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Tenerife holidays: Exploring the secret side of this Canary Island

Up above, the Milky Way twinkled. Down below, I was taking a stroll across the rugged terrain of Teide National Park in the heart of Tenerife, spellbound by the clarity of the heavens in the Atlantic night sky.

What a way to go for a post-prandial wander after a day’s hiking on this dramatic volcanic mountainside, while staying 6,500 ft above sea level at the fabulously remote, lodge-style Parador de Canadas del Teide.

Most people do not consider Tenerife a destination for walkers: it’s the beaches, infinity pools and tapas that attract the crowds.

Rugged: Tenerife is perfect for hiking with its wild coastal trails and a volcano to climb

But Camino de Santiago specialist caminoways.com has launched an offshoot, canariaways.com, which features self-guided hikes with accommodation in Gran Canaria and La Gomera as well as in Tenerife.

Mine was the challenging Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife — and my favourite part was the Parque Rural de Anaga.

Starting from a rainforest-esque laurisilva (laurel forest), I soon arrived at the whitewashed hamlet of Taganana, where there was the chance for a brief catch-my-breath break at a lively little bar.

On the challenging 12-day Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife, Matthew says his favourite part was visiting the Parque Rural de Anaga, pictured 

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