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GR 131: Long-distance hiking in Tenerife (185km North-South)

Barren volcanic landscapes, the highest mountain in Spain, impressive mountain panoramas, dreamlike sandy beaches and blooming laurel forests - this incredibly varied landscape makes Tenerife an absolute hiker's paradise. It goes in 8-10 days across the whole island and with it are all the great hiking highlights. I found this tour terrific. Chapeau!

long distance hiking in tenerife

Contents

1. Arrival

2. Route

3. Accommodation

4. Weather and best time to travel

5. Further information

6. Recommended stages

7. Packing list

8. GPX and map information

9. Conclusion


This hiking or trekking tour is largely oriented to the GR 131, but you still take the Pico del Teide 3718m, the Pico Viejo and Pico Sur, the lunar landscape of Vilaflor and the Anaga Mountains. You have to spend the night alternately in apartments or hotels, rustic huts and on official campsites with your tent. The nice thing is, you can complete the tour basically all year round.

long-distance hiking in tenerife

Arrival

Flight: It is best to take a flight to one of the two airports on Tenerife. One is in the north and one in the south. The starting point of the tour is in the small mountain village of El Morro, right next to the church. There are several ways to reach the starting point of the tour.

Bus: Tenerife has an excellent public transport network which I can highly recommend. The bus line 416 goes to El Morro.

Car: You can of course also hire a car or take a taxi.


Gas cartridge: There are countless outdoor stores on Tenerife. Near the starting point there is the "Tenerife Outdoor La Laguna" Shop.

Adresse: Av. de la República Argentina, 79, Local Bajo, 38208 La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanien

Provinz: Provinz Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Phone: +34 922 25 26 31


As always, I recommend my video of the tour:

Route

On this tour you will have to stay alternately in apartments or hotels and on official campsites with your tent. I would recommend a reservation as always.


Length: You have to cover about 185 km and 10,000 meters of altitude. I needed a total of eight days for the tour, which is very sporty. For the connoisseur I would recommend 9-10 days.


Day 1: You start in the small mountain village El Morro, not far from the church. I was very moved by the atmosphere there, everywhere you saw hikers, mountaineers or mountain bikers. It was a great feeling! Your adventure begins with a hike uphill to the Montana de Tafada, where you can enjoy the first magnificent view of the northern coast. Then follow the hiking trail along the coast until you finally reach your destination of the day, San Antonio. Enjoy the romantic twilight in the Anaga Mountains.

Tenerife pico del teide

Day 2: San Antonio is a very quiet place. I was able to really unwind there. I loved the salty smell of the sea and the sounds of nature there. Your hike continues along the coast on the second day. Enjoy again the breathtaking views, before it goes through another gorge, in the mountains. A mountain and jungle hike then follows until you finally reach Tegueste, your destination for the day. Tegueste is a larger town connected to other small villages. There is pretty much everything there. So, the opportunity for you to replenish your food and water supplies.


Because of the long distance and the sweaty altitude you have to overcome, I would like to recommend you at this point my ultra light hiking gear:

I would also like to recommend my beloved Salewa trekking shoes because of the mountain and jungle scenery and the challenging mountain trails:

"Only where you have been on foot have you really been". Quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
gr 131 long distance hiking tenerife

Day 3: The third day is probably the least scenic. However, you will see some highly unusual buildings on the way, which are really worth visiting. The fauna and flora will also delight you as a nature lover. Look out for dragon trees! So your hike is basically over hills, fields and through villages. At some point you will pass very close to the and airport, which I found very exciting at the time. After the village "La Esperanza" you slowly reach the jungle of Tenerife. The exciting part you will experience the next day. Before that, you will reach your destination for the day, the "Zona de Acampada de Las Calderetas", where you will spend your first night in a tent.


Don't forget to take an emergency bivouac with you. It consists of an emergency blanket that is cold-resistant, a whistle and a mini compass. It should be in your rucksack on every hike anyway.

As the old Scottish saying goes: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!"

