Pink White And Almond Delight In Santiago Del Teide

Buffeted by icy showers, swirling mist and fog, the almond blossom still shone through. After dropping 10 degrees between Los Cristianos and the Tenerife west town of Santiago del Teide, it was good to see petals as perky as ever for the annual 10 km walk.

Between strong gusts and bright sunshine, it was clear to see that even two weeks into the month long pilgrimage, there were none of the carpets of dislodged leaves blooms around the tree trunks. A good harvest clung on as new buds slowly unfolded.

The splashes of rain dripped slowly off the hearts of the tree fastened blooms. Nature was showing patience and resilience, hundreds of walkers throng the sturdy, well managed paths during the festival, but numbers were only in dozens on this mid week mixed bag of weather.

It´s not all window dressing, large amounts of almonds are harvested across Tenerife, and from 28 January to 26 February, 18 bars in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, add almond influenced drinks and snacks to their menus.There are three walking routes of differing distances, the Tourist Information office in the church plaza of Santiago del Teide has full details of the Almendro en Flor paths, or you can check online. The longest route passes through the Chinyero shrine to the 1909 volcanic eruption of Mount Teide, that was stopped in its tracks when the statue of the Virgen was placed in its path – and hailed as a miracle.

I had hoped to repeat previous sights of the snow covered peak of Teide, but the wispy clouds ganged up on me as I entered the solidified lava field section of the walk. I was well layered up and lagged for warmth and had good gripping footwear for climbs and plunges along the paths. The finish of the long version takes a steep dive down into and then back up out of Arguayo, a small village with a very limited bus service back down to the main town.


A taxi from one of the few village bars is a good idea. I had done the walk many times including the tyarmac road up and out of Arguayo before it spirals down to Santiago del Teide but a cold rain lashed me this time as I descended. The 460 Titsa bus from Icod was an hour overdue (again) when myself and several other walkers, fresh from exploring the area, caught a Titsa bus down to Los Gigantes. I used this to link me to a bus on to Los Cristianos. Almond blossom walks still send my senses into overdrive. I guess I am just nuts about this versatile and tasty natural treat.