Hiking in Tenerife: The Top 3 Hiking Routes
Probably you thought that Tenerife was all about sun, sea and Canarian cuisine, but what you probably don’t know yet is that the Island also offers a wide range of landscapes and microclimates from moon-like deserts and ancient lava flows to beautiful lush green laurel forest, mountain ravines, and coastal paths.
Would you like to discover the best places in Tenerife? Hiking is one of the best ways to explore in depth this corner of the Canary Islands. If you love the long walks and your wish is to discover new places, don’t doubt it — hiking in Tenerife is one of the best options if you are planning your holidays here!
In order to help you, from Overfly Tenerife we have created this guide with the top 3 Tenerife hiking routes. We have made a review of our top selection of hikes and walking routes in Tenerife to bring you the best experience while you enjoy hiking in Tenerife.
If you want to decide easier which of our circular walks in Tenerife are the most suitable for you, we offer you all the information, tips and images that may help you to make a decision. So, without further ado, let’s find the perfect route for your next hike!
- 1 Top 3 Hiking Routes
- 2 Choose the best hiking equipment and clothes
Top 3 Hiking Routes
Tenerife is probably the best Canary Island for hiking, and that is the reason why we strongly recommend you to try the experience. These are some of the many hiking routes available on the island that we have selected for our top 10 hiking in Tenerife.
Los Roques de García
The Tenerife hiking trail borders around Los Roques de García rock formations — like Roque Cinchado, El Torrotito, El Burro, or Roques Blancos among others — which rise to the left as you walk. At the start, the path is completely flat, and after passing the north of Los Roques de García, it heads down to the plain known as Llano de Ucanca. This plain was formed by sedimentary rock.
As you descend, before reaching the plain, you will see an impressive tongue of lava known as La Cascada (The Waterfall), as well as the pahoehoe tongues, which are smooth and have a rounded shape. There is a variant known as ropey pahoehoe, which are still tongues of lava, but they have taken particularly twisted shapes. All of these elements create the most stunning views to see during your hike.
You will begin to climb up towards the starting point after walking across a small section of the plain, where you can see natural volcanic walls formed by dense lava rise. Before you get there, you will see a spectacular pointy rock known as La Catedral, which means the Cathedral in English.
This striking rock formation is, in fact, a volcanic phonolite chimney. That means basically that it is an outlet through which lava once flowed, solidified and never made it to the surface, which is now exposed after years of erosion.
There is also a wonderful wide variety of plant life that you can see and enjoy during your hike. This is an accurate sample of the flora growing in Las Cañadas: brooms, laburnums, summit roses, flixweed, and marguerites, as well as some cabezones (cheirolophus falcisectus) and a cedar tree at the start of the hiking trail.
Montaña Blanca is the mountain right next to the Mount Teide at the east side. It is 2,748 meters tall, and it is the 3rd highest peak on the island of Tenerife. It is also one of the easiest and the most loved hike in the National Park.
The footpath heads to north and gradually curves back on itself in an anti-clockwise direction. You reach a viewpoint that offers fantastic views towards El Portillo, the North East of the Island and the north side of Las Cañadas, including the La Fortaleza cliffs.
The path then weaves up the back of the mountain, crossing amongst the Huevos del Teide, which meaning in English is the Teide Eggs. They are huge rocks ejected by volcanic eruptions.
If you go even higher, you come very close to the lava flow of Mount Teide. At such high altitude and taking into account the barren conditions, it is clear that there is no flora surviving there. However, Montaña Blanca is one of the few places where you can see the elusive Teide Violet, a small flower which blooms in late spring.
As we get closer to the top, we have to leave the path we have been following and take the gravel footpath that takes us to the top of the mountain, from which we can enjoy a stunning view of the National Park. From that point, we can see the lunar landscapes and the high peaks of Las Cañadas.
Roque del Conde
Roque del Conde mountain is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the south of Tenerife. This majestic mountain with its seemingly top can be seen from the Cristianos Beach and Las Americas beach. Roque del Conde is 1,005 meters tall, and it is taller than any mountain in England.
However, it is a very accessible hiking route which can be made in approximately 3 hours and the top offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Tenerife South. At this point, we are about 600 meters above the sea-level, so there is still approximately less than half of the mountain to climb.
The footpath winds blow away from the village towards the mountain, descending steeply into Barranco del Rey, a deep canyon which cuts through the southern side of the island, before climbing going back to the plateau.
The purists may feel a little irritated by the cobbled stone footpath that we are following. But, after all, we are hill walkers — so we don’t mind a footpath, but paving, even cobbles, really aren’t in keeping with the spirit of the wilderness.
Of course, that is just until we realize that the hiking trail is not there for pleasing us. The terracing and milling circles that you will see during the route together with the ruined building are all evidence of the most ancient agriculture of Tenerife. Moreover, the footpath was built and laid by the local farmers who long time ago used to intensively farm every square meter of available land. Keep this in mind for when you reach the top, because you must be ready for a surprise.
The path now climbs steeply up to the mountain slopes, from where we get our first amazing the views. This is a good spot to take a break for a drink, have a snack and to take some pictures. But don’t get wrong, the real views are waiting for you on the top, so we have to move forward.
The path gets steeper, rockier and a little trickier as we get closer to the top. There is no more cobbled paving. It runs out before we reach the top, but it is not dangerous at all, and once you are there it feels very safe. The views of the Tenerife South coast below your feet just get better and better with every step you take.
Making a last effort, you will arrive on the top of the mountain. And, as we have said before, now here comes the surprise. The first wonder is the great breadth of the top — its size is twice the size of a couple of football pitches.
