Aaaaah Covid, you have taught me to be infinitely flexible, responsive and on my toes when it comes to holiday plans. A positive covid test for my husband scuppered our Jordan holiday plans, and it didn’t make sense to go to Jordan by myself (as I had been before). Instead, with 48 hours to go before christmas, and an infectious husband to escape from, I am en route to my favourite winter hiking destination to discover some new trails. Hubby will join when he gets a negative lateral flow test. The trails of the week were…..
Anaga National Park
Roque de Bermejo loop from Chamorga (8km – 800m ascent)
This walk is at the top of the island, after a harrowing drive on windy narrow roads, with a mild heart attack every time a car comes the other way. The route is a variant of walk 3 in the Cicerone guide or PR TF 6/6.1
Chamorga was quiet at 5pm on xmas eve, and i wandered down the Barranco – passing a few tourists returning from the beach.
After an hour….I was keeping an eye out for a place to pitch my tent and there was pretty much nowhere flat….., so I settled on pitching at the Casas Blanca – an abandoned house on the cliff overlooking the Roque and looking up to the Anaga lighthouse. It wasn’t particularly clean, but someone had clearly pitched in the ruins before as there was a clean flat bit looking out the window. I crossed my fingers that the other half of the roof wouldnt fall in on me during the night. The walls did keep the wind out, but the roof didn’t keep the rain off so it was good I had the tent up
It got dark at 6.15pm, so I cooked supper, read my book, and then fell asleep at 9pm after adjusting to the lighthouse flashing in my eyes (for a while I kept thinking someone was flashing a torch in my eyes). I woke up at 3am and the moon was so bright that it was like daylight.
I was well rested by 6am, so I had a coffee overlooking the sea and a leisurely breakfast (M&S apple hot cross buns). It was light enough by 7.30 am to head out, so I wandered down to the sea and then back up a steep slog to the lighthouse.
As I hit the ridge line above the lighthouse, the path was a little vertiginous (and i had to abbreviate the route as the cliff path to El Draguillo was closed. the views out over the Roques de Anaga were spectacular
I stopped for a leisurely coffee and enjoyed the views. From their it was a lovely hike up to the Casas Tafada along a ridgeline with spectacular views. And then a nice amble back to Chamorga.
I arrived in Chamorga at 10.30 on christmas day and was delighted the cafe/bar was open, and i treated myself to a luxurious morning tea of donuts, coffee and coke zero. And then I headed off to Afur on more windy roads
Barranco de Afur – Playa de Tamadiste 6km
I was feeling pretty lazy this afternoon after the mornings hike, so I just strolled down to the beach and back – a nice 2 hour loop.
The barranco de Afur is the most lovely barranco I have encountered in all of my hiking around the Canary Islands. The barranco has water flowing through it all year round, and is green and lush – very rare for the Canaries. It was a busy-ish trail (I saw probably 20 people) but well marked and stunning vistas up the cliffs, amazing cacti, and better views to the coast around every corner
I arrived at the beach to find a couple of enthusiastic nudists engaged in some lively snogging…. So I faced the other way and enjoyed the spectacular views of the waves crashing down the coast.
The wander back up the barranco was equally delightful, and I stopped for a coffee at the local bar on my way back.
I then headed into La Laguna for a shower and a meal not from a dehydrated pouch.
Taganana to Tamadiste beach (12km – 700m ascent)
I came back to finish the broader loop from Afur to Taganana with the husband – so we also did the Taganana to Tamadiste beach section
The initial climb out of Taganana was a brutal calf warm up, but then the trail was just a lovely meandering undulating trail up and down the side of the cliff down the north coast.
It was 5km to the beach where we contemplated life and Steph misjudged a wave.
We wandered up and down the barranco for a little bit and then headed back to Taganana. The views were utterly stunning
Back in the quiet hamlet of Taganana – a light lunch of salad and croquettes. And then we drove down the coast to Benijo, which was overrun with cars and vans and half naked surfers.
Pico de Ingles to Valleseco – 8km – 900m descent
We hopped a taxi up to Pico del Ingles -so named as an ‘englishman’ (who was actually Austrian) fell to his death from the peak. The views were stunning down to the capital on Tenerife and the sea. This route is Walk 1 in the Cicerone Guide or PR TF 2
I headed down the trail through lovely lauresilva forests. It was a Sunday and Boxing Day, and the locals were out in force. I passed several hiking groups (including a bunch of 70 year olds), and a lot of people in Santa hats.
The photos down the barrancos don’t really do the views justice as it is all a bit hazy in the hot sun. The path weaved in and out of the forest for the first half of the route, and then eventually weaved down into a barranco through spiky cacti.
