Hiking in the Canary Islands: 13 Best Hikes

Hiking Canary Islands – Best hikes for every level

If you consider hiking in the Canary Islands, there are a million reasons why you should do it. These epic volcanic islands all offer a uniqueness when it comes to vegetation with a delightful mix of deep ravines, lunar landscapes, lava fields, dense fairytale forests, steep peaks, sand dunes, and beguiling views.

Whether you are a new hiker looking for easy walks or a seasoned hiker craving high difficulty levels, there is something for you in the Canary Islands that will take your breath away in more ways than one. Nonetheless, you must wear sturdy hiking shoes even on the easy-rated hikes as the terrain is mostly rocky or volcanic on the Canary Islands.

There is no one best Canary Island for hiking as they are all spectacular and crisscrossed with trails, so to make it a little easier for you, we have listed the best hikes in the Canary Islands here so that you can find the ones that appeal the most to you.

Best Hikes in the Canary Islands

Chinyero Volcano – Tenerife

This loop trail inside Teide National Park taking you around the 1560 meters high volcano, which was actually the last one to erupt in Tenerife in 1909, is one of the most popular hikes in the Canary Islands. Walking in the Canaries does not get much better than this if you are looking for an easy hike to do with the entire family. Just make sure you have good hiking shoes on.

Chinyero Volcano Trail is well-marked and takes you through an incredible ever-changing scenery through pine forests and across lava fields. An imposing Mount Teide as a backdrop is just the icing on the cake.

You will find parking just off the TF-38 road, but since this is one of the most popular hikes in Tenerife, you must come early to secure a parking spot.

Distance: 7.2 km loop, 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Callejón de Teno and Baracán Summit – Tenerife

The Teno Rural park offers some of the best hiking in the Canary Islands and Callejón de Teno and Baracán Summit is a truly epic trek. The trail starts in El Palmar by the visitor center. Since it is a popular hike, you should get there early to secure a parking spot.

Taking you up to the hamlet of Teno Alto past incredible views of Mount Teide, this is a great place to stop for lunch along the way if you do not want to carry a lunch pack.

From there, it is constantly beautiful scenery and views until you reach the ridge which is out of this world. But be aware that there is often fog on the top of the summit and even the weather forecast often gets it wrong as it might be sunny on the rest of the hike.

Distance: 10 km loop, 3 hours 45 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Punta de Hidalgo – Chinamada – Tenerife

One of the most incredible hiking trails the Canary Islands have on the shelf is the Punta de Hidalgo – Chinamada hike. While it gets steep and definitely challenges the fainthearted with its narrowest sections, this is a hike that offers some of the most spectacular views.

You will set eyes on the deep blue sea below, the rolling mountains, interesting cave dwellings, terraced fields, and the lush forests of Anaga Rural Park. It is also a great hike if you like to stop for a cold drink at a bar as it goes to the village of Chinamada where you can rest before returning.

From the village, you can continue up to the impressive Mirador de Aguaide viewpoint for even more spectacular views.

Distance: 9 km out & back, 3 hours 45 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Caldera Blanca – Lanzarote

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The 1200 meters wide Caldera Blanca might just offer some of the best hiking in Canary Islands. The trail takes you past raw, stunning scenery of volcanic landscape before starting the ascent to the top of the 2 million years old caldera where you can take in sweeping 360 views of the epic Timanfaya National Park.

For the easiest descent, make sure you start the hike counterclockwise. This will take you across the smaller Caldereta crater which is about 300 meters in diameter.

To reach this trail, head to Tinajo town, and from there go in the direction of Mancha Blanca. The trail starts from the parking and is easy to follow. You can do this hike with kids that are used to hiking, they will love the moon-like landscape and walking on millions of years old craters.

Distance: 9.5 km loop, 3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Caldera de Los Cuervos – Lanzarote

Walking in the Canary Islands does not get much better than this. Caldera de Los Cuervos is a stunning caldera that is easy to reach. It was formed during the devastating Timanfaya eruption between 1730 and 1736.

Once you get to the caldera, you will walk through an opening to get to the inside, and there, follow the path around the inside of it which reveals incredible rock colors created by the lava.

Besides this, you will also be rewarded by the views of nearby Montaña Negra, the Montaña Colorada as well as the Timanfaya National Park.

