Tenerife Stories and Tips

Driving from Masca to Buenavista del Norte

Volcanic cone with slices cut out Photo, Tenerife, Canary Islands

The drive out of Masca towards the town of Buenavista is a lot less stressful than the drive into the village. The road is still steep and winding, but much less so than the road which takes you down into Masca. Also it seemed like most people were going back the way they came, so there was very little traffic.

Be sure to stop at the Mirador Cruz de Hilda, it overlooks the Masca Valley and gives you a different perspective of Masca itself. It is a stunning view. On the information board beside the mirador there is a little story about the life of a crow. It is interesting and explains that the existence of crows here proves the ecosystem is good. Amazingly there was a crow perched on top when we arrived. Take time to read this - it is fun and educational.

As you drive further, you see the El Palmar valley below you. There are terraces growing fruit, cereals and almonds. Something that you also can't fail to see is the huge green and red volcanic mound. It is a bit surreal - there are "slices" cut out of it. It looks just like a giant cake or pie that someone has cut pieces out of. It dominates the entire valley. It was a quarry and the soil was used to build local houses. Apparently though, it tended to collapse on those mining there and thus they ceased doing this.

Eventually you come to the cliffs of the Teno Massif. This is the oldest part of Tenerife, formed 7 million years ago. You see the road carved into the rock, then a gap, a bit like an eye in the rock face that you drive through. The drive looked really interesting and takes you eventually to the Teno lighthouse - the most westerly point of Tenerife. Also you can stop at the "eye" where there is a viewpoint right down onto the cliffs below and the Atlantic Ocean. It is supposed to be scarey and amazing. We unfortunately did not experience any of this though. We saw the eye from the road, but as you approach, they had ominous signs warning against driving on this road if there has been wind or rain. We experienced torrential rain half an hour before, and the previous 2 days had seen a ferocious storm hit the island, so decided this would be too risky a drive.

Instead, we retraced our steps back to Buenavista del Norte. We parked right by the beach there - a black, volcanic sandy beach with huge rocks and boulders and enormous waves. We walked along the beach, enjoying the views of the Teno Massif from here. Maybe not so dramatic as the eye viewpoint, but stunning nevertheless.

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