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One of the most memorable experiences in Tenerife is a hike from Masca village to the Atlantic ocean. Masca is located in a remote part of western part of Tenerife. It is beyond words beautiful – surrounded by mountains and wild nature – so it is a must-see when you go to the Canary Islands.
Despite the fact that Masca is a small village of approximately 90 inhabitants, it attracts a great number of visitors due to its breathtaking surroundings. The village is located at an altitude of 650 m and is a starting point of the Masca Gorge. The hiking route from the picturesque village through the gorge until the Atlantic ocean takes around 3,5 hours in each direction.
During the day the small village gets busy with tourists. I’d suggest to explore it before the hike in the morning around 11 am or when you get back from the hike in the evening around 5 pm.
The village has an interesting history. Originally it was quite remote and got connected to a road only in 1991. It is surrounded by fertile lands and its community was around 600 at its largest. Currently, most of the inhabitants are getting their income from serving the tourists.
How to get to Masca, Tenerife
The easiest way to reach Masca is by a car. You might want to rent a car in Tenerife because that way it is easy to explore the whole island. If you want to read about some ideas for a roadtrip across Tenerife, read this post.
One thing to keep in mind about the hike is that you will have to get back to your car somehow. Either you will have to go the hike both ways to the ocean and back, or you will have to take a water taxi to Los Gigantes and get back to the car by public transportation.
Another way to explore Masca is by getting a guided tour with a shuttle-bus from the resort where you are staying. Most of the resorts have some options for day-trips across Tenerife.
How to hike Masca Gorge
The hiking path goes through the center of Masca village and leads through the gorge all the way to the Atlantic ocean. It is around 6 km long and moderately hard. The path can be sometimes a bit steep and wet, as a small stream runs along it.
At the narrowest point, the gorge is around 20 m wide and in some places, its sides are around 600 m high. This gives you a feeling that the surrounding nature is great in its magnificence.
The walls of the Masca gorge are full of interesting rock formations in different geometrical forms. Sometimes during a break from a vigorous hiking, you might just want to study the forms of rocks created by nature.
In the last kilometer or so from the Atlantic ocean, you will be able to hear the waves without seeing them. The air will get wetter and saltier, sending a message that the hike soon will come to an end. The gorge ends with a nice black sanded beach and a dock for some small ships.
It is possible to hire a water taxi to the nearby Los Gigantes city.
If you have decided to hike back to the Masca village, you have to make sure that you will have enough water at this point. The hike back during the day will be hot. You will be climbing up to around 600 m altitude and there will not be the shadows from the walls of the gorge as there were during the morning. So be careful not to overheat.
What to take on a hike in Masca, Tenerife
The hike in Masca valley is of medium difficulty, so you have to be quite fit to go it both ways. I went on this hike in March, and it was quite hot. Here are some recommendations of what you should take:
- Enough water – at least 2 liters if you are walking both ways;
- Good boots – I hiked in my running shoes, and they got a little wet from the stream along the gorge;
- Some snacks to keep your sugar and energy levels up;
- Swimming suit and a light towel for a refreshing swim in the Atlantic ocean.
Do you enjoy hiking? Which has been the most beautiful place, where you have hiked?