Teide National Park

Mountain range with an active volcano.

Teide National Park is a stunning nature reserve surrounding the volcano Teide, located in the centre of the island. Teide is an active volcano that last erupted in 1909. Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most visited national park in Europe.

Volcano Teide

Mount Teide is actually a volcano in a crater of a volcano. Millions of years ago, a large volcano erupted, leaving a 16 km wide crater, and a small volcano, Mount Teide, was formed on its northern side. The whole area now forms a unique volcanic landscape full of lava rocks, lava springs and lava ash cushions. The crater is lined with a rocky rim called La Caldera de las Canadas. Erosion has formed these rocks into very interesting and unusual rock structures. Even more strangely shaped are rocks called Roques de Garcia. One of them, Cinchado, often appears in many photographs of the park. Cinchado is a rock that looks very unstable and one feels that this huge rock will overturn at any moment.

Hike to Teide

The only road that leads through the crater is known as Las Canadas, which leads to the Parador Chalet and to the cable car. The cable car can take you almost to the top of Mount Teide, from which there is a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside. Mount Teide measures 3718 meters, which makes it the highest mountain in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. A forty-minute relatively strenuous hike will take you from the cable car to the top. However, if you want to go to the top, you must apply in advance for a permit that is only valid for one day. You can get permission (which is free of charge) here. The number of issued permits per day is limited, so we recommend that you apply for it well in advance.

Snow on Teide

Weather conditions in Teide National Park are more extreme than on the rest of the island. In winter, there is often snow on the top of Mount Teide, and in summer temperatures can reach more than 40°C. When there is snow on Teide, many locals get dressed in warm clothes, pack bodyboards in the car and go to the mountains. Cars don´t have winter tires here, so the roads to Teide are often closed, and locals have to wait until they are open again. Then traffic jams form because everyone wants to see the snow. When they finally get to the places where there is snow, they take out their bodyboards and have fun sliding down the slopes! If you want, you can go swimming when you return to the coast on the same day.