Mount Teide: A Holiday High Point

Tenerife is a good choice for a holiday pretty much any time of year. As well as the warm climate and of course the numerous beautiful beaches, there is plenty to do if you’re a more active type of holidaymaker. Sometimes referred to as the ‘island of eternal spring’, Tenerife averages about 20-22ºC, so you can be sure of warm weather almost all year round, but it’s not uncomfortably hot or humid.

For those after stunning natural scenery, Teide National Park (or Parque Nacional de las Cañadas in Spanish) is a particular must-see in Tenerife. A national park since 1954, Teide features a huge volcanic crater 30 miles wide, from which Mount Teide rises to 12,200 feet, making it the highest mountain in Spain. If natural beauty’s your thing, then coming here should be top of your list when on holiday in Tenerife.

When you drive up to the park from the south, take in the local town of Vilaflor with its alpine-like scenery and notice the way the landscape changes to dessert-like terrain as you travel further up the park and mountainside. The further upwards you travel, the more you’ll notice that the scenery looks almost other-worldly and space-like. In fact, the park has been used for research into Mars thanks to its environmental and geological similarities with the ‘red planet’.

If you choose to take a bus to the park, you can catch one bus a day from Puerto de la Cruz and one from Playa de la Americas to Teide. Ask at the local tourist information office or your hotel to be sure of up to date times and service numbers.

You can choose to take a cable car up to the very top of Mount Teide, which will take around eight minutes, or you can tackle a walk all the way up. If you go for the latter option, be sure to pack plenty of water, slap on your sunblock and get a decent pair of walking boots. It will take about five hours to get to the top so you’d be wise to avoid doing this in the heat of summer.

You’ll need a permit for the summit, which you can get from the Teide National Park Office in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and you’ll need to take a copy of your passport. Alternatively you can email teide@oapn.mma.es for a permit.

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