Destinations Europe Hiking Spain

Discover Anaga Rural Park: Escape to Tenerife’s Ancient Mountain Range

Anaga Rural Park is a protected natural area in the northeastern tip of Tenerife, Canary Islands.  This mountainous region full of craggy peaks and deep ravines was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015.

Anaga earned its UNESCO status in part because it encompasses the largest Laurel forest on the island and many other endemic plants. It’s also the oldest part of Tenerife, as it was formed by a volcanic eruption 7 to 9 million years ago.

Though Spain’s largest Canary Island might be famous for resort towns and package tourism, it also harbors many unspoiled and mysterious places like Macizo de Anaga.

Here, you can eat in cave dwellings, hike through sub-tropical forests, and swim in natural pools. Though many people visit Anaga in a single day, we recommend 3 full days. 

In this guide to visiting Anaga Rural Park, we’re sharing our favorite trails, places to swim, and scenic roads.

Taganana to Playa de Tamadite Hike, Anaga Mountains, Tenerife, Spain

 Anaga Rural Park Map

How to Get to Anaga Rural Park

Anaga Rural Park, Northern Anaga Coast

Anaga Rural Park can be accessed from many different roads and villages in northeastern Tenerife. There’s no “park entrance” or “park gate.”

From Santa Cruz de Tenerife, drive north along the coast to Igueste de San Andrés, or drive across the range from San Andrés to Taganana via TF-12 and TF-134.

From La Laguna, you can drive the entire Anaga Mountain Road, ending in Chamorga. Alternatively, you can drive to Punta del Hidalgo, and start a number of hikes into the Anaga range.

Essential Info for Visiting Anaga Rural Park

Taganana Village, Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife, Spain

Entrance Fee | Parque Rural de Anaga is free for everyone. There are no entrance fees or parking fees. However, parking at trailheads can be very limited, so it’s best to get an early start.

Visitor Information | Visit Centro de Visitantes del Parque Rural de Anaga in Cruz del Carmen to get advice on hiking trails and transit in the park. You can purchase trail maps and pamphlets at the visitor center as well. 

Permits | While most of Anaga Rural Park is accessible to the public without permits, there are some areas that are off-limits unless you have a permit. For example, if you want to see the Enchanted Forest (Bosque Encantado / El Pijaral), you must secure a free permit before your visit (1-3 months ahead of time). 

Safety | Only explore Anaga on clear days. When it’s foggy, visibility is very low and driving can be dangerous in the park. Additionally, forest walks are dangerous, because you’ll be walking on wet, slippery leaves.

Food | There are a few taverns and restaurants throughout Anaga Rural Park, but they’re not always open. We highly recommend bringing water and snacks with you.

Theft | Never leave valuables in your car. Throughout Tenerife, rental cars are often targeted by thieves because tourists leave their possessions in plain sight. We recommend peeling off your rental car sticker as well.

Essentials | Hiking boots, water, sun protection (sunglasses, sun lotion, sun hat), and a map. We used Maps.me (offline maps app) to find trailheads and follow trails.

Rental Car

The most efficient way to travel between hiking destinations in Anaga Rural Park is with your own car.

We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Tenerife. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your can rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here.

Anaga Hiking Trails

Hiking in Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife, Spain

Anaga Rural Park has an extensive network of trails. Many trailheads are located in remote areas, so a rental car is very helpful in getting around the park.

We used the Tenerife Rother Walking Guide to find out where to hike. Though the English translation could be a lot better, the guidebook was nevertheless tremendously helpful.

Here’s a list of our favorite day hikes in Anaga. You can read more about these trails in our Anaga hiking guide.

Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop TrailIgueste to Atalaya de los InglesesPunta del Hidalgo – Chinamada – Las CarbonerasRoque de Taborno Taganana to Playa de Tamadite Trail of the Senses Forest Walk

Scenic Roads in Anaga Rural Park

Driving through Anaga Rural Park is a wonderful experience. However, the roads are steep, narrow, and windy.

Viewpoints along the Anaga roads can get crowded really easily. For a more enjoyable visit, start your Anaga day trip early.

TF 134

TF 134, Anaga Rural Park - Scenic Roads, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The only way to get to the village of Taganana and the hamlet of Benijo is via the TF-134. This road cuts through the Anaga range and delivers heavenly views of Taganana and the northern Anaga coastline.

