Physical activity is undoubtedly one of the best ways to clean up one’s head and recharge after mentally demanding work. Having an option to submerge yourself into a natural wilderness and escape the city rush after finishing your tasks is often impossible in a standard urban environment. Finding a place that offers a balance between staying in a wilderness and having available the amenities and services for efficient work from was a tricky part. We have found such a place just above the famous Los Gigantes cliffs on one of the most vibrant and unique islands in the world — Tenerife.
Island of many faces
The Natural diversity of Tenerife is hard to match with any other island in the world. On the 2 034 km², 48.6 % of the area is protected in one or the other side and the whole island is connected with a vast network of hiking trails. Together with average daily temperatures between 17 and 24°C and approx. 8 sunshine hours/day throughout the whole year, the Island is a perfect place for outdoor activities.
View from the eastern slope of Teide.
The Infernal Mountain — Teide
El Pico del Teide ( 3718 m) is the highest peak of Tenerife and of whole Spain as well. It is, in fact the third highest volcano in the whole world. Native Guanches called the mountain Echeyde (powerful figure which could turn into hell). The last eruption occurred in 1909 from Chinyero vent and the volcano is currently dormant.
The peak of the Teide is naturally the most attractive destination for the hikers, but since the peak became a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, the access to the top is limited. There are two main ways how to get to the top. The most popular one is by a cable car that reaches 200m bellow the peak ( €27/adult). From there, a free permit is required to reach the summit.
Shadow of the Teide after sunrise.
The second option is hiking from Cañadas. It takes up to 5h to reach the summit and an elevation gain of the trail is about 1400m. Because of the altitude, it is highly recommended to do the acclimatization hike during previous day or even better, spend the night in Refugio de Altavista (3260m) and reach the summit for the sunrise (no permit required before 9 am!).
Do not let the weather at sea level confuse you, temperatures can drop down to -10°C on the summit with strong wind so proper warm and windproof hiking clothes are necessary. During the winter months, the peak can be even cover with snow. The cable car and the refugio are often closed in case of bad weather.
Las Cañadas from the eastern slope of Montaña Blanca
Caldera Las Cañadas
During the complex volcanic history of the area, some 160–220 thousand years ago the peak of the old Las Cañadas I volcano collapsed and formed a local depression called Caldera. This area circumvents the Pico del Teide in an altitude of around 2000m above the sea level and is easily recognisable by its desert-like, dry microclimate.
There are several hikes worth visit in the area. Most popular and easiest one is Roques de Garcia. It is a 3.5km long trail around magmatic rock formation with nice views of the Teide. Pico Viejo (3134m) or Guajara(2718m) are other very nice hikes in the Las Cañadas area that can be potentially visited as acclimatizations hikes before the main Teide climb.
Los Gigantes cliffs with a view of Puerto de Santiago
Parque Rural de Teno
This natural reserve starts just a couple of hundreds of meters from the Wolfhouse® and covers the are of 8063 hectares. The area is well known for its majestic topography, extremely steep cliffs and deep ravines. Most famous part of the reserve is Los Gigantes cliffs that are formed by 600m tall, almost vertical walls creating magnificent scenery. Mirador Archipenque, which is a well known place to enjoy sunset views of Gigantes is just 5 minutes drive from the our NextRetreat Destination.
The most famous trail in the area is Barranco de Masca which leads from the ancient village of Masca down the ravine all the way to the isolated Masca beach. The trail descends for 600m and takes up to 3h to hike all the way down. From the beach, it is possible to hike back up the same way or preferably take the boat taxi from the beach (€12/adult) right under the Los Gigantes cliffs to Puerto de Santiago harbour. The boat trip offers spectacular views of the landscape and we highly recommend it.
Los Gigantes cliffs from Puerto de Santiago
Most western point of the island is located on an isolated Teno peninsula,which is another marvellous place to visit. Completely surrounded by cliffs from one side and ocean from another, this place has unique microclimate on its own. The only road that leads to Teno is very narrow and with very limited access so the better and nicer way to reach it is by trail from Los Bailaderos. It takes about 2 hours to reach the Teno lighthouse (750m descend) and the trail offers stunning views of the peninsula. For the way back it is possible also to hike the same trail or walk the narrow road to Buenavista del Norte.
Isolated Teno peninsula with the lighthouse
Parque rural de Anaga
On the opposite side of the island, near the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, you can find a natural park that is yet again completely different. Eastern peninsula of Anaga with its razor sharp ridges is much more humid and greener than the rest of the island. Although it takes up to 2h ride to reach this part of the Island, it has lots of remote beaches and ravines to explore.
One of the most popular is Cruz del Carmen and Roques de Garcia. Both of them are full day hikes leading through rich vegetation offering beautiful views of the coast and surrounding valleys.
Views into tha valey from El Bailadero road
And there is always more to Tenerife hiking!
Covering all the interesting wild areas of Tenerife Island would make for a short book. On the edge of Las Cañadas there are old majestic pine forests of Pinolero and Corona which offers several easier hiking opportunities. For more thrill seeking hikers, there is an old aquaduct trail called Ventanas de Güimar. Occasional hikers will definitely appreciate quick short sunset hike to Montaña Roja from El Medano beach.Various microclimates and morphologies of the island and very late sunsets give opportunities for plenty of scenarios. Short afternoon trailruns, light sunset walks in nature or proper pumped-up full day hikes in high altitudes and exposed terrain. Whichever outdoor activity your team will pick for recharging after work day, you can count on me.
Matus Ficko is a Photographer/Cinematographer, Traveler, Trail runner, Remote Worker, Social Media Specialist and part of the NextRetreat team. He studied Architecture and Urbanism on a CTU Prague.