Day 4: The campsite was very idyllic in a forest. I woke up gently to the soft sound of the nearby river and the cheerful chirping of birds. There is no place where you can enjoy nature and the simplicity of life as much as on a campsite on such a morning. I hope you experience a similar beautiful moment during your tour. But now we come to the exciting part of the fourth day, you can expect a grandiose mountain tour through the jungle of Tenerife. You will pass some places that offer you beautiful views of the island and the wide sea. Your destination for the day is again a campground with the bureaucratic sounding name "Zona de Acampada La Caldera". The campsite is idyllically located in a pine forest.

hiking in tenerife

Day 5: The fifth day is perhaps the shortest hiking day. You have to continue up the mountain through the "Parque Natural de Corona Forestal". In between, your eyes will be drawn to the gigantic "Pico del Teide" every now and then. He is already an immense lump. Since you have then already left the jungle and there is little shade and you are also permanently exposed to the movements of the air, I recommend you at this point my beloved "Piz Buin Mountain" sunscreen, as well as my ultra light sun cap and wind blocker.

Sun cap

"The sun also shines behind the clouds." Quote from Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander

At the end you reach the barren volcanic landscape of the "Parque Nacional del Teide". I could hardly believe my eyes there. The landscape is simply overwhelming. Unbelievable! Since the next day many meters of altitude are waiting for you, you should rest extensively. Then look forward to the next day, he will be a very special!


Day 6: If you have spent the night at the Refugio "Altavista" like I did, then I would strongly recommend the sunrise. Goosebumps! Some adventurers have also hiked up at night, so that is also recommended! The trail is not particularly difficult, but you should have a headlamp with you. It makes it easier to walk. Also remember the sunset, it is a wonderful and spiritual experience! Enjoy the pictures in the slider below!

Day 7: After a wonderful night in the Refugio "Altavista" it goes for you over an adventurous mountain path down to the "Parque Nacional del Teide". On the way you will pass the "Pico Viejo" and "Pico Sur", which you should have a closer look at. In the park you should still go the round hiking trail, there are really bizarre but worth seeing rock formations. At the end of the day the moon landscape is waiting for you. It is small but nice. Your day ends at a campsite in a pine forest.


Day 8: On the last day I had to process all the impressions I have gained so far. I knew that my trip was coming to an end soon and was looking forward to a last upcoming hike. You then have to go down into the valley and always have wonderful views of the west coast of Tenerife. If you made it, you earned my respect! Not an easy trip, but unforgettably beautiful. Congratulations!

gr131 tenerife

Accommodation

Wild camping is forbidden on Tenerife but allowed with a permit on official state campsites. You can find the link further down in the article.


Here is my booking recommendation:

Day1: In San Antonio you can book an apartment or hotel room.

Day2: In Tegueste you can book an apartment or hotel room.

Day8: If the stage is too long then you can book an apartment or hotel room in Vilaflor.


The campsites in Tenerife

There is one basic rule you should follow when camping: Wild camping is prohibited on Tenerife and is punishable by heavy fines. The best way to avoid this is to go to one of the 19 or so commercial campsites. You will find them mainly along the coast and along this long distance walk. Some campsites also offer you the possibility to stay in small cabins. This type of camping, known as "glamping", is especially suitable for beginners. There is a glamping site aim northeast, on the edge of the Anaga Mountains. The campsite in question, called "Agro Camping Invernaderito", is picturesquely located in the middle of a dragon tree plantation and is far away from the hustle and bustle of the well-known beach resorts.


Camping and hiking in the interior of the island

Besides the commercial campsites on the coast, there are state campsites (Zonas de Acampada) in the interior of the island, which are even free of charge. These are located near nature reserves in the beautiful mountain forests of the island and are mainly aimed at hikers. On the homepage of the island administration (Cabildo de Tenerife) you can obtain the permits comfortably online. A calendar shows you if there are still places available in the desired period. On the site you will also find a complete overview of the nature campsites. The facilities are mostly very simple, but the nature and landscape are all the more impressive.


Halve the daily budget: You can book a hotel or apartment in any city. This works best with "Booking" or "Airbnb". This way you can also simply halve stages if they are too long for you.


