Why Tenerife is a paradise for walkers in the Canary Islands?
Walking in the Tenerife countryside
Tenerife in the Canary Islands has lots of amazingly spectacular and very varied countryside and so the island is a real paradise for walkers. Its forests, mountains, ravines and coastal paths all offer a great deal of enjoyment to those people who like to get away from the crowds and indulge in some healthy exercise. Many of the views are spectacular and the landscapes are stunning.
There are many footpaths and walking routes on the island and maps and guidebooks are essential tools of the experienced walker. It is easy enough to get a bus to the starting points for many walks too.
If you use the buses on the island it is quite common to see a whole party of ramblers with a guide get on and off. The walkers usually are well equipped with back-packs, walking boots and other such gear.
By the way, the Titsa buses are green and easy to spot, and they travel on routes to all parts of the island. With a 'Bono' (short for Bonobus) travel voucher you get as much as 50% of fares on long journeys. You can buy these vouchers at main bus stations and shops and kiosks throughout the island. They are well worth getting.
Popular walks in Tenerife
There are such a lot of different types of countryside in Tenerife that you are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing where to go walking. The south of the island and the coasts tend to be a lot warmer and drier than the forested mountains where clouds can swiftly lower the temperature and make things decidedly damp.
Walking in the heat though has its own problems because you will need good protection from the sun and plenty of water to drink. For walking in the forests and mountains you need adequate and suitable clothing in case of rain and chilly weather.
The scenery in both types of location can be breathtaking though so is well worth exploring on foot. On the coast you can easily punctuate your walk by visiting a beach or stopping for something to eat and drink in a coastal village bar or restaurant.
There are many excellent walks in the extreme north of the island in which you can see the beauty of the surviving evergreen laurel forests ("laurisilvas"), navigate steep mountainsides and coastal pathways and visit remote villages like Taborno and Afur.
In the northwest Teno area, which is known as the "Low Island" there's plenty of amazing countryside too. Teno Alto is a village with various footpaths to it and a winding uphill road that doesn't have a bus service. The only way anyone ever gets to and from Teno Alto is by car, on a motorbike, or on foot.
Teno Alto farmers keep goats and selling goats milk and cheese is a main source of income for many people living there. The village is very high up, as its name aptly suggests with "Alto", and is surrounded by mountains, valleys and laurel forest. Walking to it means climbing some very steep inclines but the views you will get are well worth it and the experience will be unforgettable.
The village of Erjos, also in the northwest of the island offers several walks as well and here you can enjoy a number of large freshwater ponds where all sorts of wildlife can be spotted. Paths from here take you over mountains and through forests and it is possible to walk from the Puerto de Erjos area to the village of Masca. This is a mountain village that was cut off from the rest of Tenerife until an amazing road that zigzags its way there from Santiago de Teide. Surrounded by high mountains and steep ravines it is like Tenerife's answer to Shangri-la.
In spring a special guided walk is made around the Santiago del Teide area to see and enjoy the picturesque beauty of the almond blossom on the trees growing there. The island of Tenerife offers so many seasonal delights that make it a real pleasure for walkers all year around.
Walking in the highlands of Tenerife up on the mountains that include Mt Teide are also very popular but some of the routes there are long and difficult and should only be attempted by experienced walkers or with a guide. There are so many much easier walks you can go on, and the more walking you do, the fitter you will get.
Walking near Masca in Tenerife
Best Tenerife guidebooks to buy
Weather warnings and precautions should be heeded
Before setting off on a long walk in the mountains, forests and remote areas of Tenerife it is important to have a look at the weather forecast and pick a good day for it. Having the right sort of clothing is important too, and t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops are simply of no use whatsoever in some of the rugged terrain of the mountains and forests.
If the cloud comes down, as it can rapidly in the forested parts of the north of Tenerife, the temperature drops way down and walking in the chilly air will also leave your clothing very wet.
There are a number of guidebooks and walking maps that advise on how easy or difficult walking routes may be. It is a good idea to consult such publications.
It is important too not to walk alone or if you must do so, at least make sure that other people know where you have gone. Walkers do get lost and accidents do happen at times so this is just simple common sense.
Tenerife is a really beautiful island and offers some of the best walking areas in the world but you do need to take some simple precautions to stay safe!
The ponds of Erjos make an interesting walk
Puerto de Erjos offers various footpaths and spectacular countryside
© 2011 Steve Andrews
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