As the weather turns cooler, it is easier to go out walking during the day. If you read the rambling experts, you think you need to be fit and athletic to tackle most of what they describe. And admittedly that can be true but it isn’t always the case. Checking out the Canary Islands Tourism website you will find a selection of walks right across the island, some are strenuous like climbing Mount Teide, and others are like the one here in the south of Tenerife around Las Vegas (No! the other one!)
This almost flat walk is circular, starting and finishing in Las Vegas and takes in springs, forest tracks, native plants, and traditional Canarian architecture.
The trail begins at the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. Instead of a bell tower, the church bell is in a pine tree in the courtyard.
The village was the first settlement in the municipality of Granadilla after the Conquest.
The area is named after the technique used to cultivate fields, where water is scare and the soil not very fertile. The Vegas used channels to trap water and silt, creating small plots they could easily cultivate. These structures can be seen on the slopes and are typical to the south of the island. Almost immediately, you will see some interesting structures; a cistern dug out of the volcanic rock, a small washing area, and a kiln.
Along the trail, you will cross several canals. One of these is the main one on the island and brings water from the galleries to the higher levels. As you climb Lomo Seco, look to the right for a dyke that has been dug out of the white tuff, this used to carry water to the farms on the slopes.
You will cross the Barranco Seco (‘Dry Ravine’) which is part of the pine forest. The rich undergrowth is full of rockroses and bugloss. Next, an old watermill, still in a reasonable condition, but imagine it when it was in use. Using the water from the peaks to grind grain and then re-direct it to irrigate the fields.
As you gently descend to where the trail curves, there is a hole that gives access to a volcanic tube. Volcanic tubes are common in Tenerife and were created by the flow of lava. You can try to look inside but don’t enter, as it can be dangerous without special equipment or an expert guide.
Around another bend in the trail you see a small settlement of old cave dwellings. These were common in this part of the island as they were easy to dig out of the tuff (volcanic rock) and made good homes for the indigenous inhabitants.
This is an easy walk and can be done in around two hours. Wear suitable clothing and footwear and take food and liquids.
Images courtesy of Canary Islands Tourism.
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