As life returns to normal after the festive season (and before the next…don’t you just love Tenerife) I thought I’d post a few hikes for all those in the mood for a bit of fitness after the excesses and to see a bit more of this beautiful Island.
These will run as one long hike broken down into small manageable chunks and, as always, times are relative. Stopping is a must; for a picnic or photos or even just to say aloud “look where I am?” I work on 2km to 3km per hour, a nice walking pace but you quite rightly will have your own speed.
Top Tip: If you go into Google Play, search ‘Maps’ and download MAPS.ME to your phone you can use the maps for Tenerife (with your GPS position) while off line…can’t for the life of me remember who told me this but it has been invaluable. Thanks whoever you are.
Day 17: Santiago del Teide to Arguayo (Hike: 9km, Ht. gain 400m, Approx 4hrs)
It is worth revisiting the SL TF 60, the Ruta del Almendro en Flor (The almond blossom trail) and perhaps consider the long distance route (GR TF 133) which this path is part of. Each part will continue from the previous and will begin and end at a Titsa bus stop…don’t forget to purchase a Titsa Bono-Via Card, they are pure gold for discounted fare and convenience.
To refresh our memory; from the end of January to the end of February, the Ruta del Almendro en Flor becomes very popular with families and hikers as the colours and scents are glorious. I think this (with the third Tamaimo extension) is my favourite hike on the Island because of the diversity of colour, texture, views and scents and we begin at the bus stop at the Santiago del Teide TIO (tourist information office) in the church square.
Locate the information board at the rear of the square where all the information for the route is displayed and walk down the adjacent road turning left past the play ground and continue a short distance to the start which is marked by Yellow, Green and White markers.
This is part of several continuing paths, hence the multi-coloured markers. Continue on the path following the Green and White markers through the cactus spurge and almond trees heading up hill to the Lava flow at El Calvarío de los Baldios and onto the path across the Chinyero lava flow, circling around the back of Montaña Bilma.
There are many paths left and right to other towns and villages but we want to remain on the main SL TF 60 (Green and White) straight on up through the pine trees and wax plants following the well marked path all the way to Arguayo.
Near the end of the path there is a sign post indicating the distance covered and the route to Chío, continue on to the road turning right up hill and to the left on Calle San Agustin turning left at the junction onto Calle el Carmen and follow this to the route information board at the end of the walk by the Museum and the bus stop back to Santiago del Teide.
Here we have a decision to make? On week days there is the 462 bus which takes you back to Santiago del Teide or Guía de Isora bus station in the other direction for onward travel or you can walk back to Santiago del Teide but, if you are feeling adventurous, there is three walking routes from Arguayo to Tamaimo. (If you wish to get the bus to Guía de Isora you will have to back track to the end of the path and walk up the road a little further to the bus stop.)
Extension Arguayo to Tamaimo: Path 1 and 2 (Hike: 3km, Ht. gain 0m, Approx 1hr)
First locate Arguayo church which is a great place for a picnic, (from the information board walk down Calle Ctra. General and you can’t miss it). And walk past the front to the crossing. Across the rural road there is a path beside a building to the left which takes you down to the main road. Cross the road and follow the path down hill, under the new duel carriageway, staying with the path all the way to Tamaimo.
Alternatively there is a slightly better route which you reach by walking left at the crossing towards the edge of town where you will find a cross roads. Walk straight across and follow this minor road crossing over the duel carriageway on a bridge and follow the path to the right down hill joining the first path to Tamaimo (this is a relatively steep, loose gravel and stone path so take care). Once in Tamaimo locate your bus stop and enjoy a refreshment at one of the many café/bars in town.
Bear with me for I have a secret…We hate paths 1 and 2 because they are an uninteresting, dusty, loose gravel means to an end. If you are short on time they get you there…but be careful on the way down.
Alternatively there is a beauty of a path that will take you to Tamaimo; it is twice as long as the other two, however given a choice, I would take this path in preference to the other paths any day of the week.
Extension Arguayo to Tamaimo: Path 3 (Hike: 7km, Ht. gain 0m, Approx 1hr 30 min)
Remember the route we just took from Santiago del Teide that ended at the information boards; walk past the boards and bus stop and turn left past the sculptures. Across the road there is a road with steps down the middle, that’s where we want to go. Cross the road and climb the short way to the path on the left and follow this path around the back of Montaña de la Hoya (the flat top with the aerials).
Instantly you will be presented with stunning views over the Santiago valley, Teno National Park, La Palma and La Gomera. Just stay on this solid built path and you will eventually see the blue bridge that crosses the new duel carriageway, that is where we are heading.
Descend on the path, turn left and cross the bridge and continue to follow the path down until it reaches the main Los Gigantes/Santiago del Teide road at a corner. Follow the path down off the road edge at a white building and keep with the path (and the water pipe) down to the next crossing.
At the road there is a path just across and to the left, carefully cross the road and follow the path again to the next crossing where again to the left, across the road the path continues all the way into Tamaimo. When you reach the paved surface your right hand turn is the second road on the right and you will see a petrol station, café/bar and bus stop where our journey ends. Award yourself a drink, you deserve it.