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.