Tenerife - sunny winter walking destination
Some describe Tenerife as having ‘many worlds in one place’, which is partly due to the ‘micro-climatic’ environment. While the Island is lucky enough to endure year round sun and warmth, the weather can change quite dramatically from region to region. The South is usually doused in warmth and sunlight causing the southern terrain to bear resemblance to the desert, particularly at the hottest times of the year. The north endures the occasional rainfall but stays warm, keeping it green and luscious with impressive forests up on the hills. The craters of Las Canadas offer walkers a lunar experience at over 2,000 metres above sea level and Mount Teide is a huge, rugged, steep sided volcanic peak and is the highest peak in the whole of Spain at 3,800m. Walking on the Teide plateau close to this iconic mountain is an incredible experience and therefore we have included this opportunity in our holiday. Teide's near neightbour Mount Guajara is on our walking itinerary.
Tenerife offers an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from semi deserts to perpetually, moist laurisilva 'cloud forests', from rugged cliff coasts to high mountains, from fertile cultivation terraces to awesome rocky barrancos carved deep into multi coloured layers of volcanic bedrock.
Tenerife is not all about sharp, high ascents, there are some spectacular coastal walks around the Island offering a taste of Canarian culture as you pass coastal cottages, local hidden beaches, gaze at the dramatic cliffs and maybe even come across some of the banana plantations.
The volcanic nature of the Island, shaped by the weather, has created a truly unique landscape unlike anywhere else.
Great reasons to join us
- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social atmosphere
- beautiful countryside to walk through and enjoy
- super value for money
- professional, friendly walk leaders who are passionate and knowledeable about this area
- hotel right on the beach front and near all the shops and cafes
- flights from many UK airports
THIS IS AN ESCORTED HOLIDAY WITH A UK TOUR GUIDE SUPPORTING THE LOCAL GUIDES.
Accommodation and food
We use the FOUR star Hotel Valle Mar in Puerto dela Cruz
This elegant hotel is located on the sea front promenade close to the beach.
The hotel enjoys a unique location in the tourist centre of Puerto de la Cruz, next to the Lago Martiánez saltwater pool complex, a creative projection by the architect César Manrique; and 15 minutes from Tenerife North Airport.
The hotel is located within walking distance of a wide range of restaurants, bars, shops and leisure spots in a privileged setting with views of the Atlantic Ocean. It is 300 metres from the beach.
Exterior rooms with a balcony overlooking the garden and equipped with air-conditioning and an en-suite bathroom, the Standard Rooms offer everything you need to enjoy a pleasant rest during your stay on the island of Tenerife.
The hotel’s rooftop is a special space where our guests can relax and enjoy the pool whilst admiring the beautiful panoramic views of the northern coast of Tenerife and, on clear days, the island of La Palma. Surrounding the pool is a solarium, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a restaurant where you can enjoy something to eat. On the hotel’s first floor there is a second solarium with sun beds and Balinese beds and on the ground floor we have a Jacuzzi in the middle of the garden.
The Hotel has
a reception desk 24/7 withmultilingual staff: Spanish, English, Italian, German, French…
- air-conditioning and heating
- luggage storage
- airport transfer
- excursion bookings
- tourist information
- car rental
- bicycle rental
- daily maid service
- laundry service
- restaurants, bars and terraces
- heated rooftop swimming pool (subject to season)
- solarium with balinese beds on the first floor
- garden jacuzzi
- recreational facilities (pool table, table tennis…)
In your room
Airconditioning and heating
Minibar – extra cost of purchasing from it
Breakfast and Dinner Is self service
The hotels commitment to health and quality
Especially sensitive when it comes to nourishment and conscious of the importance of the quality of foods, we cook with products of our country house “Finca La Vizcaína”, located in Valle Guerra, with the guarantee of the possession of the certificate for ecological production of the Canary Islands.
In our main restaurant located on the second floor we offer you an excellent varied buffet with special dinners and a selection of local and international dishes. Besides there is a corner for fresh cooking according to your taste.
Any dietary intolerances will be taken care of.
Packed lunches each day with option most days for either mid morning coffee or afternoon refreshments.
You buy your own packed lunch from the variety of bakeries available close by.
Flights and Transfers
There are flights from most major airports to Tenerife – south airport, and you will be transferred to your hotel from the airport. We will quote you from the nearest airport to you, but dependent on flight days and times, we may advise different airports at the time of reservation - but the choice is yours. There may be flight supplements dependent on the airport you fly from, our holiday prices are based upon London Gatwick flights - so regional airport flight prices will carry a flight supplement, which will be quoted for you. Flight prices also change based upon how late you book with us. We will always quote you to your exact specification and give you options on flights.
