So, you’ve spent the first few days of your Tenerife holiday lying on the beach or around the pool, checked out a few of the local bars and restaurants before deciding that it’s time to do something a little more adventurous. So what’s it going to be? How about climbing a mountain?
Surprisingly, if the amount of people to be found on the path onto the Guaza plateau, heading for the summit of the National Monument of Montaña Guaza from Los Cristianos is any indicator, this seems to be high on people’s ‘to-do’ list. Frequently, tourists dressed more for a day on the beach can be found struggling up the boulder strewn path in flip-flops and a pair of shorts and very little else as they puff and pant their way to the top of this imposing, barren lava dome towering over the town, it’s summit festooned with communications aerials and towers.
As you begin the climb from the end of the promenade in Los Cristianos, it’s difficult to imagine leaving behind this sprawling tourist centre in such a short distance but once the Guaza plateau is reached the walk begins to take on a different character. Indeed, if you spend time exploring the myriad paths criss-crossing the plateau, which was formed by lava spilling from the dome towards the sea, you will lose sight of the town altogether and find yourself in a remote, desert landscape akin to a scene from a spaghetti western. Many people follow the path along the cliff edge to the Palm-Mar development but the main route climbs to the summit, which at a little over 400 metres, isn’t technically a mountain but certainly has the look and feel of one.
On the initial part of the climb, there are excellent views inland to the summits of Roque del Conde and on cloud free days even Teide puts in an appearance with the peak peeping just over the top of the crater rim. Eventually, the way becomes a steep slog up a very rough, steep, jeep-track used by maintenance vehicles but eventually the masts of the summit come into view ahead and as you reach the summit marker – if you can find it hidden amongst the communications paraphernalia – your attention will be grabbed, not by this fairly unattractive scene, but by the superb views inland. On a clear day, views stretch from Teide in the National Park, to the Teno Mountains in the west and to Montaña Roja at El Médano in the east.
From this, the main summit, there is a path leading to a second, slightly lower summit from where there are stunning views over Los Cristianos and its harbour and along the coast to La Caleta and beyond. Down below, the town’s sun-drenched beaches beckon, and after completing the circuit around the top of the mountain, it’s downhill all the way as you head back to the land of the flip-flop and join the holidaymakers in a welcome drink in one of the many bars.
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Category : things to do
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