This is an easy hike and fairly short which makes it an epic experience for the entire family. However, be prepared for strong winds, and bringing a windbreaker even on a nice sunny day can make a huge difference.

Distance: 4.2 km loop, 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy

The Calderón Hondo Volcano – Fuerteventura

Calderón Hondo is one of many volcanic cones making up the 50.000 years old Bayuyo alignment in northern Fuerteventura and is said to be the most beautiful part of the island. It stretches from La Oliva to Corralejo and consists of eight perfectly circular craters.

It is no surprise that it makes one of the most impressive hikes in the Canary Islands. It is situated just between Lajares and Corralejo towns and is a steep hike that you might do with older kids. That said, it is a steep slope up to the 278-meter-high volcano to get a view of the incredible landscape and into the 70-meter-deep crater.

The safest way is to walk up the west slope as it is the steepest and can be sketchy to slide down on the descent. Nonetheless, this hike offers the best views of Fuerteventura and is a must-do trek.

Distance: 4.7 km loop, 1 hour 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Arco de las Peñitas – Fuerteventura

Taking you through the picturesque Barranco de las Peñitas gorge, this is an incredible hike to one of the most Instagrammable places in Fuerteventura, Arco de las Peñitas. Carved out by harsh weather conditions over thousands of years, the impressive arch is a unique natural wonder, just like the rest of the landscape you will have to cross to get there.

This is a moderate to hard hike that involves a fair bit of scrambling across boulders and volcanic rock which can be sharp at the edges. Thus it is not a great family hike with small children and you need a basic fitness level to do it.

It can also be hard to find the arch as the trail is not marked, so you will have to climb around a bit to find it. The best way to locate it is to search for it on Google Maps (where you will also find the parking well marked) and use that to navigate as it is surprisingly accurate.

Distance: 4.5 km loop

Difficulty: Moderate

Llanos de la Pez – Pico de las Nieves – Gran Canaria

Starting at Llanos de la Pez picnic area this hike takes you up path S-51 until you reach Pico de Las Nieves (1949 masl) which is Gran Canaria’s second-highest peak. The top is mostly fenced off as it serves as a military base, but you can access the viewpoint on the south side of the summit where you will be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the Unesco Biosphere Reserve below.

While you can drive all the way to the top, it is a stunning, well-marked hike, through forests, valleys, and rocky terrain well worth the effort. It is a nice family hike too, as long as you take kids that are used to hiking.

Distance: 6.8 km loop, 2 hours 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Roque Nublo – Gran Canaria

A hike to Gran Canaria’s most prominent natural landmark is a must when visiting the island. The 80 meters tall volcanic rock is situated at 1813 meters above sea level and it is a fairly easy and well-marked hike to get there that can be done by the whole family. Thus there is no excuse not to hike to this imposing natural landmark.

Roque Nublo is the tallest free-standing rock in the world. From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Risco Caído region which is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This is a popular hike, so you should get to the parking lot early to secure a spot. You can buy drinks and snacks in the parking lot.

Distance: 3.1 km out & back, 1 hour

Difficulty: Moderate

The Volcano Trail – La Palma

The Volcano Trail is one of the most impressive volcano hikes in the Canary Islands crossing multiple craters and vast volcanic landscapes. Starting in El Pilar Visitor Center, it first takes you through a lush pine forest before it opens up to incredible views of the Valley of Los Llanos de Aridane and Mt Bejenado Volcano.

Next, you will pass Hoyo Negro and the imposing El Duraznero where you can still see the remnants of the boundless lava lake that once threateningly flushed down the volcano.

You will also pass the highest of the volcanoes in Cumbre Vieja, the Las Deseadas towering 1945 meters above sea level. Besides other incredible crates, like Martín de Tigalate, you will pass the Llano Guanches, a vast land created by the volcanic ashes that once rained there.

The hike ends at Fuencaliente Visitor Center in Los Canarios where you find more information about the volcanoes that erupted at the end stop. You can also walk around San Antonio Volcano. 

One of the best things about this hike is that you are likely to walk above a sea of clouds forming below you which makes the whole walk even more magical.

Note that this is a one-way trail so you must organize transport back to the start of the trail.

