Cinque Terre

Tenerife

Tenerife is the best known of the Canary Islands, mostly for its warm climate, even in the winter, its golden sandy beaches, luxuruous resorts and its exuberant nightlife . To be honest, this is not what we are looking for, exept for the warm climate.

When we first visited the islandin 2010, we just got up the Teide, where we spent two nights in the Parador and continued to La Gomera, the smaller island close to Tenerife, to spend the rest of the week.

Our activity as 'travel agency' forced us to visit Tenerife again as we needed a new winter destination after previous visits to Lanzarote, Madeira and Gran Canaria. We did stay in a luxuruous resort in Costa Adeje, but with only a few exceptions, we ignored the southern part of the island. The island is small enough and more important, the roads are good enough, to explore the island from there. Although the northern part of the island has the reputation of being 'wetter', this proved to be not as bad, even in January.

We discovered lots of hidden gems, which were fully appreciated by the clients of our group. Even those who had already visited Tenerife 2 or 3 times were astonished by what they saw : a green island in the north, beautiful cities from the colonial era as Garachico, La Laguna and La Orotava and wild beaches as Benijo and Las Teresitas.

On our website, we present a  brief introduction with few text and a lot of pictures. We hope you enjoy it.  

As for the walking part, we picked out the most spectacular, but even for these, you will be able to enjoy them in all tranquillity, as Tenerife is not yet the place where all hikers go. Apparently, we were not the only ones with the wrong prejudices !

 

Day tour 1 : The Northwest

In this tour we explore the Teno Mountains, that emerged from the ocean 7 million years and are one of the oldest parts of Tenerife. The highest peaks go up to 750 metres.  The high plateau, which was formed by eruptions of the Pico Viejo, is carved by barranco's, deep valleys that go down to the sea. The Barranco di Masca is the most famous.

The tour will bring you to Santiago del Teide, Masca, Buenavista, Punta Teno and Los Silos. Count at least a full day to see everything on this tour, the hike in the Barranco di Masca not included.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

Masca

 Masca
Mirador on the way to Masca

 Masca
Masca, the village

 Masca
Masca, the Roque Tarucho

The hike in the Barranco di Masca is one of the most beautiful, though not the easiest ! You'll find some more details below.

Wandeling Masca

Wandeling Masca

Wandeling Masca

Mirador de Baracan

One of the many viewpoints between Masca and Buenavista.

 El Palmar
Green valley of El Palmar, with the stone quarries

Mirador de Baracan
Woodland, with view on the Teide

Herder met acrobatie
Shepherd's acrobatics.


Playa de las Arenas

A gorgeous beach near Buenavista, including a beach bar !

 Strandbar
Terrace of the beach bar 

Wilde kusten
Walking along the lava coast ...

 Golfterrein
... and the golf court, with view on the Teide.


Punta Teno

The most northwestern point of Tenerife

 Punta Teno
View on Los Gigantes

 Punta Teno
Wild lava coast

 Punta Teno
Seaview (incl. La Gomera)

 

Day tour 2 : The Northeast

This tour explores the Anaga Mountains, one of the oldest parts of Tenerife and about 7 million years old. The peaks go up to 1.024 meter high.

This peninsula, in the Norteast of the island, is a mountainous woodland, providing great panorama's and a few of the most beautiful beaches of the island. True, it is more wet then the rest of the island. Clouds often gather above this part, so watch the weather forecast to pick out a bright day. Due to the humidity, you will find a bit of rain forest here. Be sure to make at least a small hike around the pico del Ingles.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

Pico del Ingles

The visitor centre of Cruz del Carmen is a good place to start your tour. It has a small museum and offers a few small hikes. A bit further, you have the Pico del Ingles.

 Cruz del Carmen
Hiking trail at Cruz del Carmen

 Masca
View on the Teide

 Pico del Ingles
Mos whorls in the tropical rainforest

Taganana - Benijo

North of the most Northeastern point lies the village of Taganana, stuck against the mountain. The coastline is rocky. For the best view, you need to drive a few kilometers further, as far as Benijo. There you will find a few restaurants 'with a view'.

 Benijo
View to the North ...

Benijo
... and the South.

Benijo
View from the beach.

 Benijo
Volcanic stones

Benijo
View on Taganana

Benijo


Playa Las Teresitas

The Playa de las Teresitas is in the top-10 of the most beautiful beaches of Tenerife, and it really deserves it. However, they have been cheating, as the yellow sand was imprted ... straight from the Sahara. The beachlover will not mind, the photographer neither, so everybody happy. For us, the best part is the view from Punta de los Organos.

 Playa de las Teresitas
The beach of Las Teresitas

 Punta de los Organos
View North from Punta de los Organos

 Punta de los Organos
View south from Punta de los Organos

La Laguna

La Laguna is on the list of World Heritage of the UNESCO. It is a colourful city, for which you need at least half a day. But don't schedule your visit on a monday, whe everything is closed.

