It’s not everyday that you get to walk on a volcano! The Teide National Park in Tenerife offers you this great opportunity and much more. Come along to see the incredible and diversified landscapes of this Spanish Island…
As I was trying to find the ideal destination for our coming winter vacation, I was reminded of our lovely stay in Tenerife and in particular our hikes in the Teide National Park.
First I should to tell you that, going to Tenerife, wasn’t a dream come true. Sometimes a destination just doesn’t speak to you and the Canary Islands were basically not calling my name. I had this idea that there was nothing else to do there, than lie on a beach and get sunburnt, which is what a lot of people do. I booked the plane tickets almost reluctantly. Of course I had done some homework before leaving and Tenerife seemed a better choice than some of the other islands. Despite this, I still wasn’t convinced…
What a misconception!
Not only Tenerife is beautiful but there is so much to do, and so many different landscapes to admire and enjoy, in such a tiny island.
Going to Tenerife was like going to a party, thinking it’s going to be boring,
and actually having the best time!
On our first day, we headed straight to the obvious: The Teide National Park. Why obvious? Because Tenerife is a volcanic island and the Teide peak is right in the middle. You can’t miss it when your plane arrives.
The Teide is a 3,718 meter (12,198 ft) volcano. it is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic.
Before reaching the cable cart station, we made several stops, along the way: to admire the view, to enjoy the sunshine, the space, the silence! Also to have our little picnic in the middle of landscapes that look like the moon, and to play around with the pumice rocks … you know those volcanic rocks that are so light that they can float? Well there are loads of them around the Teide and taking silly pictures of yourself (or your partner!) carrying a ridiculously big rock that is actually so light, a 3 years old could take your place, is entirely possible and fun 😉 No I won’t show you the pictures, don’t ask!! 😉
After such interludes, we took the cart and reached the almost top of the Teide mount, in just a few minutes.
Once you get there things are a bit different.
At this height, you start feeling the lack of oxygen, especially when you start hiking. The wind blows much harder and carries around the foul smell of the sulfur patches that can be seen a little bit everywhere around, and this makes it even harder to breath. Obviously it’s also much cooler up there… OK wait, I’m not saying that it’s dangerous or anything, It’s not the Himalaya! But it was a bit surprising to me, to reach the top so quickly, and suddenly feel such hostility from mother nature!
After a small hike which actually felt almost worst than the one in the lunar landscape, it was time to go back down and enjoy a very welcomed coffee and cake!
There are lots of bikers on the Teide roads, drive responsively!
We enjoyed the Teide National Park so much that we came back 3 times during our stay! Not to go to the top of Mount Teide, but to hike around these diversified and unreal landscapes and of course enjoy the view from every angles!!
The Teide National Park was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.
The technical bits:
Lots of info on www.todotenerife.es
Driving to the cable cart station is easy, the roads are nice and in good condition.
There wasn’t any waiting as we were there in the winter but it gets really busy in the high season.
Remember that you can only reach the very top of the volcano if you have a permit which you can request via www.reservasparquesnacionales.es
If you don’t have a permit, you can still take the cable cart and hike around the Teide or simply enjoy the view.
Wear good shoes!
Have you been to Tenerife? What was your favorite thing to do there?
Tell me in the comments below!