Tenerife is an amazing winter holiday destination, a perfect escape from dark and chilly European winter. Average winter temperatures are above 20 C degrees during the daytime and the ocean temperature is about the same. When it comes to things to do, there is surely no shortage of cool activities, including volcano visit, fantastic natural pools, theme parks. And Tenerife has many hiking routes, including the Masca Gorge Walk which probably the most famous route in Tenerife.
Masca Tenerife Gorge walk
Start point: Masca village
Trek Distance: 8 km/ 5 miles
hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Is Masca Gorge Walk for everyone?
Masca walk is certainly not for everyone! You need to be sure about your health and skills before you start descending from the village towards the ocean. Bad knees, back pain and weak legs can cost you some serious injuries. There is nothing wrong with turning back once you realize you aren’t fit enough.
The popular Tenerife trail is very isolated and has no access to public transport, no roads and difficult even for a helicopter to reach. If something happens on the trail, evacuation will be very tricky and expensive. That’s why the guides evaluated everyone before starting the tour and sometimes they do send people back.
What to expect during the walk?
Masca Gorge Walk starts in a small mountain village with around 90 inhabitants, at an altitude of 650 m/ 2,132 ft. Then it leads you to a deserted beach where a boat picks you up. The total length of the trek is about 8 km/ 5 miles and most hikers finish the trek in 3.5 hours.
On the way to the ocean, you will be following a stream bed down a ravine. The path is not very well-marked, but on the other hand, there is little space for error. So either follow other hikers or just use your common sense – it would be difficult to get lost.
Plan your time wisely, as you would need to stop often for beautiful views and photo opportunities. The best views are at the beginning of the trek. Later on, the gorge will start to get narrower with falling rock danger, so be careful. We spotted some goats on the rock walls and a few lizards.
Do you love hiking? Read more beautiful day hikes in the UK here
Masca gorge Walk Tour vs DIY
You don’t have to take a tour to enjoy Masca Gorge Walk. To do it yourself, you would have to drive to Los Gigantes and leave your car there. Take a taxi to Masca village and pre-book your water taxi tickets in advance. The price for a taxi to Masca village will be around 25€ and the water taxi is 10€.
We found it easier and more convenient to book a tour with a local company. For the price of 49€ we got:
- Bus transfer to and from our hotel
- English-speaking guide for the tour
- Hiking boots and walking sticks for the tour
- 1.5L water bottle, sandwich and banana
- Water taxi to Los Gigantes
- It was fast and convenient, plus we weren’t alone on the trail which is always a bonus
Getting to Masca village
The road leading to Masca is an experience in itself. If you get easily seasick or afraid of heights, get ready for “fun ride”. The best way is perhaps not to look outside at all. On the other hand, the view is stunning! The road is curvy with very few places for two cars to pass each other. This short ride made the bus driver a hero in our eyes.
Equipment and gear for Masca Gorge Walk
It is essential to wear very comfortable hiking boots, preferably with high ankles. The reason is simple – it’s not a walk in the park. 95% of the time you will be climbing down uneven steps, more often than not stepping on the stones (sometimes wet). And at some points, there will be no path or road at all. This literally means using your hands and legs to slide down the rocks.
Walking poles seem more of a burden to me. Sure, they offer you some stability but can make it hard when you need to use both your hands. If you can’t do without them, take just one. Wearing the gloves makes a lot of sense, to protect your hands. As you will be progressing along the path, your legs will be getting tired and accidents may occur. So watch your steps all the time, even when the ocean is already in sight!
At the end of the 3.5-hour Masca Gorge Walk, you will be rewarded with a refreshing swim in the ocean. However, if the weather is windy, swimming next to boat quay can be tricky due to strong waves. We headed to the left side for a beach, which was closed to due to falling rock danger. So visit at your own risk! On the positive note – black sand, huge waves and warm sea temperature made it so enjoyable!
Boat ride to Los Gigantes
As if there wasn’t enough adventure already for the day, the boat ride was a fun experience! Getting on the boat was not for the faint-hearted, especially when waves kept on pushing the boat off the quay. One had to wait for the right moment and then quickly grab the handles and jump on board before the boat was pushed away again.
If it wasn’t for the very welcoming crew, I would have been scared at the open waters, when our little boat was shaking and rocking on the waves, splashing against its hull. Nothing to worry about though – the crew even offered us free drinks. The ride was hardly longer than 20 minutes. Despite all the fun, I was glad when it was over.
Would I do Masca gorge Walk again?
Absolutely! The Masca Gorge Walk is so amazing, the views are spectacular, I wish we had more time to stop and look around, as we didn’t see much because of watching the steps all the time.
For me, it was an easy walk because I was physically fit from going to the gym regularly, but my friends had some muscle aches for the next few days. So you definitely need to work out a bit and get yourself in shape. If you’d like to learn about more fun activities in Tenerife, visit Top 5 things to do in Tenerife.
*Prices correct at time of writing (December 2017)
Have you hiked in Tenerife? Did you for the Masca Gorge walk? Tell me about your experience in the comments below or message me on Facebook
Love hiking? Check out more great hikes in Europe here
About the author
Maria is a travel blogger who loves outdoor activities, trekking and cultural trips. On her travels, she likes to explore the beauty of our planet, create precious memories and share wisdom with her blog readers.
Her favourite destinations are Italy, Spain and Nepal.
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