Tenerife Mountain: The Volcano Teide

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Sonia

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Tenerife Mountain: one of a kind

Let me tell you a story about Mount Teide: the first inhabitants of Tenerife were the Guanches. The legend says that they were afraid of a devil, called Guayota, living inside the volcano Teide. One day, the devil decided to imprison Magec, the God of Light and Sun, plunging the world into darkness… Only by appealing to Achaman, the Supreme God, could the Guanches hope for the return of Magec, the light and the sun. In a fierce battle with Guayota, Achaman reached defeating the devil and cast him back into the volcano, sealing the top of Mount Teide with tapón de azúcar – which means sugar cover – the white peak that is topping the mountain. Since then, Guayota remains in the volcano, but to remind everyone that he is still alive, he spits lava and rocks from time to time…

Teide National Park includes all the surroundings of the volcano, which in total covers an area of 189.9km2 and receives every year more than 4 million visitors. In 2007, it was named by the UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

This national park is a real geologic treasure, made of wonderful volcanic landscape shape by lavas through the time, which are commonly referred as lunar landscapes. They take the tourists to another dimension, making them believe they are not on the same planet anymore. Due to particular weather conditions, wild life has sprouted on the lava fields, although the environment is quite hostile.

How high is Mount Teide?

3.718 metres above sea level! Which means that Mount Teide is the highest peak in Spain! The volcano – still active – is located in the middle of Tenerife, one the eight islands of the Canary archipelago. Even though they are situated in the Atlantic Ocean, close to Moroccan shore, they are part of Spain – consequently making them part of European Union. Sometimes called “the islands of the eternal spring” due to particular weather conditions all year long, they are home of numerous endemics species, living in harmony with the local inhabitants.

On one side, Santa Cruz de Tenerife province gathers the Western Islands: El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma y Tenerife. On the other side, Las Palmas province is formed of the Eastern Islands: La Graciosa, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura y Gran Canaria.

How to get up Mount Teide?

There are two ways to get on the top of Mount Teide:

  • By cable car: fast and comfortable
  • Or hiking, starting in Cañadas del Teide: only for those with good physical shape and with no time limit

Get on the top of Mount Teide by cable car

If you chose to get on the top of Mount Teide by cable car, you will go from the base station located at 2.356m to the upper station located at 3.555m called “La Rambleta”

The trip lasts 8 minutes only. The cable car is a cab with a maximum capacity of 44 persons, standing up during all the trip. We recommend you to book your tickets in advance – on internet or by phone – to avoid waiting lines and to keep an eye on weather forecast: on windy or raining days the cable car might be not running. To make it sure, take a look to the weather and it will show you if whether or not the cable car is open.

Get on top of Mount Teide hiking from Montaña Blanca

El Sendero de Montaña Blanca – litteraly White Mountain Trail – is a 6 hour hiking trail through Mount Teide National Park. Usually, people stay overnight after the trek in Altavista shelter located at 3.250m, very close to the top of the volcano.

Access to the top will be granted in the next morning only for those who stayed overnight in the shelter the night before.

Things to do in Mount Teide

Take a walk around the lunar landscape is a one-in-a-lifetime experience that will change you forever! Crossing a 17km. long caldera by car, enjoying a unique wildlife, such as beautiful flowers like “tajinastes” or Teide daisies, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot a few endemics birds!

If you are fond of hiking, do not look further! The national park offers many trails that come in every difficulty, from very easy to long harsh trails for experienced hikers. From the top of the volcano, you’ll enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Tenerife, and in clear weather, the other islands of the archipelago will complete this amazing landscape.

Not forgetting that stargazing is also a staple if you visit the national park! Do not miss the activity of astronomical observation in Cañadas del Teide

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