 Playa de las Teresitas

 Playa de las Teresitas

 Punta de los Organos

 Punta de los Organos

 Playa de las Teresitas

 Punta de los Organos

 Punta de los Organos

 

Day tour 3 : the North

This tour explores the North coast of Tenerife along the coastal road from Garachico to  Icod de los Vinos, Puerto Cruz to La Orotava and back through the mountains via Realejo Alto en Icod el Alto.

We did it in one day, but if you want to include some visits, you need to count at least 2 or 3 days. If you visit Tenerife for its cultural heritage, you may even think to book a room up north.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.

Garachico

Once upon a time, Garachico was the biggest harbour of Tenerife. The city experienced a peak in the 16th century, thanks to the trade with Spain. In the beginning of the 17th century, the city was struck by the plague. In 1645 it was hit by a tsunami and in 1692 and 1697 by a fire. But the worst was yet to come : in 1706 the Teide erupted. Garachico was flooded by two lava streams, which completed filled the bay and made an end to the trade activities. The new city was later rebuilt on the new ‘lava-grounds’.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

 Masca
Mirador de Garachico

 Masca
Colourful Garachico

 Masca
Iglesia de Nuestra Signora de los Angelès

Icod de los Vinos

This village is most because of its dragon tree, for which the estimations of its age vary between  600 and 3000 years.

Draco Icod
The dragron tree
in Icod de los Vinos

Icod
The Teide from Icod

Wandeling Masca
Mirador in Icod el Alto

La Orotava

La Orotava lies on a hillside. The lowest part of the city lies at a height of 250 meter, the Casa de los Balcones, in the upper part of the city, lies at 400 meter. Be sure to put on your walking shoes !

La_Orotava
City hall of La Orotava

La_Orotava
Casa de los Balcones

La_Orotava_
IIglesia de la Concepcion

 

Day tour 4 : The East

The East Coast of Tenerife has only few things to offer. Driving North from the airport, along the  TF-1, the scenery is monotonous and is spoiled here and there by large industries (these have to be somewhere). As you approach Guïmar, there are some things for which you can leave the highway.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

Guimar

The main reason for a stop in his town, 30 kilometers south of Santa Cruz, are the pyramids, which were 'discovered' at the end of the previous century. Amongst scientists, there is no consensus about the origin of the pyramids. According to some, they are just piles of stones, that were left by farmers while working in the fields. For others, they go back to the original inhabitants of the islands and they have links with ancient cultures in Egypt and Mexico. No matter who is right, the museum and the site tell an interesting story and are certainly worth a visit. .

 Guimar
One of the 6 pyramids

 Guimar
Piramides 3 and 4

 Guimar
Replica of reed boats

Candelaria

In Candelaria there are 2 good reasons for a stop : the basilica and the 9 statues of Guanche-fighters.

Candelaria_guanches
The 9 Guanche-fighters in Candelaria

Candelaria basiliek
The basilica de nuestra senora de Candelaria

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife. There's much more to see than what we show below.

Santa Cruz
Auditorium

Santa Cruz
Parque Maritimo

Santa Cruz
Plaza de Espana

 

Day Tour 5 : The South

The big tourist resorts lie in the South of Tenerife. The oldest are close to the airport, but as from the eighties they are located more to the west : Los Christianos, Playa de las Americas and Adeje are now the most popular resorts. Other than the beaches, you should make a stop in the Reserva San Blas (be sure to reserve tickets online long before you visit). You can also make an easy hike in El Medano and in the Barranco del Infierno (see below).

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

Reserva San Blas

 San Blas
Rock formations

 San Blas
Erode by water and wind

 San Blas
By boat across a lake

San Blas

San Blas
Evocation of the  Guanches

Wandeling El Medano
Montana Roja in El Medano

 

Day tour 6 : the National Park of the Teide

De Teide vormt letterlijk en misschien ook wel figuurlijk het hoogtepunt van Tenerife. Deze ‘actieve’ vulkaan heeft een hoogte van 3718 meter en is niet alleen van op het eiland zelf, maar ook vanaf de naburige eilanden La Gomera, La Palma en Gran Canaria zichtbaar.

Below you find some pictures of the highlights of this tour.  

 Teide
The road to the Teide

 Teide
Lava fields

 Teide
Las Canadas

Parador Teide
A drink in the Parador

Parador en de Teide
The Teide from the Parador

Vulkanisch gesteente
Volcanic stones

Roque de Garcia
Roque de Garcia and the Teide

Caldera
The Caldera from the cable car to the top      

Hiking around the Teide

In the National Park of the Teide you will find an extended network of trails. The map below just gives a first view.


