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Travel Story: My Island Adventure in the Hiker's Paradise Tenerife

Dreamlike coastal paths, surreal mountain worlds & volcanic landscapes

My "hiking comfort zone" is in the Austrian mountains, and so my first "Team Members on Tour"-trip last summer was to the Dachstein High Altitude Circular Path. After this indescribably beautiful trekking tour amidst the rugged rocks around the Gosau ridge, I set myself the goal of broadening my hiking horizons a bit. In addition to year-round hiking destinations like Madeira, the Canary Islands also appealed to me, and so I immediately chose the volcanic island of Tenerife, which was still unknown to me. Especially in autumn and spring, the always mild temperatures attract many hikers to the Atlantic island - but for me, it was off to the south by plane in August! In my luggage: a comprehensive package of travel documents, the Eurohike app, and little idea of the diversity that really awaited me here. Let's go!

Welcomed by Spain's highest mountain

With its 3,715 metres, the Pico del Teide is the highest mountain in Spain and already welcomes enthusiastic hikers as they approach the island. Around the mountain massif stretches the south-western part of the island, coloured with orange sand, where we will hike the last stages of our tour. After landing, we first head for the green mountainous country in the north. With a sign "Julia & Linda - Eurohike", the pre-organised transfer picks us up directly from Tenerife South Airport. On the way north, we enjoy the impressive panoramic drive - the anticipation of the experiences of the next days grows and grows!

A fishing village to fall in love with: Garachico

The wild north of the island is characterized by the black, rugged coasts and lava pools, as well as the fertile landscape. A colour play of black, green and deep blue inspires us anew every day. We spend two nights in the delightful coastal town of Garachico, or more precisely directly on the village square in the idyllic Hotel La Quinta Roja. One thing strikes us immediately: The inhabitants are incredibly hospitable, open and communicative. We are greeted at every corner, we are told the exciting history behind the former harbour town and, to our great delight, the receptionist immediately tells us about an upcoming event - a national folk festival with dance & music from various regions of Spain.

The North: Scenic trails in the green mountain country

On our first circular walk, starting from Garachico, we get to know the fertile cultivation areas of the island and also explore the pine forests above the coast. The ascent on stony paths is rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of the Atlantic and the coastal town. The second hiking stage from Garachico via Erjos to Santiago del Teide takes us through the dreamlike Teno Mountains for the first time. Between banana plantations, mango and avocado trees, we hike through the mountains and look down into the Cuevas Negras gorge. After this scenic start to the hike, we continue uphill through the magical laurel forest to the mountain village of Erjos.

  • Tip: On your hikes in the north, take sportswear for dry and hot weather as well as for humid and windy weather.

My personal highlight stage

One thing first: be sure to plan enough time on the hiking stage to enjoy the unique natural scenery and the incredible views! This hike starts with a transfer to El Palmar: passing the mountain ranges and gorges of the Teno Mountains, we can already guess where the route will take us and the anticipation of the upcoming adventure is rising. We start in the foggy cool north and hike with a view of the fertile valley below us up to the Teno Alto hill, from where the trails start along the ridge. In front of us stretches the Tabaiba Pass, which separates the weather divide of the north and south coasts. On one side we look down on the gorge-rich mountains of the north, on the other into the forested areas of the island. The narrow paths over the mountain tops make our adventurer's hearts beat faster, and we enjoy every step before descending back down into the valley to Santiago del Teide.

  • My recommendation: If your strength still allows it, don't cut this stage short - we would have regretted it in any case!

The sunny King's Path to Los Gigantes

Due to the current closure of the Masca Gorge, we alternatively take the King's Path, always pleasantly downhill, to Los Gigantes with its world-famous cliffs. The wonderful hiking trails along cacti and stone walls, the wide panoramic views of the steep cliffs and the final encounter with the gorges of the Teno Mountains are what distinguishes this tour. We choose the high trail option and can only recommend this! If the descent is too one-sided, you can optionally walk two peaks and gain a few metres in altitude. After the high trail, we choose the direct descent to the huge banana plantations before reaching the hotel stronghold of Los Gigantes - a real contrast to the small, delightful coastal and mountain villages before. Here we enjoy the view of the imposing cliffs directly on the black beach or from the hotel pool. However, the best place to swim on Tenerife is in the black lava pools and so, after a short search, we find a great location here too, which is only a 10-minute walk away.

Hiking Experiences in the South of Tenerife

To conclude the hiking tour, we explore the southern paths of the island and are also thrilled by the incredible diversity here! After a short transfer on day 6, we start our hike in Adeje, where the access to the so-called Hell Gorge is located, which we can already see from a distance. We hike on plateaus with distant views of the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean and the rocks in front of us until we reach the long-distance hiking trail GR 131. Again and again we stop on this ascent along serpentines and enjoy the view. We reach the pine forest and hike on slightly hilly paths to the next mountain village. Here begins a wonderful high-altitude hike above the steep slopes that drop down to the sea.

In Arona, our destination, we treat ourselves to a refreshment in a bar before continuing by transfer to Vilaflor. The highest village of the Canary Islands invites you to switch off and relax. The Hotel Spa Villalba, which is located in the middle of the pine forest, was also one of our highlights of this week. Enjoy the pleasant silence in the middle of nature and look forward to typical delicacies in the hotel restaurant. From here we start our last circular hike to the famous white moonscapes. Before we reach this natural spectacle, we hike through enchanting forest landscapes and paths made of lava rock. The perfect hike to end this unforgettable trip!

Canarian specialities from north to south

To conclude my culinary report, here's a little gourmet checklist:

  • Coffee speciality Barraquito
  • Queso Asado with Mojos 
  • Fish specialities - bacalao, salmon & tuna
  • Papas Arrugadas

Especially in the hotel restaurants in Garachico and Vilaflor it is recommended to reserve a table - look forward to fresh, regional delicacies and the warm hospitality!

My conclusion

Island hiking was previously unknown to me, but through this "Team Members on Tour"-trip a new enthusiasm has definitely grown in me, which will definitely influence my travel planning from now on. Thrilled by the spectacular diversity, the warm compatriots and the authentic cuisine, I leave the Atlantic island and can only recommend it to anyone who longs for new paths and landscapes!

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