A Tenerife Walking Holiday

Mon, March 5th, 2012 - By Andrea Montgomery

When I first moved to Tenerife over eight years ago, one of the things that took me completely by surprise was how much incredible walking country there was on the island, most of it devoid of walkers. I could set out on a trail into the La Orotava Valley or around Vilaflor and I could pretty much guarantee that I would barely see another soul for my entire walk, except perhaps the occasional German hiker.

But the world economic crisis, the strength of the Euro and the growth of the ‘staycation’  has changed all that, introducing British holidaymakers to the joys of country pursuits. Now when I go walking on Tenerife, it’s not unusual to encounter the occasional intrepid British hikers and to listen first hand to how wowed they are by the landscape.

One of the things that makes Tenerife so attractive for walkers and hikers, apart from the obvious joys of year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, is the variety of terrain that you encounter.

 In the surreal surroundings of the Teide National Park, a few metres in any direction will leave the coach tours behind and introduce you to a landscape so alien that scientists use it to test space equipment because it’s the nearest thing on Earth to the surface of Mars. Although the ultimate hiking challenge is to scale the 3718 metres of Mount Teide on foot, you can equally enjoy gentle strolls, smaller climbing challenges and even enjoy a spot of volcano surfing – a term I apply to skittering down the sides of volcanic cones while your feet run away from you.

Move down from the crater and you find yourself in scented pine forests dotted with picnic zones and riddled with walking trails. On the north east tip of Tenerife, beyond the capital city of Santa Cruz on the east side and the twin resorts of Punta del Hidalgo and Bajamar on the west, are the Anaga Mountains where ancient Laurel forests dripping with lichen are criss-crossed by red earth paths and where you emerge from the trees to stunning views across the peaks to the Atlantic below.

Along the north west coast of El Sauzal, Puerto de la Cruz and Los Realejos, paths meander along the cliff side through lush palm groves and past the ochre walls of haciendas. Below the path the Atlantic fills rock pools and breaks onto the shore of remote, sandy bays.

In the arid south, volcanic cones rise above and behind the resorts of San Miguel de Abona, Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje, creating a desert landscape of aromatic plants, deep canyons and dramatic vistas just a few hundred metres and a million miles away from the hotels of the coast.

Lace up the boots and discover a very different Tenerife.

Posted : Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 11:53 am
Category : about tenerife
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2 Responses to “A Tenerife Walking Holiday”

  1. We completely agree with your recommendations. On Tenerife you can find any environment and discover new places all over. Just walking around.

    Thanks Andy.

  2. […] fair to say the average Tinerfeño (native of Tenerife) is not much of a walker. Take to any of Tenerife’s popular hiking trails and the 4X4 you see parked at the furthest point it’s possible to drive to will belong to a […]

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