Target of Trip is to climb Mount Teide, Tenerife, from the Atlantic Ocean

The walk we undertook commenced from the beach in Costa Adeje, and went to the top of Mount Teide 3,718m (12,198feet), over 6 days.

 

 

 

 

We based ourselves at Casa Zaguan in Vilaflor, arriving by bus the day before from Adeje. We booked the hotel in advance on Bookings.com, costing approx £40 a night depending on the choice of room. The owner Debbie is very friendly. Nightly star gazing trips are organised from the hotel.

Vilaflor is a lovely Canarian village, with an altitude of 1,400 m, the highest village in Tenerife. There are plenty of bars/restaurants. It is possible to check these online. There are 2 small grocery shops selling essentials, and bus stops and a petrol station.

Day 1 of 6 - Thursday 14th February Beach in Costa Adeje to Arona

On the opening day of the walk, first we needed to return to the coast to begin walking from the sea, then walk from the sea to Arona.

Following breakfast in the Hotel, we walked downhill from Casa Zaguan to the bus stop at Santa Catalina. If you need supplies at this point, there is a shop in the village that may be open, then another shop near the bus stop, and a shop in the petrol station. Santa Catalina is not the nearest bus stop to the hotel, but a nice walk down to it, and just in case the bus does not materialise, we thought maybe a better hitch hiking location. There is also a bus stop at the top of the village outside Cafeteria La Paz.

The weather was nice and dry, and got warmer as we went to the Ocean. We took the 8.59am number 474 bus down to Arona.This bus actually turned into the 480

which leaves Arona at 9.30am which took us to los Cristianos arriving there at 9.55am. From here there are several buses to Playa de Fanabe (Costa Adeje) but we caught the 467 and got off at Ernesto Sarti bus stop and walked down to the beach near the Champions Bar, Calle Roma, arriving at 10.30am.

We started the walk by dipping our boots in the ocean, and collecting a pebble to take with us to the top of Mount Teide - similar to the start of the English Coast to Coast. We walked up through the town, calling at Mercadona supermarket in the shopping centre on the way. We walked up hill via Calle Galicia, through the housing estate, up a large flight of steps, eventually reaching an old donkey trail which leads from Adeje Pueblo to Arona. Turning right and following the obvious path through a couple of barrancos led us to Arona. The views are fantastic, overlooking Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Americas, over the Ocean to the island of La Gomera.

Once the donkey trail has been reached this is not a strenuous day, on an obvious path arriving in Arona in time for a leisurely coffee, whilst waiting for the bus.

On completion of walk catch the 480 back from Arona at 3.30pm arriving in Vilaflor at 3.55pm.

We met 2 other walkers today, going the other way from Arona, to Adeje.

We ate dinner, Chicken stew, and the local Canarian Goat meat stew at Restaurant Casa Pana. If there early, there is a superb terrace with views down to the sea. Distance 6.04 Mile/9.72km walk

Steps 20590

Duration of Walk 3:45 hours

Average Pace 23.09

Elevation gain 643 m

 

 

 

 

Day 2 of 6 - Friday 15th February GR 131 Arona to Vilaflor

Walk 41 in the Cicerone Walking Book on Tenerife.

Today we are catching Bus number 474 at 8.59am again but alighting in Arona, then walking approximately 8 hours back to Vilaflor.

We were up at 7am, plenty of time to check the weather and kit. Forecast to be strong winds, heavy rain, 12 degrees, so walking trousers and rain coat on. Ponchos, hat, muff and gloves put in waterproof bag in rucksack. Peanut butter sandwiches made, cake, tangerines and cereal bars for later. Just in case there is nowhere to eat on today's walk.

Breakfast at 7.30am poached egg, beans, toast, coffee and orange. Very tasty 3.50 euro. Joined in the dining room by 4 members of the Slovakian walking team. Left hotel at 8.30am, short video made in the main square. Most of the restaurants shut at this time, except for a cake shop, a small shop which opened at 8.15am We walked down through the village for 15 minutes, to the bus stop, as yesterday. Cold waiting for the bus number 474 to Arona.

We alighted from the bus in the main square in Arona at 9.30am, and found the signs to the GR131, which we had checked out the day before. The first part of walk was fantastic with blue skies and views over the old terraces down to Adeje and the coast. We arrived in Ifonche hamlet at 11.45am, there is a bar but, unfortunately it does not open till 1pm, which is a pity, as other walkers were there too.

