We had approached the Cañadas del Teide from the north, the east, and the south… and that left just one mark on the compass. After hiking through the mountainous landscape of Teno, we returned home not along the coast (though this would have been faster) but up and across the center of the island. And we discovered that the western approach to the Teide national park might be the most spectacular of all.
What the Anaga mountain range is to eastern Tenerife, so is the Teno to the west. This natural reserve occupies the entire northwestern corner of the island, and although it's less forested than the Anaga, it's just as breathtaking. We spent a day hiking around its valleys and peaks.
Jürgen and I are very much "plan-ahead" guys. When we leave the house, we know exactly what we're going to do; otherwise, we'd never be able to cram so much into 91 short days. But we also leave ourselves open to surprises… such as our visit to the House-Museum of Cayetano Gómez Felipe in La Laguna. And these spontaneous experiences often turn out to be among our favorites. Our plan was to visit the church of La…
On the street of Nava y Grimón, you'll find not one, but two historic convents, both of which are still active. For centuries, the nuns of Santa Catalina de Siena have maintained a bitter, violent rivalry with those of Santa Clara de Asis.
Like you might expect of a Spanish city founded in the 15th century, La Laguna has more than its share of churches. The Catholic Church apparently thought every block needed its own cathedral, convent, or chapel, and walking around town, it's easy to imagine the outlandish power they must have exercised.
One of the more well-known hikes on Tenerife leads from the village of Vilaflor to the so-called "Paisaje Lunar", or "Lunar Landscape". Sounds amazing, but this turned out to be the least compelling hike we had during our time on the island.
Having spent a considerable amount of time there, we weren't surprised to learn the Anaga Mountains are saturated with tales of witchcraft. With their moss-covered trees, scant sunlight and twisting paths overhung by gnarled branches, these forests are straight from the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm. It would've been shocking if there wasn't a belief in witches here.
On the second half of a long hike that began with an ascent up the Barranco de Ruiz, we passed through the charming village of San Juan de la Rambla, before continuing along the coastline back to our car. Along the way, we stopped for lunch at an amazing local spot.
It's been a few minutes, so how about another post about Tenerife's fantastic hiking? Today, we'll be looking at the trail which begins at the foot of the Barranco de Ruiz, and leads to the seaside village of San Juan de la Rambla. At about three hours in length, this hike has a bit of everything, and serves as a primer to Tenerife's incredibly varied terrain.
Although they're long gone, assimilated completely into the genetic lineage of their Spanish conquerers, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands have a strong presence in Canarian culture. Before submitting to the Europeans, the Guanches lived on the islands for around two thousand years, and have left a large footprint.
We had enjoyed our initial hours of exploring Candelaria, but we really fell for the town during the second half of our day. After a coffee in the immense Plaza Patrona de Canarias, we walked up into the town's elevated historic quarter, saw some artisans craft clay pots, and discovered what might be our favorite restaurant on Tenerife.
We weren't expecting much from Candelaria, whose main claim to fame is a large Basilica. But the day we spent here was really nice. We learned about the Guanche kings, checked out an ancient cave chapel, and visited the incredible Basilica… and that was just within the first couple hours.