Mountains Natural Sites Spain

Stunning scenery of the Masca Valley

Masca – a small village on Tenerife Island located 600 meters above the sea level. No less than 50 years ago it was possible to reach Masca only on foot or on a (rental!) donkey.  Today everything changed and you can easily reach Masca by a tour bus, regular bus lines or a rental car. Although the last one may not be as easy at it seems…

Masca, Tenerife (9)

Masca, Tenerife (6)

Masca, Tenerife (7)

Beautiful photos of breathtaking landscapes are waiting for you at the end of the post,
but first – a short introduction 🙂

Here’s the story:

The most popular tripadvisor’s reviews about the Masca Valley say: „Stunning scenery scary drive” and „If you want the maximum thrill hire a car and drive yourself!” and that’s exactly the best sum-up of this incredible place on the Tenerife Island. (Un)fortunately for me, I haven’t read any review before taking my trip to Spain – I was only responsible for the logistic side of the trip and my boyfriend was supposed to check all the attractions. Moreover, I need to mention that two months ago I smashed my car in a crash and I didn’t drive since then.

On the map the roads of Tenerife looked twisty, but generally okey. My perception changed drastically when I saw it with my own eyes: so narrow, single lane and precipitous! I WAS TERRIFIED. With a kind of superhuman effort I managed to drive to our guesthouse in the North of the island. Because my boyfriend doesn’t hold a driving license, I was the only to drive. And I was scared to death. So what did I do? At the beginning I literally cried all night long, regretting the idea of coming to Tenerife, hating my boyfriend and everyone around. One day I even managed to convince him to go for a trip by bus to Puerto de la Cruz. No need to drive – that was a short relief for me…

On the next night (still crying a lot) I decided to try a short, night ride on the steep roads of Icod de los Vinos, where we stayed. Although the streets out there are not so much user-friendly ↓

The next morning we set off for a hellish route to Masca. Before we get to Santiago del Teide I was so scared I even refused to talk while driving. I made a short break and walked around, getting ready for „the worst” (Santiago del Teide is a critical point, where the road turns into the special stage mountain pass…).

Santiago del Teide

Santiago del Teide (4)

Santiago del Teide (5)

Santiago del Teide (6)

Santiago del Teide is a town and a municipality in the western part of the island. It’s a popular stopover during the roadtrip to such attractions as Los Gigantes, Playa de la Arena and of course Masca Village.

Santiago del Teide (8)

Santiago del Teide (8b)

I was really fascinated by the unique flora of this area. I even took some samples home (don’t tell anyone!) and I’m growing them on my window shelf in the kitchen 😉

Santiago del Teide (10)

And this is the car, my car…

Santiago del Teide (15)

We got back to the car and after a while of driving out of sudden a „miracle” happened: in one, short moment all my unjustified fears (and trauma after the crash) have gone away. I was free. There was only me and the road, and all the lessons my brother taught me about driving in the mountains (thanks God I was raised among the green hills). I don’t know how, but it worked! Maybe because I was focused so much? Maybe I simply needed some time to get used to drive again? I’m always amazed by the abilities of the human brain. The whole journey: Icod de los Vinos – El Tanque –  Santiago del Teide – Masca – Buenavista del Norte – Icodde los Vinos turned out to be an amazing adventure!

I would recommend this route to any good driver who wishes to test his or her skills. No need to mention about the breathtaking views all the way – just have a look 🙂

Masca, Tenerife (20)

The way to Masca was not as easy as it seems on the map

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (4)

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (5)

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (7)

The road to Masca (constructed in the 70s’) made the journey from Santiago del Teide much faster and pleasant, and foster the increase in the tourist traffic to the region. Currently, because of its unique location and surroundings, Masca is one of the most popular destinations in Tenerife.

