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Hiking in Tenerife



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The largest of Spain’s wonderful Canary Islands is a spectacular land forged by fire and water, a feast for the senses. Walks in Tenerife are magnificently varied: from the otherworldly slopes of the colossal volcano at its fiery heart, to the lush, humid laurel forests and jagged mountains found in the north. This rugged island will beguile you time and time again.

Hikes in Tenerife invariably take place under the watchful gaze of dominant Mount Teide. Explore Teide National Park, a sensational landscape of craters, petrified lava, astonishing colours and an impressive array of volcanic formations. If you’re ready for a challenge, an adventure to Spain’s highest point is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But there’s much more to discover yet. Tenerife boasts over 600 miles (960 km) of superb trails. Discover an endlessly charming coastline, with stunning cliffs, black sand beaches and idyllic fishing villages. Inland, sights evocative of a lost world are everywhere, with deep ravines, staggering valleys and thriving forests.

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The otherworldly landscapes of Teide

For many, Mount Teide is the main draw and many of the best hiking trails inTenerife explore this giant. At 12,198 feet (3,718 m), it is Spain’s highest point and one of the largest volcanoes in the world. There are numerous trails that explore the otherworldly 47,000 acres (19,000 ha) of the national park.

It is possible to hike to Teide’s lofty summit, though you will need to apply for a permit beforehand, as only a certain number of people are allowed on the final 650 feet (200 m) of trail per day. The other option is to book the Altaviste refuge, which also grants access. You can take on the challenge of hiking to the top from its base or there is a handy cable car that eats up almost 4,000 feet (1,200 m) of the ascent.

The view of the Canarian archipelago from the top is staggering, particularly at sunset when the volcano casts a phenomenal shadow that reaches some 25 miles (40 km) into the ocean, the largest of its kind in the world.

A rugged yet lush volcanic land

Hikes in Tenerife are not all about Teide though. Formed over twelve million years of volcanic growth, it is an island that boasts a lavish array of magnificent landscapes. From the massive stone walls and jagged rock towers of the Masca Gorge to the staggering ocean views, glorious mountains and lush vegetation found in the Parque Rural de Anaga, there are so many great hiking experiences.

The verdant surroundings and earthy aromas of the north contrast nicely with the desolation and sulphurous scents of Teide. Meanwhile, invigorating sea air awaits on the coastal routes. Small hotels and rural cottages offer ample accommodation away from the population centres.

The island of eternal spring

Thanks to a warm and pleasant climate all year round, Tenerife is often referred to as ‘the island of eternal spring’. Thanks to this, there are walks in Tenerife to suit any season. The south of the island is much drier than the lush, mountainous north, where higher elevations are subject to higher precipitation. As ever, temperatures alter with altitude: in the mild winters whilst sunbathers bask on the beach, it may well be snowing on Teide.

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