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Hiking trails in tenerife: walking the island's natural wonders

The island is dominated by contrasting landscapes. The differences are so obvious between the north and south of the island that they probably have a different climate. If you love hiking, Tenerife must be on your bucket list. Walking along its different natural environments can be one of the best ways to get to know it well. Depending on what type of hike you are more interested in, you will have to decide between the north or the south since the terrain is completely different. Do you want to explore the best hiking trails in Tenerife? You are bound to find the right one for you.

The most beautiful hiking trails in southern Tenerife

The best beaches in Tenerife are along the island’s southern coast. With fine sand, large hotels, a festive atmosphere and excellent leisure options, that part is preferred by tourists, so you are more likely to stay there. However, if you have already been to Playa de Las Américas beach and discovered the hidden coves on the Costa del Silencio [Silence Coast], your adventurous spirit may be asking for more excitement.

That part of Tenerife is not only paradise beaches, restaurants and amusement parks. If you are interested in hiking trails, you will be able to choose among some of the most spectacular ones on the island. One of the most interesting trails runs through the Barranco del Infierno ravine, which is located in one of the most popular areas, within a nature reserve in the municipality of Adeje. The watercourse is the protagonist here, since it has allowed to establish a major water supply network. The circular trail takes around 3.5 hours and has a medium-low difficulty level. A maximum of 300 people a day are allowed, so you should book in advance. The route will take you to places of unparalleled beauty: a natural balcony with panoramic views and an over 200-metre-high waterfall.

There are many other hiking trails in that same nature reserve, such as Roque del Conde. This type of volcanic elevation is the highest of all the Canary Islands and one of the oldest formations on Tenerife. Along this route, you will see the remains of aboriginal engravings, although remember that it is a difficult six-kilometre trail due to the rugged terrain. To enjoy its views, you must be an experienced and well-equipped hiker.

Barranco del Río Arico [Arico River Ravine] is a five-kilometre route with moderate difficulty, where the path between the rich vegetation leads you to a spectacular waterfall which marks the end of the trail. Taking the circular trail from Playa de Los Cristianos beach to Montaña de Guaza is another option among the many trails along the southern part of Tenerife.

Explore the essential trails in northern Tenerife

Although the north of the island is not as attractive for tourists, the nature trails are something completely different, starting from the obvious star attraction, Mount Teide National Park, and the endless hiking possibilities. Climbing to the highest peak in Spain, one of the highest volcanoes in the world, is an achievement within everyone’s reach, depending on the difficulty you desire. One of the easiest options is to take the cable car and ascend the final stretch on foot.

Masca, Tenerife

If you are interested in a more intense route, take the trail that starts at Montaña Blanca, then go up to the Altavista Mountain Refuge and start the final ascent to Mount Teide from there. This is a seven-hour trail, so only real hiking lovers should take it. Another option is to start the trail at Playa del Socorro Beach, spend the night at the Altavista Refuge and reach the Teide summit the next day, watching the sunrise from there, which is a unique sight.

Apart from the many options provided by Mount Teide, you can also walk along other trails in the natural park such as the one leading to Pico Viejo, the second-highest peak in Tenerife. You can start this route in several places, for example near the village of Chío. The trail can last from eight to twelve hours, so you must be well prepared. Exploring this unique volcanic landscape is priceless.

The descent of the Masca Ravine in the north-west is one of the most well-known hiking trails in Tenerife. It is popular for reasons as diverse as the opportunity to walk along the Teno Massif, one of the rocky formations which gave rise to the island around seven million years ago. You will be amazed at the large volcanic walls formed by erosion, finishing the route at the impressive Los Gigantes Cliffs. A roughly three-hour walk will then take you to the beach, where our recommendation is to take a boat so that you do not have to return by ascending the ravine. Remember that this trail must be taken when there is good weather; otherwise, the trail disappears with the rain.

One of Tenerife’s treasures: Anaga Rural Park

This protected natural area, a Biosphere Reserve, located on Anaga Massif, is one of the hiking jewels in the crown of Tenerife island. Its richness, the importance of its landscape and its paleontological sites are its main attractions. This magical place located in the far north-east is a delight for any hiking enthusiast, with numerous routes.

Rural Park of Anaga, Tenerife

You can enjoy the views at the many viewpoints such as El Bailadero, El Pico del Inglés and La Cruz del Carmen. The Bosque Encantado [Enchanted Forest] trail crosses the Pijaral Integral Nature Reserve in the heart of Anaga, with one of the best-preserved laurel forests in Tenerife. From Pijaral, you can take a complete route to Benijo beach, one of the most beautiful on the island. The route between Chamorga and Roque Bermejo will give you the best panoramic views of Roques de Anaga.

Remember to visit the traditional villages, such as Afur and Taganana, where you can step back in time. The best way to find out about the old villages in this natural area is to take the Sendero de los Sentidos [Trail of the Senses], a former thoroughfare which connected the Anaga settlements with La Laguna. This is a unique experience where you can sharpen your sense of smell, sight and touch. Do you need any more reasons for planning your excursions along the hiking trails in Tenerife?

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