To break the back of ol’ man winter, we spent an engaging 3 weeks exploring the trails of Tenerife, largest island in the Spanish-governed Canaries.
Highlights included views of Mt Teide, at 3,715 m, Spain’s tallest peak; a circumhike of a coxcomb mountain feature in Anaga Rural Park reminiscent of and close to the length of the Dolomite Peak circuit in Banff Park, but with 300 m more elevation gain; and the Camino del barranco de Masca – a trail through a dark lava canyon plunging to the ocean that’s so popular a reservation is mandatory.
We were mindful of our impact on such a vulnerable destination, (its area is only 2.5 times larger than Calgary) and came across a news item that cautions: “With close to 7 million visitors annually, over-tourism has put the Canary Islands and its infrastructure under enormous strain which is no longer sustainable, urban planners have said. If the massive influx of tourists is not reduced then it faces “systemic collapse”. Alas, in this day and age, it’s a refrain applicable to almost all desirable tourist destinations.