Drive directly on the motorway ( Autopista del Sur ) to the capital of the island named Santa Cruz consisting of approximately 400.000 inhabitants. Keep driving alongside the Atlantic Ocean till you reach the center. While arriving at the Plaza de España, drive your car directly into the underground parking. Stroll through the pedestrian precinct around the square, a busy shopping area. Approach the international cruise ships in the port and enjoy the view of the harbor. The town has a friendly city atmosphere. Then follow the road to San Andres. This village is situated at the outskirts of Santa Cruz and known for its delicious sea food. Have a lovely lunch in one of the front beach restaurants and drive then to the white sandy beach of Las Teresitas . The beach is apprx 2 km long and is only a couple of minutes drive from San Andres. From the beach of Las Teresitas a small mountain road winds up to the Mercedes Forest with stunning views of the windy and rainy northern gorges and the sunny southern steep slopes. In the distance you can see the island of Gran Canaria. A village not to be missed is called Taganana, a mysterious place where it seems you are approaching the end of the world !
Plaza de España Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Pass the Pico del Ingles, direction Cruz del Carmen and La Laguna. The vegetation consists out of tree heather, different laurel species and growth is only possible due to the north-east trade wind which produces a lot of humidity at this special height and can only be found in certain areas of the island. It means the last European rain forests exist here as the ice age didn´t affect the Canary Islands. When arriving in La Laguna, the old part of the town is worth visiting. This former capital of Tenerife and university center was the first colonial Spanish town and model to the colonial towns of South and Middle America.
After visiting La Laguna, drive to the roundabout next to the highway. On the roundabout you have to take the road into the mountains direction La Esperanza. Through the village of La Esperanza you drive into magnificent Esperanza Forest, the largest and oldest of the island. Driving up to apprx 2000 meters you have panoramic views to both sides of the islands and suddenly you will see the enormous cone of the Pico del Teide. With its 3816 meters it is the highest mountain of Spain and second highest mountain of Europe !! ( only the Mont Blanc in France is higher )
Enter the crater at El Portillo and on your left you can see the steep walls of the old crater with a diameter of 12km and a perimeter of 42 km !! The old crater was formed by gigantic eruptions, causing later to sink into a huge hole. Passing the cable car station and the Parador Hotel you will notice the impressive landscapes. At Boca de Tauce turn right and take the road to Chio – Guia de Isora and finally Adeje.