Vilaflor – lunar landscape – Guajara is a demanding tour in Tenerife mountains. Vilaflor is a beautiful small village on the south side of Tenerife island. In fact, this is the highest permanently inhabited place on the island and in all Spain. The center of the village is at the altitude of 1430 meters above the sea (literally in this case), and this is the beginning of the route described here.
[Bach – The Well Tempered Clavier; Book II, Prelude and Fugue No.12 in F Minor]
The summit of Guajara mountain is at 2715 m, so the height difference is 1285 m. This together with the harsh volcanic and cork-dry landscape, makes the route difficult.
From Vilaflor to Lunar Landscape
There is a free car parking in the center of Vilaflor, close to the beautiful church. From there you pass the church, walk down the streets for a couple of minutes and then turn to the east. You will pass an area with a water reservoir on your left side, and from that point, the path goes up through a pine forest in the north-east direction. Follow the sign for ‘lunar landscape’ (Paisaje Lunar). Most of the time the path goes through an area with pines and almond trees.
The lunar landscape is an area with an unusual soft-rock formation, formed by wind and rain erosion (see the YouTube videos below). You will reach it after some 6 km from Vilaflor. The route is nicely marked and easy to follow. I walked this part with Stefaan and Mag, and I am grateful for several nice photos given here, which I received from them.
If the lunar landscape is your destination, you should plan some 5 hours for the tour in both directions, and take enough water with you. Strong hiking shoes are highly recommended. We were laughing after seeing a woman walking in sandals and without any water or rucksack whatsoever. This looked irresponsible.
After reaching Paisaje Lunar, you may descend following another route, and in total this will be at least 12 km. See below a few photos from our walk:
From Lunar Landscape to Guajara
From the lunar landscape, you walk back up to the altitude of around 1960 m, to the point with the sign to Guajara. The sign shows the mountain at 5.4 km. At 2100-2200 meters of altitude you will be passing through a beautiful area of black lava sand. The surface is very soft in this part and this makes the progress even more difficult and slow. But this is an area without trees and you will have spectacular views over the south side of the island. The general direction is the north-northeast, toward Degollada de Guajara pass.
Above 2200 meters, I felt altitude very badly. This was surprising as I have climbed the mountain two times before, and much higher Teide several times. So my progress was not the best. I reached the summit after 2 hours and 15 minutes (from Paisaje Lunar), from Vilaflor this was in 5 hours. There was no other soul on the mountain all the way up from Paisaje Lunar.
I descended following the north route toward Degollada de Ucanca and continued toward the hotel Parador, where I arrived at 5:15. So from Vilaflor to Parador, with the Guajara summit climbed and a break at Paisaje Lunar, my timing was 6 hours.
The tour implies climbing the height difference of 1285 meters to the summit, and then descending 580 meters to the hotel.
Here are a few photos of the upper part of the route, from Paisaje Lunar to the summit of Guajara:
You do not need any special equipment. Here is a short summary:
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I wish you a pleasant day!
More about climbing on Tenerife island you may see here:
- Teide climbing
- Pico Viejo
- Gujara mountain
- See also about numerous hiking routes on Tenerife here with this site.
If you need accommodation on the island please check with Interhome, and Booking. They provide a large variety of holiday homes and apartments.