For optimal preparation for any tours, I recommend the workouts on my Youtube channel:

Weather and best time to travel

Tenerife often has a mix of sun, wind and clouds. The best time to travel to Tenerife is from April to October. The weather is consistently warm and invites both a beach vacation and an active vacation. For a winter vacation with snow guaranteed on Pico del Teide, the best time to travel is between December and February. On the low plains it remains mild with temperatures between 20-21 degrees Celsius. The spring and autumn months are the best time to travel to Tenerife, especially for hiking and trekking tours. It is not too hot and not too cold to explore the largest Canary Island. In principle, you can do the tour all year round, but in winter, the "Pico del Teide" could be covered with snow. So check before you start your tour.

If we want to travel far, we must first cross the near; if we want to climb high, we must start at the bottom. Confucius 551 B.C. - 479 B.C.
gr131 tenerife

More information about crossing the island

ATM and credit cards are available in many places. You should still take cash with you on your trip.


Water: Unfortunately, you can't always find it. Look that your water tank is always well filled. I usually had about 3.5 liters with. Especially in the mountains, the water is significantly less. You should take a Water filter with you. The water may be clear, but it can still contain impurities, such as animal excrement or dead animals. However, you can also boil the water.

Animals or vermin: No poisonous reptiles or dangerous animals, such as snakes, scorpions or the like, are found anywhere in the Canary Islands. Even the lizards and geckos that can be found in many places are completely harmless.


Altitude sickness: Altitude sickness is caused by the reduced oxygen supply at high altitudes. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, excitability, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath and confusion. At barely 4000m altitude, altitude sickness can already get you. Therefore, I recommend that you take it slow on the ascent. Take your time!


Surefootedness: To be safe on the trail, sure-footedness and the right footwear are the most important factors - after all, falls due to tripping and slipping are the most common cause of accidents when hiking. So remember: the right footwear and the right walking technique are therefore incredibly important. You are sure to find the right footwear in the article below!


Dangers: Teide's last eruption occurred in 1909, but the volcano is still active and is classified as "potentially dangerous." However, geologists are constantly monitoring Teide for signs of an impending eruption. I strongly suspect, should there be any danger from volcanic activity, the park administration would respond immediately and close the park. However, check thoroughly online before your tour.


Permit: In order to enter the summit area of the Teide volcano, you need a permit from the park administration. You can apply for this permit online through the park's official website. There are a limited number of permits available each day. It is therefore advisable that you book early. https://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es/real/parquesnac/usu/html/detalle-actividad-oapn.aspx?ii=8DEU&cen=2&act=1


There are two types of permits: One for access to the summit area and one for access to the cable car. The permit for the summit area allows you to visit the summit of Teide. The permit for the cable car allows you to visit the viewpoint at the altitude of 3,555 meters. With a reservation at Refugio Altavista, a sunset permit is included.


In the very early morning hours, there were no park rangers far and wide where I was.


Long-distance hiking trails in Europe: 90 routes, all countries

Wild & adventurous: these are the most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in Europe.


Safety advice

All the safety rules of mountain sports also apply to hiking and trekking! You can find the safety rules in the link below:

gr 131 tenerife

Recommended stages for crossing the island

1) La Cumbrilla nach San Antonio ca. 20km und 1200hm

2) San Antonio nach Tegueste ca. 26km und 1300hm

3) Tegueste nach Zona de Acampada de Las Calderetas ca. 25km und 1200hm

4) Zona de Acampada de Las Calderetas nach Zona de Acampada La Caldera ca. 25km und 1300 hm

5) Zona de Acampada La Caldera nach Refugio del Grupo ca. 16km und 1200hm

6) Refugio del Grupo nach Refugio de Altavista ca. 21km und 1500 hm

7) Refugio de Altavista nach Campamento Madre del Agua ca. 21km und 1200hm

8) Refugio de Altavista nach Campamento Madre del Agua ca. 21km und 1200hm (but can be halved at Vilaflor de Chasna)

