Anaga Rural Park is one of the most beautiful laurel forests in the Canary Islands, which is why it appears in our guide on what to do in Tenerife.
The Anaga forest is in the northwesternmost part of Tenerife and covers over 37,000 acres, including parts of La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Tegueste. The park is also a designated Biosphere Reserve, so I can assure you that it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Tenerife, especially if you love nature walks.
We were fascinated by this place right away because as you enter the forest, you feel as if you’re stepping into a fairytale. The natural scenery is made of laurels, lichens, willows, fayas, and other plant species that give the forest a magical vibe. Also, Anaga has some interesting geological formations, such as rocks, dikes, cliffs, and ravines, as well as an ethereal mist. Without a doubt, it’s a must-see in Tenerife!
To help you plan your visit, this guide includes:
Trail of the Senses in the Anaga Forest
There are several hiking trails in Anaga, Tenerife, but one of the most popular is the Trail of the Senses, which once connected the towns of Anaga and La Laguna.
As the name suggests, this route is a multi-sensory experience full of sights, smells, sounds, and textures you can touch. Of course, to protect this natural environment, you must follow the interpretive signs along the path, which will tell you where to look, smell, listen, and touch. For this reason, the Trail of the Senses is one of the most popular hikes in Tenerife.
This route through the Anaga forest is made up of three paths. Trail 1 is the simplest; a 1,115-ft path. The terrain is pretty much even throughout, so it’s kid and wheelchair-friendly. Also, this trail reaches the Cruz del Carmen viewpoint, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the park.
Trail 2 is circular and a bit longer, at about 1,800 feet, but it’s also easy. This path goes through the walkway and a dirt road, so it’s a good choice if you’re short on time but want to see the laurel forest. Like the first route, it passes through the Cruz del Carmen viewpoint.
Finally, Trail 3 is the longest and also the most beautiful because it allows you to go deeper into the laurel forest and get away from the more touristy area. This loop is about 4,170 feet long and includes Trails 1 and 2. You’ll pass by the Cruz del Carmen and the Llano de los Loros viewpoints, so if you have the time, I definitely recommend doing this one. We did this during our week trip to Tenerife but if you only have 5 days in Tenerife or less, it is still worth it.
All three paths start from Cruz del Carmen, which is where the parking lot is located. From there, you can take Trail 1 and, depending on your schedule and physical condition, you can continue along Trail 2, which connects to Trail 3. You can get a better idea of the trail network by checking this map.
Other hikes in Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife
While the Trail of the Senses is the most popular, there are other beautiful hiking routes in the Anaga forest. They’re also quieter and less crowded with tourists, so consider doing them if you have the time.
PR-TF-8 – Afur – Tamadiste – Taganana
This is one of the routes we took through Anaga Rural Park, and it’s a beautiful trail that runs between cliffs and laurel forests. Throughout the entire circular route, you’ll have views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a 9-mile trail and intermediate level.
The official starting point is Afur, a small village surrounded by cliffs. From here, you must take the path that goes through the Anaga mountains towards Tamadite Beach, considered one of the best beaches in Tenerife.
To get to the beach, you must descend the Afur ravine, so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes with good traction, especially if it has rained and the ground is slippery. What makes Tamadite such a worthwhile beach is its gorgeous cliffside landscape. Just be aware that swimming is not permitted due to the strong currents.
After visiting Tamadite, you must ascend the ravine, but your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views. The panorama from the Roques de Anaga viewpoint is especially beautiful, with cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean in the background.
Continue along the path until you reach Taganana, a historical village with lovely examples of traditional Canarian architecture. From Taganana, you’ll return to Afur, the official endpoint of this hiking route in Anaga, Tenerife.
El Pijaral – A hike through the enchanted Anaga forest
The El Pijaral route is another trail in Anaga, Tenerife that’s worth doing. In this case, you must request a permit since access is limited to 45 people per day in order to protect and preserve the area, which was declared an Integral Natural Reserve. Be aware that you must submit your request within 15 days of your trip through this link.
This trail is also known as the Enchanted Forest Path, and it’s one of the most stunning routes in Tenerife because it looks like a fictional setting. The 4.3-mile circular route is quite easy and travels through giant ferns, yew trees, and laurel forests. The best part of this path is the mist that makes the forest look mysterious and magical.
The enigma forest – One of the best forest in Anaga, Tenerife
Another trail in Anaga Rural Park that you should do is the Bosque de los Enigmas, a simple, circular route of about 3 miles. It’s an excellent option if you want to take a nature walk as a family.
The name is due to the fact that along the path, there are signs with mystery clues about this forest, so you can discover more about the origin and history of this place. At the same time, you get to walk through the lovely laurel forest, which is the perfect place for a quiet and relaxing stroll.