The second half of today's walk was still nice, but had fewer views, lots of pine trees, and switchback paths to get over the huge barrancos.

Altogether it was a lovely walk, luckily we had no rain, and only getting cold when leaving and arriving in Vilaflor - due to its elevation.

We arrived back in Vilaflor at 4pm, in time for coffee on the main square. Most of the walk today was very well sign-posted, following the GR131, we only consulted the walking book on a couple of occasions. We met about 10 people all day, 8 of them in the morning.

Looking forward to tomorrow's walk, hoping for nice weather.

Distance 11.45miles/18.42KM

Steps 37129

Duration of Walk 6.36 hours

Average Pace 21.32

Elevation gain 1194 m

 

 

 

 

Day 3 of 6 - Saturday 16th February GR 131 Vilaflor to Parador

Walk 42, in the cicerone Walking Book on Tenerife.

After 2 days of catching the bus down the mountain, today's walk departed from our door, then walking up hill to the Parador, situated in Mount Teide National Park. After bacon on toast for breakfast, we left the hotel at 8.15am The walk again is well marked, following an old donkey path steadily up hill, crossing a road then tracks. The path carries on through pine trees, which were badly affected by a fire in April 2018. The fire seems to have devastated a very large area, but the pines are growing back and some small plants starting to grow. We reached the tree line at 1918m at 11am, the path turning into cinder track. Mist was rolling in, and it looked like a storm brewing between us and the ocean but fortunately it never quite arrived. Strangely for a Saturday and on such a well marked path, we only met one runner, before meeting a group of people on the col, who were out walking from the Parador.

At 1pm we had our first view of Mount Teide just before the col It was absolutely stunning, looking resplendent in the sunshine. At the edge of the cauldron, it was suddenly windy and cold, and we put on our gloves, hats and spare coats. We were lucky to have such a beautiful clear day as rain had been forecast again. On descending it quickly warmed up. From the base of the cauldron wall, it is another 5km walk to the parador, arriving at 2.15pm.

It is a lovely walk, with fantastic views, and interestingly different rock formations. At one side of the Parador is a cafe where we went whilst waiting for the bus. The toilets are free if you buy something in the cafe otherwise it is one euro. Coffee fairly cheap and small, otherwise food expensive. We caught 3.45pm bus back to Vilaflor. The trip going very well so far. All walks completed and buses arriving on time. Salad and omelette for dinner in hotel.

Distance 9.53m/15.34km

Steps 35752

Duration of Walk 6.46

Average Pace 26.28

Elevation gain 1097m

 

 

 

 

Day 4 of 6 - Sunday 17th February Parador to Montana Blanca car park

The first part of this walk follows Walk 34 in the cicerone Walking Book on Tenerife.

Today we caught bus number 342 at 10am from Vilaflor to the Parador, walking to Montana Blanca car park, then catching the 3.45pm bus back to Vilaflor.

Bacon on toast for breakfast today. Nice stroll through the village in the sunshine. Surprising that a few of the small village shops are open on a Sunday morning. There is also a small shop at the Disa petrol station on the main road, next to the bus stop. Weather looking good for today, up to 16 degrees in Vilaflor and sunny, but obviously always different in the mountains. We caught bus at 10am, arriving at the Parador at 10.45am. We left at 11 am after a quick coffee in the cafe. At 12.15 lunch near bottom of lift. Then we discovered a path that is not in the guide book or either map that leads for 4 km to the Montana Blanca car park, where we pick up the bus at 3.30. Beautiful views all the way, through the lava fields, with fantastic views back to where we walked through yesterday. We realised that had we known there was a path, we may have skipped the parador path yesterday and gone straight to the Montana Blanca car park. This might have been a struggle, after such a long day to catch the only bus back at 3.30 from the car park. Oh well, as it goes. That said, this was a lovely relaxing day, taking the opportunity to enjoy the stunning landscape. 2.15pm we finished the walk at Montana Blanca car park. Disappointing no facilities. Space for about 10 cars. There is more parking at the mirador, on the main road just before the Montana Car Park. It was a beautiful day, pure sunshine just as the weather forecast said. We waited for an hour for the 342 back to vilaflor.

Bus arrived 3.30pm. 9.40 euros for 2

Distance 4.93m/7.94KM

Steps 18623

Duration of Walk 3.32

Average Pace 26.45

Elevation gain 290m

 

 

 

 

Day 5 of 6 - Monday 18th February Montana Blanca car park to Altavista del Teide Mountain Refuge

Walk 37 in the cicerone Walking Book on Tenerife., just following the walk as far as the Refuge, but the route was obvious.