Our main transfers are designed to meet the morning UK flights. If you opt for a later flight. then a transfer supplement will apply.
Note- we always try to advise that you fly from your local airport- this is one of the unique selling points for our holidays.
Sole occupancy Supplements
Sole Occupancy supplements
There is a sole occupancy supplement of £17 per night on this holiday. This is for the sole use of a twin room.
Should you have a friend who wishes to travel with you, then the use of a twin room for two people means you pay no single supplement
Walking Programme and Grade of walking
Grade of walking
This holiday walking programme is designed for good competent walkers on mixture of terrains..... Walk between 6 to 10 miles a day and potentially 700 metres ascent/ descent. Ascents are taken slowly to allow plenty time to absorb the magnificent vast environment around you.
The walks on this trip vary between moderate and challenging and each day involves a fair amount of ascent and descents. The trip requires a reasonable amount of fitness, ideally with some previous trekking experience in similar conditions .
Day 1 Arrive, meet and greet
Day 2 : Ortavara area
Day 3 Masca Gorge walk to include 40 minute coastal boat trip
Day 4: Teide area plateaux walk
Day 5: rest day
Day 6 Teide plateaux - ascent to Mount Guajara - up to 2700 metres high, starting on the Teide plateaux
Day 7: Anaga Penisula linear walk
Day 8 Depart
We daily travel to our walks start and finish by minibus.
We use a Tenerife based guiding company to provide our guiding services - supported by our UK tour guide. Dependent on numbers on the holiday, this will be either with our own dedicated guide/or we may walk with other walkers on standard walks on the island.
Prevailing weather conditions
Tenerife in January will have a mix of sunny, warm weather- but there could be cloudy conditions and some high level mist- and be prepared for a shower or two- it is not a green paradise for no reason.
Although our leaders are well trained and experienced in dealing with different capabilities of our walking clients, if they have any concerns about any clients ability or suitability to undertake safely any walking activity we plan or they feel that participation of an individual may affect the groups safety and cohesion, then they have full permission to exclude that client from an activity.
They will try at all times to provide an alternative suggested activity, though this may involve the client in additional local cost.
We rarely have to enforce this above recommendation, but it is a sensible and necessary protection for the individual client, the group and the leaders.
- THE SUN IN WINTER - what could be better to look forward to
- Excellent varied walking in magnificent countryside- mountains , gorges, Teide plateau
- Hotel right on the beach front
- Flights from your local airports if available
- Lively surrounds to the hotel- shops and pavement cafes
- Our relaxed social approach
What you pay for on a Secret Hills Tenerife Walking Holiday
- Individual quotation
- Your flight arranged. Your local airport where possible.
- All transfers to and from airport and hotel
- Accommodation at the Hotel Vallemar
- Single room occupany if required- supplements apply
- Three course evening dinner
- Transport to walks start and from walk finish
- Expert guiding
- Secret Hills tour guide
- Individual attention throughout the holiday
Whats not included
Lunch, all your drinks in the evenings, at lunch time and on our walks.
Tenerife - a history
Tenerife has a rich historical background, interesting monuments and museums spread along the island will help you to discover the amazing past of this island, which has been a bridge between continents and civilizations. Let’s have a look at the history of Tenerife.
The formation of the island
Tenerife, and the rest of the Canary islands, are considered the sons of Pluton. The oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean later than the neighbouring eastern islands, the volcanic evolution which gave birth to the island finished around twelve million years ago.
The island that we know today was formed three million years ago by three different islands, with the mountain ranges of Anaga, Teno and Valle de San Lorenzo. The activity from the Teide volcano finally melted together the different islands which became Tenerife. The amazing volcano is still visible from most parts of the island and its crater reaches 17 km long in some points. The last volcanic eruption took place in 1909 near the village Santiago del Teide and the last volcanic activity in Tenerife took place 500,00 years ago.
The Spanish conquest
The island was conquered by the Spanish empire around 500 years ago, Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, the Spanish conqueror arrived at the bay of Santa Cruz, known at the time as Anaza. On the 31st of May 1494, the king ordered him to suppress the last canary natives mainstay, but the Guanches (natives from Tenerife) proved to be very corageous and resisted the attack.
The king of Raoro, Bencomo (today La Orotava) who was the most important of all nine kings of the island, gathered his soldiers and enticed the impostors to the Bay of Acentejo. 2,000 Spaniards fell and Alonso Fernandez de Lugo was seriously injured.
