There are many incredible hikes in Tenerife, that it would be a real pity to miss out on them while on the island.
The biggest and most populated of the Canary Islands, there are many reasons why this is one Spain’s most visited islands. Blessed with a beautiful climate, it is a paradise for surfers. There are beautiful beaches such as La Caleta, a real hidden gem; or Playa del Bolullo, boasting dark volcanic sand and surrounded by high cliffs.
Further, Tenerife has some lovely villages; and it’s a great destination for whale watching – for more information, click here.
And last but definitely not least, there are some fantastic hikes, thanks to Mount Teide (the highest volcano in Europe) and Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site – though there also are great nature walks and coastal hikes.
Continue reading this post for a selection of 10 fantastic hiking trails in Tenerife, and for some useful trip planning tips.
10 Incredible Hikes In Tenerife
LENGHT – 9 KM
The hike to Guajara, Tenerife’s 4th highest peak which is located on the south eastern edge of Las Cañadas ridge, in Las Cañadas National Park, isn’t long. It’s just about 9 km. The ascent isn’t much, really. But the altitude makes it challenging and altitude sickness may cause problems. The view, however, is incredible. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Las Cañadas, Mount Teide and the south coast of Tenerife.
The best time of the year to attempt this hike is May or June, when there are beautiful flowers on the way; or September and October.
Make sure you are prepared for sudden weather changes, and keep in mind that the temperature on the summit may be 20 degrees colder than on the south coast. Dress appropriately and carry an extra layer.
Once at the summit you will find a small abandoned stone shelter which is a good place to keep out of the wind and have lunch. The descent follows the same path, or alternatively there is an old goat-herder trail following a ravine on the west side, which however is very hard to follow.
Medium difficulty hikes
Los Crisitanos to Las Galletas
LENGHT – 14 KM
One of the nicest hikes in Tenerife is the 14 km coastal walk from Los Crisitanos to Las Galletas, right at the doorsteps of the biggest tourist resorts on the island. It goes through some beautiful nature reserves and offers incredible views of the south coast. The trail starts in Casa Carolina, an old villa on the sea front; it goes past the beach and towards Montaña Guaza – a protected natural area. There is a trail on the right which is less known and goes towards the cliffs.
Once there, the trail goes around the plateau through a rocky landscape surrounded by cactus. It eventually goes down through a steep slope towards Palm Mar, through the nature reserve of Malpais de la Rasca, where there’s a beautiful lighthouse. From there, it goes all the way to Las Galletas, a lovely fishing port, crossing some banana plantations and abandoned fields.
Las Montañas Negras
LENGHT – 14 KM
Las Montañas Negras are located in the north-west of Tenerife and owe their name to the color of the volcanic ash that formed them. They include Volcan de Carachico, whose 1706 eruption caused the destruction of the port of Garachico.
One of the nicest hikes in Tenerife is the one that starts in San Jose de los Llanos, just north of Santiago del Teide, and following a circular route goes to Montaña Bilma, then turns east to get to a forestry track that runs along Canal Vergara. On this part of the hike, the view spans so see the lava flaws of the 1909 eruption of Chinyero (the most recent eruption in Tenerife). On clear days, you can see all the way to the valley around Santiago del Teide, Mount Teide and Pico Viejo.
The last part of the trail is downhill, going to San Jose de Los Llanos.
The overall hike is 14 km but the ascent of just 200 meters, so this qualifies as an easy hike.
LENGHT – 7 KM
Immediately east of Mount Teide there is Montaña Blanca, the third highest peak on the island. The hike there is one of the easiest yet most rewarding in Tenerife among those in Teide National Park. It is a dirt track that for around 7 km zig zaps up the back of the mountain, going by the Huevos de Teide (giant boulders that were ejected during volcanic eruptions). Along the way it is also possible to see the lava flows on the side of Mount Teide.
Roque del Conde
LENGHT – 6 KM
Roque del Conde is one of the most famous landmarks of southern Tenerife. This mountain looks over the resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas. You can walk there (it takes around 3 hours) and from the peak there are gorgeous, 360 degree views of the south of Tenerife.
This 6 km hike on a paved path starts in Vento – there are signs pointing to it from the main road in Arona. Here the altitude is around 600 meters above sea level, while at the peak it is around 1000. The trail goes through the Barranco del Rey, a deep gorge cutting through the southern side of the Tenerife, and then up the plateau.
LENGHT – 8.5 KM
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This trail has been closed in 2018.
One of the nice things about hiking in Tenerife is that the trails go through villages and beaches. The Masca Barranco hike goes from the picturesque Masca, thought to be Tenerife’s prettiest village, to the beach, through a prehistoric landscape. The walk to the beach takes roughly 3 hours, and once there it is possible to either take the boat to Los Gigantes or to walk all the way back.