From the Tenerife South coast, Roque del Conde looks flat-topped, but the reality is very different. It is an illusion, the top slopes gently and the highest point is actually on the north-east side. The top is terraced, due to it was actually farmed! And the rough footpath that we are going to follow was made and used by farmers to tend the wheat growing on the top.
The true top of the mountain is located towards the north-face. The views from there cannot even be put into words — they can only be described as breath-taking. On a clear day, you can see the four other Canary Islands from the top — La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma on the west and Gran Canaria can be seen peeking out behind Roque de Jama on the east.
Finally, of course, you can see the Tenerife South coast, from the vantage point. You can see from El Medano to Los Gigantes as well as looking down on the geographic features, like Montaña de Guaza, Caldera del Rey and the spectacular Barranco del Rey. Moreover, there is no better place to view the Mountains of Tenerife than from the top of Roque del Conde.
We also have excellent views of Roque del Imoque, Ifonche, the Pine Forests and the peaks of Las Cañadas as well as Mount Teide, all of which appear to be magnified in your eyes. The views of this hiking route are amazing, so if you are interested in hiking, don’t doubt to choose this route!
Choose the best hiking equipment and clothes
If you are preparing your hiking route, you should make sure your outfit is comfortable enough to help you hold the hike, because if you don’t wear the right clothes, your trip will quickly become a bad experience. So be sure about which is the right equipment, like a Tenerife map, the proper backpack, and other hiking equipment.
Wearing the right hiking clothes means knowing the type of trail you will be on, what temperature and climate there will be in your destination, and the duration of the hiking trail. So before you get dressed, take all these factors into consideration to make your decisions in a more intelligent way.
We want you to enjoy your time outdoors, so let’s see what you need!
Clothes materials for hiking
The best hiking clothes are made of synthetic materials that keep you dry as you start to do exercise harder and sweat more. Even if you are tempted to wear that soft cotton tee, don’t do it, it is a trap! It will actually just trap sweat and moisture, staying wet and cooling you down. In addition, apart from being uncomfortable, you will quickly get the chills if you are heading up a mountain and the temperature drops.
The best materials for your clothes are lightweight, soft, and moisture wicking. Techwick is a great example of good material, and it can be used as a skin-tight base layer or as a T-shirt. In addition, to stay dry, you should use synthetic materials, such as polyester. Those materials allow your body to breathe much more and keep the heat of your body to keep you comfortable.
Merino wool is also an excellent material that not only wicks moisture away but also drives away the bad odors. This makes a perfect base layer in colder weather, but can also be a good choice for any warm-weather hikes, so it is the perfect choice for the winter in Tenerife.
Furthermore, maybe you want to wear either a short or long-sleeve shirt, depending on how hot it is, but remember that the short-sleeve shirt leaves your skin exposed to the natural elements — for instance, the sunburn or all the possible scratches from plants and rocks.
Pants and Shorts when hiking in Tenerife
If you decide to wear hiking pants or shorts, that is up to you. But first, you should analyze the pros and cons of both options. The shorts give you a lot of freedom and they are also considered cooler than pants, so if you are going on a low-altitude hike during the summer, you will probably prefer to feel comfortable and in good shape.
The long pants are supposed to be made of durable, quick-drying materials like spandex or nylon — so pats should be worn if you expect any drop in temperature or heavy vegetation along the trail. Wearing pants keeps your legs protected from scratches, sunburns, hazards such as poison ivy or other allergenic plants, and keeps you warmer when the temperature drops as you gain elevation.
Boots and Socks: basic equipment for hiking in Tenerife
We all know the famous hiking boots, but there are many different kinds of hiking boots. One thing is for sure, whatever you choose, you will need to make sure your footwear is durable, comfortable, and appropriate for the atmospheric conditions.
If the hiking trail is excessively wet or muddy, you should consider a pair of boots with Gore-Tex or another waterproof material to keep your feet dry. If the trail is very steep and rocky, like the most of Tenerife’s landscapes, you must pick boots that come up slightly higher on the ankle for increased support.
When it comes to footwear, you have to take into account that fit means everything. The wrong boots could leave your feet aching and give you serious wounds and blisters. Have a consultation with an expert, such as the Foot Gurus to find the perfect-fitting footwear.
But even the best boots must be accompanied with the right socks. The best socks, like other equipment, are those made of wool or synthetic materials that dry fast and let your feet and toes breathe properly.
Rain Equipment while hiking in Tenerife
Remember to take a good rain jacket before leaving home, even if there is no rain in the forecast. The weather conditions can change at the drop of a hat, so the best option is to be prepared with a waterproof, breathable rain jacket inside your hiking backpack.
These jackets use advanced technology to let sweat and body moisture out without letting rain or other external humidity in. Another option is to use a poncho. Ponchos are also a good option that works well for keeping you and your backpack dry during an unexpected rainstorm. Nevertheless, they are not as comfortable, or stylish, as a good rain jacket.
Hats for a hiking day
A hat is always a great way to keep the sun out of your face, as well as a good way to protect your head from the direct and harmful rays of the sun. Some of the best hiking hats are those which are full-brimmed.
Moreover, the best option is to use a water-repellent hat, because it is extremely breathable and it keeps your head warm. It also can keep the rain out of your face in the event of a storm, so we strongly recommend using it for hiking routes.
Before you go on a hiking trail, you should always be aware that the temperature conditions may drop significantly, especially if you are going up in an elevation. One of the best ways to be protected from the possible changes in weather is to use a three-layer system of clothing.
As your first layer, you should wear lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing. Just in case it gets colder, you should carry a light or medium-weight fleece in your hiking backpack. And finally, you should use an outer layer to keep out the wind and the rain.
From Overfly Tenerife, we hope to see you soon around! We hope our information about hiking in Tenerife has been useful for planning your trip to this fantastic island. If you have any doubts do not hesitate to contact us!