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.
In the Cañadas, there are 41 named routes, of varying lengths and difficulties, and I can imagine that all of them are worthwhile
Tenerife isn't a massive island, so the sheer diversity of landscapes it contains is impressive, from lava-strewn volcanic wastelands, to ancient laurel forests teeming with life. During a drive along the southern coast, we stopped to explore an area that has nothing to do with the fabulous beaches the coastline is otherwise known for: the Badlands (Malpais) of Güímar.
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…
Despite its location on the other end of the island from our house, we found ourselves repeatedly drawn to the Teno mountain range. Today, we plotted out a hike which would take us from the highland village of Teno Alto, through strange, jagged landscapes, down to the coastal road that ends at Tenerife's westernmost lighthouse.
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.
On our first visit to the volcanic region known as Arenas Negras, we had done a loop around the Montaña Negra. This "Black Mountain" last exploded three hundred years ago, utterly destroying the seaside village of Garachico. We were so impressed by the otherworldly area, that we promised ourselves to return for a second hike… and it was a promise we kept.
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.
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.
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.
La Montaña Negra erupted, and as the lava flowed downhill to the ocean, the town was almost completely destroyed. And right now, you might be thinking, Mike and Jürgen should know better than to hike around a volcano with such an ominous name… but we did anyway. Would we survive?! Find out the thrilling conclusion later in this post!
Our initial driving tour of the Teide region ended at the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas, situated in front of one of the island's most impressive natural sights: the Roques de Garcia. Before calling it a day, we found the energy to complete a quick, 90-minute hike around the rocks.