We enjoyed fantastic hikes all over Tenerife, from the Macizo de Teno in the east, to the Malpais of Güímar in the south, and of course all over the Cañadas of the Teide… but some of our favorite hikes were a bit closer to home. In fact, we just had to step out our door, and walk into the hills that surrounded Las Mercedes, in order to have an awesome day out.
If Taborno were located anywhere else, the day would have been an absolute failure. The one thing we had planned on doing, didn't work out... but look at these views! We weren't able to find any suitable replacement activity... except from checking out these amazing views! Objectively, the day was a total failure. But man, did we enjoy those views.
The day after visiting Batan, one of the Anaga region's most secluded towns, we drove out to its most well-known. I mean "well-known" in sense relative to the Anaga forest; Taganana is still completely unknown by any other standard. The town lays along the northern coast of Tenerife; difficult to reach, but it's become something of a magnet for surfers, and people looking to get away from it all.
The mountains and forests of Tenerife are full of surprises. You can set out into the hills at random, and feel confident that you'll encounter something unforgettable, whether that's an unmarked trail leading to a glorious viewpoint, or a charming town you'd never heard of. We discovered Batan in this way, having set out in our car, without any itinerary... and it was among our best excursions on Tenerife. First, a quick (and unsolicited) plug for the…
The hikes we map out for ourselves usually tend to be circular. Round trips involve less hassle, and there's something satisfying about arriving back to where you started; it makes the day feel complete. But we couldn't resist the one-way hike between Anaga's Cruz del Carmen and Punta del Hidalgo, ten kilometers away, on the northern coast. The fact that it's almost entirely downhill might have helped.
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.
The Anaga mountain range is big. We knew that, but didn't realize quite how big, until we drove out to the very last village on the road, Chamorga. Even though our house is directly at the front door of Anaga, it took us well over an hour to complete the drive -- about the same time it takes to drive to the other end of Tenerife!
A time-worn path brought us from the village of Afur, along the coastline to Taganana, and then back to Afur through the forests and hills of the Anaga natural reserve. With perfect weather, a well-marked trail, glorious coastal views, an evocative forest, the surprise kindness of strangers, and just the right amount of challenge, it was one of the best hikes we've ever done.
Jürgen and I are definitive city guys. We met in Boston and lived for years in Berlin, before moving to Valencia. We ride bikes, use public transport, and don't even own a car. But for whatever reason, we wanted our stay in Tenerife to be more rural, so chose a house in a small village. Las Mercedes: are you ready to entertain us?