Hiking on Tenerife, 2001

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Useful Information


We took quite a few maps with us. I bought six sheets from the Mapa Militar de España 1:50,000 series, covering all of the island except the Southernmost (hot & barren) bit. These are quite respectible in terms of the contour base map, roads and place names; they also have a GPS-compatible grid which proved useful when we got lost in Santa Cruz on the way to the airport. On the other hand they are pretty useless at showing paths, and some of the sheets have a lot more sea than land on them. The useful sheets are 38-40 (1.093) "Icod de los Vinos" for Masca, 39-40 (1.094) "La Orotava" for El Teide, and 40-39 (1.090) "Santa Cruz de Tenerife" for Anaga.

We also took a 1:75,000 map of the whole island by Freytag & Berndt (ISBN 3-85084-276-2). This is much more of a road map with no grid lines, but it does have contours and it actually shows more paths than Mapa Militar sheets. This would probably have been quite adequate by itself.


We took the Lonely Planet "Canary Islands" guide, which had all the usual sort of information. There is actually more about these walks in the Lonely Planet "Walking in Spain" book. But on the whole the only aspect that needed any advance planning was the permit for the Teide summit.

We also came back with a book about the fauna and flora, picked up from a stall outside the botanic gardens, which is quite useful if you like to know what sort of plant you're looking at.


Most of Tenerife is accessible by bus. The exception is El Teide, which has only two a day from the North and South of the island, not giving you enough time to get to the top and back on foot. Mostly because of this we hired a car which Katherine drove around for the week. This involved a lot of winding mountain roads, though most of them were well-constructed and none were congested. The hire charge and fuel were very cheap but parking in Puerto de la Cruz was not.

I think I'd recommend trying the buses - you can always hire a car for a day or two if you want.


Katherine and the Ka

Other Things To Do

If you're not spending your whole holiday hiking you'll want to find some other things to do. My recommendation is to visit the Botanic Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz. This is easily walkable from the center of the town, and is a lovely cool oasis of vegetation. It's full of all sorts of exotic plants that couldn't survive in Britain, including all sorts of things that we're familiar with from the supermarket shelves: coffee, figs, mangoes, avocados, lychees, bananas....


An enormous tree buttressed by its aerial roots

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