Tenerife is not only a culinary and cultural experience. Even away from the small and larger towns with their colorful hustle and bustle, there is a lot to discover. With its idyllic valleys, wild barrancos and pine and laurel forests, Tenerife is a true hiker's paradise. And also one or the other grandiose summit wants to be climbed. First and foremost, of course, the highest mountain in Spain, the Pico del Teide. And so the most versatile island of the Canary Islands invites us (almost) every day anew to a hike.
Actually, I already wanted to report about our numerous hikes on Tenerife in the context of the sightseeings. But then alone there was so much to tell about the black beaches, the botanical garden and the other beautiful things that Mr. Wallygusto and I saw Tenerife. Therefore I spontaneously decided to dedicate a separate chapter to the sporty part of our vacation. So I can provide you with even more impressions and information.
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From Garachico to Juan del Reparo
Our first hike on Tenerife leads us from Garachico to San Juan del Reparo. Garachico was one of the most important trading and harbor towns in Tenerife until the devastating volcanic eruption in 1706, when the harbor and large parts of the town were destroyed by two lava flows. Although the small town was rebuilt, it could not regain this importance.
The easy hike on a beautiful old cobblestone path is just the right tour for warming up. After all, we don't want to completely exhaust ourselves right at the beginning of our vacation. After a short visit of the worth seeing old town we follow the comfortable Camino along the lava flows up to San Juan del Reparo. On the way there are always picturesque views of Garachico, which makes the mostly shadeless, sometimes quite steep climb a lot more pleasant.
Arrived at the top of Juan del Reparo, there is not much to see except for the (unfortunately not accessible) church, so that we quickly make our way back after a short break.
From Puerto de la Cruz to the Cafe Vista Paraiso
The tour from Puerto de la Cruz to the Cafe Vista Paraiso is actually not a hike, but a rather long walk with a few differences in altitude. We start directly at our hotel in Puerto de la Cruz. After a short visit to the fisherwoman at the fishing port, we stroll along the promenade to the surfing beach Playa Martianez. There we first follow a short palm avenue, then we climb on a wide footpath up to the Mirador de la Paz. The Mirador de la Paz is one of the most famous panorama places on Tenerife and has already inspired Agatha Christie for one of her novels.
Now it goes on the well-kept, mostly paved Camino de la Costa through banana plantations to one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the north of Tenerife, the Playa de Bollullo. Here we put our feet into the fine sand for a short while and listen to the rushing sea surf while drinking a non-alcoholic beer.
With the next destination another famous panoramic place of Tenerife is waiting for us. However, the path to Cafe Vista ParaIso is steeper and more strenuous than expected. But the short effort is worth it, because it is rewarded with a delicious piece of cake. Also the grandiose view from the cafe terrace on Puerto de la Cruz is not to be despised. Freshly strengthened we go on the same way back to the hotel, where already another non-alcoholic beer waits in the refrigerator for us.
organos high trail
The name of the high trail "Organos" comes from the bizarre rocks that look like organ pipes with their vertical folds. And exactly over this organ pipe our way runs on a narrow path parallel to the mountain slope.
The spectacular round through the canyons and rocks above the "Organas" starts on a comfortable forest path. Thanks to the numerous lichen-covered trees, we quickly get the feeling of walking through a "fairy-tale forest". However, this changes quite soon, we enter a steep, often slippery path. In places it becomes even narrow and really airy, but these exposed passages are fortunately at least partially secured.
However, the view of the Teide promised in the hiking guide is denied to us. Because Spain's highest mountain is a bit coy and hides behind a wall of thick clouds. Therefore we enjoy all the more the many beautiful succulents on the roadside.
The wildly romantic high-altitude hike offers not only plenty of variety, but every now and then even spectacular mountain pleasure. It is one of the most beautiful tours we have done in the last years.
From the Teide over the Pico Viejo to the Parador
Nature lovers will find with the Parque Nacional del Teide the largest national park in the Canary Islands. Here Mother Nature has created a truly unique backdrop for hiking with a unique crater landscape, volcanoes and petrified lava rivers. And as if that were not enough, towers over the impressive silhouette of Teide. The trip to the 3.718 meters high volcano is also for Mr. Wallygusto and me an absolute MUST. Already weeks before we have secured the tickets for the Teide cable car in the Internet.
Since we are both in good shape and experienced hikers, we probably could have climbed the volcano's summit on foot. But the ascent of ca. 1.400 m and the thin air at high altitude gives us a lot of respect. And we had neither time nor desire for a 2-day tour with an overnight stay in a hut. Or rather, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spoke in our wheel here anyway, because the Altavista hostel is still closed. A date for the reopening is not yet fixed even in May 2022.
Over lava scree and pumice sand
So we start our hike at the top station of the cable car, where the sporty aspect is not neglected either. The ascent to the Pico Viejo, with 3.135 m the second highest peak of the island, is demanding and arduous. But the way over rocky lava terrain is worthwhile, because the western satellite of the Teide is not called one of the most magnificent mountains of Tenerife for nothing. Its mighty crater is with 800 m diameter by far the largest of the island and shows a unique volcanic colorfulness. The color palette inside ranges from deepest black to red and ocher to turquoise. We are also rewarded with a great view of Teide from its summit. If we haven't climbed it, we at least want to admire it from a distance. So once again it has been proven in more ways than one that it is often more interesting to climb secondary peaks.
From Pico Viejo on, the path conditions become easier, because a beautiful pumice sand path awaits us, which mostly descends comfortably to the rock formations of the Roques de GarcIa. From here it goes evenly further back to the parking lot, where we fall completely exhausted, but very happy, into the seats of our rented car.