The forests await you with their endless tales and breathtaking scenery. If you like mountain biking or hiking, this is a chance to venture into the dense green vegetation as the blue hues of the ocean disappear to your left. Nature is at your fingertips in the spectacular woodland surrounding Teide National Park.
This is the largest protected area in the Canary Islands and a refuge for the finest samples of pine forests and mountain vegetation in Tenerife. All the way up here is where many of Tenerife's impressive ravines set out to carve their way across the Island. The area is not to be missed and we encourage you to come and enjoy some of its endless outdoor options. Covering an expanse of almost 50,000 hectares (125,000 acres), this is the ideal place for exploring and discovering the area's many native plants and animals. With its immense valleys such as La Orotava and Güímar, its ravines, mountains and much more, this is a unique place on the Island and in the world.
How to get there:
By guagua (bus): From Costa Adeje, line 342. From Puerto de la Cruz, line 348. From Guía de Isora, line 492.
By car: from La Esperanza, along the TF-24 (Dorsal road). From Arafo, along the TF-523 (Los Loros road). From La Orotava, along the TF-21. From Guía de Isora, along the TF-38. From Vilaflor, along the TF-21.
What to see:
Soak up every single detail of the magnificent landscapes that spread out before you at the many lookout points here. If you are interested in geology, don't miss the chance to take in its ravines, rocky peaks and recent magma flows that portray the Island's volcanic essence. Listen to the incessant sound of water gushing through the ravine or take a stroll around the village areas of Las Dehesas and Los Pelados, where you will see farmers keeping up ancient traditions with their tool sheds and traditional wine cellars.
The locals liven up their free time with jolly songs, casual chatter and, of course, good food and fine wines from the vineyards they so carefully tend, aged in their own hand-built wine cellars. You simply must not miss the Lunar Landscape atop Vilaflor and the chance to feel like Neil Armstrong on his famous mission aboard the Apollo 11, and we recommend you visit the impressive sight of Cuevas Negras (Black Caves), north of Pico Viejo.
We encourage you to get a close look at the sturdy trunk of a Canarian pine tree and feel its unique thick bark that has evolved to make it fireproof. Take in deep gulps of fresh forest air in one of the most wonderful woodlands in the Canary Islands, breathing in the fragrance of the macaronesian heathland, the fayal-brezal, and exploring one of the world's last vestiges of laurel forest in the Teguigue ravine, in the valley of Güímar.
At an altitude of 2,000 m (6,560 ft), the mountain brush is similar to that of Cañadas del Teide National Park. You will also come across a number of chestnuts, eucalyptus and cypress trees. This entire nature area, particularly on the north and south face, is alive with endangered and protected species.
If you look carefully enough, you might see some of the animals that live in this habitat, most of which belong to a great variety of invertebrate species, some native to the area. Birds also love to live in the Park. There are 37 species that nest here, in addition to other migratory species and occasional visitors. Four of the species that are unique to the archipelago can be seen here: the Teide blue finch, the Canarian warbler and the endemic Bolle's pigeon and laurel pigeon.
Behold the majestic sparrow hawk and the kestrel, two of the largest birds here. Plus three of the four native species of reptiles (the Gran Canaria skink, the Tenerife gecko and the Tenerife lizard) also live in the Park.
The most interesting mammals here are bats, several of which are native species, living in the area's caves and volcanic tubes. There are other species that have been brought from outside, such as rabbits and the Corsican mouflon. The former are easy to spot, but the latter are considerably more elusive and shy.
What to do:
What do you feel like doing? How about losing yourself on one of the countless trails that run through the Corona Forestal Nature Park? Perhaps your body is thirsty for adrenaline and the thrill of paragliding. Maybe you would prefer a mountain biking excursion, racing through fabulous landscapes. There is also rock climbing, horse riding, caving, camping... Everything you could think of – and more!
And if that's not enough, try plunging into the void on the Canary Islands' longest zip slide.
TF-24, Km 16, Las Lagunetas.
Tel. 0034 630385742
If you are looking for something a little more relaxing, there are a number of recreational areas, such as the Madre del Agua camping area (in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona), the Arenas Negras area, the El Contador area (in the hills of Arico) and the Emilio Fernández Muñoz area (in the hills of Los Realejos), where you can practice your outdoor cooking skills, take a stroll or simply sit back under the shade of a tree and peacefully revel in the sounds of the countryside.
What to take:
As we recommend on a visit to Teide, don't forget to take a mobile phone in case anything might happen, as well as sun cream, a hat, a coat or jacket and a raincoat as the weather can turn quickly at such high altitudes. Always carry water or a sports drink and some food to keep your energy levels up and, of course, wear sensible footwear.