If you think of stag parties and high-rise hotels when Tenerife springs to mind, you have not visited recently. The island still has its tackier side, but the growing popularity of ecotourism has brought a different kind of visitor to Tenerife, attracted by the opportunities for whale-watching, hiking, and excursions to the wild island of La Gomera.
Whether you are an intrepid trekker or an occasional ambler, Tenerife abounds with wonderful scenery and culture, and hiking is the best way to discover both. Explore contrasting landscapes and the unique way of life of its people, including the native “guanches,”who created the first trails through the thick laurisilva forest and the grazing areas near Mount Teide. More than 1,000 km of nature trails have been approved, many of which are accompanied by the European Ramblers Association’s standardised signage. Tour operators
guide walks in Teide National Park, Anaga Rural Park, Teno Rural Park, and the Chasna Footpath, set in the Corona Forest Nature Park, which borders a remarkable lunar landscape.
Canyoning and Caving
Tenerife is a paradise for canyoning and caving because of its abundance of ravines, including the magnificent Barranco de Carrizal in the Teno Massif, as well as many incredible volcanic structures and formations. Tenerife's subterranean wonders comprise more than 100 volcanic tubes, potholes, and other underground formations. One of the island’s lengthiest routes is the Barranco del Rio, a difficult course that begins at an altitude of 2,000 metres and involves a series of abseils through stunning landscapes and abundant water. The Barranco de Badajoz in Güímar is arid and narrow, making it ideal for abseiling. The most significant caving site is the well-known Cueva del Viento
in Icod,in the north of the island. Forged 27,000 years ago, this 18-km network of galleries is one of the most extensive volcanic complexes in the world and is the longest lava tube in Europe.
enthusiasts will never want to leave the mountains of Tenerife. The Corona Forestal, which encircles Teide National Park and the hills around La Esperanza, offers some of the best cycling areas, with tracks of varying degrees of intensity. You can cycle in Mount Teide’s protected areas, but you will have to remain on roads and paths specifically designed for vehicles. The most difficult routes are in the north of the island and in the area around Teide National park. Popular spots include Icod de los Vinos and Garachico in the north west of Tenerife and El Sauzal in the northeastern corner of the island.
The sky over Tenerife is renowned for its clarity, making it one of the best places in the world to scrutinise the stars, either with a guide or on your own. The island is also home to one of the most important solar observatories in the world, giving you the opportunity to observe the Milky Way, nebulas, and shooting stars - an unforgettable experience for the entire family. Large groups of amateurs gather on specific days to watch the annual Perseid and Leonid meteor showers. The island’s observatories are located in the Teide National Park, which also offers the best conditions for stargazing
. If you are a newcomer to the pastime, the traditional places for stargazing are on top of Montaña Guajara or around the Parador de Turismo. These spots allow for unimpeded viewing, with either a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars on a tripod.