On the way you will cross the following peaks:

Montaña de Tafada - Peak 1,9 km

Degollada de las Escaleras - Mountain pass 33,6 km

Lomo la Bandera - Peak 47,4 km

Montaña de la Atalaya - Peak 48,2 km

Cruz de Frejel - Refuge (unmanaged) 111,8 km

Riscos de la Fortaleza (2.164 m) - Peak 113,5 km

Degollada del Cedro - Mountain pass 114,2 km

Refugio de Altavista - Refuge 125,5 km

Höhle (gesperrt) - Cave entrance 125,9 km

Pico del Teide (3.715 m) - Volcano 127,8 km

Pico Viejo (3.134 m) - Volcano 131,5 km

Pico Sur (3.099 m) - Peak 132,5 km

La Catedral (2.144 m) - Peak 142,2 km

Degollada de Ucanca - Mountain pass 146,8 km

Guajara (2.718 m) - Peak 148,6 km

Montaña Bermeja (1.883 m) - Peak 155,0 km

Campamento Madre del Agua - Refuge 156,4 km

Montaña de la Vica - Peak 166,3 km

Roque de los Brezos (1.108 m) - Peak 176,4 km

Roque Imoque (1.107 m) - Peak 177,2 km

Vento - Settlement 181,4 km

Arona (621 m) - City

gr131 tenerife

Packing list

Here I recommend the most important hiking equipment that I own, have tested myself and have also bought myself. I pay a lot of attention to the weight and quality of my equipment. The equipment should simply feel good on longer tours and also be light. I can recommend the equipment for women because my wife uses it and it is basically the same as the equipment for men.


Note: Please keep in mind that the packing list is general and you will have to adapt it depending on the season and your needs!


Advertising note: These product links are affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, I will receive a small commission without you having to pay more. This is for the maintenance of my blog and you support me with my project, for which I am very grateful. Thank you very much!


Clothes

Hiking boots

Hiking shorts


Long hiking pants


Functional shirt


Hybridjacket


Fleece-jacket


Rain jacket


Functional underwear


Hiking socks


Other hiking equipment:

Sun cap


Hiking backback (approx. 60 litres or as required)

by EXPED - unfortunately not available on Amazon.

Backback - Ospray (was my old one and is also good)


Technology and orientation:

Compass

• GPS device or GPS watch if necessary

• Binoculars if necessary


Catering:

• Sweets to keep up morale :)


Health & first Aid:

First Aid (small and light)

Tape

Bivouac

• Toilet paper


Other:

• Passport/Insurance certificate

• cash

• Gas cartridge


Film equipment:

Drone

Tripod

Clip

tenerife gr131

GPX and map information (Tenerife trail map)

The GPX files are available for download from the following providers.


Outdooractive: https://out.ac/3vJiir


Komoot:


Bergfex: https://www.bergfex.at/sommer/kanaren/touren/fernwanderweg/2658310,gr-131-fernwandern-auf-teneriffa-nord-sued/


Here is the route on the map (Tenerife trail map):

teneriffa trekking fernwandern Trail map

Conclusion

The island crossing with a length of almost 105 km is a fantastic long-distance hiking trail that offers an incredible amount. It shows a cross section of the beautiful landscape of Madeira. I really enjoyed the tour! It is my absolute favorite tour. Have a great time and good luck ;)


As always, I would be very happy about a feedback via one of my channels.



Feel free to leave me a comment here as well.

 
Hikingfex

Hello, I am Christian, the chief globetrotter of this Site and an enthusiastic adventurer, hiker and filmmaker. I love to explore new paths and inspire people with them, and I love to share my hiking knowledge with you! You can also find my videos on YouTube! On my blog you can find tips for beginners and professionals on the greatest and most beautiful hiking tours there are. I want to encourage people to explore the world as a hiker, whether in the countryside, through the forest or in the mountains. True to the motto: If you haven't hiked, you haven't seen the world,

On my blog, I also write about hiking gear, the right summit training and nature conservation, as well as tips and information about hiking.


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