Tenerife Mount Teide - Summit You Must See
With a sub-tropical climate, glorious sandy beaches, and an endless list of excursions, it's no wonder why Tenerife draws over 1.5 million UK tourists each year, double that of the island's population!
It is situated at the same latitude as Orlando in Florida and less than 300km from the Western Sahara, yet the largest Canary Island boasts a more tolerable temperature for Brits throughout the year, thanks to the north-easterly trade winds.
With its varying altitudes, you could be basking in the heat in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island, with a full view of snow-capped Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3,718 metres.
Climbing Mount Teide - Spain's Highest Mountain
Mount Teide is the third highest volcanic structure in the world after Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The impressive stratovolcano started to form 170,000 years ago and is still active, the last eruption being in 1909, but don't let that put you off from visiting the summit as the views are spectacular.
What is Best; Walk, Bike or Drive?
During the ascent up the mountain – you can choose to hike or bike up, but I would recommend driving as it is a very long way to go – you will see the island's capital of Santa Cruz and the vast array of flora and fauna, such as the Teide daisy. There are ample places to hire a car for a cheap price to start your journey to the summit, but make sure you check the FCO safety page for Spain as there are different rules to driving in the UK; such as a hefty fine for driving topless in a car!
It is the mountain's wealth of indigenous plants and species that contributed to it being declared a national park in 1954, and then a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The main highlight of nearing the summit is the abundance of rocks in different shapes and colours, notably 'Los Huevos del Teide' (the eggs of Teide) which are giant black boulders made of obsidian lava. You may be tempted to take some stones from your trip as a souvenir, but this is strictly forbidden as it is a protected site, so make sure you check Tenerife's tourism page or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website to ensure you do not break any rules or regulations.
The Views of Incredible
The journey up the mountain is truly magnificent, offering views of the most glorious sunset over a sea of clouds. And if you stay until nighttime, you will be beneath a sky filled with stars, with views of the Milky Way in summer. Nearing the top of Mount Teide there is a cable car at 2,356m which offers either an exciting or terrifying (depending on if you have a head for heights or not) 8-minute journey towards the top leaving you just the final 200m journey to do on foot to reach the crater... but who will even know if you did not get quite to the top.
What to Pack
What you pack really does depend on the time of year. I highly recommend you bring a jacket though as temperatures drop drastically! You might also want to pack snacks and drinks.
By Lucy Stretch