Tenerife’s natures is amazing. From barren volcanic peaks to humid laurel forests. There are a lot of hikes which you can take on Tenerife. During our stay here last November with our family we walked four of them. We used the Rother Walking guide Tenerife during our stay and it was really perfect. If holds seventy trails, explained excellent. These were our four trails.
Barranco del Infierno
The barranco start in the town of Adeje where we had our lovely ‘cottage’ that week. We arrived on Saturday and the next morning we could not wait and wanted to walk this gorge. A look at the map showed us we could easily walk to the start from the trail.
After 45 minutes or so we came at the start of the trail but there was a little surprise. The weeks before our arrival there was a big storm on Tenerife. Mudslides washed away large portions of the track and days after the storm a serious accident occurred. So the trail was closed to the public and we had no other option then to walk back to our house. We did manage to take a few pictures from the beginning of the trail.
We did not walk the same way back and we chose a direct path to our house over the large terraces above the city. This brought us past this old dilapidated church and some nice cactuses. So we did have the outdoor feeling and we enjoyed our first day on Tenerife.
Pico del Teide
On Monday our entire family drove to Pico del Teide. This is the characteristic volcano you see on the postcards from Tenerife. It is also the highest mountain of Spain and we wanted to stand right on its top! The trip alone up the road was amazing and slowly we made our way up the mountain and to the large plateau called Las Cañadas del Teide. On this plateau lies the volcano and it is well above 3000 meters.
Babies were not allowed to go up the mountain and this meant that my father and brother in law stayed behind. The rest of us went up the gondola. Gondola I hear you say… Yes we were a bit lazy so we too the cable cars up. The ride up was quick but we did had to wait in line for 45 minutes. I think that in the summer time queues will be a lot longer so be prepared. The gondola brings you to an impressive 3500 meters above sea level and her we took a small walk. The actual top of El Teide lies at 3718 meters above sea level and if you want to go to the summit you will need a special permit. You can buy this online using this link.
The views from the top were phenomenal as you can see on the pictures below. We even experienced the lack of oxygen at this altitude. A good preparation for when we are in the Andes in South America later this year. The trails over the volcano are all piece of jewels and we wanted to walk them all. But we could not because we were not alone. And that is not a problem. We cannot do it all….
Barranco de Masca
The trail starts in a little town called Masca. My parents were so nice to give us a ride there but you can also take the bus. The drive to Masca is already beautiful and sometimes a bit exciting. Winding roads take you through the mountains. Small roads where bus drivers need to be experienced otherwise the bus won’t make it.
Barranco de Masca is a beautiful gorge in the north west of Tenerife which ends in a small bay between high cliffs. It is possible to buy a ticket for the ferry to Los Gigantes in Masca because boats depart from this bay every half hour. You can also walk the same way up again but we choose to take the ferry. And we had packed our swimsuits for a well-deserved, refreshing dive as a perfect ending to the hike.
The journey starts with low bushes and the occasional cactus plant. At a certain point you will reach a small stream which will join you on your way down the gorge. We have crossed this stream several times and as you continue down the path it will bring you past large rock builders that almost block your way, towering reeds and a beautiful natural formed rock arch.
Our camera was making overtime which meant the trip almost took us 3.5 hours. Taking pictures is part of the way we take in the scenery. If you don’t do this you can make it down in 2.5 hours. In the end we finally gotten to the change to take that dip into the Atlantic Ocean. Do this at the man made pier because the current and swells at shore are strong. Big rocks almost make it impossible to go into the water from shore. We took an hour diving from the pier before the boat took us back to Los Gigantes.
The Anaga mountains (Chinobre trail)
The storm we mentioned before also made its mark on the Anaga Mountains. In the beginning of the week we could not venture into this area but in the end it was open again. But even then they were still clearing some roads and we had to wait one time before we could pass.
You can find the last remaining laurel forests in the Anaga mountains. Did you know that these forests use to cover almost the whole of the island but they were all cut down by its early settlers? The inaccessibility of the mountains (read steep hills) made sure they are still here for us to enjoy our last hike on Tenerife.
The temperature immediately dropped when we entered the forest. Only 1 major road leads into this area (north east tip of Tenerife) and only a few people live here. We came across a few cars and we almost thought we were alone. We tried to walk the Chinobre loop trail. It brings you to a large rock formation which sticks out of the forest. It used to be a sacred place or the natives. The trail is characterized by powerful laurel trees and from its branches hang damped mosses. The soil of the forest is covered with large ferns which joint us the entire way. Halve way the loop we had to turn back by the police. Ahead the trail was washed away and we could not venture further to see the great look-out point the book said there was. But we did see Chinobre and we walked back satisfied.
These were the four trails we took on our journey to Tenerife. But it is my opinion that all 70 trails are worth your footprints. So make sure you make your own plans. Which trails did you walk on Tenerife?