If you’re a normal person, you haven’t ever heard of Masca. If you’re living abroad in Spain, you may have heard of Masca. If you have wanderlust and are planning a road trip around Tenerife during Carnival, then you have definitely heard of Masca. My friends and I were the latter. We had a week break from school in Febuary for Carnival (I can’t say enough good things about the amount of vacation days in Spain) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife has one of the largest Carnival celebrations in the world, so we knew we had to go. [ TRAVEL TIP: If you are in Spain looking to fly to the Canaries, check out Iberia. They had good deals on flights ]
The Canary Islands are a part of Spain, but are actually off the coast of Africa (I would consider them the Hawaii’s of Europe). Masca, Tenerife is village of 100 inhabitants, with houses literally hanging off the edges of cliffs. Masca, Tenerife is located on the North West coast of Tenerife, high in the steep mountains and cliffs.
If you want to visit Masca, Tenerife, you can take a bus called the Masca Express. I wouldn’t recommend it. I consider myself a mildly crazy person, but you guys, you do not want to take a bus called Masca Express through these one lane roads where you have no idea if a car is coming from the other direction when you are making a turn. Or maybe you do? Idk. Live your life.
We rented a car for our whole week in Tenerife, which worked really well because we could explore the whole island. When you drive to Masca, there are many stops along the cliffs to take pictures, so we definitely took advantage of that along the way. It was BEAUTIFUL. The contrast between the deep green scenery with the rigid cliffs cutting into the side of the mountains was breathtaking.
Along some of the turns, you can see clusters of small homes. I started to think about the lifestyle of the people who live in Masca, and it made my head hurt. I mean, if you want to go shopping (even for something usual like groceries), it’s not like a casual drive. It’s a drive through cliffs into town. And what if it’s dark outside? There were NO LIGHTS on the roads. I can’t even imagine. But I’m sure they’re adapted and it’s part of their normal life; so if you ever meet one of the 100 inhabitants and they say they are from Masca, Tenerife, now you know where they’re coming from. #themoreyouknow
One of the coolest parts of our day trip in Masca was when we got out of the car and explored on of the villages. In the village, it was actually a little touristy and they had Masca trinkets you could buy. They also had a restaurant and cafe, so we took a break there before making our descent back down to the beach.
In one word, I would describe Masca as a giant VISTA (view in Spanish). Throughout tourist destinations in Tenerife, there were signs with locations and the word Vista if there was a pictureque place there. Well, pretty much all of Tenerife is a Vista, and Masca was no exception. If you can handle the drive through the cliffs and mountains, Masca is definitely a great day trip in Tenerife.