Hiking Tenerife with Thomas Cook Airlines

Hiking Tenerife

After two days of cycling, we had an opportunity to experience another activity on Tenerife- a hiking trip to Teide National Park.

On the morning of our excursion, news stories began to appear online warning of an imminent eruption from Mount Teide volcano. Our guide Nayra from Teno Activo was quick to allay our fears as we drove towards the National Park. Whilst there had been around 92 micro earthquakes that morning (a precursor to volcanic activity), it was still perfectly safe to visit the area.

Teide National Park is the largest and oldest of the four national parks on the Canary Islands. It covers 18900 hectares with Mount Teide as it’s centrepiece standing at 3718 metres above sea level making it the third largest volcano in the world. You can take the cable car to the top to experience the summit or explore the 30 trails within the park. Professional cyclists including Team Sky also use the National Park for altitude training in an isolated location.

Hiking Tenerife

Our drive to the park took us above the clouds through a landscape of lava fields where we stopped briefly for photos. Despite the strong sunshine, the air temperature was noticeably cooler than at our base on the South of the island.

Hiking Tenerife

The peak of Teide dominated the landscape and thankfully it was not erupting! Surprisingly, the summit becomes covered in thick snow during the winter. Our guide showed us photos of the area during snowfall and it was difficult to believe that it was Tenerife we were seeing!

Not far from the coach stops is a famous rock formation- the Roque Cinchado of which the image was used on the 1000 Peseta note. Hordes of visitors come simply to photograph this formation then leave without exploring the park. Our group ventured further along the trail and within minutes found ourselves alone in the wilderness. Here, the park is incredibly quiet, in fact we had a moment of silence to appreciate the stillness which surrounded us.

Hiking Tenerife

Nayra pointed out the most important features of the park including Pico Viejo which is the second largest peak in Tenerife. We discovered the different types of petrified lava- the smooth dense formations are called Pahoehoe whilst the smaller jagged rocks are known as A’a. The park is also full of a diverse variety of plants which have adapted to the harsh conditions of the area. May and June are the best times of year to visit as the park is covered in thousands of flowers including violets.

Hiking Tenerife

The hike took us past a solidified lava waterfall and the rim of a former crater in the distance. The trail itself was fairly flat and easy to navigate, although there is the opportunity for some fantastic rock climbing if you fancy a tougher challenge. It’s difficult to convey the scale of the landscape- you feel incredibly tiny compared to the vastness of the jagged rocks.

Hiking Tenerife

Hiking Tenerife

Hiking Tenerife

The hike came to a perfect end with a delicious picnic prepared by Nayra. We ate tuna empanada, guacamole, goat’s cheese, olives and mojo sauce whilst looking out across the dusty plain.

Hiking Tenerife

The three days in Tenerife were over all too quickly- it would have been easy to spend a week here enjoying everything that the island has to offer. I would have loved to try the Stand-Up Paddeboarding which Donna and Sam did. The trip certainly changed my perspective on the island as a destination- there is so much to do when you step off of your sun-lounger.

I was invited to Tenerife as a guest of Thomas Cook Airlines, but all opinions are my own.

Have you been on a hiking trip abroad? What is your favourite active destination?

 

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8 Comments

  1. October 23, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Wow, I can’t believe that’s Tenerife! How great to go somewhere like that and find such extraordinarily beautiful wilderness.

    • October 30, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      I know right? It’s a world away from the touristy areas.

  2. October 21, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    Wow. What a fantastic opportunity. I’ve never been to Tenerife and didn’t even know that Teide National Park exhausted. What a great way to see the nature. Perhaps you can paddle board next time

    • October 21, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      Yes I think Teide National Park is a well-kept secret, but definitely worth visiting if you ever get the chance

  3. October 21, 2016 / 7:53 am

    I love the volcanic landscape there, it gives it an other worldly feel. The picnic lunch looks pretty good too

    • October 21, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      Yes it really did have an other-worldly feel, it was like being on the moon!

  4. October 19, 2016 / 7:19 am

    It looks fantastic. I’ve not been on an organised trip but I have done a lot of hiking, particularly in the US national parks. Some of these look (unsurprisingly) so much like Volcano park in Hawaii. I find volcanic landscapes so fascinating- when I went to Iceland last year it was similar- so barren and then any plant life is just amazing to see.

    • October 21, 2016 / 6:42 pm

      Yes the guide kept mentioning that Tenerife is very similar to Hawaii- the names they use for the lava come from Hawaiian words. I’d love to visit Iceland, sounds amazing.

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