Our next stop along the "Forgotten Road" was San Miguel de Abona. This is one of the oldest towns in the south of Tenerife and it is definitely worth taking a short time to explore and stroll around.
San Miguel was inhabited by the earliest settlers of Tenerife - the Guanche. It is fascinating that as recently as 1933, they found a Guanche burial site in caves in the hills surrounding San Miguel - 70 bodies were found.
The little town is surrounded by vineyards and lots of volcanic cones on the landscape. Everywhere along the roadside, prickly pear and cactus plants are growing. The area is known for its agriculture, especially its vines and its tomatoes. Apparently there are a quite a number of foreign inhabitants in this town - especially English and German people who have renovated some of the old properties.
The main street doesn't really look very interesting or appealing, but if you just go beyond that, you will find traditional houses, narrow streets and lots of cobbles. We strolled down the hilly streets, admiring the lovely old houses on the way. Look out especially for the traditional wooden balconies and the 18th century townhouses.
The church here - the Iglesia San Miguel Arcangel is beautiful. It is a 17th century church with a quadrangle bell tower. There is a lovely dragon tree right next to the church. Take some time too to explore the street just running off the church square - there are lots of traditional mansions here.
A short drive further along is Granadilla. Like San Miguel de Abona, tourists here are virtually non-existent, so you feel as if you are seeing the real Tenerife. Again it is worth stopping here for a short time to explore and get a feel for the place. It is right on the edge of the Corona Forest, and at first glimpse looks a bit nondescript. The main street is a bit bland and modern, but if you go behind that, it is beautiful.
Calle Arquitecto Marrero was our favourite street. It is a pedestrianised street full of brightly coloured houses. At number 11, there is a little museum. It is free to go inside, all the information is in Spanish, but it seemed like it was about the history of the town. There were lots of old photographs too, we didn't really understand much, but it was just nice to go inside and explore upstairs and downstairs of one of the old houses on this street.
We found a little bar on the end of the Calle Arquitecto Marrero and decided to have some lunch here. There were a lot of local people inside, no-one spoke English but they were exceptionally friendly. We don't speak more than a smattering of Spanish, but we managed to somehow order sandwiches and beers. The food was extremely cheap, very delicious and we had a lovely hour in there with the locals.