Established over a number of visits now, a walk I like to do on arriving on Tenerife is this coastal walk from Golf del Sur – where generally we are staying – around the Southern tip of the island and along the promenades of the main resorts of Los Christianos, Play de Las Americas and Costa Adeje – finishing at the main bus station. This provides a walk of great contrasts – the first two-thirds is rough cactus-strewn land, undulating and meandering wildly and with a couple of steep ascents and awkward descents – all in (usually) very hot weather. One meets a few people on this section but generally no more than half a dozen. This all changes once the main resorts are entered and the delightful promenade assaults all the senses!
Leaving Golf del Sur by the footpath by the marina one skirts the Amarillo golf course whilst hugging the shoreline. You soon reach a small lake cut off from the sea by a narrow strip of rocks across which you must pass before the route follows the main dirt road that winds its way in and out of the bays. There are usually a number of unofficial campers along here and it’s useful to have an ultrasonic dog deterrent with you – just in case. The first objective is clear – Montana Amarillo – a volcanic crater the colour of rich caramel – which lies dead ahead. There are routes over it (by entering the caldera and climbing onto the right-hand side of the rim), or round it to the left under the cliffs (which follows the shoreline very closely – so watch the tide) or round to the right, which is by far the easiest.
Whilst the top affords good views in all direction the descent into Costa Silencio should be taken with care.
At the foot of this magnificent rock is a bathing platform and small bar, and Montana Amarillo has many ledges upon which to sunbathe.
It is not possible to walk all the way along the promenade to Las Galletas as the footpath suddenly ceases at a patch of waste ground. Follow the coast to Calle Zeus and then turn inland performing a quick left-right by the supermarket to head towards TenBel. Turning left after the iconic Ten Bel concrete monolith one can head back to the beach at Las Galletas, passing streets of fine cafes and restaurants. (Our favourite, Lilie’s Garden, is on the corner of Calle Candida Pena Bello.)
Passing the fish market stalls at the harbour, with its fine mock-Victorian pier buildings, and on past the public beach one can leave the road immediately after the buildings at the end of the beach and head once more across the lunar landscape of the South-Tenerife coast. The vegetation of probably only a handful of species of cactii covers the landscape and the path ducks and dives and twists and turns over cinder and rock until one reaches derelict walls of old banana plantations. Keeping along the coast you enter a marvellous stretch – extensive, current, banana crops to the right, behind their protective netting, and a parade of palm trees along the coast forming an exquisite boulevard of about half a mile or so.
Shortly after this you arrive at the Faro de la Rasca lighthouse. Wikipedia says ;- “The first lighthouse was completed in 1895, as part of the first maritime lighting plan for the Canaries, to act as a navigation aid for the coastal shipping between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the ports of the western Canary Islands. Built in a similar style to other Canarian 19th century lights, it consists of a white washed single storey building, with dark volcanic rock used for the masonry detailing. The lantern dome was attached to the roof of the building, on the seaward side, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It remained in service until it was replaced in the 1970s by the new modern tower. With a focal height of 51m above sea level, the light can be seen for 17 nautical miles. Its light characteristic is made up of three flashes of white light every twelve seconds.” From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punta_Rasca_Lighthouse>
A further stretch of wild land takes you relatively easily into Palm Mar, passing the distinctive ‘Fez’-like building housing a water processing plant. Bahia Beach tempts you with it loungers and shortly afterwards a beach bar offers a final temptation before the real climax of the walk arrives.
As you walk along the prom of Palm Mar the cliff wall of Risco de la Pardela faces you, rising up to 110m above sea level. From the end of the prom walk along the beach for a short distance then take one of the paths to the right which rise onto a small plateau. Now approach the cliff via the designated pathway and note its line of ascent. The path is always there to follow but you do need to take care – there are a couple of short, steep scrambles. In the heat you may need to take short rests as you climb. Eventually the path heads slightly inland before joining a major path, where here turn left and follow a path which contours around the head of the cliff. A couple of barrancas require care but after a lovely walk across the plateau you arrive at an unmarked junction. The left-hand path takes you down quickly via a difficult but clear route – only at the bottom you see a sign preventing ascent by this route due to it being dangerous. The right-hand path takes you further along the plateau to join a major track, where turning left will take you down to the edge of Los Christianos.
From here it is all along the prom as far as you like! I usually end up at Costa Adeje to eat, then head up to the main bus station for the return bus. This makes 19 miles in total, but since Los Christianos is at the 12 mile mark you can cut the cloth as best fits your mood.