As you drive to Taganana, make sure to stop at the lookout point called Mirador del Risco Mogote, or Mirador “Risco Magoje” (Google Maps). Shortly before arriving at the viewpoint, there will be a brown road sign with the text: “megoje.”

From here, you can safely enjoy views of the Anaga rocks (Roques de Anaga) off to the right and Taganana below, on the left.

Anaga Mountain Road

Mirador De Jardina, Anaga Mountain Road, TenerifeMirador de Jardina

The Anaga High Mountain Road connects La Laguna with Chamorga and follows the main ridge of the Anaga massif.

From this road, you can descend into idyllic villages like Taborno, Afur, and Carboneras.

Best Swimming Spots in Anaga Rural Park

Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife, SpainPlaya de Las Teresitas

Bounded by the ocean, the Anaga mountain range literally plunges into the sea. There are a number of natural pools and beaches around the Anaga Peninsula you can explore. Some are easy to access, while others require some determination.

The safest places to swim are the man-made natural pools (piscina natural) that offer shelter from the strong ocean waves.

The Best Beaches and Pools

Playa de Las Teresitas – golden sandy beach north of Santa Cruz. This is the most kid-friendly beach on the Anaga Peninsula.Piscina Natural Punta Del Hidalgo – Natural pool Piscina Natural de Bajamar – Natural pool

These are popular beach destinations. We didn’t swim at any of these beaches, b/c of high tide and lack of proper gear (e.g. water shoes).

Playa de Benijo – The beach at Benijo, accessible by car and then a steep staircase. Playa de Antequera – You can hike here from Igueste.Playa de Roque Bermejo – You can hike here from Chamorga, or Benijo.

Where to Stay When Exploring Anaga Rural Park

La Laguna

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, or simply La Laguna, is located inland, 10.5 km from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. If you stay in La Laguna, you’re well-positioned to reach Punta del Hidalgo, Cruz del Carmen, and the Anaga Mountain Road.

You can also use local buses to reach trailheads and do point-to-point hikes, like Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo.

Furthermore, La Laguna is one of Tenerife’s most charming cities, offering plenty of dining options amidst colonial architecture. During your visit, don’t miss out on the city’s bustling marketplace: Mercado Municipal de San Cristobal de la Laguna.

Budget | Casa Del Casco Historico is a centrally located guesthouse in La Laguna, walking distance to many restaurants and cafés in the historic center. Guests have access to a shared kitchen, lounge, garden, and terrace. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided.

Midrange | La Laguna Gran Hotel is a top-rated hotel in the heart of La Laguna’s old town, featuring a stylish lobby entrance, clean and spacious bedrooms, a rooftop pool (seasonal), and an on-site restaurant. Highlights of staying here are the central location, breakfast buffet, and the warm and friendly atmosphere. You can park in the hotel’s parking garage (extra charge), or in a free car park behind the hotel.

Luxury | ​​Hotel Boutique San Diego – Adults Only stands out with its elegant, yet cheerful interior design, intimate atmosphere, and lovely gardens. Guests love the breakfast featuring local products, the spacious and modern bedrooms, and the helpfulness of the hosts (booking dinner reservations and taxis, personal recommendations). The hotel is a 10-15 minute walk to the old town.

Look for accommodatoin in La Laguna.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Though not as photogenic as La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife feels genuine and local. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean each morning was a real treat.

Also, if you stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it’s easy to access Playa de Las Teresitas (Tenerife’s most beautiful beach), the white-washed village of Igueste de San Andrés (trailhead), and TF 134 (scenic road to Taganana and Benijo).

Budget | Casa Weyler is a friendly and centrally located bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz. Guests have access to a large communal kitchen and lounge and balcony (6th floor) with mountain and sea views.

Mid-Range | EDI Astoria impresses easily with its bright and cheerful interior. Each modern unit has it’s own fully equipped kitchen and dining space. EDI Astoria is located in the center of the city, which is very convenient, but it can also get noisy at night.

Luxury | Monkey House (3 nights minimum stay) is the best option for a family. This gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is modern, impeccably clean, and well-equipped. Free private parking included.

Source: moonhoneytravelers

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