Masca, Tenerife (5)

Masca, Tenerife (14)

Masca, Tenerife (15)

Masca, Tenerife (16)

Between the hills – La Gomera, another island of the Canarias

Masca, Tenerife (17)

On the way to the Masca Village (this time on foot)

Masca, Tenerife (4)

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Agave flower looks like a huge Mesozoic horsetails 😉

Masca, Tenerife (1)

Masca, Tenerife (21)

Masca suffered from a great fire in 2007. Even in 2015, when I visited the island, some of the houses still remained destroyed after many years. There are not so many houses in Masca – after all it’s just a village with around 90 inhabitants (visited probably by several thousands of tourists each year).

An attempt to the group photo taking

Failed – the camera fell down from the tree two seconds before the shutter fired
(dinosaurs know no selfie-stick) 😉

Masca, Tenerife (22)

And opuntia, opuntia everywhere ♥

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Our way home was maybe less exciting, but also very picturesque

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (9)

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (10)

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (11)

On the way to Masca, Tenerife (13)

Masca Village, where is it?

ładowanie mapy - proszę czekać...

Masca Valley 28.305353, -16.839914 Stunning scenery of the Masca Valley

How about you, would you dare the Masca drive?
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  1. Happy New Year, Isabella. Beautiful collection of photos, as you promised at the beginning of your post. I’m not a brave driver and I don’t think I’d try any of these roads. What’s worst is that I am not a brave passenger either. My husband attempted a very steep and narrow road in Hawaii a few years ago and was screaming in fear all the way to the bottom of the mountain.

    • Hahaha, thanks Anda. You reminded me of my first lonely drive to my parents home in the mountains – on the way there’s one, big hill with a straight way down (no turns or serpentines) and I remember I was screaming all the way 😉

  2. Is it strange I’ve never driven in a foreign country before? I am terrified of driving on narrow, windy roads and having to remember to stay on the opposite side from what I am used to (in some countries). I would have been having anxiety just like you 🙂 Great photos!

  3. Good for you for overcoming your fear! Congratulations! And let me guess, the car was a stick shift, wasn’t it? The first time we went to Spain (Mallorca) we had a stick shift and I told my husband to drive to Santuari de Cura at Puig de Randa. He was not happy.

    If I were by myself or with another non- or bad driver, I’d probably opt for a bus trip, but of course that would mean we wouldn’t be able to stop and take so many wonderful pictures like you did.

    Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos! Looks beautiful there.

    • Jolanta, as a European I am (fortunately) used to drive with manual transmission, but I drove an automatic one in Alps few times and I must say it’s much easier. First of all stopping and starting from a steep hill is much easier when you don’t need to operate with clutch 😉

  4. Isabella, Wow, stunning photos. I love how Tripadvisor reviewed as stunning scenery, scary drive and it was just that. What an amazing adventure, one i would certainly enjoy as a passenger with an experienced driver.

  5. Isabella, I’m so jealous, I love Tenerife! My family lives there. I know how crazy it can be on some of those roads. I get car sick every time I go out with my cousins driving. Isn’t the dragon tree in Icod de los Vinos amazing? My favorite of all the island is „El Teide National Park”. I’m heading there in May after the TBEX conference in Costa Brava. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    • The Dragon Tree is great! We arrived at night but I couldn’t sleep so I went for a walk just to see it. I was standing in front of it, looking at my map, don’t know why I expected that it will be illuminated or something (it’s the biggest Icod attraction, so maybe it should be) and after we left my boyfriend said: „did you like El Drago?!” „Millenaria?! It was there?! Where???” So I ran back to the place and yep, I it was exactly next to me 🙂

  6. Wow…the drive was totally worth it for those views! Absolutely gorgeous. I would love to do this! Thanks so much for joining up for #WeekendWanderlust! 🙂

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  9. Maska jest przepiekna bylismy tam 3 lata temu. Love it!

    • Hahah, dla mnie to miłość i strach zarazem 😉 Chyba wolę spokojne Icod 🙂

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