Did you know that the third highest volcanic structure is in Tenerife? And that it also happens to be the highest peak in the whole of Spain? Oh yes – it’s El Teide.
We visited Tenerife on our Christmas holidays a while back. As our family likes to explore our surroundings by car, we rented one for a couple of days. It’s the easiest way to get to El Teide, if you want to stick to your own timetable. But it’s not necessarily very comfortable, as the roads are curvy and the possibility of feeling carsick is very real. From the Southern coastal towns, it takes around one hour to reach The Lower Station.
It’s a good idea to have an early start to avoid the cable car queues and find parking easily. 3,5 million visitors a year come to the Teide, so it’s popular!
It’s possible to hike up the Teide but you need a special permit for that which must be obtained beforehand. I would imagine most tourists take the cable car to The Upper Station. The ride up is not long but it’s very scenic.
El Teide stands tall at 3,718-meters above sea level and 7,500 metres above the ocean floor – thus a big part of it is under the sea. It makes Tenerife the 10th highest island in the world.
Now a very valuable piece of advice: do not come in your shorts and flip flops. It will be cold. And I mean COLD.
You will need sunglasses, long pants, sturdy shoes, a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, a hat, gloves and a scarf. We had all this but still felt cold despite the gorgeous sunshine. The breeze is brutal up there!
The air is thinner at these heights, so you might feel out of breath or dizzy.
The volcano and the surrounding area, Teide National Park, have been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007.
It would be quite amazing to experience a sunrise or sunset from here but the cable car is only in operation from 9 am to 4 pm. I noticed that there is a stargazing tour though which you could join!
It can be slippery up there too due to the snow and ice. Some routes were closed due to that.
The views are breathtaking.
We had some clouds but on a clear day it’s possible to see the nearby islands La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma and Gran Canaria. After, we drove to the town of Vilaflor for lunch but as we were still frozen to the core, we didn’t linger.
Last, I want to show you a glimpse of what it was like down below, by the sea. Tenerife is far from a snowy kind of place, LOL! I must admit – I had many reservations before going to Tenerife. The last time I’d been there was as a child in the late 70’s and after that had only heard terrible stories about how awful it is (i.e. packed with red faced drunken tourists). I must say I was pleasantly surprised, most of the tourists were families with children and I found that Tenerife has a lot to offer in terms of nature. It’s only a six hour flight from Finland, so I’d say it’s an excellent choice for a week’s holiday especially in wintertime.
Have you been to Tenerife? Did you visit El Teide?