This is an alternative to the day 11 hike which took us along the ridge; instead this time we will be travelling down the centre of the Teno valley passing through many small towns and villages on the way. After the initial climb out of Santiago del Teide it is all an easy down hill walk through the countryside so enjoy.
From the south, make your way to Santiago del Teide by car or, as I prefer, local bus service getting off at the stop just past the church (one stop passed the usual stop for the Masca bus) where there is also ample parking, this is where we will start our hike. As the road starts to bend left cross over to the left hand side and follow the path to the next bend. Turn left into the trees at the sign and begin your steady climb up hill, taking time to look back at the great views back to Santiago and, at a forest road, you come to the PR TF 51; Right takes you to a network of paths to Erjos, Los Llanos and beyond but we continue the short climb to the saddle where there are fabulous views out to Mt. Teide.
Once again; the Mountain to the left is Pico Verde (1318m) and worth a visit sometime, but we are going to continue the walk along the path to the right for approximately 1.5km to the next junction at the ruins of a farmhouse and an open area. Look for the three way yellow/white signpost at the road indicating the walk that took us to the left along the ridge, down the road straight ahead and right along the path we have just walked. Today we are following the surfaced road ahead (Camino A Cumbre Bolico) for about 0.5km looking out for the next path marker on the left hand side of the road which takes us down hill through the trees and emerges at Albegue de Bolico and great views of the ridge above.
Walk down the road heading for Las Portelas which is straight ahead passing under the main road (TF-436) until you reach the main road again at a bus stop and seating area, information boards and route signposts. There are many paths and routes from here; just across the road, 50m down Carr Los Lomos on the right is a looping way-marked path to Calle de la Cruz and the Bodegón Patamero in Las Lagunetas where you turn left downhill on Camino del Ojito eventually joining Camino las Canales at the excavations. Or you can carry straight on at the Bodegón on another loop around the right hand side of the excavation, entering El Palmar a short distance before the church, but we walked across the road and continued on the Carr Los Lomos heading for the excavations in the large mound ahead crossing the main road once again onto Camino las Canales and passing through small villages along the way. You will see more sign posts for local walks and information boards but stay on the Camino as it passes the excavations and continues on to El Palmar.
Take a moment to explore El Palmar, it isn’t big and the church square is a great place to picnic, before continuing down hill past the park with the sculptures (Plaza Las Libreas) crossing the TF-436 again onto Calle de las Palmas (say hello to the cats) and follow this until you reach the TF-436 at La Florida on a right hand bend. Just around this bend, on the left hand side, is the start of the old path which has many names but sign posted Camino Real. Follow this path down all the way to Buenavista del Norte, crisscrossing the main road, stopping often to admire the view on the way. Eventually we pick up the TF-436 again crossing over to the right hand side to the pavement into Buenavista.
When you reach the junction with the main north road (TF-42) stop, look to your right and about 50m up the road is a petrol station behind which is the Bus Station for the bus home. The Masca/Santiago del Teide bus (355) leaves at 15:45 or the Icod 363 leaves on the hour and half hour, change at Icod for the Santiago del Teide bus (325) which leaves Icod at 15:30 every day and also 17:20 on weekdays.
If you have enough time, visit the town square (Plaza de los Remedios) by crossing the TF-42 and heading into the centre of town (head for the church tower). Here you will find a few shops, bar/café, the Plaza and a tourist information office where you can get a map of the town and local footpaths. We had time enough to head north past the church onto Calle los Molinos and, as you leave the town, turning left to the coast and the mirador at Ermitita de Nuestra Señora del Carmen and the harbour at Punta de las Viñas. If you made it this far, when ready, backtrack to the path between the banana plantation and the left hand side of the Golf Course and follow this marked path back into town heading for the bus station and the bus back to Santiago del Teide .
Top Tip: Try to make the Masca/Santiago del Teide bus (355) at 15:45…it is a fantastic once in a lifetime experience as it switchbacks it’s way up hill and one you will remember always. It’s also so much better when someone else (with more experience of the road) is doing the driving so sit back and enjoy the ride all the way to Santiago.