Enter the secret side of Tenerife: It’s not just beaches and infinity pools on the popular Canary Island
- Most people don’t consider Tenerife a place for hikers: it’s the beaches and tapas that draw the crowd
- But Matthew Hirtes took part in the challenging Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife and got lost in the beauty of the island
- His favorite part was the Parque Rural de Anaga and he also visited the dormant 12,188 foot high Teide volcano
The Milky Way sparkled above. Below I took a walk through the rough terrain of the Teide National Park in the heart of Tenerife, spellbound by the clear sky in the Atlantic night sky.
What a trail to go for a postprandial hike after a day on this dramatic volcanic mountainside while staying in the fabulously secluded lodge-style Parador de Canadas del Teide, at 600 meters above sea level.
Most people don’t consider Tenerife a hiking destination: it’s the beaches, infinity pools, and tapas that draw the crowds.
Robust: Tenerife is perfect for hiking with its wild coastal paths and a volcano for climbing
The Camino de Santiago specialist caminoways.com has launched canariaways.com, an offshoot that offers self-guided hikes with accommodation on Gran Canaria and La Gomera as well as Tenerife.
Mine was the challenging Grand Walking Tour through Tenerife – and my favorite part was the Parque Rural de Anaga.
Starting from a rainforest-like laurisilva (laurel forest), I soon arrived in the whitewashed hamlet of Taganana, where I was able to take a short break in a lively little bar.
On the challenging 12-day Grand Walking Tour through Tenerife, Matthew said his favorite part was visiting the Parque Rural de Anaga pictured
With salsa-like carnival music in my ears, I walked down a coastal path to a rocky beach – a great place to cool off with a dip in the rock pools since the Atlantic was the moodiest.
Then the ascent from the sea led to a ravine and another charming hamlet, Afur, where more refreshment awaited us.
Ice cold Dorada lagers at 89p a bottle? What can you not like after a sweaty walk through the hilly landscape?
The trick is to start early to avoid the crowds on this delightful circular hike. For a couple of hours I almost had the way to myself. Pure, silent joy.
The 12,188 foot Teide volcano that has been inactive for some time. In the 15th century, the volcano was believed to harbor a devil
This is a place to think back to the days before the Spanish conquest of the 15th century. Tenerife was then populated by the berber-descending Guanches, who believed the 12,188-foot-high Teide volcano was home to a devil.
But the Teide is now little threatened because it has been dormant for some time.
One of the gentlest walks was navigating the cobbled streets of the former capital: San Cristobal de La Laguna.
The original 1496 map of La Laguna became the template for many Caribbean cities, including Cuban Havana.
After climbing the 99 steps of the tower of the Iglesia de la Concepcion, you can see the green patch of the former lagoon after which the city is named.
All these walks whet your appetite, which can be satisfied at the Mirador de Garachico in the town of Garachico, which rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a devastating volcanic eruption in 1706.
Canariaways.com offers a vacation package with maps and GPS data files so you can get lost in the natural beauty of Tenerife without getting lost.