(Click on the map to download a PDF-version)


-->

Masca-Gorge

This hike in the Masca Barranco cannot be missed if you are an experienced hiker. The hike starts in Masca (be sure to arrive early, otherwise it will be difficult to park the car). There is no signage on the trail, but you do not need any either. There's no sideways at all. Once in a while you will see numbers on the rocks, which go from 1 to 56, so you'll have an idea how far you have to go.

The hike starts with a steep descent, partly stairs. After a while, the barranco gets narrower, the walls rise vertically up. The path is going through bed over loose sontes. At some places the path is blocked by fallen stones, but there's always a detour. The path keeps bending for some time, it seems endless. At the end, you start hearing the noise of the waves. Look back where you came from and you'll get a great spectacle !

Wandeling Masca

Wandeling Masca

Distance : 5 kilometers (one way)
Duration : count between 2 and 4 hours, depending on your condition.

You do not necessarily have to get up again. Coming down, you are welcomed by some friendly people, who offer you to take the boat to Masca. They don't insist. As there are no competitors and as many people do not have the courage to go up, they are sure to have clients. The boat costs 10 EUR to Los Gigantes, where taxi's are waiting to take you back to Masca (price unknown, as we did walk back up to Masca). Alternatively, you can also take the TITSA-bus from Los Gigantes to Masca.

More info on the boats to Los Gigantes : Masca Express

Be aware : with rough weather, there are no boats between Masca and Los Gigantes !  Due to risk of falling stones, the hike in the Masca Gorge is not recommended anyway when the weather is bad.

The map below shows a few alternatives for a walk, starting from Masca.


Green : Calzada de los Antiguos - red : Masca Gorge – brown : Guergues

Barranco del Infierno

The Barranco del Infierno lies in the vicinity of Adeje. This Barranco (valley) has been closed for a long time, so you'll find a lot of rubbish information on the internet.

Since 2015, the trail is open again and you can make one of the most beautiful walks on Tenerife.

We did not have the opportunity yet to hike the walk (due to dubious info on the internet), but with these tips you should be able to do it :

  • The access is limited to 300 persons per day. They can start between 8  and 14.30 hours.
  • The trail is 6.5 km long and takes about 3hours.
  • Adults pay 8 EUR, children 4 EUR.
  • Reserverations have to be made on the website www.barrancodelinfierno.es
  • From monday to friday, you can book a guided walk at 9.30 AM (price : 15 EUR). This is mentioned on the website, but you cannot make a reservation on the website.

The trail passes several views, an old mill, goes through the riverbed, a narrow gorge and ends at a waterfall.

Paisaje Lunar

This trail starts in Vilaflor, at a height of 1.400 meter and begins with a steep climb to  Los Llanitos. There starts a circular trail that bring you to the lunar landscape (Paisaje Lunar), at a height of almost 2.000 meter. The landscape reminds of Cappadocia.

You can shorten the hike by starting from the TF-21, in one of the hairpin bends (see the arrow on the map below). Via the pista Madre del Agua, you end up at Los Llanitos, without too much of a climb.

The total length of this trail is 12.9 km, with a height difference of 778 meter. Our shortened version gives you a benefit of 4 km in length and 200 meter in height difference.

Montana Roja in El Medano

If you visit the Reserva San Blas, continue along the TF-643 to get in El Medano. This Deze seaside resort is less touristic and more frequented by the local population.

The town is dominated by the Montaña Roja, the ‘Red Mountain’, which you can also see from the airport.

The  starting point of the hike is at the Hotel Playa Sur, one of the buildings for which Cesar Manrique intervened during a restoration in 1981.

There are many trails on the mountain. Stay as close to the coast as possible. Near Bocinegro, you will find the remains of an artillery post from World War II, but more a red sand beach certainly looks more attractive. From the top of the mountain (at 170 meter) you have a good view on the whole South Coast of Tenerife. You can either go back where you came from or go down on the other side of the mountain to the golden sandbeach of La Tejita.

The length of this walk is  4.1 km and is considered to be an easy walk.

Malpais de Guimar

On the East Coast, you can make a walk in the neighbourhood of Guïmar, in a relatively young volcanic are, which is coming from a recent eruption from a nearby crater.

The best place to start the walk is in Puertito de Guïmar, south of the area. At the start of the trail, you will find a parking and an information panel.

The hike to El Socorro, along the coast is 3.3 km long (one way) and only goes up to a height of   27 meter.

El Sorocco is said to be the place where the 'Virgin of Candelaria’ appeared to the Guanche shepherds. Yearly, there is a commemoration in September.

The hike that is shown in yellow on the map avove is 6 km long and up to 160 meter, on the hillside of the Montaña del Socorro (also called the Montaña Grande), which is a volcano, only 10.000 year old. So one of the youngsters in the long volcanic history of the Canaries.

For this walk, good hiking shoes are absolutely required, as the lava surface is quite rough and still has lots of sharp edges. The name of the area "Malpais", meaning "Badlands", is a warning in itself.