Masca is a tiny and remote village in the Northwest of Tenerife. When I say tiny, I really mean it – Masca is home to merely 80 habitants. Its access is an adventure of its own. Well, for visitors, that is. – Us locals are used to the twisting and turning of narrow roads that go down the sheer side of not one, but several mountains.
It’s not for the faint-hearted.
The view over Masca and its ravine
The village itself has charm and a rural taste of Tenerife. It’s the starting point of one of the most popular hiking trails on the island – the Barranco de Masca (Masca Ravine). Once you start the descent into the valley, you quickly get a chance to test your fitness.
The hiking path sinks quickly into a deep gorge, following the twist and turns of the hills around it. It goes over streams, through tunnels of reeds, over large rocks and even through a small cave. Soon, you find yourself in a Lost World.
To be honest, my pictures don’t make justice to the spectacular landscape in Masca. It’s quite simply breathtaking.
The barranco walls grow taller the deeper you move into the gorge. After 2.5 hours, we emerged onto Masca beach – on time for our well-deserved picnic.
From here, we took a cooling plunge in the Atlantic Ocean and allowed our skin to soak up the warmth of the sun until our water taxi arrived.
Well yes, we took a water taxi. I was wearing new hiking boots which weren’t ideal for this terroir, as I discovered on my challenging way down.
Note to self: high boots give better support on uneven surfaces. And Masca is completely uneven.
In my defense: most of the casual hikers that venture their way down the gorge book a water taxi to take them to the next village, Los Gigantes. This short ride for 10 EUR per person allows you to not only see the entire ravine from the sea, but also takes you along the Acantilados (cliffs) de los Gigantes – one of my favourite views of Tenerife and a great place to go whale watching.
Acantilados de los Gigantes – One of my favorite shots, ever.
From there, it’s a mere 23 EUR cab ride back to Masca, which in turn is about a 20 minute car drive from Mesón del Norte (one of those traditional restaurants that is really worth the drive!).
Route: Descenso del Barranco de Masca (descending the Masca gorge)
Elevation gain uphill: hardly any, unless you walk the same way up again
Elevation gain downhill: 625m
Length: 6.8 km
Duration: 2.5 hrs
Difficulty: Easy (Moderate, if walking uphill again!)
Wikiloc:Barranco de Masca