It’s no secret that the Canary Islands offer the Holy Grail of holiday climates; with spring-like temperatures all year round and more than their fair share of sunshine. Meanwhile, the volcanic archipelago, found off north western Africa, is a haven for adventure-lovers as well as sun-worshippers, with each island offering unique adventures and mile upon mile of trails. With easy access from most UK airports, hiking in the Canary Islands is the ideal adventure when the weather at home is too bleak to bear.
We teamed up with Canariaways.com, a tour company specialising in active holidays and hiking in the Canary Islands, to find out the top three places in the archipelago to hit the trails.
Parque National del Teide, Tenerife
Did you know, Spain’s highest mountain is actually located in Tenerife, reaching a sky-scraping 3,718m at the summit? Mount Teide’s peak is often dusted with snow despite balmy temperatures down on the coast, and certainly makes for an enticing adventure. The national park surrounding the mountain on all sides is definitely the place to head if you’re looking for top-notch hiking in the Canary Islands. Here, you can wander through breathtaking pine forests and vast volcanic landscapes with stunning views of the almighty Mount Teide often serving as the backdrop.
The area around Vilaflor has a myriad of wonderful hiking trails with views of the Atlantic glinting in the distance. Meanwhile, the Parador de Canadas del Teide at the foot of the mountain has a unique desert-alpine scenery dominated by the isolated peak, and the Montanas Negras are filled with hardened lava flows and emerald forests.
Everyone’s heard of Tenerife but far fewer have heard of it’s neighbouring little sister named La Gomera. With no commercial airport, the only way to get there is by ferry from Tenerife, meaning its volcanic interior and gorgeous coastline has remained largely unspoilt. At just 14 miles in diameter, you wouldn’t expect this little hideaway to be one of the best places to go hiking in the Canary Islands, and that’s the beauty of it.
La Gomera has a remarkably vibrant landscape made up of palm trees, banana plantations, fern rainforests, dramatic gorges and volcanic monoliths, and the island’s Garajonay National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986 thanks to its incredible ecosystem.
Tejeda, Gran Canaria
Often described as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, Tejeda’s white-washed dwellings can be found right in the heart of the island of Gran Canaria, making an ideal base for some of the best hiking in the Canary Islands. Nearby you’ll find the highest point on the island, Pico de las Nieves (1,949m), as well as the iconic Roque Nublo (1,813m), a gigantic volcanic rock often shrouded in an enigmatic cloud as the name suggests. Take a hike incorporating both from Cruz de Tejeda to San Bartolomé and you’ll also get stunning views over the Caldeira de Tejeda, which is sometimes known as the European Grand Canyon.
Meanwhile, the rocky mountains to the north of the picturesque village of Tejeda offer some truly spectacular ridge walks on mountains clothed in forests of pine, with sensational views of Gran Canaria’s north coast.
Hiking in the Canary Islands: how to do it
Going hiking in the Canary Islands couldn’t be easier with Canariaways.com, a tour company with a wealth of experience organising walking holidays to the archipelago. Canariaways.com offer self-guided walking tours to all three of the above areas, with the option to customise and tailor your holiday to your specific needs.
When you book with Canariaways.com, all your accommodation will be included and organised on your behalf, with an excellent itinerary, holiday pack and maps to help you get the best of hiking in the Canary Islands. Your luggage will be transferred between your accommodation and trail transfers are also included, to ensure you can maximise your time in the great outdoors and only carry what you need.
What’s more, Canariaways.com is offering AT readers an exclusive discount when you book with the voucher code ADVENTURETRAVELMAG.