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Masca is a mountain village in the west of Tenerife and regarded as the most beautiful and picturesque village on the island. Masca is at 650 m altitude about 100 inhabitants. During the day it is overrun by tourists, but in the early mornings and evenings it regains its authenticity.


Neighbouring island La Gomera as seen through the Masca Gorge.

The Masca Gorge is a canyon running from Masca until the coast, and albeit a strenuous 3-hour walk either way.



Masca was a Guanche settlement before the Spanish conquest of 1496. There is a popular myth that Masca used to be a pirate hideout, but there is no evidence for the claim although it certainly helps to draw tourists to the village.

Until the 1980s, Masca was informally called the lost village because it lacked road access and could only be reached by horse, donkey, or by foot. This isolation allowed Masca to preserve much of its authenticity.


The village is quite overrun by tourists with cheap vendors and touts around. And while the gorge and serpentine road are impressive, it is questionable whether the trip is worth it, especially since the gorge and hike itself is permitted only to a few people during the weekend.

Alternatively, one might just skip Masca and opt for an equally rewarding hike into the Los Gigantes canyons, tunnels and El Bujero, or a sunset ontop of 1 Risco Verde (1,312 m) (1 hr hike from the parking 3 km above Santiago del Teide), overlooking the whole spectacle.

Get in[edit]

On foot[edit]

In case you like hiking, a great option is to enter the town by bus and to hike out NE-E via Cumbres de Bolico trail, Risco Verde, and Santiago del Teide.

By car[edit]

Reaching Masca by car takes about 30 minutes from Santiago del Teide, due to the rather steep and narrow mountain road TF-436. The 1 mountain pass has a bus stop and parking space to enjoy the view, as well as a street vendor during the summer season. When descending towards Masca there is a 1 viewpoint with roadside parking spaces for about 5 vehicles, giving a magnificent view over Masca and the Masca valley.

Parking near the village itself is very limited and it may take a while to find a space. There are some 2 parking spaces along the main road before the roundabout is reached.

By bus[edit]

Get public bus Línea 325 to Santiago del Teide and micro-bus 355 to Masca (line to Buenavista del Norte).

If you are trying to get out again by bus in the evening, note that the last bus will probably be quite full and not be able to take everyone on board. It is therefore best to board the bus already one bus stop before the main one in Masca village, so you are not confronted with this issue.

By thumb[edit]

Getting out of Masca by thumb is possible.

By taxi[edit]

The bus from Santiago may get full (especially the one before noon), but there should be taxis waiting nearby. Taxis directly from Los Gigantes to Masca should cost around €25, compared to approx. €5 for the bus.

By boat[edit]

There is a boat service from Los Gigantes to the base of Masca at the sea. It is possible to take a longer boat trip, which is then combined with fish-watching at the sea.

The rumour is though that some corrupt local gets paid by the ferry company that bring people to Masca, so they considerably reduce the amount of people allowed hiking from Masca village. It's probably best not to support this whole scheme—there are sufficient free alternatives on the island compared to the largely overrated Masca.

Get around[edit]

Masca is very small, and the only way to get around is by foot. Some of the paths are rather steep and slippery even in dry weather, so it's highly recommended to wear proper walking shoes or sandals with a good grip. Beware for the steel handrails, they tend to splinter at the welded joints.

Getting around by bicycle is difficult and not recommendable, leave them on the main road and walk into the village on foot.


  • 2 Masca square (Plaza de Masca). 24/7. Beautiful square with a giant laurel tree in its centre. Free.
  • 3 Chapel. Appears to be closed to visitors permanently.
  • 4 Masca gorge viewpoint (Mirrador de Masca). 24/7. One of the best viewpoints int the Masca valley, overlooking the Masca gorge (Spanish: Barranco de Masca). Free.
  • 5 Masca viewpoint. 24/7. Viewpoint overlooking the entire Masca valley, with the Teno Massif in the background. Parking space is limited to about 5 or 6 cars, but it's worth a stop if there is space available. From here, there are no more opportunities to stop along the side of the road until reaching Masca village. Free.


Masca Gorge
  • 2 Masca Gorge (Barranco de Masca). Sa-Su 08:00-18:00. The Masca Valley runs from just south of Masca until the 1 Atlantic coast. The starting point is in 2 Lomo del Medio, right next to the Masca village. The 8 km long hiking trail is quite demanding and takes about 3 hr either way. There is a 3 ferry terminal that offers a connection to Los Gigantes, but must be booked in advance. Along the way, hikers are rewarded with unique volcanic formations, dated to Miocene age basaltic lava flows.
    Though, nowadays the hiking is largely limited to a few hikers for "conservation purposes". The rumour is that some corrupt local gets paid by the ferry company that bring people from Los Gigantes to the Masca base down at the sea, so they reduce the amount of people allow considerably. It's probably best not to support this.
    In general a permit, helmet (free) and proper hiking boots are required to be allowed to enter.
    Free (permit required). Masca Gorge (Q19605621) on Wikidata Masca Gorge on Wikipedia

For actual hiking and not just being confronted with a closed gate or need to have a permit and hiking boots, check out the following nearby hiking destinations:


There is a 1 souvenir shop just below the TF-436, selling just about any of the souvenirs you'll find elsewhere on the island: jewelry with basalt and olivine, pottery, seashells, sculptures and postcards, pens, memoralia, aloe vera based products, and many "handmade" items supposedly crafted on the island.

Eat and drink[edit]

The restaurants in Masca are only set for day tourism and close at 18:30 at the latest.


Some of the restaurants offer simple rooms, e.g. the "El Guanche" in one of the oldest houses in the village, the old school. There are three double rooms there, each costing €35 per night. The rooms are neat and clean and some of them offer a fantastic view of the valley. However, they are simple and rustic and do not have their own bathroom.


Stay healthy[edit]

The Teno massif is known for its steep cliffs and pointy rocks, so take care when walking and stay on the marked paths whenever practical. There is no medical infrastructure in Masca, should you require medical attention then Santiago del Teide (30 min away) is the best option.

Stay safe[edit]

Pickpockets commonly roam around the village, targeting tourists, so keep a close eye on valuable items.

Also car break-ins are not unheard of.

Go next[edit]

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