How to get to the Summit of Mount Teide

Wed, January 28th, 2015 - By Jack Montgomery

The ultimate trip on Tenerife is to go to the tip of Spain’s highest mountain to gaze across a fantastical landscape often referred to as out of this world. It might be an overused term, but it’s not an exaggeration.

 

View from upper cable car station, Mount Teide, Teide National Park, Tenerife

How do you actually get there?

Climbing seems the obvious answer, and that’s the established way to get from the base to the peak of a mountain. But there are technicalities involved with scaling the third highest volcano on earth. Like the little matter of requiring a permit.

Ways to get to the summit of El Teide
There are two ways to get to the top, or very near it. The hard way and the easy way.

 

Cable Car, Mount Teide, Teide National Park, Tenerife

The easy way is to catch the cable car from the lower station in Teide National Park. Even the lower station isn’t very low; lying at 2356m above sea level, it’s 1000m above the highest point in Britain. The cable car runs between 9am and 4pm (the last descent being 4.50pm) and involves an eight minute trip consisting of astounding views and lots of funny noises every time the cabin ‘jiggles’ past a pylon. It’s not cheap, costing €26 for a return trip for adults and €13 for children but what you get in return is an incredible travel experience.
The cable car deposits you at a nose-bleed inducing 3555m (it doesn’t really bring on a nose bleed, unless you trip getting out of the cable car).

For most people this is the way to get high on Tenerife and the views from this height are sensational. Although the summit is only about 163m higher, I don’t really see the point of… err going to the point if it hasn’t involved a climb all the way from the crater floor.

 

Climbing Mount Teide, Teide National Park, Tenerife

And that takes me to the hard way to get to this altitude- walking. There’s far more of an effort involved, but it does reward with a greater sense of achievement at actually mastering the mountain.

Follow the Montaña Blanca trail from the TF21 to the Altavista Refuge at 3,270m. This should take about 4/5 hours depending on fitness levels and how individuals react high altitudes. From the refuge it’s another hour’s walk to reach the cable car and the entrance to the final ascent.

The Final Push
At this point you need a permit to proceed any further. To get one you can apply online at the National Park website where you’ll be given a choice of timeslots. These cover two-hour periods between 9am and 5pm. If you don’t turn up with your permit during your allotted slot you won’t be allowed to pass as there are only 50 people allowed on the final summit route at any one time.
You need to produce ID, such as your passport, as well as the permit to gain access to the final push.

 

Sunrise from Mount Teide, Teide National Park, Tenerife

There is one way to reach the summit without needing a permit and that’s staying overnight at the Altavista Refuge. Do that and you’re automatically allowed access to the peak. Not only that, you get to see dawn from the peak of a volcano – a mind-blowing travel experience that is difficult to top.

Posted : Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 at 10:51 am
Category : days out
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