Tenerife on two wheels: Mountain biking in the forest of Anaga
I was initially looking to “cheat” and do a bit of e-biking when I recently found myself on the Spanish island of Tenerife. I was on a work trip and had travelled to the island for the annual Tenerife Walking Festival, but besides walking, I was looking to experience the island in other ways.
As I’m neither in amazing shape or an experienced mountain biker, I thought e-biking would be a good way to go, but I ended up going for the good old purely pedal-powered type mountain biking.
My local guide Nestor was extremely experienced within outdoor activities (hiking, climbing, diving, biking… you name it!) and besides that, he was very knowledgeable about the island and its unique nature.
SEE ALSO: Whale watching in Tenerife
Nestor took me from my base in Puerto de la Cruz to the mountains of Anaga on the northeastern tip of the island and before reaching our destination, we paused for a photo-stop overviewing the town of La Laguna and its breathtaking surroundings. Up here, it was even possible to spot the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
Reaching the laurel forest of Anaga, it struck me just how diverse the nature of Tenerife really is. Just the day before, I was hiking past cacti in dry and desert-looking landscapes, and here we were in lush green surroundings that could look like somewhere in Wales or Scotland – the muddy forest floor included.
So after choosing my helmet and being warned that I might get a bit dirty, we rolled on into a misty tunnel of green in an area that seemed a million miles away from the touristy beaches and crowded hotels of southern Tenerife. A place also excellent for finding mushrooms, I was told. So just a tip, if that is your thing.
On my request, my guide had chosen to take me along a very manageable route through the forest – both technically and fitness-level-wise. But the island offers mountain biking trails of all levels, so you can find some much more adrenaline-pumping rides if you’re experienced and want to challenge your limits a bit more.
But for now, I was happy just rolling through puddles in the shades that were cast by the all-embracing canopies. The hazy light was playing between millions of leaves and created an almost mystical atmosphere along our route.
Eventually, Nestor challenged me to test my legs a bit more in a nearby area, and I got new-found respect for REAL mountain bikers like him. I’m not afraid to admit the steep elevation beat me on several occasions, but the reward was rolling back down and I got a taste of why people get addicted to this type of activity – not at least in surroundings like these.
A bonus, for a street art lover like me, was spotting this piece at a visitor centre by one of my favourite artists Bordalo II, who is famous for using recycling material to create amazing 3D like works.
Tenerife is much more than just laying on the beach and sipping cocktails, and mountain biking seems like an excellent way to experience some of the magical nature the islands has to offer. Plus, with a guide like Nestor, you can get the perfect combination of exercise and information. Returning to your hotel with sore legs and muddy stains on your face, you feel will feel you deserve your cold beer that much more come dinner time!
I will definitely consider going mountain biking again next time I visit Tenerife!