Geographically, the Santiago Valley doesn’t lie too far from the major holiday resorts of the south and south west of Tenerife, but in looks and nature, it’s a thousand miles away from them.
Untouched by the developments of mass tourism, the Santiago del Teide valley is an unspoilt rural area located at around 1000 metres above sea level in the south west heart of Tenerife. Including the site of the last volcanic eruption on Tenerife in 1909 from the Chinyero volcano and the Erjos Pools, the valley provides some of south Tenerife’s most beautiful scenery.
Visit in spring and you’ll see the valley’s wild flowers burst into life in an explosion of vibrant colours. Choose winter to explore and Mount Teide may provide you with a gleaming white mantle of snow to contrast with the emerald forests and piercing blue sky.
Small hamlets where rural handicrafts are kept alive; pine forest trails, lava fields and dragonfly-rich ponds await those who take to the Santiago Del Teide valley.
Routes and What To See
Into The Valley shows you the diverse landscapes of the valley from nature reserve to lava fields via pretty valleys and hamlets.
Into The Valley takes in rural life in the valley of Arriba before climbing into the Chinyero National Park to witness how Nature is slowly restoring herself following the violence of the last eruption. Culminating in a small hamlet where you can watch as traditional pottery is still thrown by hand, the route returns along a mountainside trail with spectacular views over the entire valley.
This is the Tenerife of the last century, before the first speculative hotels were built and the first tourists arrived.
Into The Valley is a circular route of some 14 kilometres which takes around 3hrs 50mins to complete. Walking on volcanic scree can be footsore so this is one for the boots rather than sandals and there are some testing ascents out of the valleys so you need a fairly good level of fitness to enjoy it. Level 4.
Open water inland is a rare sight on Tenerife but in Santiago Del Teide the former quarry workings of Erjos have become a tranquil nature reserve attracting ducks, dragonflies and butterflies to its watery beauty. On the Pools and Pines route we take you exploring the reedy banks of the pools before climbing to the forest above them and emerging onto the ridge to straddle two climate zones and one of Mount Teide’s most breathtaking profiles.
Nature at its most gentle and dramatic is the order of the day in the 6 kilometre, circular Pools and Pines route which takes around 2hrs 15 minutes. The terrain provides easy walking, apart from the climb to the ridge but it’s only short and not too steep. One for an easy and memorable half day hike. Level 3.
The Into The Valley routes are easily accessible by car and by public transport from just about anywhere on the island with the quickest and easiest routes being from the west coast.
Into The Valley is one of a series of seven Island Walks sets of detailed walking directions in PDF format available to buy online for only €9.