The Canary Islands are famous for their astounding nature, but to really scratch the surface, you have to get around on foot. There’s no need to choose just one island; instead, discover the very best of what the Canaries has to offer, from thick green forests to alien volcanic terrain.
Follow Ancient Paths in Tenerife
The Parque Natural de la Corona Forestal is the biggest nature reserve in the Canaries, and it’s the perfect spot for walking as you trace ancient paths between quaint and historical villages. In addition to the bountiful history on the reserve, you’ll find diversity in the physical landscape, with pale volcanic ash that has been eroded into strange contorted shapes, giving the area a very other-worldly feel.
Only in 1993 was the ancient village of Masca connected with the rest of the island by road. A small number of houses perch somewhat precariously on a dramatic rock that rises up from a deep ravine. It is a stunning spot, and the starting point for a popular 3-hour hike that leads down to the beach below.
If you want to visit the Parque Natural de la Corona Forestal and Masca, the best place to stay is the town of Garachico. Try the hotel San Roque, a renovated eighteenth-century grand house with a charming mix of modern and traditional décor.
Hike Volcanoes in Lanzarote
You don’t have to be a geography buff to appreciate the strange beauty of the volcanoes of Timanfaya. Solidified lava fields have created a wealth of new land, and with over 20 active volcanoes in the area, it is certainly a unique hike. Walking over the volcanoes, you can feel the heat of the volcanic energy pulsating beneath your feet.
For a hiking trip, the best places to stay are at one of the top Lanzarote resorts. Both Playa Blanca and Los Pocillos are only 20 minutes drive away from the Timanfaya volcanoes. I especially recommend the Princesa Yaiza for those in need of five-star luxury and service.
Lose Yourself in the Forests of La Gomera
La Gomera is the one of the smallest isles in the Canaries, but it packs a heavy punch in terms of the scenery. Keen walkers should head straight to the Garajonay Nature Park where you’ll find lush greenery interspersed with dramatic cliffs. You can either take the trail that circles the 1,487m mountain, or you can take another that actually passes through it. The terrain here is stunning, and simply cannot be missed on a visit to the Canaries.
Stay in the San Sebastian area for easy access to the Garajonay’s best hikes. I like to recommend a stay at the Parador Conde de la Gomera because it’s incredibly picturesque. The hotel consists of lovely gardens perching 250ft above the town. The balcony overlooking the sea to Tenerife is the perfect place to rest weary legs.