Distance: 17.2 km point to point, 7 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Roque de los Muchachos Trail – La Palma

When hiking in La Palma, another must-do hike is Roque de Los Muchachos. Starting at the incredible same-titled viewpoint overlooking a 1500-meter-deep volcanic crater below, it’s very picturesque as you are literally above the clouds all the time.

This area is a must-visit for anyone traveling the island, even if you don’t plan to go on a hike.

The highlight of the hike is reaching the Pico de la Cruz which consists of three summits with incredible views.

Distance: 9.5 km point to point, 3 hours 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Laguna Grande – Alto de Garajonay – La Gomera

Taking you through the UNESCO Garajonay National Park up to La Gomera’s highest peak, Alto de Garajonay, it is safe to say that hiking in Gran Canaria does not get much better than this.

The trail goes through ancient forests which are home to a wide variety of endemic plant and animal species. You will also get a peek at La Fortaleza de Chipude rock formations.

The hike begins at Laguna Grande Visitor Center (Route 14) and is easy until you reach the final steep ascent up to the summit. On the top, you can see a recreation of a flat stone platform that used to be a Guanche religious gathering point. The views are otherworldly and on a clear day, you can even see the highest peak in Spain, the imposing Teide Volcano in Tenerife.

Distance: 11.1 km loop, 3 hours 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

La Llanía – El Hierro

Finally, a lovely place to go walking in the Canary Islands is the scenic La Llanía Pathway. It is an easy to medium-rated hike where you basically can choose whether you want to walk the shortest hike of 4.2 kilometers, the medium length of 5.6 kilometers, or hike the entire 7.4 kilometers circular route.

The hike starts in Valverde at the northeast part of the island, from the parking lot following the Hl-1, and passes through thick forests, unique craters, and incredibly stunning viewpoints like Mirador de la Llanía and the Mirador de Fireba. You can expect sweeping views of the tiny island and the deep blue Atlantic Ocean surrounding it.

Distance: 5.6 km loop, 1 hour 30 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

BONUS: Tenerife Natural Pools

When it comes to immersing yourself in the volcanic landscape of Tenerife, nothing compares to the stunning natural pools that dot the island’s coastline. Created by the erosion of ancient volcanic eruptions and the relentless power of the ocean, these pools are nature’s hidden gems perfect to jump in the ocean after a hike in the surrounding areas:

  1. Charco Chochos: A pool named after the tradition of soaking lupins, providing stunning views of Acantilados de La Culata.
  2. Charco del Diablo: An intriguing pool near La Arena beach, resembling a crown or a beating heart.
  3. Charco de La Laja: A picturesque pool near San Juan de la Rambla, with whimsical shapes and an adjacent beach.
  4. Charco del Viento: A spectacular natural pool formed by the collision of Atlantic waves against black lava rocks.
  5. El Caletón: A collection of pools in Garachico, born from a volcanic eruption, offering a unique blend of fire and water.
  6. Natural Pools of Bajamar: Beautiful and safe pools in the tranquil coastal village of Bajamar, protected by volcanic rock barriers.
  7. Natural Pools of Los Abrigos: Large pools with rich biodiversity in Granadilla de Abona, attracting divers from around the world.
  8. Natural Pools of Mesa del Mar: Year-round pools in Tacoronte, perfect for a refreshing swim in the Atlantic.
  9. Natural Pools of San Telmo: Serene natural pools in Puerto de la Cruz, offering direct access to the sea.
  10. Punta del Hidalgo Natural Pool: Crystal clear waters and abundant marine life make this pool in San Cristóbal de La Laguna a snorkeler’s paradise.
  11. Tab Natural Pool: Recently rehabilitated for improved access, this pool offers a tranquil spot for swimming and relaxation.
  12. Charco de Isla Cangrejo: A natural pool in Isla Cangrejo, providing a peaceful swimming spot when the tide is low.

These 12 natural pools of Tenerife showcase the island’s unique beauty and offer immersive experiences in the midst of nature’s wonders.

 

As we’ve seen, the Canary Islands offer unique and varied landscapes for hikers of all levels, from beginner to experienced. Sturdy shoes are essential for exploring the trails across the islands and enjoying the captivating scenery.

Start planning your next hiking trip with our guide to choosing the best Canary islands to visit.