Route 040, from Route Active to the sky
Route 040 is a landmark of hiking on the island of Tenerife that consists of moving from the beach of Socorro in the municipality of Los Realejos, from altitude 0 touching the water of the Atlantic Ocean, to the peak of Teide 3718 meters high, reaching beyond the sea of clouds, becoming the path with the highest level of Spain.
Route 040 in Tenerife is a route planned as a round trip between El Socorro Beach, the Teide peak and the return to the coast. It is the greatest possible difference in level in all of Spain in just 54 kilometres, some 27 kilometres of ascent from 0 to 3,718 metres and the same amount of descent until it reaches El Socorro beach again.
There’s something quite satisfying about starting a trail on the beach. The noise of the sea is very soothing and can mask the trials that lie ahead. This same beach (El Socorro) is also the finishing point and is a welcome end to what is a rather epic race or excursion. Ending up on a beach after a long walk like this is a pretty attractive prospect. Although the descent is very hard on the knees and the route itself is extremely hard on all the muscles of the lower body.
The beauty of the trail is what most encourages those who make it, as well as the opportunity to put themselves to the test. A journey that takes hours and can be made even longer if we succumb to the temptation to enjoy the wonderful corners we will have along the route. Places like the Protected Landscape of Los Campeches, Tigaiga and Ruiz in Los Realejos, the Natural Park of Corona Forestal or the best known Teide National Park, in La Orotava.
The beauty of the route 040
The classic way to walk from the coast to the top of the mountain is by using route 040 from Socorro Beach, especially since work has recently been completed to improve signage and upgrade the path (October 2018).
It is a truly rural route that climbs through banana plantations and agricultural plots before ascending to the Tigaiga ridge, a natural staircase that climbs through the pines to the Teide National Park. It is also unique, a route whose sole purpose is to link the coast with Teide.
The climb itself to the peak of Teide is done through Montaña Blanca. It is a complicated stretch, where you go from less to more. From the Teide’s slope to the cable car assembly is the most complicated part. However, you can see unique features such as the profile of the astronomical observatory on the crest of Mount Izaña. A real postcard.
By the way, you may choose to continue along the trail that will lead to the Portillo Visitors’ Center, an extra if you have not been able to see the almost 28 km. of the route. And if you want more routes around Tenerife, the island has 1,500 km. of roads of all levels, so you will not lack where to choose.
With a height difference of 3718 metres, it is a challenging route, even for those walkers who cut through it shortly after arriving at the Teide National Park.
It is popular with trail runners; the current record for going from Socorro beach to Teide peak is 3 hours and 33 minutes (one way). The record for the entire route was set by an Austrian doctor named Thomas Summer who completed this spectacular challenge for both muscles and mind in 6 hours 16 minutes and 53 seconds, an incredible time! He managed to lower the previous record by more than 20 minutes.
Another mention to the Swedish Emelie Forsberg who holds the record in the female category with an incredible time of 7 hours 6 minutes and 6 seconds to finish the route 040. We leave you with a video of her spectacular achievement:
Technical data and difficulty
- Degree of difficulty: Very high
- Distance: 27.8 km (55.6 km if going up and down)
- Duration: 7-9 hours walking, 4-6 hours running
- Maximum height: 3718 m
- Minimum height: 0 m
- Cumulative ascent gain: 3812 m
- Accumulated descent height: 3116 m
- Authorization: You need authorization to climb the Teide Mountain