A little stroll through a Spanish village

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Dogs on roof tops. A common sight in Spanish villages

When my parents decided move to Tenerife they were determined not to end up in one of those pensioner expat villages. Instead they’ve decided to move away from the beach into the hills and the small village of El Rio, Arico. Over ten years they’ve managed to learn the language and become part of the local community. Since then we kids visit on a regular basis.

At first we had to figure out what to do in such a small place, especially if you are used to big city life and you don’t speak Spanish. But there is more to Tenerife than beaches. Many professional and amateur cyclists that use the island as training ground. It’s a real task to make your way, on a bike up the mountain over small winding roads and in extreme heat. I do admire these people but I am glad I don’t have to swap place. I rather sit in front of my parents house with a coffee in the morning and watch the show 😉

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El Rio is located alongside the Barranco Del Rio a ravine that’s famous for rock climbing, canyoning and hiking.

Signpost for the Barranco del Rio

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(prints available for some images)

Presa del Rio

Signpost of the Presa del RioPersonally, I am in love with hiking and like to explore the the trails in the area. Mum and I share this passion and often took the dogs up the the Presa del Rio as it lies pretty much opposite of the house. Because mum hasn’t been well for a while and wasn’t able to hike for almost a year, we decided to take a smaller route of the Presa as our first test hike. To make it more interesting we went in search of an an old bride that apparently takes you over the barranco (canyon). As you’ll see we did it! Mum was so happy, we actually expanded to 8km walk down to El Poris the following week (a separate post to follow) and now we plan the big Las Vegas tour which is more challenging. I am very proud of her and look forward to the hike.

Small note about hiking trails on Tenerife.

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Typical stone pile which marks the right way

Small or big routes, if you decide to set off by yourself rather than a guided tour (of which there are many) be sure to do your homework. Wear proper shoes, bring water and if possible have a map (or GPS on your phone). The local municipals have done a lot to improve the trails over the years and put up many trail signs. But sometimes and on older/ lesser hiked routes, the path may be overgrown, rocky and hard to spot. You may also need to know that sometimes the sign is a traditional little stone pile. It’s nothing to be concerned about but it’s worth to pay attention. Mum and I often decide to start late in the day ( for short routes) because of the heat but be aware that once the sun goes down it gets dark quickly.

Next time you’r on the island try out some hiking. I’d love to hear where and/or what your favourite trail is. Just post a comment below. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. For more videos subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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We spotted the tiny old bridge across the barranco.

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we weren’t quite sure where we can get out. So next time we’ll try it from the other end
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Candelabra cactus

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Relaxing at El Médano beach in Tenerife

 

Tenerife is my home from home. My parents decided to swap cold Germany for the Canary Islands almost a decade ago and since then I am on the island at least twice a year.

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Many come to enjoy the beaches and its all inclusive packages in the South along Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos or to play golf. If so that’s ok but you are unlikely to see any of the beauty of the island. I personally prefer the quieter and authentic parts of the island without the Las Vegas style theatres and full English or Germans bars.

My parents live in the South not far from El Médano (aka “The sand dune”). It’s the wind and kite surf mecca of the Island and very close to the South Airport. You can see it’s coast and famous Montaña Roja (“The Red Mountain”) from the plane during decent.

My mum and I have developed a perfect ritual when in town. First we have a coffee and sometimes breakfast at one of the little beach bars overlooking the bay. Once we’ve gathered our strength we start walking along the 3 km coast into the attached nature reserve, crossing over until we reach Playa La Tejita. Once we return, we choose the beach bar that offers the perfect angle to ogle the wind and kit surfers.

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Playa La Tejita is located on the opposite site of Montaña Roja. The sea is a bit rougher and if the stars align right you might see whales (although I have yet to be so lucky). Because it is more secluded, it’s less busy and there are no shops and only basic facilities. There is one bar at the opposite edge of this cove (at least another 15min walk). It’s also the official nudist beach so be prepared for the sights 😉

 

 

 

If you want the perfect view over the entire coast, take the hike up Montaña Roja. If you are reasonable fit it’s not a difficult walk. But I would recommend proper shoes and a hike before midday and maybe not necessarily on day with strong winds. Mum and I hiked it a few years back (see images below).

 

 

 

This time around we just took a walking with a family friend although with the extreme wind we had a real work out. I am still finding sand in places where no sand should be … Our reward – seeing great waves.

(prints available for some images)

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Beside beaches Tenerife has great hiking trails and outdoor rock climbing. I am here for a few weeks and should certainly take a few hikes. Just keep an eye on my next post and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. For more videos subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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