Walks in Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest of the seven islands in the archipelago that make up the Canary Islands. When thinking about Tenerife, walking and hiking is not often what naturally springs to mind. However there really is so much to discover by foot on this rugged Island, you just have to know where to go.
Some describe Tenerife as having ‘many worlds in one place’, which is partly due to the ‘micro-climatic’ environment. While the Island is lucky enough to endure year round sun and warmth, the weather can change quite dramatically from region to region. The South is usually doused in warmth and sunlight causing the southern terrain to bear resemblance to the desert, particularly at the hottest times of the year. The north endures the occasional rainfall but stays warm, keeping it green and luscious with impressive forests up on the hills. The craters of Las Canadas offer walkers a lunar experience at over 2,000 metres above sea level. Some of the coastal resorts are subject to significant trade winds, and the rocky terrain also helps create a haven for surfers.
Exploring Tenerife is generally a hassle free experience, with most walks being well marked and difficult to get lost on. There are selections of less known tracks in some of the more remote mountain passes that can challenge the most advanced of hikers. If climbing is of interest, you can test yourself up some of the highest peaks rising over 3,700 metres. Mount Teide is the highest peak in the whole of Spain and one of the top tourist attractions on the island. If you are a serious hiker, and only those with a good level of fitness are recommended to take on the climb, then this is a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.
Tenerife is not all about sharp, high ascents, there are some spectacular coastal walks around the Island offering a taste of Canarian culture as you pass coastal cottages, local hidden beaches, gaze at the dramatic cliffs and maybe even come across some of the banana plantations.
It is said that the best hike in the West is the Masca Ravine, where hikers take a three hour descent through a spectacular landscape, through tight ravine walls, down to the foot of the Los Gigantis cliffs. When you reach the bottom you can either get a boat back, or if you are seriously up for a challenge, make the return trip back up to the Masca village, bringing your trip to around six hours.
The volcanic nature of the Island, shaped by the weather, has created a truly unique landscape unlike anywhere else.