Roque de Taborno is a small but spectacular lookig rock, located on the north coast of the Anaga peninsula in the north-west of Tenerife. It bears witness to the geologic history of the island, which started here in the Anaga mountains 7 million years ago. During that time huge clefts opened up in the earth (still underneath the sea level) emitting huge amounts of lava and cinder, thus creating very pronounced roof-shaped ridges. The centres of volcanic activities shifted among the clefts but concentrated in various spots, which today can be called volcanic plugs. While erosion did away with almost all the cinder scree the more solid trachytic ridges and basaltic plugs were left standing and today form one of the wildest mountain regions on earth.
Deep gorges make way for knife-edged ridges, which often rise from the canyon floor to 500m in just a couple of 100m. Thanks to the weather conditions - trade wind clouds cover the mountain tops for 200 days a year) a dense jungle like cloud forest has developed which adds to the exotic flair of the area. Anaga is home to the largest remaining endemic Canarian laurel forests. Small hamlets hug the steep slopes and - believe it or not - there are fields on all moderately flat slopes.
Roque de Taborno is one of the volcanic plugs, a 50m high tower, rising above a small plateau, which rises directly out of the Atlantic for 6000m. It is located north of the village of Taborno and can be easily reached by a short hiking trail. Other popular routes to the plateau start from La Carbonera, west of Taborno and from Playa de Tamadite, a beach right at the base of the rock. None of the two routes is easy as they include a lot of bushwhacking and some intuition in finding the correct path. However, both follow old caminos, paths which have connected the villages of the Anaga peninsula for centuries.
The rock sometimes is called "Tenerife's Matterhorn", though of course it can't compare with the original. However, there are four ridges which head up to the summit from the four sides of the compass rose. Climbing Roque de Taborno is not overly difficult - a constant UIAA grade I/II - but very exposed. The best route follows the steep slope on the south-west spur of the rock and then crosses the south face for the final ascent along the most difficult part near its top. The rock is adequately solid but is overgrown by cactus and spurge plants. There are lots of sharp edges which offer good handholds.
As one of the major European vacation getaways Tenerife can be reached from all major European airports. From Spain there are regular flights from the rest of Europe you can book lots of charter flights. On Tenerife there are two international airports, one at Santa Cruz in the east, one at Los Abrigos in the south.
From the airport Tenerife south take motorway TF1 east to Santa Cruz de Tenerife where you switch onto TF5 north. Take the exit La Laguna and wriggle your way through the city, heading for Montaña Las Mercedes on TF12, the Anaga Highway. Trom the airport Tenerife north just cross TF5 to the east and you are in La Laguna. Also search for TF12 and the road to Las Mercedes.
TF12 soon ascends to the Anaga ridge, to about 1000m OOften the road is hidden in the fog so you really need to take extreme care. After Las Mercedes but before you reach Pico del Inglès a small side road, TF145 turns of to the left (north) It leads to the trailhead at Las Carboneras but after a few hundred meters a second road, TF138 leads to Taborno itself. If you want to climb the rock from Playa de Tamadite at sea level, pass by Pico del Inglès until you reach the road to Afur, TF 136. From Afur (large parking lot) a beautiful canyon leads to the beach. 300m before you reach the coast a small path heads up through a small canyon in the direction of Taborno.
There is no red tape here. the laurisilva (laurel forest) near the Anaga main ridge is protected since it is the last of its kind. Still, most of the area is agriculturally used. The old caminos are public highways and anybody can travel them. Don't stray through the small farm patches - it takes endless effort to farm them. We watched a farmer with his small motor plough dig up rocks from his little field - you must be very dedicated!
AccommodationOf course you can find a lot of hotels, fincas and casas on the island which you can book from any travel office. There are some tourist resorts along the Anaga coast, the closest being Tejina, Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo. Take into account that the roads in the Anaga range are very winding and that it takes a lot of time to get from a to b.
Weather ConditionsThere are several sites on the web which give you information on the weather on Tenerife. However, they all show the weather for the coastal regions (Puerto de la Cruz) which significantly differs from the weather in the Cañadas del Teide or the Cumbre Dorsal which are 2000m of elevation higher. The following table shows data for Puerto de la Cruz on the coast.
|Avg. day temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||21 / 70||22 / 72||23 / 73||24 / 75||26 / 79||26 / 79||24 / 75||22 / 72||20 / 68|
|Avg. night temp.[°C / °F]||13 / 55||13 / 55||14 / 57||14 / 57||16 / 61||18 / 64||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||18 / 64||17 / 63||14 / 57|
|Water temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||22 / 72||23 / 73||22 / 72||22 / 72||21 / 70||20 / 68|
The Canarian Islands (as well as Madeira) are located in the trade wind zone. You almost always encounter northeastern winds which carry a lot of humid air. Being forced to climb to higher altitudes this moisture condenses into clouds. This in return means that most of the time the northeastern part of the islands is covered in clouds from altitudes of 1000m through 2000m.
This is exactly the region of the highest summits of the Anaga range. While the coasts are often clear with overcast skies in the mountains themselves you will have thick (and wet) fog. So thick that orientation can get very difficult. In the rough terrain, even compasses and GPS recievers are of limited use only. Better spare your exploration for a later date.
Maps & BooksOut of the multitude of maps and books I have been using the following. However, so far I have not found a good hiking map of the island. The one posted here is ok but shows only a fraction of the marked hiking trails. Both parts of Camino de la Candelaria are described separately and excellently.
Kompass Map WK233
- Teneriffa, Tenerife
K.Wolfsperger, C. Ade
Rother Walking Guide
English - ISBN: 3-7633-4809-3
German - ISBN: 3-7633-4016-5