Since then, the town where this terrible events happened is known as la Matanza (the massacre in Spanish). Currently, next to the highway there is a huge stone wall painted with a Guanche sounding the victory signal through a horn in the place where the massacre happened. On December 25th, 1495, one and a half years later, the Spanish crown finally conquered Tenerife, after a plague destabilised the Guanche population. The extinction of the natives and the Guanche culture was kept secret and always denied for a long time after.
The memory of the last nine Kings was kept alive by statues made with lava at the beach in front of the Basílica, in Candelaria. Unfortunately due to the effects of the years and especially to the erosion, these statues were corroded and destroyed.
In 1496, the city of 'San Cristobal de La Laguna' was built, next to a lagoon and close to the harbour of Añaza. In 1723 after the victory over the Guanches, the Spanish governor, de Lugo, changed the government's headquarters to the city of Santa Cruz.
The mysterious Guanches, natives of Tenerife, where known as the more dangerous and most feared from the canary island inhabitants. They were cavern men and buried their dead in caves.
There is little information about the origins of the Guanches, but it seems that they came from the northwest of Africa. A stone with some symbols engraved was found, supposedly of Bereber origin. However, there are only theories and speculations about how the Guanches first arrived the islands.
Our relationship with New Experience Holidays/ATOL protection
Our Partners in Europe Walking
Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays, who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by Paul and Deborah Sawyer. Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, we will forward a New Experience reservation form, and you should pay all deposits and final payments to New Experience Holidays.
Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinery when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.
ATOL Bonding - New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION
How to book your holiday
Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions
In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.
We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.
The quotation process - ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.
The quotation will include
- the basic price of the holiday as advertised
- any flight supplement from the airport of your choice
- single supplement if this applies
- a choice of flights if this is applicable
- any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.
- final price and payment information
The Quotation stage - who sends you your quotation
In order to conform to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.
Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna Brown and Paul Sawyer.
We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options - simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.
The Booking Process
Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form, and pay both the deposit – normally £125 - plus any additional flight supplements to New Experience.Holidays Final payment is also made to New Experience.Holidays.
Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.
About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.
Once you arrive at your holiday destination
Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia Walking Holidays) organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide.You make your won arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.
It is important to read New Experience Holidays' Terms and Conditions - click on the tab on their web site - before you sign the booking form.
Insurances needed for this trip
Insurance - you need to be fully covered
It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel,medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as a condition of reserving a place.
If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.
Roger Gorman Tenerife 19-26 January 2019
Having holidayed with Secret Hills in Gran Canaria in 2018 I was keen to join them again in Tenerife.
Secret Hill’s formula for success is based on excellent client relations and super holiday locations. You are treated as an individual throughout - from their initial contact to final goodbyes. Having 20 years’ knowledge of walking holidays with several organisations I think that Secret Hills/New Experience offer a unique holiday. What is most notable is the friendliness of all the participants and the professionalism of those responsible in leading and organising the whole holiday.
I received excellent, bespoke information regarding my holiday with comprehensive pricing and was able to choose flights from my local airport.
We stayed at the excellent Vallemar Hotel on the sea front at Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island. The staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms are well appointed, and the quality and variety of the food is very good. The hotel has an excellent roof top bar and swimming pool – the bar is a super place to meet for drinks before dinner. It’s a shame that there is no resident’s bar but there are many convenient, good quality watering holes nearby for that post dinner get together.
Walking on Tenerife is varied, interesting and as challenging as you want it to be. Jilly was our fantastic Group Leader, ably assisted by Anna our local guide. They have a marvellous rapport and were able to organise our walks with imagination and flexibility. If the weather was inclement we were able to alter our programme and walk in a different area.
The walks were universally fabulous, giving us all a feel for the topography, geology, culture, and traditions of the island. Each walk was well planned and led with Anna at the front and Jilly acting as back marker. Safety was paramount, and those with more limited experience were helped over obstacles or difficult land. We were able to walk at our own pace, taking care not to go too fast or get out of touch with the group. Jilly is extremely skilled in ensuring each member of the group has a rewarding holiday experience – caring, compassionate and knowledgeable.
We covered five walks in a wide variety of terrain – from the pleasant and beautiful around Erjos and Masca in the west of the island, to the more rugged and spectacular near Taganana in the north. Walks on the Teide plateau were scenic and interesting, having a lunar landscape with varied flora.
Transfers from and to the airport were efficiently organised.
