Located in the extreme northeast of Tenerife, the small town of Punta de Hidalgo looks out over the Atlantic, and is curiously popular with both locals and tourists. We visited on a Sunday afternoon, taking a walk along the coast, and were surprised by how many other people had the same idea.
We took the TF-13 from La Laguna, until it ended at the coast in Punta del Hidalgo. At this point, there’s nowhere for the road to go, boxed in by the mountains of Anaga to the east, and a sharp drop-off to the ocean below. So, we parked and walked over to the cliff, which looks down on a black sand beach, and across to the jagged profile of Anaga.
A trail leads from the coastline to the hermitage of San Juanito. The small religious structure is nondescript, and wouldn’t be worth a journey in and of itself, but the coastal trail is gorgeous, with numerous paths leading down to the water. Careful which path you pick, though… Punta del Hidalgo is popular with Germans, and Germans like to do their sunbathing in the nude. We saw a couple things on this short walk which cannot be classified as “beautiful”.
Earlier, I classified Punta de Hidalgo’s popularity as “curious” — the town is small and doesn’t have much in the way of touristic interest, so it was hard to account for the dozens of families, joggers, tourists, bikers, and camper vans that we passed along the way. It was like everyone just drove north until the road ended, and then decided to take a walk (which, I suppose, is exactly what we did). The trail rounded the point at the hermitage, and continued hemmed in by the ocean and the massive, plastic-covered plantations which still form the town’s primary industry.
Soon, we had arrived at the most recognizable architectural feature of Punta del Hidalgo, the strikingly modern lighthouse. Built in 1992, this operational lighthouse is comprised of a set of irregular white columns, which bring to mind both lava basalt formations and the Hallsgírmkirkja of Reykjavík, Iceland.
Because we were cut off from the main street by the plantation facilities, it was a long walk back through town to our car. The town itself did not impress us too much — this is definitely one of the municipalities on Tenerife which has become a foreign enclave, and we even saw some signs in German only, not even bothering with Spanish.
Still, we had an enjoyable wonderful day out, and at the end, spotted a trail that connects Punta del Hidalgo to the Mirador de la Cruz, in Anaga. That sounds like a fantastic hike, and we promised ourselves to check it out later.