Stepping out onto the terrace yesterday morning and catching my first glimpse of Mount Teide coated in a thick layer of snow elicited an involuntary ‘WOW’.
It got me thinking of all the places on Tenerife where you turn a corner or emerge above a ridge and are stopped in your tracks by the drama in front of you. Many of those WOW moments come when I’m out walking and they leave an indelible mark on the memory and an itching to go back and capture it again.
Here are just a few of those special places.
With Mount Teide swathed in a blanket of snow, the winter’s a good time to catch some of the best views of the mountain.
Climbing out of the pretty hamlet of Valle de Arriba on the Erjos to Arguayo route, you follow a narrow path between dry stone walls which slogs endlessly uphill until suddenly the horizon fills with one of the best views of Mount Teide that I have seen on this island – it’s a real track stopper.
On the Pools and Pines walk, you climb to the ridge above the Erjos Pools and emerge onto a wide path where the views over Valle de Arriba open up with Mount Teide and Pico Viejo looming above the valley like Guardian Angels.
One of the enduring images of the mountain is from the path around Roques de Garcia in Teide National Park with the shillelagh-shaped Roque Chinchado framed in front of the peak. It’s an image that must be on millions of memory sticks by now but is no less magnificent for that.
For a truly awesome view, instead of framing Mount Teide, take the cable car ride to 200 metres below its summit and walk to the old peak (Pico Viejo) where you can look down into the volcano’s crater. Beyond it, on a clear day you can see La Gomera and El Hierro floating in the Atlantic – now that’s what I call a WOW view!
Climb through the forest from La Caldera on the Northern Exposure route and you’ll emerge onto a ridge overlooking the La Orotava Valley and Puerto de la Cruz to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. If you’ve got any breath left after the climb, prepare to have it taken away.
Follow the Cruz Del Carmen to Chinamada route in the Anaga Mountains and after strolling through some of the most ancient forests on the planet you’ll follow a mountain trail that emerges above the cave dwellers settlement of Chinamada. Views open out in wide screen splendour all the way down the coast to Punta Del Hidalgo and inland along deep ravines dotted with tiny white houses clinging to the slopes like mountaineers.
Come to think of it, walk anywhere in the Anaga Mountains and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have your lips semi-permanently pursed in the WOW position. Until you’ve walked its paths, you can’t claim to have seen the best of Tenerife‘s varied and spectacular walking terrain.