Ever since I first pulled on a pair of walking boots and set off down a country lane, I’ve realised that walking and hiking isn’t, as I once thought, the exclusive domain of anoraks and middle aged dog owners.
For us, the fun factor has always been top of the agenda which means that dull, route marches are given a wide body swerve and every outing should end with a beer or two in a local hostelry.
It was while answering a query last week from a customer about walking with youngsters that I realised how many of our Island Walks are actually excellent for families. It’s one of the great things about walking on Tenerife that you can still find so much ‘ undeveloped space filled with surprises that make it the perfect environment for family outings.
Here are some of our favourites:
Teide National Park – there can be few landscapes more awesome than the spectacular volcanic crater of Mount Teide. Clearly, the ultimate thrill is the cable car ride to within 200 metres of the summit, but there are many more adventures to be had by keeping your family feet on terra firma.
Try the new sport (okay, it’s not officially a sport…yet!) of volcano surfing down Arenas Negras – great fun, and get up close and personal with the lizard colony that lives outside the Visitor Centre.
(Volcano Surfing on Arenas Negras – Hiking Highs – 9 kilometres, 2 hours)
The South West hills – head into Swallows and Amazons territory by trekking through long grasses and along old cobbled paths to uncover a hidden and ‘lost’ village. Explore a deserted finca and climb to a brilliant vantage point on top of a (small) mountain.
(The Lost World – Lost Worlds and Lava – 6 kilometres, 4 hours)
Fish farm and bird sanctuary – a dappled walk through the pine forests above the La Orotava Valley before dropping down into a country village and detouring to a trout farm with ducks, geese, cats, rescued birds of prey and, well lots of trout. End with lunch on the terrace of a log cabin or picnic in the huge crater and don’t forget to pack a football or a frisbee.
(La Caldera to Aguamansa – Northern exposure – 6 kilometres, 2 hours)
Pools and ponies – and geese, and hens, and a parrot and…Explore the wildlife sanctuary of the Erjos Pools where ducks and dragonflies thrive and then head to the El Patio Visitor Centre to enjoy the free roaming animals in its finca grounds. You can visit the stables and take a ride in a pony and trap before lunch in the quaint little tasca.
(Pools and pines – Into the Valley – 6 kilometres, 2 hours)
Plus, there are coastal walks to pirate forts, rock pools and secret villages in Captivating Coastlines which comes FREE with every Island Walks.
And rest assured, for the none beer drinkers in the family, there is always somewhere to buy an ice cream at the end of our walks – some of us have never quite lost that particular craving.