The lost village of Masca in Tenerife


Looking for somewhere different to visit whilst you’re on your holiday in Tenerife?  We suggest the lost village of Masca- remote and picturesque.  Located in some stunning scenery in the western part of Tenerife, just north of the resort of Los Gigantes and Puerto de Santiago. You’ll find Masca perched above a deep gorge surrounded by palms and pine trees.

Masca in Tenerife

In the past, it was only possible to reach Masca by donkey.  Now, particularly during the peak season, you’ll find coaches of tourists in this pretty village having negotiated the many hairpin bends en route.  In the early 1990s, a road was constructed up to the village which, in turn, enabled electricity and water to be introduced.  A small museum was also built, and today this can be reached via a steep path.  The stone houses in Masca occupy narrow ridges of rock, or are built into the hills with wooden steps leading to their doorways.

You’ll find great walking opportunities in Masca. The best walk probably being from the village, down the gorge (Barranco de Masca) to the sea.  This walk is approximately 8km (5 miles) and will take the average person around 2 hours to reach the coast.  Starting in the town of Masca, keep a look out for the markers along the way to keep you on the correct track.

You will be hiking through ravines that reach 600m above sea level.  Parts of the gorge are only 20m wide and you will see natural rock formations as well as varied flora.  Be sure to take some sturdy walking boots, and some water.

Barranco de Masca in Tenerife

Bear in mind that if you have arrived by coach, or car, then you will need to make your way back, and that’s all uphill.  You need to leave plenty of time for the round trip as this could take up to 6 hours.  However, if you’re not reliant on getting back up to Masca, you can simply take a boat to Los Gigantes and make your way back to your hotel from there.

If you prefer not to complete the walk independently, there are companies offering hiking trips.  This may include a shuttle bus to Masca, and then a boat to collect you once you reach the end of your walk.

Although popular with tourists, Masca has retained its beauty despite a few bars and restaurants springing up.  These do provide visitors with excellent views, as well as offering the odd souvenir of your trip and some welcome refreshments.  Possibly the best times to visit Masca to avoid the coaches of tourists is outside the hours of 11:00 – 17:00 when a touch of tranquillity resumes.

Masca Village in Tenerife

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in the vicinity of Masca, the two nearest are :

Melia Hacienda del Conde in Buenavista del Norte

This 5 star hotel is for adults-only and is located in a protected natural park with the Teno mountain range as its backdrop.  It has wonderful views over the Atlantic and is especially popular with golfers due to the Buenavista golf course designed by Severiano Ballesteros.

Melia Hacienda del Conde Hotel in Tenerife

The hotel is just 1km from the beach and 800m from Buenavista centre.  You can relax and enjoy the 2 bars and 3 restaurants.  Outside you will find 2 swimming pools (heated during certain months), with complimentary pools towels.  If you’re feel more energetic, there’s an air conditioned gym with cardo fitness equipment and weights.

A cycling service is offered which includes cycle hire.  If you don’t want to go into the resort centre, there’s regular evening entertainment offered at the hotel, including live music.  Buenavista del Norte is to the north of Masca, approximately 17km by road.

Gran Melia Palacio de Isora in Guia de Isora

This is also a 5 star hotel, but suitable for families and couples.  Located in Guia de Isora, this hotel offers a large, lagoon-style, swimming pool that is the largest on the island.  It’s located beach front and just 300m from the nearest shops, bars and restaurants.  You will be spoiled for choice with its 5 bars and 8 restaurants including Spanish, Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine.

Gran Melia Hacienda del Conde in Tenerife

There are 5 swimming pools outside (both saltwater and freshwater), and guests can make use of the complimentary pool towels.  For the younger guests, there is a children’s pool with slides.  A gym with cardio fitness equipment and weights is available, together with a variety of sports such as aerobics, dance classes, pilates, tennis, to name just a few.  A daily daytime and evening entertainment programme can be enjoyed and there are children’s clubs available as well as a creche for the youngest of guests.  Guia de Isora is to the south of Masca, approximately 17km by road.

So, don’t forget to take a trip to Masca on your holiday to Tenerife and experience some of the natural beauty this island has to offer.

Gail Hewitt is Owner and Director of Corona Holidays. Corona Holidays are specialists in tailor-made holidays to the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, and European city breaks.

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Comments (9)

  1. Kate says:

    My fitness isn’t what it used to be, too many hours sat at a desk in the office. A beautiful downhill walk followed by a boat cruise home sounds perfect. I think Masca must have been designed for travellers like me.

    • Gail Hewitt says:

      I think you’re right Kate. Downhill all the way and then a pleasant boat ride at the end sounds energetic enough for me as well. I’d need to build up my hiking stamina to cope with the uphill journey.

  2. Jez Brown says:

    Very useful recommendations for luxury hotels so that you are nearby to get into Masca early to appreciate it before the hordes arrive. That’s how I do most of my holidays. The early bird approach – up early. See what I want to see, then back on the sun lounger for an afternoon snooze. Sometimes I’ll also visit a place after the masses have gone home.

    • Gail Hewitt says:

      Thank you Jez. Like you, I prefer not to join the crowds being brought to the attraction via organised coach trips. Early trips tend to be best in the peak season as it tends to be cooler.

  3. Brett says:

    I honestly didn’t even know where Tenerife was located. I’ve seen pictures here and there related to the islands of Spain. There’s beautiful sunlight in these pictures on this post. It definitely sounds like a really cool place to visit. And I can understand the changes that have taken place over the decades with tourism in such a beautiful area … that’s inevitable. You pick the right time and I’m sure there’s a bit of magic there. That makes it worthwhile to visit, I’m sure.

    • Gail Hewitt says:

      Thanks for your comment Brett. Yes, perhaps I should have mentioned where Tenerife is located and even perhaps go into more details on another post. It’s getting more and more difficult to find unspoiled areas, but hopefully Masca will remain one of them for a long time to come.

  4. Natasha Little says:

    A lost village, makes sense that I’ve never heard it before then perhaps. This sounds like something from a book or film and it looks gorgeous. It’s handy you can get to it by coach now, I don’t think donkey rides would be able to sustain the current demand for tourism! I was wondering, if you’re having to hike it back up the hill to catch the coach out, whether there was any way it’s accessibility friendly for those with disabilities, those who can’t walk well or are in a wheelchair. Presumably the alternative shuttle bus and boat are equipped for those in wheelchairs. The outdoor area of the Melia Hacienda looks incredible. Must admit I quite like the fact that it’s adult only too so it’s a little quieter and it’s a great location so close to the beach and not far from the centre. Masca sounds like a slice of paradise.

    • Gail Hewitt says:

      Thanks Natasha. Yes, the donkeys were there for the locals. The Masca gorge certainly wouldn’t be suitable, and if you look to book the coach/boat locally then it would certainly be worth checking for accessibility.

  5. Janiya Frye says:

    Masca sounds very remote and rural, but glad to know that it seems a worthy enough destination to visit for some change of scenery. As with everywhere else I go, I make it a point to start early to avoid the crowds and the traffic, and the heat as well. You can do more if you start early. It’s a solid good advice for travel.

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