When a mountain aficionado thinks "Tenerife", the first thought which comes to his mind is Teide. But there's so much more Tenerife has to offer!
Besides Teide National Park, another absolute must-hike/must-see is Anaga mountains. They are located in north-east part of Tenerife and are natural treasure of the island. Anaga mountains are volcanic and were formed by eruption about 7 million years ago. This mind-blowing fact makes this area the oldest part of Tenerife - you'll see there plants which are very rare in Europe by now as it's hard to come by such old vegetation in 21st century.
Most tourists (including ourselves) are based in the south of Tenerife island. That's why the best way to get to Anaga mountains is by car. We rented our car using Cicar and were happy about our choice. Traveling from Los Cristianos to Chamorga (the most remote village in Anaga mountains) took us about 2 hours. Knowing our "luck" with public transportation, getting there by bus would take us 2 days.
Beware - there's rather narrow and very devious road TF123 leading to Anaga mountains.
It's a bit dangerous at some points so I strongly recommend to drive as slowly and cautiously as possible, especially in the second part, after passing Chinobre mirador (brilliant views by the way, definitely worth stopping by).
The views and the nature of Anaga mountains are truly breathtaking but let the admiring be the privilege of passenger - the driver has to keep his breath and pay full attention to the road, as quite a lot of driving skill is needed on TF123. Truth is, we REALLY didn't like seeing other cars coming from the opposite direction, though we consider ourselves to be somewhat experienced in driving on sinuous mountain roads.
On our way we passed El Bosque Encantado (The Enchanted Forest). It looked like a wild forest taken straight from some dinosaur film, a real treat for every nature admirer - humid laurel forest with lots of ferns and twisted trees covered in moss. I wish we had more time to hike there as well!
As our hiking destination we chose PR TF 6 and PR TF 6.1 trails leading along Barranco de Roque Bermejo and Casas Blancas. It took us about 4 hours to hike them. Those trails are very interesting - firstly PR TF 6 goes through a big gorge with many caves and exuberant vegetation, then it changes into seaside walk and then PR TF 6.1 turns out to be rocky and narrow path leading back to Chamorga village. Plus goats blocking the trail.
The best possible views are from Faro de Anaga - a picturesque lighthouse. The old majestic cliffs merge with deep blue ocean - those views will stay in your memory forever!
Also, I don't think I've ever had a chance to breathe a better air - the wind coming from the ocean and mixing with fresh air cleaned by abundant vegetation of Anaga mountains is nutrient, it makes you feel good both physically and mentally. I think that even people with deep depression would feel great there!
It's actually hard to describe the awe you feel there - you need to experience it for yourself. Maybe it's the good energy of nature and no Wi-fi which make this seaside so outstanding?
What I cannot say about this trail is that it's good for families with children. We didn't see there any youth below 15 years old and that's good - this trail's not adequate for brisk youngsters. There are many chasms and steep gorges. Also, the trail gets very narrow at some points and quite a lot of caution is needed, as one reckless steep on loose treacherous stone can get you into real trouble.
Oh, and I must also warn you about the goats.
The goats and their noises.
They let out some strange sounds (my parents had goats in the past and they sounded completely different). Their scream echos in the mountains, which makes it even more bizarre. I swear I didn't have a clue what issued such a weird sounds until I finally saw a big goat on the verge of a cliff.
Truth is, you'll meet more goats than hikers in this part of Anaga mountains. And I like it.
So, to sum up, you have outstanding views, diversified trail, fantastic air, exotic vegetation and goats as your hiking companions. That's more than enough for me! Definitely going back there soon!