Tenerife adopts EU standard waymarking

Tenerife waymarking

In the last couple of years signposting and waymarking of walks on Tenerife has been brought in line with EU standards. At the same time, quite a few new trails have been opened. There are

  • red/white-waymarked GR routes (‘grandes recorridos’ – long distance walks),
  • yellow/white-waymarked PR routes (‘pequeños recorridos’ – short trails of up to six hours), and
  • green/white-waymarked SL routes (‘senderos locales’ – local trails up to a maximum of 10km long).

So there was no question about what to do in Tenerife during our Christmas and New Year’s holidays! The Seventh edition of Sunflower’s Tenerife guide was due for an update. Meanwhile we’d been getting conflicting reports from users about walk numbering … and about new trails criss-crossing our routes.

We decided that not only would we tour Tenerife by car to check the drives, but we’d put on the boots at every opportunity and recheck signposting and waymarking on Tenerife walks for ourselves.

The island has done such an impressive job that at first we asked ourselves ‘Will people even need a guidebook to walk in Tenerife?’. But despite the new trails, information boards and fingerposts, there are hitches and glitches…

One problem is inconsistent path numbering. One of the routes we wanted to check out was in the Teno – described by a correspondent as ‘the new signposted PR 50 to Las Arenas Negras’. But by the time we got there, just a few months after our correspondent, all signposting referred to the PR 43!

Off we went to the Anaga, where we tried to track down the ‘PR 7 from La Ensillada to Chinobre’. Nothing was to be found on the ground. La Ensillada, once a recreation area, is no longer signed, and there are no more tables and benches to give it away (indeed, unless you know exactly where to look, you’ll never find it). Nor are there any fingerposts indicating the way to the famous Chinobre viewpoint. We think the lack of signposting is because the authorities want walkers to have a permit to explore this delicate ecosystem – an area called ‘El Pijaral’ on account of the wealth of píjaras (giant ferns) that flourish in the laurel forest here.

Helpful staff at the Cruz del Carmen Visitors’ Centre (the ‘walking hub’ for the Anaga Peninsula) gave us a proof copy of their map of Anaga walking trails which was just going to press in January 2013. This was very helpful … until we saw information boards featuring numbered walking routes not shown on their ‘definitive’ map!

The Teide National Park presents yet another ‘glitch’: the park doesn’t use the GR/PR/SL numbering system at all. They have their own scheme and have named and numbered 35 different routes (of which only 21 are currently mapped and signposted).

The new Eighth edition of ‘Landscapes of Tenerife’ (to be published April 2013) will take account of all trails existing at press date in February 2013 – all official trails are highlighted and numbered on our walking maps, and the text emphasises where our routes follow or depart from these official trails.

Another reason why it’s best to pack a copy of the guide is that, sadly, the current signposting isn’t going to last all that long. The fingerposts are made from a laminate on wood, and when we were at Casa Carlos, the fairly new sign for the PR TF 2 to Valleseco had already come adrift and was flapping in the breeze.

Although our maps will not be foolproof if they change the walk numbers again (doubtful but possible) or add more paths (a certainty!), they are far more accurate than anything you will get at any of the Visitors’ Centres … and – we think – the most helpful maps available.

Pat & Rob