Cabildo de Tenerife

Montaña Roja


What is it?

The reserve comprises a volcanic cone 171 metres high, flanked by Leocadio Machado and La Tejita beaches, which run for 3 kilometres of the coastline. The Montaña Roja is a volcanic cone created by a coastal eruption and is connected to the island by a causeway of volcanic material. Saltwater pools can be found in a number of locations within the reserve, fed by seawater filtered through the sand at high tide. In addition to the Montaña Roja’s value as a landscape feature, it is chiefly notable for its endangered sand- and mud-based ecosystems.

The reserve is one of the finest examples of an inorganic-sand habitat in Tenerife and is also home to wetlands, where a number of bird species protected by international agreements and included on Spain’s list of endangered species (such as the Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus) can be found.  The Montaña Roja and its connecting causeway represent a very well-preserved geomorphological landform and are a unique feature of the landscape.

Getting there

Montaña Roja Special Nature Reserve can be accessed from the TF-1 via the exit for San Isidro-El Médano-Granadilla. Take the TF-64 towards El Médano and, when you reach the junction with the TF-643, turn off in the direction of Los Abrigos. You will arrive at the reserve around kilometre 1+280. However, to travel further you will have to park in one of the two car parks provided inside the protected area: one is located on the bend of El Tapao and the other next to La Tejita beach.

Total area

166 ha.



Governing legislation

Montaña Roja was declared a Special Nature Reserve and area of environmental sensitivity by Autonomous Region Act 12/94, which was later integrated into the Organisation of the Canary Islands Territory Act via Legislative Decree 1/2000.  A later addition to Act 12/94 extended the status of area of environmental sensitivity to both the land and sea around the mountain, in order to better control the activities that could impact upon it.

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