I spent a second week organised by New Experience in Lanzarote. They dealt with all my transfers, including my flight from Tenerife to Lanzarote, and located me at the excellent Vik Hotel, San Antonio, in Puerto Carmen. I had three organised walks, booked by New Experience, with Lanzarote Active. I visited five volcanoes/craters with a geologist and went on a Wine Tasting and Gastronomy Tour of the island – 3 vineyards, 9 glasses of wine and a local meal....
I AM DEFINITELY joining the trip to LA PALMA in March 2020.... cant wait...
Anne Picton - Tenerife January 2019
This is my second secret hills holiday and once again a very enjoyable holiday. Jill is very friendly and always looks after everyone and becomes your friend. On this holiday there were 6 of us who had all met on Gran Canaria, it was great to meet up again, plus we had some new faces too. The weather for the week was a bit temperamental but Jill and our local guide Anna were determined that we wouldn’t get rained on. With their excellent leadership skills we ended up walking some superb walks in glorious sunshine. I will definitely be going with Secret Hills again.
Julia Carroll - Tenerife January 2018
This was my second walking trip with Secret Hills Walking and with Jill as leader, who has a wealth of experience and always manages the ability of the group brilliantly making sure everyone has a memorable experience.
Letty, the Tenerife guide born and bred, was a very proud and enthusiastic about her island with a wealth of knowledge on its history, plants and geography.
North of the island of Tenerife is a beautiful place with the occasional downpour to freshen up the landscape so not as arid as the south of island.
My favourite walk was the Masca Gorge, which was more a natural assault course than a walk. We arrived by boat to a small beach and followed a stream through the volcanic rock eventually climbing to the top of the gorge and a well appreciated watering hole overlooking the island.
The variety of walks were enjoyably challenging without being impossible. We ended each day feeling accomplished and suitably hungry and ready for the varied and plentiful evening buffet - and even a glass of wine or two!
The centrally located hotel had splendid views, spacious rooms, and a crystal clear swimming pool overlooking the sea that was ideal for that post walk swim - great food, great service and the perfect base for a zealous group of walkers.
As with previous trips my fellow walkers were made up of many interesting people. Everyone had fascinating tales to tell as we trekked up mountains, down gorges and through woods. So, whether alone or with a partner everybody felt part of a welcoming group of people brought together by their love of travel, nature and above all – brilliant walking!
Jeanette & Joe Ashworth Tenerife January 2018
I had a smile on my face all week. we both had a fabulous walking holiday experience. the days i did not walk i was lucky enough to have warm sunshine and relax by the roof top pool. not sure what i would have done if it had been cold or rained. It was a pleasure having Jill and Tom as our guides for the week. 2 lovely caring considerate, genuine people. we would love to have another holiday led by them again.
Julia Carroll Tenerife January 2018
Hotel accommodation excellent especially swimming pool and terrace. Jill was great, as was Letty, the Spanish guide.
John Gardner Tenerife January 2018
5 excellent walks blessed with only bad weather for about an hour on the Friday morning. Very good local guide Letty who didn't stop talking but very informative and with enthusiasm. The walks offered were very different in terrain and distance.
I have now been on holiday with Jill Lawson 3 times so that means I have no complaints and believe Jill does an excellent job.
Mr & Mrs P Ostler Tenerife January 2018
Thankyou for a lovely winter break
Lynn Prescott Tenerife January 2018
Very well thought out and flexible approach depending on the weather and conditions, clear and informative info and advice provided by Jill at the evening briefing which was very useful, I had a really lovely time, met some lovely people and caught up with people I had met on previous holiday with SH.
Jill is a great guide she has the ability to understand the needs her group very quickly and is always very helpful and goes out her way to offer support and guidance, she is an asset to your team,
And Tom – they are a great team!
John Tebbett Tenerife January 2018
Good Hotel, varied buffet, excellent staff, good location, The guides were excellent, walks fantastic. Always felt safe and well led Comment: Really very good. Nice people, well organized, great walks and superb weather!
Liz Geary Tenerife 2018
Teide plateau walk was great -amazing scenery
Guajara walk-was amazing although I did struggle with the altitude-Tom very kindly carried my sac up the last bit.I wouldnt have missed it.
Last walk-leaders took into account weather forecast, the fact that we were rather tired and came up with a very interesting and enjoyable walk through the lava fields with some amazing scenery.
Leadership was excellent--its not often you come across leaders with such a wealth of experience- I have been around mountaineers most of my llfe so could appreciate it.
Overall the holiday was fantastic ,the group were great and we had lots of laughs- when i am having a bad day i will think of this holiday and the amazing company.
Hope to do another of your holidays and will make sure all the different people I walk with know about your company and what a great time I have had.
good luck in Portugal and take care'