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Contributed by David Parkes   
Tuesday, 05 August 2008

walking in Tenerife

Tenerife is an island crying out to be explored, with its rugged landscapes, varied scenery and diverse flora and fauna, to remain isolated in your holiday resort is to effectively closet yourself from the real Tenerife.

Whilst most people elect to take a bus tour or hire a car, there is a third way to explore the island, and that is on foot. Tenerife offers some great walks and as the island is relatively small you can see much of its varied scenery in just 2 or 3 days walking.

As you are walking in Tenerife views of the landscapes continuously present themselves and every step offers a new perspective, you can get closer to nature and really connect with the countryside away from the maddening crowds of the traditional tourist attractions.

Most of the popular walks in Tenerife follow well defined footpaths, forestry trails or farm tracks, so they are accessible to pretty much everyone and no special alpine skills are required. Though equally fell-walkers and Munroists will not find themselves without a challenge as there are plenty of peaks which are just begging to be climbed.

The beauty of exploring the island on foot is that you can take things at your own pace, you are not bound by a tour-bus schedule and you don't have to eat poor quality food at a roadside café. Instead you can walk at a leisurely pace, picnic in the pine forests or perhaps have lunch in typical Canarian restaurant in some rural hamlet you probably didn't even know existed.

What is most surprising is just how much of Tenerife you can see during a single day out walking and how much of this you would miss on an ordinary coach tour. You can take in spectacular mountains, deep gorges, rural farmland and lush pine forests. An unlike walking in the UK, the weather rarely spoils the mood. Tenerife is undoubtedly the fair weather walkers paradise.

A lot of the Tenerife walks are detailed in guide books and some are also shown on better tourist maps, however, this is no substitute for an experienced local guide who can offer you unique insights into the island's wildlife, geological features, and history. And if you do find yourself in one of the more remote villages, it helps to have someone on-hand who speaks Spanish.

Whilst a basic level of fitness is required, you don't need to be super-human to enjoy walking in Tenerife. If you walk regularly in the UK perhaps as part of your local Rambling Association you will find walking in Tenerife to be a very rewarding experience. But even if your idea of a walk is a stroll around the park, then there are plenty of easy shorter walks which you can enjoy and use to build yourself up to something more adventurous.

For more information on walking in Tenerife, visit www.tenerifehiking.com where you will find detailed descriptions of many walks and advice on proper preparation and choice of footwear.

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