Today we caught bus number 342 at 10am from Vilaflor to Montana Blanca Car park, then walked up hill to the refuge.

We were excited, but somewhat apprehensive due to the thought of the heat/ cold later, and not knowing what to expect in the refuge. But really looking forward to seeing the stars, full moon, and dawn. Tonight there will be one of the brightest moons of the year called a super snow moon 225,000 miles away. The brightest lunar light show of the year.

We packed up the hotel room, as we are staying in the refuge on the mountain tonight. But the hotel, will look after our case till we return. Egg and beans for breakfast. (not what we normally eat in Spain, but nice.) We wandered through village, picking up supplies of tuna empanada, tangerines, and apple pie on the way.

We have read many reports about the refuge, some good, some bad. So we are not quite sure what to expect. But we do know there are 3 dormitories with bunk beds, for 54 people to share. No food is provided, only machines with snacks and water. Toilets but no showers. All rubbish has to be taken away with you- read reports on Trip advisor, quite amusing. We have brought lots of warm clothes, as we know it will be cold in the morning before dawn.

We caught bus number 342 at 10am, past the Parador this time, to Montana Blanca car park arriving at 11.15am. We assembled our kit, and started the walk. A few other people alighted from the bus too, one couple gave up the walk after about 45 minutes, due to the cold, or the fact they were wearing shorts and t-shirts, having got on the bus by the Ocean, they had obviously misjudged how cold it would be.

We followed an obvious track, then reached the bottom of the zig zag slope at 1.30pm, did a short detour to eat our lunch overlooking the view. The path then goes up a very steep slope, until we reached the refuge at 3.45pm. This was the only day of the trip where there was a sense of community, meeting people from different nationalities, which was fantastic.

We waited outside the refuge, as it does not open until 5pm, the hallway was open, but dark. It was fun waiting outside with stunning views down the path, to a crater and the observatory station beyond. Greeting fellow walkers as they arrived.

At 5pm on the dot the warden opened the kitchen and toilets and put the lights on in the hall. He was very efficient and officious telling people who had not booked that the refuge was full, and they would have to walk down the mountain. The cable car down was shut this afternoon due to high winds, so anyone on the mountain not booked in the refuge would have to have to walk down. Shame that they cannot stay, but rules are rules.

We checked in, passports were photocopied. We were given a small plastic bag to carry all our rubbish away with us in the morning. We sat at the table joined by 2 new German friends, eating our sandwiches and empanada. There is a cooker, kettle and microwave, but we did not bother to even make hot drinks. There were not enough tables and chairs for all occupants. But a very jolly atmosphere, everyone excited for the summit tomorrow.

At 7pm the dormitories were opened with the same efficiency, we were given bunk beds in a small room of 6 bunks, up some steep steps in the attic. The other 2 dorms are on the ground floor. There are separate toilets for men and women, 2 toilets and a wash basin and mirror in each. But little space to get changed.

We went outside to see the stars, but due to the super moon, it was too bright, and stars were hard to see. Bed was at 9pm and lights out at 10.30pm. Everyone planning to be up at 5am, apparently it will be minus 5.

Distance 4.5m/7.28km

Steps 22800

Duration of Walk 4.45

Average Pace 39.07

Elevation gain 891m

 

 

 

 

Day 6 of 6 - Tuesday 19th February Altavista del Teide Mountain Refuge to the top of Mount Teide, then walk down to the Parador

This is a continuation of walk 37 in the Cicerone Walking Book on Tenerife, but the route to the top was obvious, then followed parts of Walk 38, before turning left following Walk 39 down to the Parador.

After a sleepless night, listening to the wind howling outside, reminding me of Captain Scott in his tent, we got up at 4.45am. Some walkers were already waiting to leave in full gear. We packed quickly by torch light, so not to disturb the last sleeping occupant of the room. The refuge is exactly as it says on the tin, with strict rules, but if you adhered to them all was good. It was very clean and well organised, and free WIFI. All rubbish was taken with us, including the paper sheets we had been issued with the night before. We had taken our silk sleeping bag liners just in case. It had been warm enough in the dorm, and no snorers.

