This Spanish Island Is A Must-Visit For Hiking Enthusiasts

Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, sits comfortably off the northwestern coast of Africa. Famous for its sun-kissed beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lively seaside resorts, the island's rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural landscape make it the perfect destination for travelers looking to reconnect with nature and shake up their routines. However, the island is especially alluring to avid hikers looking to challenge themselves.

With imposing peaks and over 900 miles of trails, Tenerife is brimming with on-foot adventures that both amateur and experienced hikers alike can enjoy. The island's topography — ranging from volcanic terrains to dense forests and coastal pathways — means that there's a diverse selection of trails on offer. Plus, the ever-changing altitude also ensures that every hike is as unique and special as the next. So whether you're thinking of making your way along the volcanic slopes of Mount Teide or exploring the coastal paths along Los Gigantes, Tenerife promises hiking adventures unlike any other.

Hiking in Tenerife

At the heart of Tenerife lies Teide National Park. Home to the imposing Mount Teide — which towers over the island at 12,139 feet — the active volcano stands proud as the highest point in Spain. The park offers a collection of volcanic terrains with more than 50 trails, including Roques de García (2.2 miles), an easy walk with panoramic viewpoints; the challenging Montaña Blanca/Pico del Teide (11.6 miles), which leads to the top; and Monte Guajara (6.9 miles), popular for birding.

Another gem, the Masca Gorge Trail, takes its name from a quaint village in northwestern Tenerife. Tucked away in the Teno Rural Park, travelers need to make their way there either by public transportation (TITSA line 355), bicycle, or on foot. Private vehicles are not allowed. Then, starting from the village, the moderate five-mile terrain winds its way down to a rocky beach while passing through volcanic stone arches and lush vegetation. Although admission is free, there is a limit to the number of hikers who can hit the trail.

When you've made it to the beach, you can hop on a water taxi and sail over to the Los Gigantes. These impressive cliffs stand 2,625 feet above the surrounding beaches and hidden coves. Once there, some of the most popular hiking routes include Los Gigantes to Guama at 12.4 miles (the longest trail available), a 9.3-mile circular route, and a coastal walk from Los Gigantes to San Juan Beach (7.1 miles).

Making the most of your trip

Tenerife's location means that the weather is practically ideal year-round. However, when it comes to pleasant breezes, clear skies, and practically no rain, spring and fall are the best times to visit the island for a hiking holiday. This means you'll experience the trails in optimal conditions with fewer crowds — they tend to prefer the summer to make the most of Tenerife's beaches — and a more laid-back environment.

In terms of actually getting to Tenerife from the United States, the most affordable way to do so is to fly to Madrid, Barcelona, or any other large city in mainland Spain. From there, popular airlines like Iberia, Air Europa, Ryanair, and Vueling offer direct flights to Tenerife South Airport (TFS).

For travelers departing from the East Coast, United Airlines offers seasonal flights from Newark (EWR) to Tenerife. These direct flights, accommodating up to 169 passengers, run through the summer until late September. Departures from Newark are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while return flights are on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.