This trail can begin at the Zapata viewpoint or the Cruz del Carmen Visitor Center. Another option is to book this guided tour, which will teach you even more about this beautiful forest and Anaga Rural Park in general.
Best beaches in Anaga Rural Park
The laurel forests are the main attractions of Anaga Rural Park, but there are some beautiful Tenerife beaches here, too. If you want to swim in the Atlantic Ocean after your hike, or you’d just like to see the cliffside beaches, I’ll tell you which ones are the best.
Benijo Beach is one of the best beaches in Anaga Rural Park thanks to its wild and pristine landscape. While it’s not the best for swimming, especially when there are strong waves, it’s a very quiet place. Plus, you can see Roque Benijo and Roque La Rapadura, making this beach one of the must-sees in Anaga, Tenerife.
To get there, you must walk about 15 minutes from the El Mirador restaurant, where you can park your car.
Tamadiste or Tamadite Beach is another Anaga beach worth visiting. Most people get here by following the PR-TF-8 trail, which is the circular route through Afur, Tamadiste, and Taganana.
Swimming is not permitted on this beach because of the strong currents, but the landscape is surrounded by cliffs, so it’s a magnificent place to visit.
Roque de las Bodegas
If you’re looking for a beach where you can enjoy a swim in Anaga Rural Park, then Roque de las Bodegas is the best choice.
The black sand beach is located at the foot of the Anaga massif, so it’s the ideal place to observe the landscape. Also, the waves aren’t as strong here, and while you can swim, you should still be careful.
Best viewpoints in the Anaga Forest
The Anaga forest has several great lookout points where you can see the incredible landscape. You can take advantage of your walk along one of the trails I mentioned and experience the laurel forests while getting amazing views. Below are the best viewpoints to check out.
Cruz del Carmen viewpoint, a must-see in Anaga, Tenerife
The Cruz del Carmen viewpoint is one of the most popular lookout areas in Anaga Rural Park. You’ll find it along the Trail of the Senses, so you’ll be able to get there on all three interconnected paths.
From here, you’ll get stunning views of Vega Lagunera and La Laguna with Mount Teide in the background.
Mirador de Pico del Inglés, a magical place in Anaga Rural Park
The Pico del Inglés viewpoint is another popular lookout point on Anaga mountain. To get there, you must climb Mount Las Mercedes, which you can access from La Laguna.
Of course, the climb is worth it because you’ll see all of north and central Tenerife. Some notable points to look for including the Roques de Anaga, the Afur ravine, the Aguere and Güímar valleys, and Mount Teide.
Llano de los Loros viewpoint, an incredible view of the Anaga mountains
Finally, the Llano de los Loros viewpoint is another lookout in Anaga, Tenerife that you shouldn’t miss. Like Cruz del Carmen viewpoint, it’s part of the Trail of the Senses, although in this case, you must take Trail 3.
From this viewpoint, you can see Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Tahodio ravine.
Where to stay in Anaga Rural Park
If you want to take full advantage of your time in Anaga, Tenerife, I recommend staying overnight at a nearby accommodation. We booked a night at the Montes de Anaga hostel, and it’s by far the best option since it’s in Anaga Rural Park.
In case this hostel isn’t available, there are a few other good options that are close to the Anaga forest. One of them is the Islanaga Tenerife Rural House, which is just a short drive from the park. It offers rooms for couples and families, and it’s also pet-friendly.
You can also book the Casa Campo y Playa Taganana, which is located right in the town of Taganana. This could be a great option if you plan on doing the Afur-Tamadiste-Taganana (PR-TF-8) hiking route. Another good accommodation in Anaga is Casanaga, especially for couples, since it’s close to the park’s attractions and the beach.
Where to eat in Anaga, Tenerife
There are several restaurants in Anaga, Tenerife, so you won’t have any problems finding food. However, and especially if you’re going hiking, I suggest keeping snacks and water in your backpack, so you’re prepared at all times!
In Taganana, you’ll find a few restaurants that offer a good value for your dollar, such as the Playa Casa Africa Restaurant, where they serve fish and seafood dishes, as well as some traditional Canarian food like potatoes with mojo. Two other excellent options are the Guachinche Bibi y Mana Restaurant and La Ola Restaurant.
If you want to eat in Afur, I recommend Restaurante Historias Para No Dormir, which offers delicious food at a very affordable price. I also can’t forget El Mirador Restaurant, which I recommend if you’re going to be on Benijo Beach.
Anaga Rural Park map
In this map of Anaga, Tenerife, you’ll find all the points of interest in the park, as well as the hiking trails, hotels, and restaurants I mentioned. I suggest keeping this map handy as you plan your visit, as it’ll make it much easier for you to locate all the places in Anaga that you’d like to see.
I hope this guide helped you learn more about Anaga Rural Park and convinced you to visit this beautiful attraction. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to help you out! Safe travels!