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Icod de los Vinos


Icod de los Vinos is located on a continuous smooth slope that stretches from the extensive forests of Canary Island Pine down to the sea, and has almost 10 km of shoreline. The city is surrounded by fertile valley, and its streets and corners offer views of the volcanic mountain Teide, as well as dense pine forests which descend from its summit to Icod’s higher-altitude districts. Its banana plantations, orchards and vineyards give rise to a lively commerce. The valley is a fertile and agriculturally rich comarca, as shown by the town’s full name, Icod de los Vinos (Icod of the Wines).

Founded in 1501, the city is a collection of seigniorial houses, ancient palaces, churches and convents.

The name comes from the former menceyato of Icoden, together with a reference to the local wine (vino in Spanish). The Spanish conquerors were quick to colonize this fertile and well-watered region, and introduced the cultivation of sugarcane and grapevines; the latter came to predominate.

In Icod, close to the Church of San Marcos, stands a famous dragon tree (22 m high, lower trunk diameter 10 m, estimated weight 70 t), which is reputed to be a thousand years old (hence its local name, El Drago Milenario: the Thousand-Year-Old Dragon). While no study seems to have confirmed such longevity for the tree (dracos do not produce annual rings with which to tell their ages; the tree is more likely to have an age in the hundreds of years), it is the long-time symbol of Icod.

After an abortive attempt by the city council in 2002, another bid to list the Icod Dragon Tree as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was made in 2011.

Thought to be the largest volcanic cave in the world, the Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) has a known length of over 17 kilometers. It consists of a complex lava tube with several entrances, is the largest lava tube in the European Union. It presents great internal complexity, a wide variety of geomorphological structures, and a unique fauna, both living and fossilized. Other caves, also very extensive, are found in other nooks of the town: these include San Marcos, Punto Blanco, El Rey, and Felipe Reventón.

Text: wikipedia




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