Three Walks Through the Heart of Tenerife
25 January, 2016
The trails criss-crossing Tenerife, which vary in their difficulty rating, pass through a rich variety of environments, climates and habitats. Trekking along them enables you to discover the island’s secrets, observe its stark beauty and learn the lifestyle of its inhabitants, including its original settlers, the Guanches. They were the first to open up routes through the dense laurisilva, a sub-tropical cloud forest or highland forest, characterised by huge trees, calami and lianas with leaves resembling laurel. They also prepared pastureland near Mt Teide.
The most outstanding trail in Tenerife is, of course, the one that climbs up Mt. Teide, to an altitude of 3,717 metres. With its high difficulty rating, a special permit is required to attempt the summit.
Apart from the National Park, the other two exciting and spectacular settings for hiking trails are the Anaga and Teno rural parks. Following is a rundown of a low-difficulty trail in each of these Parks. They can be negotiated leisurely, while soaking up the scenery, with friends or family.
The Fortress – the Teide National Park
With its gentle gradient, this route is ideal for observing the park’s characteristic fauna and flora – the shrike and pimelia darkling beetle abound here. From the start and up until Cañada de los Guancheros, the route snakes across hills of pumice derived mainly from the eruptions of Montaña Blanca, where broom and golden chain are prevalent.
The Cañada de los Guancheros is a sedimentary plain featuring such plant varieties as broom, golden chain, rosalillo de cumbre (Pterocephalus lasiospermus), tonálica and Teide straw. On the final stretch, the trail winds around the foot of the crags of La Fortaleza with vegetation characteristic of steep slopes. Most striking are the moralito (Rhamnus integrifolia) and Canary Island cedar, the latter often interspersed with Canary Island pine at the foot of this mountain. La Fortaleza is the sole surviving vestige of the former Edificio Cañadas, located in the north of the Park. This reddish colossus was formed by highly viscous phonolithic lava which accumulated and solidified around the lava vent itself.
Anaga Rural Park – Cabezo del Tejo
The trail starts at the Anaga Forestry Park and proceeds towards Roque de Chinobre. From here, it becomes a pleasant stroll through the laurel forest, affording magnificent panoramic views of the Cordillera de Anaga range and the Roque de Chinobre. The route continues past the Roque Anambro as far as Cabezo del Tejo, with a vantage point set 800 metres above sea level. The return journey starts at this point, the forest trail winding past Hoya de los Toneleros, Ujuana and the Mirador de la Chamuscada. This hike takes about two hours. An alternative to this route is one running from the Anaga Rural Park, up to Chinobre and then descending directly to Las Chamuscadas – and its viewpoint of the same name – and back to the Forestry Park. This route takes around one hour.
Upper Teno, Lower Teno – Teno Rural Park
The Teno Rural Park was declared a protected woodland in 1994 under the Canary Islands Nature Reserve Act, aimed at preserving its ecological values and heritage and boosting the standard of living of local towns. Situated in the north west of Tenerife, it contains one of the island’s oldest geological areas, the Macizo Volcánico de Teno (Teno Volcanic Massif). With an area of 8,064 hectares, it is a treasure trove of biodiversity, with endemic species exclusive to the area and an unusual landscape, the outcome of natural processes and the endeavours of local inhabitants to harness the agricultural resources of this rugged terrain to the full.
The route we recommend starts in the Caserío de Teno Alto, at a spot known as Los Bailaderos. It runs along the present-day track leading to Las Cuevas, along the south side of El Vallado mountain. The importance of this initial stretch lies in the numerous examples of vernacular architecture along the way, in addition to the old brick kilns. Once you reach Las Cuevas, the path dips down to Las Casas along an uneven surface which occasionally lays bare the original cobblestone. The enclave of Las Casas is located at the foot of the slopes of El Barranco de Las Casas and the start of the Teno peninsula. Remains of traditional Canary Island architecture can be seen here. This leads straight to the Punta de Teno, the north-western tip of Tenerife island, set within the Teno Rural Park and affording some spectacular views of the peninsula, the coastline and the lighthouse.
This, the most pristine part of the island awaits you all year around. Discover it by getting hold of your tickets here.
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación
Images by Turismo de Tenerife
25 January, 2016