The Cable Car Ride up Mount Teide

Mon, March 21st, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

It’s a gulp-inducing sight, particularly if your head doesn’t generally respond well to the notion that there’s an abyss of space between your feet and terra firma. You console yourself with the size of the queue; “this’ll take forever”, you muse, “they might even close it before I get there.” But the straw that you’re clutching gets shorter in parallel with the length of the queue which seems to be diminishing at an alarmingly rapid rate. And before you know it, you’re being hoisted at eight metres per second, suspended above the volcanic terrain and heading towards your Tenerife holiday high.

The Teide Cable Car has been ferrying visitors to within 200 metres of the summit of Spain’s highest mountain ever since it first left the blocks in 1971. Operated by Teleférico, the shiny blue and silver cars effortlessly carry 35 passengers at a time over the 1200 metre ascent from 2356 metres to 3555 metres above sea level in under 10 minutes.

As the car rises, the splendour of the landscape unfolds beneath your feet offering a unique perspective of Teide National Park. Each time it reaches a pylon the car gives a judder and a small drop which goes straight to the stomach and all 35 of its multi-national passengers make the same whoooo noise; the universal language of nerves barely concealed beneath a veneer of bravado.

Once deposited at the upper station, many visitors choose to loiter around the terminus area, taking snaps from the small viewing platform and waiting for the next car down. But to make such an incredible journey and not to explore is a crime against the laws of opportunity.

Rocky paths lead in two directions from the station, one goes east to the Mirador La Fortuleza which looks down over the La Orotava Valley to Puerto de la Cruz, and the other leads west to Pico Viejo and science fiction-esque views over the old crater. On the horizon La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma and Gran Canaria are clearly visible suspended in the clouds, reminding you that you’re part of a family, each island connected to the next by the uniqueness of its location on the planet.

Without the cable car, the opportunity to stand on top of the world, just below the summit of Europe’s highest volcano and Spain’s highest mountain, would be lost to all but the most tenacious of hikers. It’s a never-to-be-forgotten experience and one which every visitor to Tenerife should undertake at least once.

Fact File:
The cable car runs from 9am to 4pm and the last car down leaves at 5pm. Prices are €25 adults (residents €12) and €12.50 children (up to 14 years). In strong winds, ice or snow, the operation of the cable car can be suspended. Check the ‘information in real time’ page on the website before making the journey.

Posted : Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 12:41 pm
Category : days out
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One Response to “The Cable Car Ride up Mount Teide”

  1. […] number one thing to see and do when on Tenerife, you have to visit Teide National Park and take the cable car ride to within 200 metres of the peak of Spain’s highest mountain and Tenerife’s icon, […]

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