As home of El Teide — Europe’s highest volcano and Spain’s tallest mountain – you can bet that hiking on Tenerife, in The Canary Islands, is easily the top activity thanks to its network of hiking trails. Since you probably won’t have time to walk them all, here are a few of the most popular tracks worth tackling.
Cruz Carmen to Chinamada tops many lists as the most diverse walking experience that the island has to offer. Located in the Anaga Mountains, this trail is a healthy distance from the hustle and bustle of tourist centers. The journey passes through uncharacteristically lush Tenerife landscape filled with forests and ravines, and even through the mountain town of Chinamada, where some people still live in caves.
Still seeking more trails? Head to the Los Órganos rock formation in the upper La Orotava Valley. Hike the 600 meters up through the pine-filled woods to the “organs” themselves; basalt rock formations that look like organ pipes. Apart from the nature and landscape, you’ll be able to enjoy lots of views of the famous El Teide, which looms in the distance.
But, when it comes to the ultimate hike, ascending El Teide undoubtedly takes the prize, as it reaches 3,718 meters into the sky above the Las Cañadas volcanic basin. The hike, which starts at 2,300 meters, takes approximately four hours to complete. Note that if you’d like to hike the last 200 meters (past the cable car station) then you must acquire a permit from the National Park Office located in the city of Santa Cruz.
If you didn’t manage to grab that permit, you can still reach the summit…of Pico Viejo (the Old Peak), that is. Taking the Pico Viejo route from the cable car station, you will arrive at the island’s second-highest peak. From there, you can peer out across its crater and beyond, where the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma dot the sea.