Countries,  Nature,  Spain

A little bit about hellish serpentine: Mask gorge

Hello darlings! How are you feeling? Today we will go to the second most popular (after Teide National Park) attraction of Tenerife. We’ll go through the wildest serpentine in my memory, learn about the Guanches, walk through a village hidden in the mountains, go to the lighthouse and most importantly will explore Mask Gorge from all the sides.


The first thought about the name was: «Really? Ilon Mask managed to get here as well?». But no). Although why exactly this name I also did not find. One version slipped that the gorge was named in honor of the daughter of the Guanches leader.  She decided to jump off the cliff, just to not marry the Spaniard. But somehow the reality of this event is comparable with the idea of ​​pirate treasures hidden somewhere in the gorge.

Mask village is located in the very center of the gorge. Balancing on a sharp ridge of steep cliffs. There are two versions of the emergence of the village — one says that pirates hid here before. The second says that this is the last refuge of the indigenous people of Tenerife, the Guanches. And about 50 years ago when there was no road connecting Santiago del Teide and Buenavista del Norte, no one even suspected the existence of the gorge and the village. Perhaps this is precisely the basis for the romantic pirate refuge image.

The village has completely retained its original appearance. The houses comply with all Canary canons of housing construction. Now there live no more than a hundred and a half local people (In 2012, 97 residents were officially registered). They weave hats and feed tourists. From here all the routes to the gorge begin.

I have already mentioned the Guanches many times. It’s not known much where this tribe of information came from in Tenerife. In the 15th century, transit mariners who landed on the island described tall white-skinned blue-eyed Aborigines. In principle, they lived normally until the Spaniards came to visit them. And their colonialist dreams are known to everyone. In 1494, the conquistador Alonso de Lugo landed on the island. With the holy purpose of building democracy, he built a fortress and began quietly explore the inland. The Guanches could not agree either with the Spaniards or with each other. Most Aboriginal people became slaves or died from smallpox and flu brought by the colonialists.


In general, if there is not enough adventure in life, if it is due and grey, and even if you have enough of lying on the beach — rent a car and go to the Mask gorge. That’s no joke. Such amount of adrenaline will be enough for a couple of months in advance.

I have never been afraid so much. Of course, I knew that it would be a mountain road. But I didn’t creep in my thoughts that it would be such a hellish serpentine...

Narrow roads, sharp 180-degree turns right above the cliffs. Buses suddenly flying out from behind a turn. Buses! Who let them drive in here anyway? I swear people on this boded arrive all gray-haired. Adding to this that the road goes down constantly under a very good slope.

And at the moment when the driver begins to explain that sometimes the brakes overheat and can fail you just want to go into unconsciousness. About the brakes by the way there are not jokes. It was very funny to get out of a car with simply smoked wheels and brakes after driving down from the Trinity Church at the foot of Kazbek in Georgia.

But if we discard the dying remnants of nerves, then ... it's just unbelievable what nature can do.

Wild cliffs. No letting to come closer. Dark and rough. Covered with elastic juicy greens. The color of the ancient ranges passes from the almost black color of the solidified lava to a soft brown shade covered with a bluish haze. In this whitish fog, only the outlines of the teeth remain. They stick out in different directions, like the teeth of an old beggar.

So do not forget to stop at the observation decks. They are usually difficult to miss — there are a lot of cars along an already narrow road ...

Here are the main ones:

-Mirador de Cherfe

-Viewpoint on Masca

-Mirador de Masca

-Mirador de Masca

-Mirador Altos de Baracán


The main attraction in the gorge is the trekking route. It begins in the village and ends on the ocean. The descent time takes about 3 hours, the climb about 4 hours for the average tourist. Depth reaches 1300 meters. The route itself is about 7.5 km.

Usually in all cities you can order a guided tour in the region of 50-80 euros. But if you want to crank everything yourself, then the scheme is usually the following — from the port of Los Gigantes take a taxi to the village (~ 20 min. And 25 €). If you have a rented car, then it is better to leave it in the port. Go down along the gorge. You have to be downstairs before 16:00. On the boat sail back to the port (20 min. And 10 € per person). If you are completely lucky, you can meet dolphins on the way back. It sometimes happens that a boat cannot pick up tourists or they are late for the last boat. Then the only option is to go back and catch up before dark. Nobody will eat you on the way back, but it’s easy to tuck a leg.

Another option is from Las Americas by bus No. 460 to Santiago del Teide (Spanish Santiago del Teide), and then by route No. 355 — straight to the village. One hour of time for  all the road. Bus schedules can be viewed on the green bars of the stops or on the TITSA website.


Cape Teno (La Punta de Teno) — the most western part of Tenerife island. It offers views of the Los Gigantes mountain range. On this side of the massif, the rocks seem to be even sharper. And in spite of the sun, the sound of the surf and the laughter of children playing in the water, a dark, obscured alarm comes from this rocks. They crush and cause fear with their mass, with their greatness.

The earth in this area is still dense, saturated dark, as it consists of lava rocks with a relatively recent eruption.

There is a lighthouse on the cape (El faro de Punta de Teno). One of the seven important lighthouses in Tenerife, designed to compare the pattern observed by the skipper. Completely autonomous.

Keep in touch! MarrySav


This post is also available in: Russian

Please Login to comment