The Teide National Park on Tenerife
The Pico del Teide is a volcano on Tenerife. It is the highest point of the Canary Islands and at the same time the highest point of Spain.
The volcano, which still remains active and the surrounding mountain area form the Teide National Park, one of the most visited in the whole of Spain.
The Teide offers an easy access from all parts of the island of Tenerife. The access roads runs from the southern part of the island to the north. The local bus company also offer a daily service from both parts of the island, with busses leaving from Playa de las Americas in the sunny south and Puerto de la Cruz in the green north.
There are many excursions leaving to the National Park from the most important tourist resorts on the island where travelers can find plenty of information about the National Park. There are plenty of parking facilities and a visit by rent a car can be an excellent alternative offering a lot more flexibility compared with an organized daytrip.
The cable car which can transport up to thirty eight passengers takes approximately eight minutes to reach the mountain station situated some two hundred meters below the summit of the volcano. A special authorization is needed to climb to the top, because access the summit of the Teide is restricted in order to protect the delicate environment.
The views from the summit are breathtaking, especially the lush green northern part of the island and places like Icod de los Vinos, La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz. On a clear day it is even possible to see some of the neigbouring islands like Gran Canaria or La Gomera.
It is also possible to hike up to the mountain terminal of the cable car. Due to the lack of oxygen these hikes are very demanding and can cause a light form of altitude sickness. It is advisable that hikers return to lower altitudes as soon as they experience dizziness or become light-headed.
The Teide volcano was considered a mystical mountain by the aboriginal population of Tenerife, the Guanches, which believed the sky was held up by the Teide.
The last eruption of the Teide happened at the beginning of the twentieth century and the volcano is currently considered dormant, but active. During the eruptions of the Teide over the last centuries several towns and smaller fishing villages have been destroyed by the volcano. The lava of these eruptions is still visible beside the road from Chio to Vilaflor and in Las Cañadas del Teide.