It was a lovely and easy stroll, and I arrived in Vallseco and caught the bus for the few km into the capital. I found a place for lunch, but there were too many people in the capital for my liking so I headed back up to Laguna for an afternoon nap.
Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo – 11km, 1000m descent 200m ascent
This is one of the highest rated walks in the guidebook (map here pdf or walk 7 in the Cicerone). Husband had arrived for this bit – so we started at Cruz del Carmen after a 20 minute cab ride from La Laguna. I was pretty underwhelmed for the first 4km and wondering why we were doing this trail and not redoing the Valleseco route – which had amazing views. It was nice but all in the forest.
But about 1km before Chinamada the views opened and there were stunning views down the barranco to Punta del Hidalgo.
We stopped in Chinamada hoping for fluids but everything was closed so we continued down the side of the cliff where the path for much of the route was cut into the side of the cliff and there were some spectacular caves which would have been extraordinary places to pitch a tent for the evening (albeit no water)
The temperature kept climbing as we descended and it began to feel like we were cooking in a furnace. While the scenery was pretty green and lovely, there was no shade at all.
The route was relatively quiet but there were some bonkers people climbing up in bikinis from Punta – not sure how far they would have made it.
We hit the beach and a bunch of surfers after about 9km and then we had a hot and sweaty road walk until we arrived blessedly at an open shop and i knocked back 1 litre of cold drinks and cooled down. The bus was due in half an hour, so we headed back to La Laguna for an afternoon snack and a siesta
The Teno Region
Chinyero loop – 12km 380m ascent
Todays hike was a lovely 12km figure of eight loop around Montana Negra and the Chinyero Volcano (the youngest volcano in Tenerife having erupted 100 years ago). Map here in pdf (as only the short version is in the Cicerone)
We started from arenas negra carpark so the first half was all a gentle uphill and then back down again (always my preference). And we started both loops on the north side, which was a good call as it was a lovely stroll in the forest to begin with and then the best views were saved for the second half.
It was a stunning walk with Tiede (Spain’s highest mountain) popping into view from time to time. The walk was either on lovely pine needle paths through trees or across rugged lava fields.
The contrasting colour of the baby pine trees with luminous green leaves was magical against the black volcanic rock and the blue sky.
It was an easy 3 hour stroll and we didn’t see many people until the last part. When we left the carpark ours was the sole car, and there were 30 cars when we left
Feeling virtuous from our stroll we headed to the historic town of Garachico for squid and salt cod at an excellent local restaurant – Tasca de los Pinos
Callejon de Teno and Baracan summit loop
Starting from El Palmar, the ‘capital’ of Teno Rural Park, which is a small collection of houses around a very bizarre mountain that is like a pie with pieces cut out of it.
From the village, we schlepped up a big hill with a bunch of hikers, many of who overtook me on the way up, and then I over took them again when they stopped for a break. Its all about the average speed 🙂
After a meandering trail around the side of a hill, we arrived in Teno Alto – a tiny village famous for cheese. It was too early for lunch so we stopped for a coke and then restarted up the steep road.
We continued over some lovely terraced hillside with amazing views out over La Palma and an excellent cloud inversion onto the ridgeline of the Cumbre de Baracan where the views were spectacular
From the mirador of Baracan we dropped down the hill into El Palmar marvelling at the side of the pie. And then we headed to the excellent Bodega Patamero for chicken, cod and fried mushrooms.
And then it was a stunning drive home around the winding roads to Masca and back to Santiago del Teide. We got stuck behind a bus who had to keep reversing on the hairpin corners.
Tiede National Park
Volcan de Fasnia Loop – 8km
We headed up to the national park this morning, stopping at lots of the miradors to take photos. Steph is still recovering from the rona, so we did a leisurely 8km stroll around Volcan de Fasnia (Walk 26 in the Cicerone guide or sendero 20 in the national park map). The view of the observatories on the top of Izana were quite surreal.
The terrain meandered through white ash, red ash and then past the fabulous black Volcan de Fasnia. Tiede popped into sight multiple times throughout the trail and it was just a nice wander in the sunny chilly air.
Roques de Garcia – 4km
The national park is heaving during the day, but after about 5pm everyone vanishes back to the resorts and we had the place to ourselves. So it was the perfect time to meander around the Roques de Garcia, next to the Parador where we are staying (walk 33 in Cicerone Guide or sendero 3 in the national park map).
January 4, 2022
I used the Cicerone guide to hiking in Tenerife and also the Walk this Way Tenerife book (written by locals), both available on amazon
Where to stay – distances in Tenerife are long, so we were based in San Cristobal La Laguna (Hotel Gran La Laguna) for when visiting the Anaga, in Santiago del Tiede (La Casona del Patio) for the Teno, and then there is only one place to stay in the Tiede National Park (The Parador).
Getting around – we used a rental car but the buses are reliable and frequent