Your first view of the great volcano Mount Teide (3718m, 12188ft) will probably be from the aeroplane window. A few days later you will be there, walking across the Cañadas del Teide, a massive crater of 16km diameter to arrive at the 4 star Parador del Teide, your overnight stop (2200m.). The following day choose between the cable car which takes you to 3550m or the fascinating Roques de Garcia and its lava caves before returning to the warm coast. Mount Teide is Spain's highest mountain and the third tallest volcano in the world and Tenerife is the highest island in the Atlantic and is the largest of the Canary Islands at 1275 square miles, 2053 km2. Walking on North Tenerife is hugely varied and our aim is to show you as much as possible. Before the Cañadas del Teide adventure, you walk in the rugged Anaga Peninsula - its top covered in dripping ancient 'laurisilva' woodland, descending past fertile cultivated fields, tiny villages, then dry cactus strewn valleys to reach the rocky coast. The next day the walk navigates us through a maze of forest trails eventually entering the silent world of tall, majestic Canarian pines. The short coastal walk passes banana plantations and views of the vineyards in the beautiful Orotava valley leading us to the black sandy beach of Bollullo with its bar/restaurant. And finally the northwest is explored with its own mountain range, the Teno and views across the sea to the island of La Gomera and down the cliffs to the impossibly located village of Masca. Tenerife has an excellent bus service, which has enabled us to keep the tour costs down. Discounts on the buses are given to those paying by the 'Bonobus' cards. Apart from the Parador del Teide, you stay in two hotels, one in the ancient university town of la Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and 4 nights in the elegant resort of Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast. This tour could be combined with 8 day La Gomera walk to make a fabulous two-week Canarian walking holiday.
We grade the tour as 'Moderate to Challenging’. However the walk should present no difficulties for anyone in reasonable condition and accustomed to walking in hilly areas. Stretches of a few metres only may be considered vertiginous by some. On Day 7 there is a longer vertiginous stretch but this section is optional. Day Stages: 10 - 20 km per day with ascents/descents of up to 1000 metres.
San Cristobel de La Laguna was founded in 1497 by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. The last town to be established in the Canary Islands takes its name from a shallow lake or marshy area (La Laguna), which was not drained until 1837. It is claimed to be the first example of an unfortified town laid out and built according to a complete plan based on navigation, the science of the time, and as the organized space of a new peaceful social order inspired by religious concepts of the year 1500. As the first non-fortified Spanish colonial town, its layout was the model for many colonial towns in the Americas. We would thoroughly recommend that either today or tomorrow after your walk you visit some of the historical sites in the town.
Accommodation: For two nights we use Aparthotel Nivaria, in the centre of this old university town, a World Heritage Site. Rooms are ensuite with heating/air conditioning, TV and a small kitchen bay. There is a bar cafeteria and breakfast room.
After breakfast, prepare a picnic and head to the bus station to catch the bus to Cruz del Carmen. A significantly downhill walk starting at 920m and descending practically to sea level. The walk is varied and interesting, starting in the often misty and damp 'laurisilva', the ancient indigenous laurel forest which covered a lot of southern Europe and North Africa before being destroyed by the Ice Age which never quite reached the Canary Islands. You emerge from the forest to stroll past cultivated lands to arrive at the village of Chinamada. Then down again, this time steeper; the landscape becomes rocky and dry, dotted with cactus. Wonderful views and some amazing shaped rocks punctuate the walk until you arrive at Punta de Hidalgo from where there are numerous buses back to La Laguna.
Prepare a picnic before being picked up for the short drive to start today's walk. A beautiful and quiet forest walk, you begin walking through more laurisilva and introduced eucalyptus, this time uphill and starting at 804m. On a well-defined forest track you climb mostly gently up to 1500m over 3 hours probably rising above the cloud base and the laurisilva into brilliant sunshine and giant Canarias pines. Fabulous glimpses at Mount Teide through the pines accompany you on your way down to the pretty hamlet of La Caldera at 1160m where there is a simple bar / restaurant. From here catch the bus to Puerto de la Cruz.
Accommodation: Two nights at 4 Dreams Hotel is a 3 star hotel is located in the pedestrian centre of Puerto de la Cruz, an attractive coastal town. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, TV and many have balconies. This hotel has been run by the same family for over 75 years.
This is a bus-free day if you do the optional walk to Bollullo Beach, which starts and returns to your hotel taking you up and out of the town with lovely coastal views. Banana plantations take over from residential areas with fabulous views up to you right to the Orotava valley. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to get to Bollullo beach. In good weather it could be nice to go for a swim. There is a bar restaurant above the beach where you could have lunch before returning on the same route.
This morning pack what you need for an overnight stay for your El Teide Adventure! You catch a morning bus and need to arrive early as many walkers take on the challenge of El Teide. The walk starts at 2000m above the tree line and takes you along the length of a huge crater. A unique experience and a geologist's dream, where the history of the island's formation is in full view. Reward yourselves with a swim and a sauna on arrival at the Parador.
Accommodation: Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide. This famous 4 star hotel has very comfortable rooms, satellite TV, minibar, etc. There is also an indoor pool, sauna and gym. On Friday nights, there is star gazing under the guidance of a local astronomer. Dinner is included in the hotel's elegant dining room. Next door, the hotel also runs a cafeteria.
Check the cable car is running which can take you up to 3550m, only 200m short of the summit where you can walk in both directions for amazing views of the other islands. The alternative is to take the fascinating Roques de Garcia circular walk from the Parador passing famous landmarks like "El Dedo de Dios" (God's finger) and "Catedral" discovering lava caves along the way. Take the after bus from the Parador back to Puerto de la Cruz where you return to you overnight accommodation for a further two nights.
After a short bus ride, a mostly gradual ascent and descent makes this a very enjoyable walk. Starting with the ponds of Erjos and rolling countryside you ascend through laurisilva and giant heathers to reach your first ridgetop to then skirt around Montana Jala to reach another great viewpoint, the Cumbre del Bolico. After descending into the abandoned hamlet of Bolico the walk takes you through dense woodland to eventually climb to the top of Montana Jala for the best views of all. You then descend to meet up with the earlier part of the walk on the first ridgetop to retrace your steps back to Restaurante Fleytas. We recommend the short extension to Erjos where there is a small village to look round and a couple of bars to take a break before catching the bus back to Puerto de la Cruz where you overnight.
After breakfast, catch the bus to the airport for your onward journey.
What a remarkable island. This trip surpassed every expectation and the variety of landscapes were something to truly behold. The hotels were very appropriate, the luggage transfers were seamless and the walking, while testing at times, was fantastic. Thank you to your team for providing my wife and I with a truly memorable experience
K. Cameron., St Albans, VIC. Australia
Per Person, Twin Share