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The Highlights of Tenerife 19

Walking the Highlights of Tenerife

Overview

Tenerife is one of the most fascinating of the Canary Islands due to the great variety of landscapes it offers – from the mountains of the Teno Rural Park in the west to the lunar-like landscapes of Mount Teide National Park and the lush green forests of Aguamansa and Anaga Nature Park on the east coast. Explore the best parts of Tenerife on foot, with an option to climb Mount Teide (3718 m), the highest peak in Spain, spending two nights in the iconic colonial-style Parador de Cañadas del Teide hotel at the foot of Mount Teide.

  • Tick-off all the best hiking areas of the island
  • An experience you will never forget, the ascent of the highest mountain in Spain (optional) and the sunrise from El Teide, with panoramic views stretching over the Canary archipelago
  • Spend two nights at the iconic Parador Hotel at the foot of Mount Teide
  • The mountainous Teno Rural Park on the west coast
  • Walk through the lunar-like landscapes
  • Discover the lush green hills and deep ravines of the Anaga Nature Park and Aguamansa Forest

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Tenerife

A private transfer of 30 minutes from Tenerife South Airport to our comfortable hotel in Vilaflor (a transfer from North Airport or elsewhere in Tenerife can be arranged at extra cost). Vilaflor is the highest village of Tenerife, located at 1000m above sea level, on the Southern edge of the Teide National Park.

Day 2: Lunar Landscapes | 14 km

In the morning, a taxi will drive you a few kilometres further north to start a nice and easy walk through a volcanic lunar landscape with bizarre rock formations. Walking along part of the Camino de Chasna, a five century-old trade trail, discover the dreamlike rock formations called “fairy chimneys”. This walk ends in the centre of the village of Vilaflor.

  • Overnight in Hotel Spa Villalba or similar
  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 14 km, ↑475 m ↓675 m

Day 3: Las Cañadas del Teide / Mount Teide | 10-14 km

In the morning – at 9:30 h, a taxi will take you to the Cañadas del Teide. This is an 18-km wide old crater left after the first volcanic eruptions on Tenerife. After a short walk, you will take the cable car up to 3200 m and walk to the Vista Point Pico Viejo (3 km, 75 m up and down, 1 h).

Should you have been able to secure a permit, you can extend your walk and climb to the top*. The walk is short and not demanding, but it will be best to take it easy given the height. The ascent from the upper cable car station to the crater is 1.5 km return, 150 m ascent/descent, 2 h. After returning to the cable car’s lower station, you will walk 5 km to the iconic Parador Hotel. Evenings spent here are quite an experience. The clear and clean night skies provide wonderful star-gazing opportunities, and the restaurant serves Canarian specialities such as Canarian Puchero, a tasty stew. In the afternoon, you can also do an optional short walk in Parador’s surroundings to Roques Garcia stones (3,5 km, 175 m up and down; approx. 2 h).

*Our package DOES NOT include a climbing permit for the peak (to avoid erosion of the soft volcanic rock, local authorities limit the number of hikers) as well as a cable car ticket to the top. Should you want to climb Mount Teide, you should reserve a free climbing permit here well in advance.

  • Overnight in Parador Las Cañadas del Teide
  • Walking for the day – Optional circular walks: up to 2-3 hours, 4 km ↑­­­­175 m ↓175 m per walk
  • Walking for the day – Mount Teide: 6 hours, 10 km, ↑­­­­150 m ↓1350 m if you use the cable car only on the way up to the peak and walk back down to the Refuge station (shorter option using the cable car in both directions: 2 hours, 1.5 km, ↑­­­­150 m ↓150 m)

Day 4: Linear Walk to Pico Guajara | 14 km

Today you have plenty of time to do a demanding but rewarding ascent to Guajara (2730 m), the second-highest peak on Tenerife. Reaching the plateau on the top, enjoy views over Mount Teide, the caldera and, cloud-cover permitting, the neighbouring islands of Gran Canaria and La Gomera.

