Explore Anaga Natural Park
If you enjoy driving and have had enough of the sunny south of Tenerife, then why not hire a car and take yourself on an adventure into the greener north of the island to explore Anaga Natural Park. It is easily accessible by following the TF 13 out of La Laguna and then TF 12 into and through the park.
As the road climbs upwards you will pass a mirador (viewpoint) that gives you a breathtaking view back at the valley you are leaving behind. The road is narrow and the higher you climb the more likely it is to be swathed in cloud, but it is well maintained and signposted.
Cruz de La Carmen
You can head for Cruz de La Carmen in the Las Mercedes Forest where you will find another viewpoint, a cafe, toilets and a starting point for many hiking trails. The first of these is designed for people with limited mobility.
This is an amazing spot for anyone who lives in or has spent time in the south of Tenerife. The mossy greenness of Las Mercedes is the exact opposite of the arid lunar landscapes you see in the south.
The trees themselves reach up into the clouds and the constant dripping of condensed water can be up to four times more in volume than rainfall in the area.
From here you might continue on taking a brief sidetrip from the TF 114 to take in the view at the Mirador Pico del Ingles, or turn to the left head on down towards Rio, Las Carboneras and Chinemada or take the fork towards Taborno to visit the village with the largest goat herd in Anaga.
Alternatively stay on the TF12. Continuing onwards will get you to the Albergue Montes de Anaga, a hostel at Las Bailadores.
There are nine rooms here with dorms for 2, 4 and 6 people and the hostel caters for couples, school trips, and all kids of hikers, nature lovers and groups.
There is a vegetarian friendly restaurant here serving good breakfasts and dinners to hungry hikers. Views from the large terrace and rooms are breathçtaking but it is worth mentioning, this is a hostel so facilities are comfortable but basic. Expect clean bed linen but bring your own towels.
The House at the End of the Road
If your idea of a great escape in the Anaga Rural Park doesn’t include sharing a hostel with random groups of strangers you might prefer to take a left on to the TF-136. Here, at the very end of the road, you will find a little rural house called Casa Teresa, a little cantina and total tranquility.
When we booked Casa Teresa, the directions from the house owner were a little vague but it is very easy to find when you know how. To get there, keep your eyes peeled for Roque Negro Afur signpost, turn down that road and just keep going till you can go no further.
You will drive through the little village of Roque Negro and continue down the mountain passing improbable looking houses tucked high on hills, till the road ends abruptly in Afur.
For a handful of old houses, seemingly at the end of the world, Afur has a surprisingly efficient bus service. It is a well maintained little hamlet with one old boy called Jose keeping travellers and workers refreshed from his ancient cantina.
Afur holds another secret. A very lovely little holiday home, called Casa Teresa, It is a personal favourite and the place to go to escape everything (even the internet) and recharge one’s batteries. A tip should you decide to take up Jose and Zanias superb hospitality is to take plenty of supplies with you. There is no corner shop; there is, however, a very good BBQ.
Stay at Casa Teresa
Casa Teresa is newly decorated throughout. There is a comfortable double bed in the master room and twin beds in the guest room, two patios, one with a BBQ and the other with the most amazing view. Although there was supposed to be internet, the owner did tell us beforehand that the signal was weak. In such a beautiful place, I can honestly say, we did not miss it for a second.
Going by the reviews, we are not the only fans of the house at the end of the road to Afur. It is classed Exceptional with a score of 9.8 out of 10.