When catching a glimpse of the forested mountains of Tenerife, haven’t you ever wondered how it might be to explore this area of the island on a handbike? If so, we from Club IODA Tenerife once had the exact same sensation which is why we purchased an all-terrain handbike with electric motor and suspension.
With this bike now you too can experience pine woods and volcanic landscape of the Teno mountains from close. In collaboration with Bike Point Tenerife and Cycling Holidays Tenerife we offer you guided bike tours in the area of Santiago del Teide.
For more information about pricing and possible tours, check out here.
A year ago, the members of the association met for a joint excursion on the forest trail of monte del agua. Since the turn-off to this beautiful place is not so easy to find, we met in Santiago del Teide. On the main road at the end of town there is a barbecue area with parking. This is an excellent place to meet by car. From there we continued together. Just the drive over the pass is worth it. On a nice day, you can admire the volcano Teide in all its glory. And if the weather is not so nice, you should be attentive, sometimes the clouds break and you can suddenly see it after all. There are two viewing spots next to the road where you can stop for a photo. But that is not necessary. At the starting point of our featured hike, the view of the volcano is much better.
Once you’ve reached the top of the pass by car, it’s back down the winding road on the other side for about a quarter of an hour. Now it’s important to stay focused. The turnoff is not easy to find. Before you reach the village of Erjos, you have to take a sharp left. If you miss the entrance, you can turn around in Erjos. This is not bad. If you come from below, it’s easier to find the turn-off. And if you’re not in a wheelchair, you can also park in Erjos and hike up to the start of the hike. But there are plenty of parking spaces at the starting point.
Once you have reached the junction, you can’t really go wrong. Now just follow the road to the right up the mountain to the signposted car park. Several cars can park there without any problems and it is easy to get out with a wheelchair.
A little special tip for electric wheelchair users: you can also leave the car at the bottom of the valley and drive up the tarred road to the car park yourself. The road is not bumpy. You can admire the volcano the whole time. If the weather is fine, the view of “El Teide” is spectacular. You can also admire the flora and fauna along the roadside. Despite the concrete road, you feel like you are in the middle of nature. The metre-high agaves are particularly impressive. When they blossom, it is something very special. Agaves are also called plants of century, as they only flower once and it can take several decades for an inflorescence to form.
However, the agaves worth seeing can also be admired up at the car park. It is not necessary to go up the path in a wheelchair. For paraplegics, the ascent is very sporty! and the actual hiking trail only begins at the car park.
The second meeting of our group was then at the car park above Erjos – the starting point of the hike. It took a while until everyone arrived, as part of the group hiked up from the village. However, the view at the car park is excellent for lingering. The view of the volcano is beautiful. Here, too, you should stay alert in case of clouds and watch to see if the imposing mountain does not suddenly appear between the clouds. In contrast to the tourist places in the south of Tenerife, where the volcano appears much smaller from afar than it actually is, here it appears just as high and imposing as it really is.
The car park is also suitable for photographing the snow-covered volcano in winter. Unfortunately, it is often cloudy in this area and you need a bit of weather luck. However, the hike has its charm even when it is cloudy and the weather can change at any time and the clouds break. A jacket is always advisable.
After we had all said hello a second time, we started. The hike was ideal for our group. Power wheelchair, manuel wheelchair, prosthesis or pram – everyone could come along. First there was a group photo in front of the volcano backdrop. Then we set off. The first 50 m from the car park to the beginning of the hiking trail were in the sun and the temperatures were already very hot. That’s why everyone was happy when we entered the path into the forest.
This moment is magical. The temperatures drop a few degrees and the sounds under the trees are suddenly muffled. The lush green is balm for the eyes and you immediately feel relaxed. Tenerife’s dense rainforest is well worth seeing. In bad weather, however, it can get really chilly. Then you’re glad to have a jacket.
The weather on our hiking day was ideal, however, and we were happy to cool off in the forest. In small groups we walked along the barrier-free path and chatted animatedly. The atmosphere in the forest is very special and there are many things to see. There are also information boards in different languages that explain about the forest. So you can learn something at the same time.
On the right side, the paved path drops steeply. You have to be a bit careful. But the path is wide enough and there is enough space – even for two wheelchair users side by side. In good weather, you can see through the forest down to the coast. This is very impressive. The slopes are steep and impenetrable. The trees are overgrown with other plants and form a real roof over your heads. Despite the paved path, you feel far away from civilisation in the middle of the laurel forest. A great experience.
At the end of the hiking trail, our group then came across a barrier-free viewpoint. Surely the highlight of the hike. A wooden ramp that makes it possible to see over the treetops into the distance. You can look out over square kilometres of impenetrable forest. Through the forest path, you can now imagine a little better what it might look like there. Down on the coast you can see the sea and the waves, and on the horizon you can see La Palma if the weather is good. The view is worth it. And you won’t soon forget the experience in the forest.
At the wooden ramp, the barrier-free hiking trail ends and you can only walk. For wheelchair users, the hike ends here. That’s why our group used the place for a break. After a while, we took the path back to the car park and enjoyed the walk through the forest once more. Even on the way back, you still find things that you didn’t see on the way there. On the way back, we noticed that we could see La Palma through the trees all the time.
The forest trail of monte del agua is a great way for people with disabilities to get a taste of the Tenerife hiking feeling and find themselves in the middle of nature. The hike is suitable for the whole family and is an insider tip far away from the tourist routes.
text: Franziska Quadri