A unique and exotic place, where the greenery dominates and houses are stacked in a splendid disorder throughout the mountains – this is Masca, considered by many to be the most beautiful village on Tenerife.
The village is located in the Parque Rural de Teno, in the heart of the mountains, and is one of the most faithful examples of rural Canarian architecture. It is a beautiful and picturesque place where the palm tree flanked houses seem to hang from the mountains and whose traditional spirit has stood the test of time.
Snaking through the cliffs, the cobbled roads are narrow and steep, but it is highly recommended to take a walk around the village to find its most beautiful corners. In Masca, the main square, the chapel and the small stalls of local artisans selling pottery shine with their own light. Snap up the opportunity to have a drink on one of the fantastic terraces looking over the clifftops.
If you’re interested in learning more about this cherished village, head to the Ethnographic Museum hidden in one of the village’s houses. Here, you can take a deeper look at the architecture and history of the village, as well as the customs and habits of Masca’s past residents, when the village was practically isolated from the rest of the island.
Apart from its clear charm, Masca is also popular for the fantastic hiking route that leads from the village and leads into a volcanic sand cove at the foot of the mountains.
Hiking in Masca
Masca has one of the best hiking routes in Tenerife. The route is moderately difficult but can be completed by basically anyone in decent physical condition. However, it should be done with care as it runs by a ravine. It is not recommended for children under 8.
The route starts in Masca, at 600m altitude, and ends at a small cove at the foot of the mountains. It covers around 4.5km and takes approximately 3 hours. The natural surroundings are magnificent, and the route is worth every step, as it offers one of the most beautiful landscapes on the island.
In the past, it was once possible to take a boat to Los Gigantes from the beach, but at the moment the marina is not operating, so the only way to leave the beach is to return to the hamlet and leave in a car or public transport.
Upon reaching the beach, there are two alternatives – head back up to the village and leave by car or bus or take a boat to the Los Gigantes marina. If you choose the latter option, you can take a taxi-boat, although it is recommended to hire the boat in advance. The best option is to return by boat. The journey to Los Gigantes marina is the icing on the cake for the journey as you will be able to see Los Gigantes’ imposing cliffs from the sea, and if you are lucky, maybe even some of the local cetaceans.
Accessing the hike
Access to the hiking route is regulated, so you will need to get an entry ticket online here: https://www.caminobarrancodemasca.com/en/.
How can I get to Masca?
You can travel to Masca via the TF-436, which is a very windy road but offers some of the best views on the island. The TF-436 connects the towns of Buenavista del Norte and Santiago del Teide and will take you directly to Masca. Renting a car to explore the island is always recommended and will allow you to access the village yourself.
It is also possible to take public transport, which is actually a better option due to the lack of parking. Furthermore, it is easier if you are looking to take on the Masca hike as you won’t need to worry about returning for the car. Buses on the island are managed by TITSA. If you leave from Santiago del Teide, line 355 will take you to Masca. You can find more information about Line 355 here. If you depart from Buenavista del Norte, you will need to take Line 365.
You can also take a taxi, but this will evidently be more expensive.
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