Considering Tenerife is dominated by the third largest volcano in the world which just happens to also be the highest mountain on Spanish territory, where to see volcanoes on Tenerife might seem a bit obvious.
But Mount Teide, impressive though it is, doesn’t fit my idea of a volcano. Admittedly the vision in my head was put there by the villain’s lair in You Only Live Twice – a volcanic cone whose top had been blown off leaving a concave crater, preferably with a lake ideal for disguising the fact the volcano was a launch pad for rockets.
You don’t get lakes in craters on Tenerife. But you can find some lovely looking volcanic cones that would be perfect as weekend homes for evil masterminds hell bent on world domination.
Pico Viejo (the old peak) is exactly how I imagined a volcanic crater should look. It’s a huge stratovolcano with a gaping cavernous crater. Looking down on it from Mount Teide’s upper slopes, with views of the Atlantic, La Gomera and El Hierro is not only one of the best views on Tenerife, it’s one of the best views I’ve been blown away by anywhere. And it’s a view most people can enjoy as it only involves a shortish walk from the upper cable car which transports people to just below the summit of Mount Teide.
Teide National Park
Unsurprisingly, Teide National Park is a good hunting ground for volcanic cones. Although, considering the park is one massive volcanic landscape, there aren’t as many as you might expect. The best place to view them is to get high at the north eastern end of the park where the formations aren’t as surreal as the southern half of the park and the smooth, circular cones stand out more. One of my favourites is between El Portillo and Montaña Blanca at the base of Teide.
The Volcanoes of South Tenerife
Partly thanks to the arid landscape, the volcanic cones and craters which are peppered across the southern parts of Tenerife are more easy to spot. Pick the right spot and it can be quite surprising just how many volcanic cones there are. Mirador Centinela near San Miguel de Abona is a good viewpoint as it the plateau at Roque del Conde above Los Cristianos.
Montaña de las Arenas
The sandy slopes of Montaña de las Arenas stand rise from the Caldera de Pedro Gil above Tenerife’s east coast. It looks like a perfect volcanic cone when viewed from the road running along Tenerife’s spine between La Laguna and Teide National Park. It isn’t, as I discovered nearly killing myself by climbing its sandy, energy-draining, slopes to to the crater rim. But it looks fabulous from a distance.
Montaña de los Frailes
There’s a shortage of volcanic cones on the northern side of Tenerife, so it’s easy to spot Montaña de los Frailes between Los Realejos and Puerto de la Cruz in the Orotava Valley. Instead of a crater, there’s an ermita (little church) at the top. But I’m including it because it has something in its slopes the others don’t; El Monasterio – a beautiful, religious themed series of restaurants and cafés with views across the valley and the north coast. Who needs a crater when you’ve got those?
Category : about tenerife
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