Sunsets, stars and the Sea of Clouds – enjoy Tenerife’s diverse landscapes and activities

From the glorious Anaga and Teno national parks to the lunar landscape of Mount Teide, you will find a wealth of nature and outdoor activities in the pint-sized island of Tenerife.

A sea of fluffy clouds stretches below me as far as the eye can see just like a giant foaming bubble bath. Sleepy Mount Teide, Spain’s highest point at 3,718 metres, keeps a watchful eye over us from its iconic triangular cone which last erupted in the 8th century.

It was raining when we left Puerto de la Cruz an hour or so ago but here above the amazing Sea of Clouds, a thermal buffer created when hot air is above cold air, I’m bathing in blue skies and sunshine.

We drive on through Teide National Park past huge craters, small volcanic cones – there are 320 in all – chunks of black lava and white/blue pumice stone. We stop at Roques de Garcia to admire fanciful rock sculptures carved by the Trade Winds including one which featured on the 1,000 peseta note.

We return to the Sea of Clouds and watch the sun disappear over the horizon in a blaze of glory, lighting up the terracotta rocks behind us with its golden glow. It’s a peaceful, almost spiritual experience.

We have dinner at a local restaurant, where a rich pumpkin soup is delicious. Afterwards we head out into the car park for the finale. An expert stargazer armed with a laser pointer shows us how to locate the North Star and explains how people navigated by the stars in days gone by. We watch two satellites buzz about the dark skies and she points out the various star constellations such as Gemini and Cancer.

Some tours provide telescopes so that you can get a close-up view of twinkling stars. Check when you book if you want to do this.

You will, of course, find lush as well as lunar landscapes on Tenerife. Imposing massifs, deep ravines and jagged peaks greet us on our drive to the pretty mountain village of Masca in the Teno Rural Park. Here you will find walking trails and diverse plant life, including 15 endemic species. If you want to hike in the Masca canyon (with or without guide), you will need to buy a permit from the visitor centre.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. At the Meson del Norte we enjoyed a constantly flowing array of delicacies, including baked Teno goat’s cheese which was creamy and absolutely delicious.

The north-west region is steeped in traditions and, during our coastal walk by the Buenavista golf course, we were treated to a demonstration of the shepherd’s leap – a way of traversing difficult terrain with a three-metre stick. Local José Maria, aged 49, swiftly descended the bank by climbing down the stick, his feet on the rocks and body horizontal before he leapt to the ground – not to be tried at home!. Nowadays the art is reserved for competitions.

In the north-east of the island, the Anaga Mountains is another great area for hiking. We enjoyed a fairly steep and sometimes slippery descent to the coast, where we enjoyed yet another wonderful lunch in a local restaurant.

For a walk with a difference, head to the Cueva del Viento (Wind Cave), and explore the 18km lava tube system, the fifth largest in the world. It was formed 27,000 years ago from lava flows from the Pico Viejo volcano next to Teide.

Diverse landscapes provide a multitude of activities and the group I travelled with were able to enjoy everything from windsurfing, paragliding and surfing to diving, yoga, bird watching, whale-watching and cycling.

We did spot pilot whales on our catamaran experience from Adeje but not quite as many whales as we did banana plantations which you will find growing all over the island. Canarian bananas are delicious – make sure you try them.

Activities and tours are offered in hotels and travel agencies in all the main holiday resorts.

1 people found this helpful
73597

Share Article:

Kathryn Liston

Travel writer

Leave a comment

*

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Ambassador offers unique ways to focus on health and wellness while enjoying the beauty of the sea….
Who can resist an invitation to a birthday party in Paris? Gillian Thornton celebrates 40 years of Riviera Travel, the…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.