Exploring Mount Teide National Park

Mon, July 25th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

If you only venture out of your holiday resort once during your visit to Tenerife, it should be to Teide National Park. Coming to Tenerife and not visiting Mount Teide is like going to the Sahara Desert without seeing the sand.

I’ve lived on the island for nearly eight years and have visited Teide National Park on countless occasions. Every time I turn the corner on the road up from Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava to be confronted by a landscape so unique that it defies description I feel the surge of excitement. There’s a reason why the term ‘other worldly’ is often used to describe the immense plains of glistening black basaltic lava fields, rust coloured cones and melted rock formations like melted wax from a candle stuck in the nozzle of a chianti bottle – it is like no other place on earth.

 

It doesn’t take an over-active imagination to visualise dinosaurs or mythical monsters lurking behind surreal rock formations in the middle of the park’s 18,990 hectares; film-makers clearly feel the same as One Million Years B.C. and both Clash of the Titans were shot in the Mount Teide crater…but not, despite what most tour guides claim, Planet of the Apes or Star Wars.

It is an epic landscape and although Spain’s highest mountain, Mount Teide, is the gasp-inducing centrepiece, there are a number of strategically placed viewpoints that overlook some of the most mind blowing views in the park. Here’s a brief guide to my favourites.

 

 

Roques de Garcia
The vistas over the Plains of Ucanca from the Roques de Garcia are pretty special, but what everyone really wants to do here is to get a picture of the shillelagh shaped Roque Chinchado with Mount Teide in the background. Paths lead around the rocks and up into them for other excellent photo opportunities. The island’s parador lies opposite the rocks and you can buy refreshments there but prices are outrageous.

The Cable Car
Even if you’re not planning on taking a ride to just below the summit of Mount Teide it’s still worth stopping at the cable car station as there are superb views across Las Cañadas del Teide.


 

Minas de San Jose
One of my favourite spots in the crater. The undulating blue-green soil and pahoehoe lava formations spilling down the mountainside here make me think of a setting for Star Trek; a notion encouraged by the fact that there are large pumice rocks littered about the place that are so light you can lift them as though they were polystyrene.

La Tarta
One of the real curios in the park, La Tarta is a rock formation whose diverse layers resemble a slice of cake. It lies on the road heading east from the El Portillo Visitors’ Centre in the direction of La Laguna and Santa Cruz.

 

The best way to get to the crater is by car. There are excursions and a public bus service from Puerto de la Cruz in the north and Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas in the south – but the bus only runs once a day and excursions only allow limited time to explore the wonders of this unique gift from Mother Nature.

Posted : Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 8:17 am
Category : days out
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25 Responses to “Exploring Mount Teide National Park”

  1. […] the island’s second most visited location after Teide National Park, the little hamlet of Masca is a real Tenerife must-see. But with hundreds of thousands of visitors […]

  2. […] is also in the forefront of the world of space exploration. The Observatory, which overlooks Teide National Park, together with one in La Palma, is one of just three sites in the world where the heavens are […]

  3. […] satellite view. Head up into Teide National Park, invest in a cable car trip to just below the summit of Mount Teide and follow the path that takes […]

  4. […] Weather on Tenerife in November There’s a saying here that there’s always one bad month for weather, you just don’t know which it will be. High winds and monsoon-like rainfall are no strangers to November. But if there is bad weather, it is often short-lived; mostly the weather is warm with lots of sunshine, especially in the south and south west. Temperatures stay around the 23-25C mark and it is cooler at night, but we’re talking light jacket cool, not anything heavy duty. November is also often the month when snow falls on Mount Teide. […]

  5. […] of the Mar de Nubes is to wind up the road from La Laguna, past Los Rodeos airport and into the Teide National Park. You will catch stunning vistas, perhaps glimpsing Puerto de la Cruz as clouds shift, and as you […]

  6. […] El Sauzal. However, if you’re staying in the south, and don’t want to make the journey to the Teide National Park, try nipping up to the village of Santiago del Teide, where the famous peak is closer than from […]

  7. […] the surreal surroundings of the Teide National Park, a few metres in any direction will leave the coach tours behind and introduce you to a landscape […]

  8. […] is the result of lava flows from Pico Viejo, which is the mountain you see next to Mt Teide in the National Park, and as you can imagine, exploration continues. However, a portion is open to the public, and […]

  9. […] Apes were filmed on Tenerife – fact or fiction? Fiction. A popular tour guide myth on trips to Teide National Park, neither of these two classic films were shot on Tenerife. The original Planet of the Apes (1968) […]

  10. […] ten criteria for selecting a site are too long to repeat here, but this one probably sums up why Teide National Park was chosen in 2007: “…..is an outstanding example representing major stages of […]

  11. […] stop make it a time consuming choice and lots of places are just too difficult to get to, like Teide National Park which just has one bus up and one bus back every […]

  12. […] to experience the indisputably 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 […]

  13. […] Mount Teide There’s a reason why the Teide National Park is the most visited place on Tenerife; it’s like being on another planet. Take the cable car; […]

  14. […] structures. Hikers in the Canary Islands will often find them by the wayside, including in the Teide National Parque, but the place which has acquired some fame locally is Playa Beril in Costa Adeje where an entire […]

  15. […] the moment, the TF21 road between La Orotava and Teide National Park is closed due to the presence of ice and the TF12 in San Andrés, outside santa Cruz, is down to one […]

  16. […] Teide National Park. When it comes to boasting rights, the number one visitor attraction on Tenerife need never be shy in the changing rooms. More than simply the highest mountain in Spain, it’s also the third highest volcano in the world, measured from base to summit (Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii being the first and second highest respectively) and it has the highest insolation (exposure to sunlight) ratio in Spain, notching up an astonishing 3,448.5 hours of sunshine per year. […]

  17. […] walking enthusiasts to Adeje town for Tenerife’s second most popular natural attraction after the Cañadas del Teide. At last a new information panel near the Casa del Fuerte battlements and canon heralds four […]

  18. […] you ever looked closely at the east coast of Tenerife? Running from the crater wall of Teide National Park, all the way to the sea are a series of craggy ridges that carve the landscape into giant slices, […]

  19. […] why are Tenerife and Teide National Park such a good training ground for […]

  20. […] service was a short enough walk, or taxi ride if necessary. From there they’d taken buses to the Teide National Park and to Puerto de la Cruz thus far. This would have been more difficult had they been staying in the […]

  21. […] to various parts of the island during springtime to allow them to feed from particular flowers – Teide National Park for the flowering retama; Arafo and Arico for the flowering crimson spikes of tajinaste; Candelaria […]

  22. […] Del Teide has got that nowhere else can match is its position. The only hotel within the crater of Teide National Park, regardless of which room you have, the view from your window will be nothing less than out of this […]

  23. […] like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. The travel editor of a UK broadsheet once described Teide National Park as ‘off the beaten track’ which, considering it’s Tenerife’s most popular […]

  24. […] month Teide National Park has been officially declared a Starlight Tourist Destination and a Starlight Reserve by the […]

  25. […] five? That’s a tall order after 12 years of exploring from the heights of Mount Teide to the volcanic depths of Cueva del Viento. Here is my current hit list but it’s bound to change […]

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