Teide is located on Tenerife and with its height of 3 718 meters above sea level, is the highest mountain not only of all the islands located in the Atlantic but also of the whole of Spain. It is located in Teide National Park (Parque nacional del Teide), almost in the middle of the island, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to its uniqueness, the Teide National Park is becoming a frequent destination for tourists, who have the opportunity to reach the very top of the mountain and admire the view of the islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma. If the conditions are favourable, you can even see as far as the coast of North Africa
A sleeping volcano
Considering that the Canary Islands are the product of volcanic activity that has been going on for many years, it will not surprise anyone that Teide is also a volcano that is still active, although it can be considered dormant now. Due to its height and power, it is considered the largest volcano in Europe and the 3rd highest volcano on our planet. According to historical sources, Teide was created by a volcanic eruption 150 thousand years ago, which created the Las Cañadas caldera, and subsequently, two peaks, Pico Viejo and Pico de Teide were created by further eruptions. Some island stories claim that Teide erupts every hundred years. The last eruption of the volcano took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Currently, however, it does not show any active activity, except for minor tremors in its immediate vicinity.
All the way to the top?
Teide National Park and the volcano itself become the destination for many tourists. The reason is simple: the breathtaking landscape and the volcano itself are simply worth it! The good news for everyone is that they don’t have to make the painful journey on foot alone. The TF 21 road runs through the national park, from which you can admire the lunar landscape strewn with pines, tall Echium, prickly pears, and most of all, various rock formations. The journey through the park can end below Teide itself, where you can find a souvenir shop and also a pleasant cafe with a beautiful view. The good news is that you can use the cable car to reach the top of Teide (it runs from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). Tickets can be purchased on-line, and we definitely recommend doing it in advance. The cable car is about 2.5 kilometers long and takes you to a height of 3,555 meters above sea level to the La Rambleta platform.
If you were hoping to get to the very top of Pico de Teide, don’t despair, but read carefully. The summit of Pico de Teide is accessible, but a permit must be obtained on the website of the Spanish National Parks Administration. The permit needs to be arranged well in advance, up to several months, or you can check the website to see if someone returns the purchased tickets and you will be lucky enough to get them. Of course, you can’t get to the top any other way than on your own. Due to the high altitude, the air becomes thinner, so you need to prepare for higher physical performance, but the views you get from the top are really worth it. You will also be haunted by the smell of sulfur during your ascent, due to the constant activity of the volcano, so expect that. Don’t forget to take good shoes and also dress warmly, even in summer. The weather is unpredictable at this altitude.
A trip to the national park and to Teide itself is an experience that you cannot miss when visiting Tenerife. Follow our blog for more travel tips to get the most out of your vacation!