Walking Festival Andy Montgomery | Posted: 19 March 2015
Self-guided walking holidays in Tenerife
Self-guided walking holidays in Tenerife
Self-guided walking holidays in Tenerife

As Tenerife stages its first Walking Festival, Andy Montgomery of Buzz Trips takes it all in her stride...

The unspoilt island of La Gomera has long been the island of choice for the walking cognoscenti but over the past decade, her neighbours have been coming out of their rambling closets and revealing to the walking world what they themselves have always known, that when it comes to great places for lacing up the hiking boots, they can hold their heads as high as the best of them.

In celebration of their tracks and trails, we have seen the birth and burgeoning of a new Canary Islands annual event, the walking festival. It began with lovely La Palma, then progressed to gorgeous Gran Canaria and luscious La Gomera before arriving last week on the island of Tenerife. Possibly the island you would least expect to be staging a walking festival, its resorts being largely marketed as a sun, sea and sangria destination for decades, Tenerife actually has the most varied terrain in the archipelago thanks to the presence of the Teide National Park.

Not only do you get all the beauty of the coastal paths; the heady woodland trails of the forests; and the drama of the mountains, but you also get to experience one of the world's most surreal landscapes where rivers of frozen lava in russet and gold lie alongside jewelled obsidian rocks at the foot of the third largest volcano on the planet.

In wall to wall sunshine and accompanied by the blossoming of spring flowers, around 150 walkers from across Europe took to Tenerife's trails between 10th and 15th March 2015 to find an island a million miles away from the beaches of Playa de las Americas.

Based in the traditional northern resort of Puerto de la Cruz, walkers spent four full days traversing routes. With over 1500km (932 miles) of walking trails covering the island, the organisers divided a dozen different routes into three categories of volcanic, coastal and green from which participants chose four walks, one for each day of the festival.

Related Holidays

Tenerife & El Teide

Enjoy your own walking festival on Tenerife staying in the towns of La Orotava and Garachico, from where you can explore the Anaga Mountains, Teno National Park and El Teide National Park.  

More about our self-guided
walking holidays on Tenerife >

Led by expert guides, groups took to the Anaga Mountains, to the Teno National Park, to the pine forests of the interior and to the Teide National Park. Routes ranged from coastal strolls taking in palm groves and old haciendas (country estates), to the ultimate Tenerife trail that begins at the foot of Montaña Blanca and climbs to the summit of Mount Teide.

Enjoying some of the the island's most impressive routes, walkers discovered crystal-clear pools and glistening waterfalls in the ravine at Afur before traversing the cliff-top trail to the hamlet of Taganana in the Anaga Mountains. Along the north-west coast they climbed from pretty Los Silos, above steep ravines, to explore the dense and ancient laurel forest of Monte del Agua. In the upper La Orotava Valley they breathed the scent of pine as they climbed through the Corona Forestal (forest crown) that circles the upper reaches of the island to walk above a sea of clouds beneath the benign gaze of El Teide.

Showcasing aspects of the island that lie beneath the radar of ‘fly and flop’ visitors, the festival arranged a series of cultural activities to complement the routes. Being one of the three best places in the world for star gazing thanks to the clarity of its skies, those who opted to spend time in the volcanic wonderland of Teide National Park found themselves being introduced to Tenerife's night skies by expert star gazers. In the Anaga Mountains, traversing the vine trails around Taganana was rewarded with a visit to a bodega for some wine tasting, and after exploring the malpais (badlands) of Guimar, participants found themselves unveiling the mysteries of Tenerife's pyramids and the life work of their champion, Thor Heyerdahl.

A walking festival is a brilliant way to promote somewhere as a walking destination and to focus the eyes of Europe on its tracks and trails for one week. But the best way to enjoy Tenerife's extraordinary terrain any time of the year is simply to stride out with a sturdy pair of boots and a set of reliable, self-guided walking notes.

Luckily, we know just where you can find those...

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