Arona to Ifonche
LENGHT – 9 KM
One of the most popular hikes in Tenerife, it goes along a well marked trail, and starts 1 km north of Arona, following an old goat herder track all the way to Ifonche. The way back is via Barranco del Rey gorge. It is the first leg of the longer walk to Adeje, Taucho and Vilaflor.
Las Lajas to Ifonche
LENGHT – 12 KM
One of the easiest trails in Tenerife, it starts in Las Lajas, the barbecue area of Parque Natural de la Corona Forestal, at about 10 km from Vilaflor. The first part of the hike is quite easy, on a good dirt track where you will cross paths with many mountain bikers in the winter months. You will be crossing the Pasaije Natural Protegido (Protected Natural Space) of Ifonche, and pass by the resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas.
After walking for about 2 hours, the view is obscured by the Alto de Chimoche, which reaches 1500 meters of elevation.
It takes around 4 hours to walk the roughly 12 km.
Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada
LENGHT – 9.4 KM
Thought to be one of the top hikes in Tenerife, it goes through ancient forests and steep mountain ravines to then get to a hamlet where the locals still live in cave houses, much like it can be seen during the Tamadaba hike in Gran Canaria.
LENGHT – 4.5 KM
The Fortaleza trail is a nice and easy one – the only thing that may cause a bit of difficulty is the altitude. It’s one of the nicest if you want to explore the north crater wall of Teide and Teide National Park.
Practical Information To Organize Your Tenerife Trip
You won’t have troubles finding a guide for many of the hikes, but since Teide is the most popular place for hiking, it’s easier to find guided hikes for that. Here is a selection of tours you can book online:
- Pico del Teide full day ascending hiking tour
- Mount Teide hiking tour
- Guided hike to the Anaga Mountains
Other fun activities in Tenerife
Tenerife is a great hiking destination, but if that’s not your cup of tea you can still find may other interesting things to do.
First of all, you can enjoy Teide even if you don’t want to hike – just get the cable car (Teide cable car tickets here); you can even go at sunset – for more information, click here.
If you are into stargazing, you should consider joining this Teide National Park stargazing.
Families with children and in fact all other travelers will love the thrill of whale watching – you can book your tour here or here.
Finally, to get your adrenaline fix, you may want to go on this tandem paraglide flight.
Best starting points to hike in Tenerife
Tenerife has two airports: Tenerife South Airport, in Santa Cruze de Tenerife. and Tenerife North Airport, in San Cristobal de la Laguna. South Airport is connected to mainland Spain and the rest of Europe through regular and budget flights, though some of them are only seasonal. North Airport is not as well connected.
SANTA CRUZ – The capital of the island, this is a great starting point when hiking in Tenerife. It is a nice place to visit, with a good selection of tourist attractions. The main one is Tenerife Auditorium, designed by famous architect Calatrava. Espacio de las Artes, the art museum, is another must. The city centre is packed with beautiful squares and lovely small streets. The best places to stay are DREAM SKY, EL JOSTEL and CASA ARMONIA.
SAN CRISTOBAL LA LAGUNA – The second most important city on the island, home of the University of La Laguna, which was founded in 1792, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. It used to be the capital of the Canary Islands. The Old City boasts some beautiful churches (especially the Cathedral) and some nice squares. The best places to stay are B&B LA LAGUNA and LA LAGUNA GRAN HOTEL.
Villages to visit during the hikes
Many villages can be seen when hiking around the island. The nicest ones are
MASCA – Perched on a rock, it is a series of narrow, cobbled alleys and overflowing gardens.
GARACHICO – A tiny port that survived a volcano eruption.
TEGUESTE – It’s known for its farmers’ market.
VILAFLOR – The highest village in Spain and is entirely surrounded by the forest.
GRANADILLA – It’s home to a beautiful baroque church dating back to the 18th century.
When To Go Hiking In Tenerife
The best time to go hiking in Tenerife is towards the end of the spring or the beginning of autumn, when temperatures are milder. Throughout the winter, the temperatures are mild; whereas in the summer it’s really hot best not to hike.
Other Useful Information
Several sites have information on the hikes in Tenerife, but the information is scattered at best. There is a Walk This Way Tenerife on the best trails of the island that can be bought online on Amazon. Another site is Tenerife Hiking, but it’s outdated, with the last post being published in 2008.
Several companies offer guided hikes in Tenerife. Among them, there are Tenerife Hiking and Macs Adventures.
Finally, keep in mind that wild camping is not allowed in Tenerife. Although there are meant to be a few campsites on the island, they often close for refurbishment. The online list seems rather outdated.
Make sure to check out my other posts:
- Which Are The Best Canary Islands?
- Where To Find The Most Amazing Hikes In Spain
- 11 Incredible Hikes In Gran Canaria
- 10 Incredible Places To Go Hiking In Lanzarote
- 11 Reasons Why Hiking Alone May Be A Bad Idea
Have you ever been to Tenerife? What are your favorite trails in Tenerife?