As we already showed you in our article about the perfect road trip around Tenerife, the Canary Island is a true eventing bomb: There is almost nothing you can’t do on the largest of the Canary Islands. Therefore, in the last post, hiking tours were a bit missing out. We would like to make up for that, as Tenerife turned out to be the absolute hiking paradise for us. Having said that, we’ll reveal our personal 5 highlights of the most beautiful hiking trails to you in this article.
Everything at a Glance
For a better overview, we’ll show you our Tenerife map again, where you can see in yellow our favorite hiking areas. All other points on the map can be hidden and unhidden at will.
And here they are, our 5 most beautiful hikes in Tenerife (in ascending order):
- Paisaje Lunar
- Faro de Anaga
- Las Cañadas del Teide
- Pico del Teide
- Chinamada – Punta del Hidalgo
Masca Gorgecurrently closed
When hiking, please always pay attention to the weather and possible storm forecasts as well as to good equipment, sufficient water supplies and emergency provisions of food. What we take with us on every hike, you will learn at the end of the article.
1. Paisaje Lunar: A Trip into a Lunar Landscape
In order to get to the lunar landscape, as Paisaje Lunar means, you go by car to a gravel parking lot about 2 kilometers (as the crow flies) northeast of Vilaflor. From there, a circular trail of about 7 kilometers leads through a forest to the unique rock formation at the edge of the Teide Caldera.
But don’t let yourself be fooled by the images on the internet, as it is not allowed to go that close to – let alone into – the moonscape. “Legally”, it can only be viewed from a relatively distant view point. In our opinion, the walk is still worthwhile because of the beautiful forest path. Schedule about 1.5 to 2 hours for the trail.
2. Faro de Anaga: Hiking in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Seven to nine million years ago, volcanic activity formed the Anaga Mountains. They cover the entire northern tip of Tenerife and were declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015. Finally, there are large areas of laurel forest, for which the frequent fog and rain on the crest of the mountains called Macizo de Anaga in Spanish provide ideal growing conditions. Typical of the region are the caves in the volcanic rock whose facades and interiors resemble those of ordinary family houses, such as in Afur and Chinamada.
In the Anaga Mountais starts our next hike. From the village of Chamorga and via the viewpoint Roque del Pilón and Paso La Burra you get to the Casas de Tafaga. Here, you can either turn around, if you just want to take a short walk. Or you keep walking along Lomo Los Codesos to the lighthouse Faro de Anaga. From there, you’ll get back via the village Roque Bermejo and through the gorge Barranco de Roque Bermejo to Chamorga.
In total, these are about 7 to 8 kilometers (the signs contradict each other) and the hike is marked as “difficult” with a total duration of 5 hours and 30 minutes. We needed about 4 hours including some smaller breaks. The track is sometimes quite steep, both downhill and uphill, but quite easy to overcome with average condition.
If you don’t feel like hiking that far, be reassured that the view is already very good, if you climb past the Casas de Tafaga a bit further. Depending on how far you keep going, an increasingly better view over the entire northeast coast of Tenerife will be offered to you.
3. Las Cañadas del Teide: Panorama over the Volcanic Crater
It’s getting exciting: For our next hike we are already in the Parque Nacional del Teide. As the largest and oldest reserve of this kind in the Canary Islands, the national park was established in 1954 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. It is named after the volcano Teide, which at 3718 meters is the highest mountain on Spanish territory. The Teide National Park is a popular hiking area: A network of more than 40 official hiking routes leads to its various attractions.
However, before we climb the summit of the stratovolcano, we first want to explore the volcanic Caldera de las Cañadas del Teide. The huge volcanic caldera in the center of the island is located at an almost continuous height of over 2000 meters and is limited to the south by on average 500 meter high crater walls. With a diameter of about 17 kilometers, it is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world.
We start our circular trail at the Roques de García. The rock formation is located about five kilometers south of the summit of the Teide at an altitude of about 2200 meters and divides the caldera into a western and an about 150 meters higher eastern half. The age of the Roques is estimated to be up to 1.7 million years, long before the volcanic caldera of today emerged. Particularly noteworthy is the Roque Cinchado: The freestanding rock needle is also called “Stone Tree” or “Finger of God” and is one of the symbols of Tenerife.
From here you can reach the Hotel Parador and the Cañada Blanca Visitor Center in a few minutes. Here we come upon the end of Sendero 4 (Siete Canadas), which we now follow backwards to the fork with the Sendero 31 (Cumbres de Ucanca). Now it’s going to be exhausting for the first time: Extremely steep, the path leads in many serpentines about 300 meters up to the top of the pass Degollada de Ucanca. Here you already have the first panoramic view of most of the caldera.
Instead of following path no. 31, turn left onto Sendero 15 (Alto de Guajara) towards Alto de Guajara and Degollada de Guajara. Now follow another arduous 1.8 kilometers up to the 2718 meter high summit of the Montaña de Guajara. The ascent will then be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view over the national park and the Roques de García up to the Teide.
No wonder that the world’s first observatory in the high mountains was once located here. Finally, from the top of the highest mountain in the Caldera Range, you can see both sunrise and sunset every day of the year. The observatory was built in 1856 by the Scottish astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth and reused and expanded in 1910 by the French astronomer Jean Mascart. Today you can see its remains here.
The Sendero 15 (Alto de Guajara) continues to the top of the pass Degollada de Guajara. Depending on how the weather plays, you can either see Tenerife’s south coast from here or look over a sea of clouds. You take the turnoff to Sendero 5 (La Degollada de Guajara) and follow it downhill back into the caldera. At Cañada del Montón de Trigo you will come to Sendero 4 (Siete Cañadas), which will take you back to the Cañada Blanca visitor center.
In total, this route measures around 12 kilometers, for which you need about 4 to 5 hours. All official trails in the Teide National Park can be seen here on a map. In addition, all 41 hiking routes are listed and described here (unfortunately only in German).
Here you’ll get to our other favorite hikes to Pico del Teide, from Chinamada to Punta del Hidalgo and up to date information on the Masca Gorge as well as our hiking equipment and tips.