The biggest island in the Canaries is a wonderful destination for walking. Whether you are looking to hike its volcanic landscapes, seek trails that take you by the sea, trek through woodland or complete gorge walks, Tenerife has the routes to suit you. With more than 600 miles of trails to tackle, you’ll see everything from soaring peaks to whitewashed villages and more than likely fall in love with the island at the same time.
It may not be a place you’ve contemplated for a walking holiday before, but if you pack your walking boots and embark a flight to Tenerife, you’ll certainly be convinced. Here are five routes to get you started once you arrive.
Barranco del Infierno
Do not be put off by the name of this stunning ravine, which translates as Hell’s Gorge, as it is a beautiful place to walk, surrounded by nature. As well as a wide selection of flora and fauna on display, the route, which starts at Calle de los Molinos in the town of Adeje, leads you to a wonderful waterfall at the end. Measuring 200 metres in height, it is the tallest on Tenerife and offers a refreshing vibe at the end of a day’s walking.
Take the old pastoral trail, which is well signposted, and be sure to stop at the viewpoints along the way, as well as interesting sights, such as an old mill. Eventually, this route leads to the riverbed and you will continue along this natural walk, with the walls of the gorge stretching up on either side. Look out for local plants and wildlife throughout the walk, as Barranco del Infierno is home to wild jasmine, dragon trees, turtledoves and sparrow hawks.
You can expect the route to take around three and a half hours from start to finish. Entry for 300 people a day is permitted between 8am and 2.30pm and can be booked in advance. It’s worth setting off early, however, as walking during the hottest part of the day can be uncomfortable. The admission cost for entry into the Barranco del Infierno Special Nature Reserve is €8 (£6.84) for adults and half the price for children. Be sure to wear proper walking boots or shoes and bring plenty of water.
Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada
Hiking in the Anaga Mountains is like stepping back in time and the route from Cruz del Carment to Chinamada uses paths that have been followed by farmers and the Guanche people for generations. The starting point is an hour’s drive from Playa de las Americas and takes you through forests, mountain ravines and fascinating settlements.
Start walking from the right-hand side of the car park at the Cruz del Carmen restaurant and follow the red earth path that takes you down to a beautiful forest. When you come out of this wooded area, you will continue along the edge of the Batan ravine, where there are stunning hedgerows and wild flowers to admire. This will turn into a mountain road, which you must walk for a short stretch, before taking the steps that lead down to the Chinamanda path. Be sure to look up and enjoy the views of the Roque de Taborno peak.
The trail down to the ridge overlooking Chinamada takes you through sparsely populated woodland, before you come out at the viewpoint. It offers stunning vistas across to Punta del Hidalgo and the valleys from whence you’ve come, as well as the settlement below. Heading down into the village, you’ll be able to see the traditional cave houses that occupy a space on the hillside behind the small square.
Rambla del Castro
Anyone looking for an easy walk that is packed with interesting things to see or just a chance to stretch their legs on what would otherwise be a rest day, should consider the Rambla del Castro. It takes in the beauty of the Los Roques Beach, as well as allowing walkers to see how traditional farming life has been lived in the Canary Islands for hundreds of years.
You can undertake the route, which is located in the north of the island, in either direction, but it is best enjoyed by finishing at the San Pedro viewpoint, which offers stunning views of the coastline. From here, there are public transport options to return you to the starting point at the Maritim Hotel. Follow the signs denoting the Rambla del Castro, which will take you along a combination of cobbled pathways, dirt tracks and traditional farming routes.
Sights to look out for along the walk include the Hacienda del Castro, the oldest estate on the coast and once the focal point of pirate attacks; and the Casona de Castro manor house, where the first steam engine to pump water in Tenerife was located. Add to these the 18th-century San Fernando’s Fort and St Peter’s Hermitage, complete with a Baroque wooden statue of the saint, there is a lot crammed into this two-kilometre route.