teno – Buenavista
- El Palmar- Las Lagunetas- Las Portelas, Buensvista
- El Palmar – Teno alto – Cumbres de bolico – Las Portelas – El Palmar
- Los Silos-Talavera-El Palmar-Teno Alto- Punta de Teno
- Santiago del Teide – Teno – El Palmar – Buenavista del Norte
- Teno – El Palmar – Los Bailaderos – El Baracan
- PuertoErjos – El Palmar – Buenavista
Nature lovers and hikers sometimes refer to the El Palmar Valley as the “capital” or “gateway” of Teno Rural Park. Monte del Agua, a beautiful woodland of laurel and Myrica faya trees, is an excellent place to go for a walk. Laurel pigeons and collared doves, two native Canarian pigeon species, are also prevalent in the area.
The Virgen de la Consolación event takes place at El Palmar during the last two weeks of September. The village’s church bells chime every 12 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the seven days preceding the Virgin’s saint’s day. This 16th-century tradition signals the arrival of the festival. As part of this fiesta, the “Baile de las libreas,” a traditional dance that dates back to the 18th century, is performed. It’s one of the most well-known Canarian folk dances, portraying the conflict between good and evil.
Besides celebrating religion, El Palmar honors Tenerife’s long history of agricultural production through the annual Día de la Trilla (Threshing Day). It aims to preserve the industry’s traditions and practices, which have shaped the region in the past and to what it is now.
It begins with a group of male elders using pitchforks to fill an entire area with wheat. The horse races begin once the wheat reaches waist-high, but the fun really happens after the sporting event when local children start hurling about wheat. The oxen, which are attached to a wooden board, pull the kids across the sea of wheat with ease. Additionally, numerous stalls are set up where people may purchase items like handicrafts, baked goods, jams and cheeses, and beer for enjoyment and to commemorate their attendance at this fantastic festival.
Many of Tenerife’s must-try traditional eateries, known as ‘Guachinches,’ can be found in modest villages like El Palmar.
So, if you’re looking for some great dining options while in town, you won’t be disappointed! There are plenty of restaurants serving up delicious food that will hit the spot. From Italian to EnglishandGerman and Spanish cuisine, you’ll find something to your taste. And don’t forget to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a cold drink in one of the local cafes or bars. Whatever type of food you’re craving, El Palmar has got you covered!
Bar Tasca Baracan
If you’re looking for a truly wonderful dining experience in El Palmar, look no further than the Bar Tasca Baracan. This small family-run restaurant serves up some of the best house wines and traditional Spanish dishes in town, like escaldon de gofio and tapas. But what sets this place apart is their very tender and tasty Iberico secreto. The pimientos de Padron — tiny peppers are fried to perfection and served with a flavorful sauce —and homemade desserts are also must-try. They are absolutely delicious! Whether you’re a fan of Spanish food or just looking for something new, the Bar Tasca Baracan is definitely worth a visit.
Restaurante El Rincón la Abu
Restaurante El Rincón la Abu is a cozy little spot in El Palmar that is perfect for a casual lunch or dinner. The restaurant specializes in rice pot of rabbit and rabbit cannelloni. The burger is also delicious and comes with a generous side of fries. For something lighter, try the Abu salad, potato and cod croquette with saffron sauce, or the grilled octopus. And, of course, no meal at El Rincón la Abu is complete without the gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) or the Tarta helada (ice cream cake). So next time you’re in El Palmar, be sure to check out this hidden gem of a restaurant!
Restaurante Meson Del Norte
The Restaurante Meson Del Norte in Masca, a short drive from El Palmar, is not your usual tourist trap. This local favorite serves delicious Spanish fare, which shows in their dishes’ quality. To begin your meal, try the grilled local cheese with palm honey. The spicy garlic prawns are fresh and perfectly seasoned, the steak (served with home-prepared chips and peppers) is juicy and flavorful, and the spare ribs are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The garlic bread and potatoes with mojo and the rich chocolate mousse are also unforgettable. But what sets this restaurant apart is the amazing Canarian goat stew. Made with fresh meat, tomatoes, and peppers, it’s an authentic taste of the island. So if you’re looking for an authentic dining experience, be sure to check out the Restaurante Meson Del Norte.
How to Reach El Palmar
Reaching El Palmar by bus from popular tourist towns in Tenerife is inexpensive but often requires more than one bus ride. The two main bus lines that service El Palmar are Bus lines 365 and 366, both depart from Buenavista del Norte station, which is less than 10 minutes away. The bus lines make several stops along the way, so it’s easy to hop on and off as needed.
By Car or Taxi
Tenerife is a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world, and you’ll find a wide selection of rental companies offering a variety of vehicles to suit every need in major tourist towns. Most rental car companies will require you to be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. You’ll also need to have a credit card to make a reservation. When you pick up your rental car, you’ll be asked to leave a deposit, which will be used to cover any damages that may occur during your trip.
There are two things to keep in mind when driving to El Palmar. First, the hamlet is along TF-436, which is among Tenerife’s most spectacular drives and touristic routes. Because of the stunning vistas it affords, travel time may double due to traffic in some pull-over spots. Second, many parts are windy and narrow, so take your time and drive slowly.
From the north side of Tenerife, TF-436 can be reached through TF-5, followed by TF-42. Holidaymakers coming from the south of the island must, on the other hand, must take TF-1 and then TF-375.
If you prefer to take taxis, it is relatively easy to get one as there’s usually plenty available. The best place to look for a cab is at a taxi stand near tourist attractions, hotels, and other popular areas. If there is no taxi stand nearby, you can try flagging down a passing taxi. Keep in mind that cabs can be expensive, so it is always best to negotiate a fixed price beforehand for a day trip to El Palmar. With a little effort, you should be able to find a taxi relatively quickly in most tourist towns in Tenerife.
El Palmar: The Valley Oasis
El Palmar is a beautiful and peaceful oasis in Tenerife. Hike or walk one of the many trails that wind through traditional houses, fields, and mountains. Stop for a meal at one of the local restaurants, try their stinky cheeses, or keep going to one of the festivals often held in the valley. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the valley hamlet of El Palmar is the perfect place to explore.