A massive volcanic mountain in a spectacular park provides an unforgettable day out.
Things to do in Tenerife
Visit Mount Teide
Tenerife’s majestic Mount Teide looks like a volcano because that’s what it is. It last erupted in 1909. It’s 12,000 feet high, six times the height of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.
It’s the highest mountain in Spain, the third largest volcano in the world, has been one of the top 10 most visited sites in the world and is the most visited natural wonder of Spain.
Not surprisingly it dominates the centre of the island where it sits in a huge crater left by an earlier volcanic eruption. This dramatic area of petrified lava and ancient craters is the massive Tenerife National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site since 2007.
If you visit you may well think you have gone to the moon. Parts of the landscape are so lunar-like the Americans used them to simulate moon landings and they have been used as sets for movies such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Planet of the Apes.
There’s a cable car that, for a fee, whisks visitors close to the summit of Mount Teide in an exciting eight-minute ride. The panoramic views of the island and the archipelago are spectacular. Be warned, it can be cold up there even on a hot day.
There’s a stiff hike to the sulphurous summit. So many people want to go that a permit is needed in advance from the national park’s web site. Take it with you and ID.
Visitors can drive, take a bus or an excursion to the cable car’s base camp. The journey there is amazing. There are also hiking routes across the park. Some of the mountain slopes are covered in forests of Canary Island pine trees and laurels. Flowers thrive in the intense sunlight despite the lack of moisture.
The volcano was a sacred site to the aboriginal Guanches who, more than 3,000 years ago, were the island’s original inhabitants.
Read more about Mount Teide in our blog.