Day 5: Aguamansa | 12 km

In the morning, a taxi will pick you up at 9:30 h and drive you to the start of the walk in the Aguamansa woods. You will take a mountainous route through old Canarian pine woods and barrancos with lush vegetation. At the end of the walk, the taxi will drive you to your charming hotel in the old town of Garachico, also the capital of Tenerife, before a lava stream damaged its harbour in 1706. The hotel itself is an old manor house once owned by the village’s founders in the 15th century. Although the hotel has no swimming pool, you can have a swim in the natural swimming pool in the harbour.

  • Overnight in Hotel La Quinta Roja or similar
  • Walking for the day: 5.5-6 hours, 12 km, ↑­­­­725 m ↓725 m

Day 6: Teno Nature Park | 8-15 km

Early in the morning, a taxi will drive you (30 min) to the village El Palmar to the start of a walk in the barren western part of the island. Your ascent begins at approx. 300 m and takes you through open woodlands and farmed areas to a vista point higher up. From there, an optional section along steep barrancos to the tiny village of Teno Alto. Then you traverse a high plateau with bizarre vegetation (giant euphorbia plants). On clear days, you can enjoy views all the way to La Gomera. If it’s very windy or too warm, you can do the alternative route from Las Portelas, which is better protected and has more shade but offers equally good views. Private transfer at the end of the day (back to the hotel in Garachico).

  • Overnight in Hotel La Quinta Roja or similar
  • Walking for the day: 3.5/4.5 hours, 8/15 km, ↑­­­­400/500 m ↓400/500 m (alternative route: 4/4.5 hours, 9/10.5 km, ↑­­­­525/650 m)

Day 7: Anaga Nature Park | 10-12 km

During your last day, you will explore the Laurisilva woods in Nature Park Anaga, above the cliffs of the North-Eastern corner of the island, a completely different landscape of lush green vegetation and steep cliffs. A taxi will take you there in the morning and drop you off at either el Cruz de Carmen or Chamorga, where the walks start. Whichever walk you choose, the taxi will pick you up at the end of the day and drive you to the hotel in San Cristobal de la Laguna, another historical town with a vibrant centre with shops and restaurants.

  • Overnight in Nivaria Hotel & Spa or similar
  • Walking for the day: 4/4.5 hours, 10/12 km, ↑­­­­650/400 m ↓650/400 m

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to Tenerife South Airport included.

What to Expect

Accommodation

You will spend the nights in a mix of welcoming 3-star (Parador) and 4-star hotels. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfasts on all days are included. Packed lunches are available at an extra cost and can be pre-ordered at the accommodations. On all nights you will have plenty of options to dine out. Please note that there are supplements for compulsory dinner on Christmas Eve (24 December) and New Year’s Eve (30 & 31 December) in all hotels as well as brunch on 1 January at Hotel Nivaria and Spa Villalba.

Difficulty & terrain

Moderate day walks of 4-6 hours per day (excluding breaks) on hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths. On some days, there are alternate routes and/or ways to make walks shorter/easier. The walks follow rural tracks, both surfaced and unsurfaced, as well as hiking trails and footpaths. You may encounter some loose rock or muddy/slippery sections in wet weather (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available throughout the year. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your holiday on any date in the season. Please note that hotels will charge additional supplements during national holidays (e.g. Christmas and New Year’s Eve).

Tenerife is warm year-round with almost no rain and long days of sunshine. The temperature is among the most consistent anywhere in Europe. Temperatures rarely drop below an average of 24°C throughout the year (but it can be much cooler at the top of Mount Teide – up to 11/12°C with winds between 15/30 kilometres per hour at the summit; as you are over 3000 m up, it is far hotter at sea level hence you should always bring a warm jacket for the climb).

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

Our recommended airport for this tour is Tenerife South (TFS). Complimentary arrival and departure transfers from/to Tenerife South are included. If you fly to Tenerife North, there will be a supplement for the transfer.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in welcoming 3 and 4-star hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Private transfers from Tenerife South airport to Vilaflor and from La Laguna to Tenerife South airport
  • Private transfers as per the itinerary on Days 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7
  • Luggage transfers on walking days
  • Cable car return ticket on Day 3
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site.
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Transfer from Tenerife North Airport, if needed
  • Mount Teide climbing permit
  • Compulsory dinner on 24-25 December, 30 & 31 December and brunch on 1 January
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

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