We left at 5.20am, wearing 6 layers of clothes, including the down coats that we originally bought for Everest base camp. Hats, and gloves were essential. Head torches on we headed out up the path. It seemed endless in the dark and cold, we arrived by the cable car lift at 6.40am. Then pressed on to the summit, following the line of torches stretched out up the mountain, and below us too.

We summited at 7.20am, with the sun casting a shadow but not yet dawn. Sulphur was blowing around at the summit, creating a smell like bad eggs. The 50 or so people from the refuge gathered on the narrow summit, and watched the sun come up at 7.45am. It was a fantastic moment, we could see far down to the ocean. We were high above the clouds. It was very cold on top, minus 10 with the wind chill. Cold even with all our layers, wishing I had brought liner gloves, so the camera on the phone could be used with gloves on. We took many photos, everyone was happy to be there. We made a wish, and threw the pebble that we had brought with us from the beach into the steaming sulphur ponds. Due to its colossal size, Mount Teide is known to cast the largest sea shadow in the world.

We walked back down to the cable car station, where there was a small room open with drinks and snacks dispenser and toilets. We then said goodbye to our new friends, some were catching the cable car down, some walking down the path we came up, but we were set on a different path, back down to the Parador. The previous afternoon the cable car had not been running due to strong winds. Our new friends were very happy when they realised the wind had abated and it was running, avoiding a 4 hour walk down. We left the cable car station at 8.50am, and followed a tough path downwards, initially it was good, then became stony and skiddy. We reached a junction to turn left at 10.30am, again the path was of varying quality, but much work is being carried out on it. All paths taken were always clearly marked. The weather again was fantastic, with beautiful blue skies, and slightly windy.

We arrived at the parador at 2.15pm, in time to have coffee before catching the 4pm bus down to vilaflor.

To The Top from the refuge

Distance 1.36m/2.19km

Steps 11206

Duration of Walk 2.34

Average Pace

Elevation gain 393m

From The top to the Parador

Distance 6.47m/10.41km

Steps 30644

Duration of Walk 6.16

Average Pace 36.10

Elevation gain 7m

Total meters of the whole walk

elevation 4122m

Total km walked 71.3

 

 

 

 

 

Advice

Book the accommodation in advance. There is a good choice of accommodation in Vilaflor. The only accommodation in Mount Teide National Park is the Parador, and the Refuge.

The refuge definitely has to be booked in advance, with 53 beds in 3 dormitories. When we stayed there, people turned up without a booking, and were turned away by the very strict warden. One man even got sent away at 8pm, none of us envied him, as he ran down the mountain in the dark and cold, just hope that he made it! But the rules are stated very clearly on line.

If you are not staying at the refuge, a permit to go to the top of Teide is essential to go past the man on the gate, who is there from 9am every day. These are available on-line, but only 200 are issued a day. Such a permit is necessary to ascend to the crater between 9am and 5pm, regardless of whether you reach the area of La Rambleta by cable car or on foot.

Take snacks, cereal bars etc with you, as there are whole days without refreshments along the way, we also have peanut butter with us and/or cans of tuna with ring pull openers.

We worked out the route to be taken in advance, double checking on the bus timetable, as in the National Park there is only one bus a day. Taxis are available as a back-up option.

However good the weather forecast would appear to be, ensure that you take warm coats, hats, muffs, gloves, and liner gloves to wear whilst taking photos at the top of Mount Teide, sun hats and sun tan lotion.

Wear boots, the only way to go. We wear Lowa boots, originally designed in Germany, and very popular with walkers there. Having worn out previous pairs, with

excess of 1,000 miles walked in them, we are now on our third pairs'. They are available in Decathlon, and probably other places too.

Useful Websites

https://www.volcanoteide.com/en/volcano_teide/hiking/altavista_mountain_refuge

www.booking.com for Casa Zaguan, and other hotels in Vilaflor

https://www.yr.no/place/Spain/Canary_Islands/Parque_Nacional_del_Teide/

http://www.tenerifeguide.eu/public-bus-timetable/

www.bing.coma

www.mapmywalk.com

Restaurants we visited in Vilaflor

http://www.canarias-tenerife.com/pizzeriacasino/

El Sombrerito

Restaurante Casa Pana

Books we used

Walking on Tenerife by Paddy Dillon, published by Cicerone press.

Tenerife Hikers' Maps

Lonely Planet, Canary Islands,

Other walking books are available, I would recommend purchasing before you go, as I did not find any for sale, in Tenerife

 

Altogether a very successful trip, and one that I would recommend to others.