The nature of our work often entails us doing reasonably challenging hiking. We’re not what we would call ‘hardcore hikers’, that is to say, we enjoy a challenge and finishing the day with our legs knowing we’ve done a walk, but we’re not inclined to regularly scale mountains, use ropes and crampons to negotiate sheer rock faces or hike 30km in one stretch for the sake of it.
Earlier this year we were lucky enough to visit Corsica. A stunningly beautiful island known for its hard mountain walking. The Corsican GR20 is considered the toughest long distance path in Europe and is used as a training ground by the French Foreign Legion stationed on the island. Needless to say, we didn’t go anywhere near the GR20. Instead, we followed six easy routes which took us along magnificent coastal paths, through dappled woodland to panoramic natural balconies, and along ancient muleteer paths to old Genoese bridges straddling a crystal stream. Although there was little challenging in terms of the terrain, that didn’t make it any less rewarding. In fact, it was some of the most enjoyable walking we have done.
Easy walking doesn’t have to mean boring walking, nor does it have to entail crowds, or a promenade. There are lots of excellent, easy paths on Tenerife which are still away from the tourist centres, are just as enjoyable and rewarding as the tougher routes, and in many cases, are easily accessible.
In our Walk This Way Tenerife book of self-guided walking we have nine routes which take less than 2hrs to walk and they are spread across the island, from north to south and centre to coast. An additional 14 routes are under 10km (6.2 miles) in length, including many that follow coastal paths or meander through traditional villages and hamlets. Many are virtually level with just a few, short ascents or descents, and our grading and ‘route difficulty’ sections at the start of each walk are clear about what ability levels are required to undertake them.
Not all short walks are easy. Take Masca Barranco for example. Although it’s only 6.3km (approx 3 miles), it’s one of the toughest 6km you’ll find on the island, the terrain requiring constant climbing, descending and scrabbling over fallen rocks. In short, it’s not an easy walk. By contrast, the 7km (4.5 miles) Chinyero walk barely undulates at all and is the perfect walk for those who’d rather stroll than stride or for families with small children.
We also recommend 11 routes, all under 3hrs duration, specifically for families where there’s something to see or do before, during or after the walk. Try volcano surfing in Teide National Park; visit a trout farm and bird sanctuary at the end of your walk; or head to an old pirate’s fort complete with cannon.
For us, the most important aspect of walking is the sheer enjoyment it gives, whether that be pushing yourself to greater fitness levels, enjoying a sunset stroll, or providing the family with a fun day. And the great thing about Tenerife is that you can do all of those things and still enjoy its magnificent landscapes and other worldly terrain.
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, Wizz, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+