Tenerife is known for its holiday resort beaches, bars and restaurants, but the island is becoming increasingly popular with people who enjoy hiking because of the fantastic countryside waiting to be explored. Many locations high in the mountains not only give you incredible views over the world below but make you feel like you are actually on another world! Mt Teide, the highest mountain not only in the Canary Islands but also in Spain, is literally top of the list when it comes to places that can give you the feeling you have been taken to another planet.
Tenerife Walking Festival
It is easy to find accommodation with a choice of self-catering apartments or hotels in Tenerife to choose from, and an increasing number of visitors to the island are coming there to go hiking. The Tenerife Walking Festival specifically caters for anyone who likes country rambling and mountain climbing. As long as you follow simple precautions like wearing suitable clothing, Tenerife is one of the best places for hikers in the whole world.
High on Mt Teide
The volcanic slopes and almost barren rocky terrain around the upper parts of this mountain have weird-looking rock formations that look unworldly. In spring the red flowering spikes of the Mt Teide bugloss point their way skywards and add to the visual strangeness of the location. It is hardly surprising that Mt Teide has been used as the setting for a number of fantasy films to be made, films including One Million Years BC and Wrath of the Titans.
To reach the peak of Mt Teide you first need to get a special permit and to be really fit. Because of the extreme height of the mountain’s summit many people could suffer from altitude sickness and the climb is not suitable for anyone with cardiac or respiratory problems. If you are in very good health, though, and want to make it right to the top the best way is to go on a hiking tour with a guide and they will sort out getting the permit you need too.
Hiking in the Laurel Forests
Tenerife’s mountains are often clothed in forests on the slopes. There are pine forests and evergreen laurel forests. This latter type of forest is known as “Laurisilva” in Spanish and these areas are some of the only still-surviving patches of this woodland in the world. There is a mixture of evergreen trees, and ferns and mosses carpet the ground. Rare endemic wildflowers, like the Canary Island foxglove, grow along pathways. Lichens hang like beards from the branches of trees. Cloud bathes the forests almost daily and makes them all mystical and misty looking. You could easily imagine you were in a Lord of the Rings story whilst walking in one of these. The forests make wonderful places to get away from it all and there are loads of hiking paths and forest trails. The Anaga Mountains and the Teno Massif, both in the north of Tenerife, have plenty of these forests.