For great scenery, a visit to the northwest tip of the island of Tenerife, around the picturesque village of Masca, is hard to beat. The village is set in the Teno Mountains, clinging to the slopes of a deep, green ravine beside a narrow road full of alarming hairpin bends. Until recently Masca was off the beaten track and not accessible by road. The zigzag drive from Santiago del Teide has now opened up the village and its magical setting, reputed to have once been a pirate's hideaway. The village has a little market and some restaurants as well as accommodation options but its main selling point is the spectacular scenery.
Hikers have popularised a two-hour walk, from the village through a gully to the sea at the base of the majestic cliffs of Los Gigantes. The hike is a glorious way to experience the landscapes, but is not suitable for those afraid of heights as things get rather steep. Once you reach the beach you will find a picturesque bay with black volcanic sand and clear water which is lovely for a picnic, a swim and a snorkel. In summer there are water taxis transporting people between this bay and Los Gigantes every two hours or so, which is a great option if you don't want to hike back up the way you came!