What do you know about Tenerife? If anything it’s likely to be the parties, nightlife, streets for of clubs and drunken brits abroad. But there is so much more to this Island than you might think. A volcanic island means there’s lots of amazing landscape to explore! We sent one of our trusted contributors, Paul Dow from TravMonkey.com, to find out exactly what trekking this island is like and what you can expect from an alternative view of Tenerife.
Diary of a press trip – Day 1
I’d woken with my head thumping due to a bout of self inflicted man flu, I’d been the best man on a Berlin Stag Do the previous weekend and seemingly my immune system had come to a shuddering halt after two sleepless nights and drinking games involving a traffic nuisance of a beer bike and a stag dressed as George from rainbow. My head had a dull but constant ache and my nose was leaking like a faulty tap but I was determined to carry on with life and trek Tenerife. I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower, dazed and confused I managed to shower myself, pack my bag, grab my passport and head out of the door whilst forgetting a pile of unpacked t-shirts. Being under the weather was a good test for this press trip I thought, it would either clear out all signs of the cold or rapidly take me downhill. Either way I was boarding the 4pm flight out of London Luton.
We were heading to Tenerife to discover the alternative side, the side that most people wouldn’t associate Tenerife with, a trekking holiday. I’d never been to Tenerife before so I thought it’d be a great experience to see the island whilst burning off a few calories and hopefully wiping out those horrible cold bugs that were plaguing me. I’d heard many things about Tenerife over the years even my grand parents would spend a month there over the course of a year, eating, drinking and sunning themselves. It had never really appealed but the thought of walking around volcanoes at altitude could only be a good thing for the way I was feeling.
Challenging perceptions of Tenerife
My idea of Tenerife was very much in the realms of 80’s Brit abroad culture, all-exclusive pool holiday where Brits came to catch a bit of sun whilst dining on fish n’chips and being entertained by Butlin’s style entertainment. My stereotypical view of the place meant that I had no idea what kind of landscapes and scenery would be on offer other than knowing Tenerife to be a volcanic island. As I arrived at the hotel pool around 10pm my worst fears were confirmed as I realised Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” was being played in the bar and there wasn’t an ironic smile in sight. Despite the accommodation time warped 80’s feel I felt I needed to give Tenerife a chance.
Our first day of trekking didn’t disappoint. We set out at a reasonable 8:30 to meet up with our guide and expert for the weekend, Christine. She had emigrated to Tenerife some ten years ago and clearly has a real passion for the place and expert knowledge of the trails and landscapes. Having local expertise meant that we found a quiet cafe before our walk to wake and ready ourselves for the day ahead, El Patio bar in Santiago del Teide was the perfect choice. The sun was shining, the weather was good but not overly hot so that trekking would be uncomfortable.
Beginning our walk
After our short morning coffee we drove to Los Llanos where we left the car to start our trek. Beginning our walk we took a winding path through green pine forests with giant pine cones scattered on the ground with some of the tree showing signs of burn marks scars from a fire some years ago. Thankfully the pine trees are quite resistant to the damage. Emerging from the pine trees we trekked across jagged luna looking black volcanic lava fields at which point I was glad to have taken some proper walking shoes with me.
Walking through the peaceful pine forests we could have been anywhere but Tenerife the volcanic mountains although sparse, painted a harsh but beautiful landscape. We walked around the volcano Arena Negras that had erupted and covered Garachico in 1706 then on through lush forests of pine trees until we reached Chinyero the youngest volcano on the island.
I find volcanos and volcanic landscapes slightly intriguing just knowing the devastating effect they could have or have had previously on the surrounding area. It was a rewarding trek that ended with a much needed beer and tapas at a very local restaurant. Christine was a perfect guide having not only superb knowing of the volcanic landscape but also providing us with the ideal place to relaxed afterwards. It had been a rewarding day 1 of our 3 day trekking in Tenerife.
Read part 2
You can read part 2 of Paul’s trekking adventures in Tenerife here.
If you are interested in this kind of trekking holiday, Lowcostholidays can provide holidays to Tenerife from as little as £199.
Chistine provides inspirational walks on Tenerife – www.tenerifewalks.com