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.

To get the most out of your visit to san Miguel de Abona make sure you have your copy of Real Tenerife  Island Drives OR The Real Tenerife Guidebook.


Recommended Accommodation in San Miguel de Abona

In the Hotel Rural San Miguel each of the rooms is named after its 17th century function and you could find yourself sleeping in the hen house, the cheese making room or the goat shed. No such nonsense in La Bodega Casa Rural where you’ll find four cottages offering luxury and impeccable taste on a self catering basis in the former town bodega.

Recommended Restaurants in San Miguel de Abona

Tuck into tapas in the charming former Post Office and cantina in which La Tasquita de Nino’s eponymous owner grew up (Calle Estanco, 3)  or get stuck into a steak at the misleadingly named La Pimienta Verde (Carretera General del Sur, 39) carnivore’s paradise where the cuts of meat are Desperate Dan sized.

Go Walking in San Miguel de Abona

Take to the cobbled path of ancient merchants to tread your way through San Miguel’s idyllic countryside and climb to the Centinella Mirador for fabulous views over the south east coast before the downhill return – yay! Full directions in The Old South Island Walks.