Tenerife in detail

Other Features

Bioclimatic Housing

As an environmental counterbalance to Granadilla's controversial new container port, the town is also home to a state-of-the-art bioclimatic housing complex. The 25 houses, which are available to rent, have been built using recycled and recyclable materials, use renewable energy for all their power, water and waste processing, and are 100% carbon-dioxide free. See http://casas.iter.es/en for more information.

The Day El Teide Swallowed the Sun

These days scientists can explain exactly how a volcano erupts: magma from the earth’s core explodes through the crust and spews ash, rock and molten lava over the land. But the Guanches, living in pre-Hispanic Tenerife, had a more romantic version. According to legend, the 13th-century eruption was caused when El Teide swallowed the sun. The people believed that the devil, Guyota, lived inside El Cheide, as El Teide was then known. One day he emerged from his underground lair and saw the sun. Jealous of its light, he stole it and hid it inside his lair, causing death, destruction and darkness all over the island. The Guanches begged Chaman, the sky god, for help, and the god battled Guyota inside the volcano. The Guanches knew Chaman had triumphed when one morning they awoke to see the sun back in the sky and the volcano plugged with rock, trapping the evil Guyota inside forever.

The legend coincides perfectly with what happened following the medieval eruption. An ash cloud covered the sun, and the only light the Guanches saw came from the mouth of the active volcano, leading them to believe the sun was trapped there. The volcano’s toxic ash would have killed many plants and animals, and the ‘battle’ going on inside the volcano was probably the rumblings following the eruption. The ‘plug’ that safely trapped Guyota in El Cheide was new volcanic rock.