Best known for its winter sun and popularity with North European tourists, Tenerife lies off the west coast of Africa and gets a pleasant climate all year round. Beach parties, swimming pools and holiday resorts abound to the south of the island, but further inland there are pine forests, rugged mountains and sweeping valleys to discover.
Though Tenerife is not immediately associated with hiking, one of the best ways to grab a true taste of this Canary Island favourite is to explore on foot. Flights to Tenerife are affordable are affordable and easy to discover online.
The north of the island is a varied experience; black sand beaches, soaring cliff faces and lush plantations. A popular northern location for walks is the Anaga Mountain Range, both for the sheer scale of these peaks and wild landscape which surrounds them. You can access the Anagas from the village of Taganana which boasts some spectacular views of its own.
Elsewhere in the north, there are shorter hikes to be had through the dense banana plantations to La Paz, with optional coastal diversions along Bollullo Beach. To the north-west is where you'll find the volcanic shores and quiet rocky coves which make this part of the island especially appealing to outdoor-lovers. There are extensive trails around the high-altitude town of Masca, which can also take you to Tenerife's most famous cliffs: Los Gigantes.
Hiking around the Parque Nacional del Teide is a must for any enthusiast. A massive volcanic crater forms the heartland of Tenerife, along with the majestic Mount Teide and miles of desert land and rock formations. A network of walking tracks will allow you to delve deeper into this strange landscape and leave the sightseers behind. When conditions are right, walking from the La Orotava valley in the northern part of the park can take you literally above the clouds for a unique experience.
Though gentler in comparison to other parts of the island, Tenerife's beautiful south-west countryside can be a good way to avoid the beach crowds. Around the terrain you can find fascinating ruins, picturesque hillsides and sunset views of the nearby isle La Gomera. Hike through the Santiago del Teide valley and you will tread on the remains of Tenerife's 1909 volcanic eruption; the unusual obsidian rock underfoot contrasts with bright flowers and green woodland.
More and more travellers are seeking out the walking opportunities on this island and its reputation as more than just a resort destination continues to grow. Now flights to Tenerife are more frequent and low-cost than ever, the starting point for a hiking holiday may be closer than you think.
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