On Tenerife, we rented a car for three days. The first day we drove across the eastern tip and the Anaga Rural Park. On the second day, we went across the island, via Mount Teide. And on the third and last day, we planned to drive across the western tip. That’s where you find the Teno Rural Park or Parque Rural del Teno in Spanish.
Lunch in El Tanque
When I saw the name “El Tanque” on the map, my first thought was the Swedish word “tanke“. It means thought. Well, we did need to think about what to have for lunch at once we arrived in the small town. Something that there is plenty of on Tenerife is cozy restaurants along the roads. And indeed, we did find a place of our liking in El Tanque. Apart from the food and the beautiful views, there was not much to see. So, we continued our journey.
Camino Real las Arenas to Buenavista del Norte
So how to continue from El Tanque to Buenavista del Norte? There are two ways. The bigger road continues all the way down to the northern coast. There it takes a turn to the west towards Buenavista. We opted for the other alternative. Following the signs to La Tierra del Trigo, the route to Buenavista was much shorter, also taking us along the road Camino Real las Arenas. This road was offering a bit more of an adrenaline kick than I had expected. It is a steep serpentine road leaving the village and going down the cliffside. It is narrow, with 360-degree-turns and it seems to never end. Imagine taking the hard ski slope by mistake and you are slowly almost going back and forth with shaky legs.
Once down from the hill it was just a short drive to Buenavista del Norte and I was more than happy to get out of the car and stretch my legs. On the road, we also passed yet one more volcano – the Montaña de Taco. Which’s name remembered me once more of Swedish traditions and the thought of tacos in the weekend.
Buenavista del Norte turned out to be further from the water than we had thought. However, it still offered a nice possibility for a walk. At a street-side café, we made sure to stop so that Susann could enjoy a coffee and Little A could get her daily vacation ice cream.
Teno Rural Park
Teno Rural Park covers an area of 806 square kilometers and includes the famous town of Masca. It is usually Masca that people talk about when it comes to this area. They especially like to mention driving to Masca. Many consider the roads to be some of the more challenging on the touristic routes
Within the area of Teno, you find a landscape filled with massive ravines and large steep cliffs. The area has great biodiversity with endemic plants and animals. There is one main road going through the area. That is the TF-436 between Buenavista del Norte and Santiago del Teide. Along the road, there are multiple viewpoints and possible stops.
Enjoying the Views around Masca
For us, the visit meant that we entered Tena Rural Park from Buenavista del Norte. From here the road is good and wide for the first part and it takes some time while you climb uphill before you reach any good place to stop and enjoy the view. I must say that it was probably easier to drive in this direction. However, I guess that it would probably have been a nice view down towards the coast when going towards Buenavista.
When driving, look out for the Spanish word “Mirador“. That usually means that there is a good spot ahead to stop and enjoy the view. We made multiple of these stops, to let Little A out and rest. There were so many turns on the road so we worried about her getting car sick.
The road is soon getting more and more narrow with many turns and bends. Nature really is amazing with great views when crossing the ridges and descending down towards the next valley. The views in Masca are probably some of the most stunning, but wait until you start the climb up towards Santiago del Teide. This is the most challenging part of the drive as the road is really steep and narrow. I was worried from time to time that our rental car wouldn’t make it to the top. This really proved that Tenerife can be as challenging as driving on Madeira.
We will try to let the photos below explain the rest in regards to this road trip.
We really enjoyed our day trip on Tenerife and we can easily recommend this route to anyone. Just make sure to bring water and some extra bags in case someone gets carsick. Also, keep in mind that it takes longer than you would expect to get anywhere really.