Adventure of the Week: Tenerife: Mount Teide to the Coast
Summer has been a bit of a late starter in the UK this year. The benefits of a bit of sunshine on our physical and mental health is undisputed, so now is the time to start thinking about that swift break later in the year to squeeze a little more sun out of 2019. The Canaries have always been a late-season draw, for their long-lasting sunshine, but what if crowded beaches and tourist fare does not appeal. What if there was a way to discover the hidden side of, say Tenerife. Wouldn’t that be nice? Well, why not take a look at Tenerife: Mount Teide to the Coast.
In a Nutshell:
Where: Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Isles, owned by Spain, but located just off the coast of Morocco, hence the year-round temperate climate. While much of the tourism on Tenerife is concentrated around the coast, our tour takes you away from that, into the volcanic heart of the island where the lunar landscapes are dreamlike. You will be transferred from the airport straight to Vilaflor, right into the volcano territory. You will spend the next couple of days exploring this area, including an ascent to the top of Mt Tiede, the highest point in Spain. After this, you head towards the North Coast exploring beautiful villages and old Camino paths.
Distance: We put the distance on this trip as ‘up to’ 62km. We would fully recommend that you go for the full distance, however, many of the days are loop walks and easily skipped if you would rather spend a day just enjoying your book, some delicious local fare and some sunshine. The daily distances vary, from 16km at their longest, to a mere 6km, so you have plenty of time for post-walk activities.
Grade: This walking tour is graded moderate overall with a couple of the walks – from Vilaflor to the Parador, and the optional walk from Montana Blanca to the summit of Teide being graded as strenuous. Walks are between 3-8 hours on a mixture of rural tracks, footpaths and animal trails. Some of the terrain is quite rocky (particularly in Mount Teide National Park) and you may encounter some loose rocks or muddy/slippery sections in wet weather. So a bit of fitness definitely comes in handy, but it is well worth it to explore such a diverse and beautiful island.
Why Walk Here?
Tenerife is beautiful. I used to get a shiver down my spine every time it was mentioned, imagining only rampant tourism and erosion of local culture by hordes of eager holidaymakers. However, as with all places with a holidaymaker tag on them, there are beautiful and relatively untouched parts to explore that showcase the natural wonder and cultural heritage of Tenerife.
We get you straight into the lunar landscapes of Tenerife as soon as you arrive, with a transfer from the airport up to the town of Vilaflor. While the town has many charms, its cobbled streets, local wines and laid back atmosphere, the surrounding area is a complete contrast. Over your two days here you will explore Paisaje Lunar, a landscape completely stripped of anything recognisable as earthly. Bizarre rock formations, large volcanic malpais (solidified lava) bombs, surrounded by Teide knapweed make for an otherworldly walking experience.
While many people will only see Mt Tiede on the horizon, you will get a chance to get up close and personal with this stunning natural wonder and if you are going to do it, do it in style. You will walk to your accommodation for the next couple of nights, the stunning Parador Las Cañadas del Teide, which sits at the foot of Mt Tiede. Aside from exploring the surrounding area, or summiting Mt Tiede or neighbouring Guajara, you will spend a lot of time relaxing in the Parador. Nights are particularly spectacular, with not only a great range of local food and wine, but also perfectly inky-black skies, littered with billions of stars, perfect for some stargazing.
From the interstellar heart of Tenerife, we then whisk you off to the coast, visiting first the most beautiful village in all of Tenerife, Masca. Location-wise, this village is hard to beat, it feels like you are in the Andes rather than the Canaries and its tiny, friendly population will make you wish you could stay longer, but it is on to Garachico.
Garachico is an amazing place. It sits on the north-west coast and looks like it is straight out of biblical times. Its clean, white buildings with red roofs, are contrasted by the deep turquoise of the Atlantic. There are a couple of Lidos created with seawater but there are also ladders attached to the rocky inlet that cuts across the edge of the village meaning you can swim in the ocean. While Garachico is a busy day tripper spot, at night it becomes a tranquil, sleepy village on the edge of the world.
Planning and Preparation
To get to Mount Tiede to the Coast, it is best to fly into Tenerife South airport, where you will be collected and transferred to Vilaflor. On the return, Tenerife North is closest to Garachico, but you can take a bus back to Tenerife South too, or we can arrange private transfers no problem at all.
If you have any questions about the route, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Destination Specialists, who will be more than happy to help.