Solo Hiking in the Canary Islands : Top Five Hikes in Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest of the seven islands that make up the Canary Islands. While the cities may match up to its reputation for sprawling resorts and mass tourism, I decided to head to the outdoors to find a completely different experience. I found that accompanying the temperate weather are an extensive network of well-marked trails that cut through quiet villages with delicious food and frequent busses. Here are top five hikes for the adventurous women exploring the other side of Tenerife on foot.

1.  Teide : Such Great Heights

Duration: 2 days
Difficulty: High

Standing at 3500m right in the middle of the Tenerife Island, Mount Teide dominates the landscape of Tenerife. You will see this mountain looming majestically over Tenerife. Take this trek up to the summit of Teide for a view of Tenerife from the top. On the first day, you will walk across sand dunes peppered with ancient lava eggs and imagine yourself to be in Tattooine. About two hours into the trek across the desert, you will start ascending steeply up to Rifugio Alta Vista (book ahead!). Enjoy the comforts of the hut which includes heated blankets and a vending machine for hot drinks and snacks before you make the ascend to the highest volcano in Spain, Mount Teide.

Remember to head outside during sunset to catch a glimpse of Teide casting a shadow over the land. The open conditions of the trail and steep ascend can be gruelling though the path is well-marked and in good condition.

Recommended accommodation: Altaviste Refuge

2.  Paiseje Lunar : Moonage Daydream

Duration : One day (5 hours)
Difficulty: Medium

Start in the historic village of Vilaflor where people ride horses on the cobbled streets and free wi-fi is provided in the public square. From the public square, the route will take you past some farms, forests before it finally opens up to the titular lunar landscape. Explore this haunting landscape and learn why it was sacred to the native Guanches before making a loop back to Vilafor where you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Canarian specialties such as rabbit in salmorejo sauce.

Recommended accommodation: Hotel El Sombrerito

3.  Cruz Del Carmen : Little Lighthouse

Duration : 4 hours
Difficulty : Low

This descending walk takes you from the laurel forests at Cruz Del Carmen to Chinamada where you will find cave houses- inhabited and abandoned. Along the way, you get sweeping views of the ravine and mountains. The highlight of the hike is when you reach the cliffs overlooking the sea and march to the rhythm of the waves crashing across the cliffs. Make your way towards Punta Del Hidalgo marked by the lighthouse which will be visible throughout the last section of the walk.

Recommended accommodation: Lagarto Backpackers

4.  Amalciga: Down by the Seaside

Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Low

Dramatic coastlines accompany your walk at Almaciga

Walking in Amalciga means zigging up and down between the coast and hills. This loop walk takes you to the village of Benijo and then on to El Draguillo. If you tire of walking, simply lay yourself and your backpack down on one of the black ash beaches along the coast. Playa de Benijo gets top points for being a quiet and spacious beach.

Recommended accommodation: Airbnb

5.  Finca de Guerges: (Green) Blue Ridge Mountains

Duration : 4 hours
Difficulty : Medium (exposed paths)

Walk along the Finca de Guerges for amazing views from every direction

At Masca, most walkers will head for the Barranco de Masca (Masca Gorge). To escape the crowd, opt for a higher route by doing a ridge walk on the Finca de Guerges above the Barranco de Masca. The walk starts from the viewpoint on the road heading from Santiago del Teide Westwards to the village of Masca. You can get there by public bus or by driving. If taking the public bus, let the driver know and they will drop you off at the location. You will be rewarded with excellent views of the village of Masca, the Tenerife coast and even Mount Teide on good days.

Recommended accommodation: Airbnb

This article is contributed by Carlyn (@glacialhiker), a storyteller of the past by trade, but from the varied natural landscapes of the world, she draws her inspiration for another calling : hiking through them with an overactive imagination. 


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