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Travel just 8 kilometres inland from the rolling greens and all day British breakfasts of the purpose built Golf del Sur and you’ll find that the real Tenerife is alive and well and living in the hill towns strung along the TF28 which we affectionately call The Forgotten Road.
Surrounded by contrasting landscapes of neat terraces covered in vines and potatoes, rocky outcrops of volcanic cones and deep barrancos (valleys) covered in cactus spurges, spiny lettuce and prickly pear plants, the administrative centre for the borough of San Miguel de Abona keeps its prettiest profile hidden. Head behind the main street towards the iconic landmark tower of the Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel and the town’s traditional wooden balconies, pretty 18th century town houses and picturesque cobbled streets reveal themselves to your eyes… and your calves on streets that would send a spirit level back to the factory.
One of the oldest towns in the south of Tenerife, San Miguel de Abona was an important centre for Tenerife’s original inhabitants, the Guanche, and as late as 1933 the bodies of 70 natives were found at a burial chamber in the La Tafetena Barranco. Today the town is largely populated by Tinerfeños with a smattering of British and German ex pats who have renovated old properties, restoring them to their former glory and in some cases, way beyond their original beauty.
This is a small community where, save for a couple of notably fabulous exceptions, tourist accommodation is scarce and visitors are predominantly of the passing through variety which makes it doubly attractive. A strong centre of agriculture, San Miguel is particularly known for its tomatoes, potatoes and vines which may go some way to explaining why it has such good restaurants.
Restaurants in San Miguel
Quality wins out over quantity in the restaurant stakes and San Miguel has two excellent establishments amongst its handful of offerings – La Tasquita de Nino and la Pimienta Verde. See our verdict below.
Accommodation in San Miguel
Rural accommodation doesn't get much better than in San Miguel's cloistered treasures of the quirky and charismatic Hotel Rural San Miguel and the chic and impeccable La Bodega Casa Rural.
The pick of what to see in San Miguel
The lovely 17th century church of San Miguel Arcángel is worth a look and alongside, the 19th century Biblioteca (library) which used to be the Town Hall, complete with dungeons. Head out past La Bodega Vieja to the museum of Casa del Capitán for a glimpse into San Miguel's past (Mon-Fri 08.00-14.00, 16.30-19.00).
Nightlife in San Miguel
San Miguel's nightlife is generally more laid back than the average sun lounger with 'Rum Corner' in La Bodega Vieja being a bit livelier than the average. If you like Knights with your nights, you'll love Castillo San Miguel.
The Real Tenerife Guidebook – in Print & on Kindle
For visitors to Tenerife who want to experience the best of Tenerife:- The 'Real' Tenerife guide to Tenerife's resorts, towns and villages is written with insight and passion by travel writers who have spent years treading the streets of every town and village, trekking along goat trails in the mountains and revelling at fiestas until dawn... [Find Out More]
Walk this Way – Tenerife
More than just a collection of the best walking routes for the island, Walk This Way Tenerife is a complete guide to self-guided walking on Tenerife. Available from Amazon. [Find out more]
Town & City Walking Routes
Tenerife has some fascinating towns, yet many visitors miss out on the best bits of them. But not those who have our Town & City Guides. With routes to our favourite sights, museums, galleries, parks, plazas, restaurants and more, these guides are your key to Tenerife towns & Cities. Routes for Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava now available.
Real Tenerife Island Drives
People in over 30 countries have discovered the best of Tenerife by car with Real Tenerife Island Drives, scenic driving routes through the best of Tenerife's countryside. On sale in PDF and Kindle formats. [More Information...]
Real Tenerife Island Walks
Discover verdant valleys, plunging ravines, sweeping forests, remote corners, tiny hamlets and vistas galore with our series of detailed walking routes, Island walks . On sale in handy PDF format. [More Information...]
The Real Tenerife Hotel Reviews
Our hotel reviews only include hotels across Tenerife we've stayed in. We haven't been paid to write them or to advertise any hotel and we don't earn anything if anyone books a hotel after reading one. These simply represent our experiences. [More Information...]