Appearances are deceptive. I had never imagined, for example, that an island I had long associated with “fun in the sun” resort-based holidays could harbour some of the most exciting day and weekend hikes anywhere in Europe. But thus is the case with Tenerife, where I had the good fortune to visit recently.
It is Mount Teide, an immense 3,718m volcano in the central massif of Tenerife, and its surrounding national park, which attracts the most attention – and why not, with the boulder-strewn, lava flow-riven lunar landscape thereabouts.
Yet sequestered away in the north of the island is a lesser known but perhaps even more spellbinding tract of wilderness: the parque natural of the Anaga Mountains, known in Spanish as the Macizo de Anaga. Here, plummeting sub-tropical forest, containing a clutch of gorgeous old laurel trees, acts as a natural barrier protecting one of Tenerife’s few truly time-trapped villages, Taganana. A natural barrier that secretes some of the island’s earliest and most important history… and some of the loveliest most looping mountain tracks and roads in Spain.
This piece for the British Guild of Travel Writers: