Teide - the third volcano in the world
The highest peak in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world is called Teide. Has height 3 718 m above sea level (and from the bottom of the sea 7 500 m).
Standing at the top, the clouds are at your feet and you seem to reach forever. The air is extremely transparent and the sun shines almost always here (the Canary Islands are, next to Hawaii and Chile, one of the three best places to observe the sky from Earth). Situations where visibility is limited here are rare. The observing conditions prevailing here are eagerly used by astronomers who built the world's largest solar astronomical observatory on the slopes of Teide.
It is not surprising that the volcano and its peak is the goal of so many tourists coming to Tenerife. But there is one but ...
Around 2016 million tourists came to the Canary Islands in 14. From this 1 / 3 tourist traffic (i.e. about 4,5 million) went to Tenerife.
Although the Teide summit is easy to conquer (you can reach the summit by cable car), it will reach it in a year less than 65 thousand. people or just over 1% of people visiting Tenerife. Why? Of course not because of the lack of volunteers!
The number of people who have the right to enter the summit is deliberately limited and strictly controlled. You need to get permission for a specific day and time. The permit is free but you must apply for it well in advance. Whoever does not manage to book the date will leave with a ticket (below, of course, I will provide all the details, details and information related to booking the summit).
Anyone who has arrived on Teide will probably confirm, however, that the top is just the icing on the cake. The area surrounding it, i.e. the Teide National Park, is an extraordinary area and it is worth writing a few words about it about the Teide story. The more that when going to Teide, you will traverse the Park area.
Volcano and Teide National Park from space
Before we head towards Teide, let's take a look at the volcano and its surroundings from above, from space. They will help us in this three-dimensional satellite images - [click] shared in the form of a map by Google.
The photo clearly shows that the main cone of the volcano is surrounded by a ring in the form of a characteristic landslide (after clicking link to the photo - [click] using the mouse you can enlarge and move the photo by pressing additionally left Ctrl key you change the angle at which you are observing the area).
In fact, it is a landslide resulting from the collapse of a cone Las Cañadas volcanothat was in this place before Teide was formed.
Las Cañadas for a long time spewed volcanic material reaching a height of about 4 500 m. So under the volcano cone a partially empty help chamber was created, into which Las Cañadas eventually collapsed forming the landslide visible in the photo.
The collapsed area of the volcano is called the caldera. In this case it is the Cañadas caldera.
Teide and Pico Viejo located next to it were formed as a result of further volcanic activity in the area of the Caldera Cañadas.
The borders of the Cañadas caldera are setting boundaries today Teide National Park.
When entering the Teide National Park, it is worth paying attention to the landslide being covered along the way, which is also the Park's border.
Driving the caldera towards the cone of the volcano you will probably get the impression that you are on another planet. The landscape, nature of the ground, materials, topography, colors ... everything will make you feel as if you were exploring another planet, not Earth. In fact, your feeling will be correct, because the space around you is actually similar to those that prevail on the Moon or Mars.
Parking on the lunar-martian plateau, GPS:
28°15’57.1″N 16°35’19.1″W lub
28.265859, -16.588645 - click and route
So don't be surprised if you notice a space vehicle moving on the caldera surface in the form of a rover or other quirk ...
No, it will not be a UFO, but it can be tested by one of the space agencies, the vehicle that will be sent into space in some time ... Yes, yes! Space agencies, due to the similarities that exist between this area and the surfaces of other planets, occasionally test their vehicles here before sending them on a mission.
The ExoMars expedition Martian expedition tested their devices here, and the European Space Agency (ESA) tested the skills of its moon rovers. You can see it in the photo below, which I took directly from the website ESA - [click].
If you are interested in more photos and information about tests on Teide, I put a link to the test report page on the page ESA - [click]
Driving towards Teide, it is also worth paying attention to what I cease to be so easily seen up close when you get up: the cone of volcano covering the cone of lava. They look the most beautiful from a distance. Time stopped for them. The impression is amazing.
Teide cable car
It's the easiest way to get to the top of the volcano. The lower station of the cable car is at an altitude of 2. 356 m. In high season it can be a problem finding a free place. It remains patiently search.
You have to queue for the ticket office. There is probably no season of the year in which there would not be a queue of people willing to go to the volcano. Its length depends mainly on the season. The longest is in summer. When you try to go up the Teide cable car, you never know what time the next free ticket will be. It may turn out that the next entrance is free, e.g. in 4 or 5 hours. For this reason, I recommend purchasing tickets online in advance.
Where to buy Teide tickets?
Preferably directly on the official website for the Teide cable car and tourist traffic: i.e. VolcanoTeide.com.
Fortunately, it so happens that due to the popularity of this direction among Poles, the website is also available in Polish. So here are two links: one to the Polish version of the site, and the other to the English version (if someone prefers this language).
Buying tickets online for a specific time zone guarantees that the waiting time for the trip to the top will not exceed 30 minutes. You must show the ticket you bought online - whether printed or displayed on your phone screen - in the cable car departure room 20 minutes before the time shown on the ticket. You will then gain access to the departure lounge and then to the cabin boarding area.
At the bottom station of the cable car you will also find information on hiking trails that you can follow on the volcano.
The trip to the top station of the funicular, located at the height of 3 555 m above sea level, takes about 10 minutes. There are no restaurants at the top of the cable car. There are small viewing terraces here. Hiking trails to distant viewpoints and to the top of the volcano start here.
The Teide cable car is open from 9: 00 to 16: 00. The last exit is at 16: 00, and the last exit at 16: 50.
In July, August and September it is open from 9: 00 to 19: 00. The last exit is at 18: 00, and the last exit at 18: 50.
In October, until the time changes to winter the queue is open from 9: 00 to 17: 30. The last exit is at 16: 30, and the last exit at 17: 20.
Teide - Parking at the valley station, GPS:
28°15’21.4″N 16°37’28.1″W lub
28.255939, -16.624462 - click and route
Teide trails and viewpoints
At the top of the cable car you have a choice three trails. Below you will find basic information about them. The assessment of the difficulty level of the trails has been raised by one degree, due to the significant height at which the journey takes place (thinned air and possible breathing difficulties) and due to the strong sulfur smell coming out of holes and crevices, which can significantly hinder the journey.
Trail to the summit of Teide volcano - trail number 10 (Telesforo Bravo)
Difficulty level: tall
Trail Length: 0,7 km
Access to the trail requires a special permit. You can't go on the trail without him. The number of entries to the top of the volcano is limited. A day can enter from 140 to 200 people in specific, 2-hour time zones. No more than 40 people may stay in each zone. Restrictions are very restrictive. I strongly advise you well in advance (even several months) to ensure that you can enter at a convenient time for you by obtaining the necessary permission. The reservation of the date and obtaining the permit takes place via the internet on the website Teide National Park - [click] and it's free.
The trail to the Mirador de la Fortaleza viewpoint - trail number 11
Difficulty level: average
Trail Length: 0,5 km
Access to the trail is free, no permit required. From the vantage point you can admire the northern slopes of the Teide volcano: the La Orotava valley, the ridge of the La Esperanza mountain, the domes of the Teide Astrophysical Observatory, the Izana Atmospheric Observatory and the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
The trail to the Mirador Pico Viejo viewpoint - trail number 12
Difficulty level: average
Trail Length: 0,7 km
Access to the trail is free, no permit required. From the trail you can admire the crater of the twin volcano Pico Viejo, with a diameter of 800 meters and a height of 3 140 m above sea level. The caldera's shape with its steep borders, and the languages of frozen lava are also perfectly visible. From the vantage point you can see the southern coast of Tenerife with small villages and recreation centers, the airport belt and neighboring islands: La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma
How to get to Teide without permission?
Is it possible? Thanks!
Is this legal? Thanks!
You just have to meet a simple condition: you must climb the trail to the top (trail number 10) before 9 in the morning. This is 100% legal. Access to the summit requires permission only from 9.00. If you get on the trail sooner, you can legally get Teide.
Unfortunately, at this time the cable car is not running yet, so you won't be able to enter the trail before 9.00, even when you get upstairs by the first car (the first one is for 9.00).
In practice, there are two options to choose from.
Mount Teide without permission - Option one:
Night hiking trail number 7 from the TF-21 road (the beginning of the trail is at 40,7 kilometer of the road). Next to the starting point of the trail there is a small, free car park.
Trail Length: 8,2 km
Elevation: 1 188 m
Time of march up: 6 hours
Walking time down: 4,5 hours
Under the Teide peak you need to go to trail number 10 and you must do it before 9.00. It follows that from the parking lot at the beginning of the trail number 7 you must start at the latest at 3 at night.
Parking lot and start of trail number 7 to Teide (via Montana Blanca peak), GPS:
28.259488, -16.603383 - click and route
Mount Teide without permission - Option two:
Overnight in a hostel Altavista. It's definitely an easier version. The day before you should reach the Altavista hut (from the bottom on your feet, or by cable car and then go down a little down to the hostel). Then overnight at the shelter and morning exit to the summit to enter trail number 10 before 9.00 in the morning. It takes only 90 minutes to reach the Teide Peak from the hostel, but it is worth setting off from the hostel before 6.00 in the morning to see the spectacular sunrise. The view is overpowering.
Unfortunately, the hostel does not have unlimited capacity. They are in it only 54 space and usually run out more or less on a month earlier. So if you plan this version of getting Teide, book yourself a place in the shelter at least a month earlier. You can do it directly on the hostel's website - [click]
Other Teide National Park attractions
When choosing Teide, it is worth calculating at least one of the following suggestions during the trip (Roques de García is a must !!!).
Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to predict from which side of the island you will go, for this I decided to make a map showing the location of the proposed attractions on the island and combine them into a neat route. As you can see they are very conveniently arranged in a logical sequence. The order from which you will arrive depends only on the order in which they are taken (from 1 to 4 or vice versa).
Description of attractions that I have not mentioned yet, and are on the map can be found under the map.
Mirador de La Ruleta and Roques de García
Very interesting and picturesque volcanic-rock formations, along with a walking path between the most interesting of them.
Parking at Mirador de La Ruleta and Roques de García:
28.223310, -16.630338 - click and route
Solar Astronomical Observatory
This is the world's largest solar observatory. It is possible to visit the observatory with a guide, during which you can observe spots on the surface of the sun through two telescopes.
Parking by the astronomical observatory, GPS:
28.298006, -16.509554 - click and route
Rent a car in Tenerife
I based the entire trip program on the assumption that you have a rental car at your disposal. This is by far the best and most convenient option for exploring the island. By the way, it is the cheapest option. Definitely cheaper than buying optional trips in hotels. I am considering recalculating the case, especially since I have described the car rental in cheap and good rental companies in detail in the entry: Tenerife - rent a car without a credit card and a deposit. Car rentals - comparison of offers
Tenerife - tourist attractionsOn the blog you will find descriptions of several other tourist attractions in Tenerife. I grouped them into one category: Tenerife. See the list described by me attractions in Tenerife - [click].
What else to do in Tenerife?
Local guides and attraction organizers in Tenerife sometimes have quite interesting ideas.
Below is a brief list of the most popular of them. If this is not enough for you and you want to see more suggestions then you will find them after clicking on the link: suggestions for interesting attractions in Tenerife - [click]
There are cruises, scuba diving, dolphin and whale watching, turtle diving… and much more. The color of your choice!
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