Geography, Travel tips  • 

A jorney to Mars: all you need to know about Teide volcano on Tenerife

December 16, 2016

stargazing-on-teide

The sunburnt island of Tenerife offers a bunch of touristy attractions you might want to check out. If you want to experience something amazing, unique and unreal though, the best place to go is definitely the Teide volcano.

Measured from the base to the top, Teide is the third highest volcano on our planet. Oh, but it was even bigger once until it collapsed some couple hundred thousand years ago and formed a massive caldera. The whole caldera is now a national park, and a strictly protected one as there’s a lot of endemic plants and animals. You can visit some of its parts though, there’s a lot of hiking trails. There is also a cable car to the top of the volcano, see details below.

When I got to Teide caldera the first time, it instantly reminded me of pictures of Mars I’ve seen. Indeed, the area around Teide so closely resembles conditions on Mars that scientists even test their rovers on Tenerife!

It’s worth mentioning that Teide is still an active volcano and its latest eruption was in 1909. It destroyed human settlements quite a lot of times and its most famous victim is the coastal town of Garachico in the North. The 1706 eruption completely destroyed the whole town, along with its port.

how-to-get-to-teide

Getting to Teide volcano:

  • By car: there’s a road from the South to the North of Tenerife which passes right through the Teide National Park (here’s a map).
  • By public transport: take a public transport TITSA bus to Teide from Puerto de la Cruz or Las Americas (details can be found here).
  • With a tour: a bunch of tours will take you to Teide caldera (during the day or for stargazing) by bus or private car. You can purchase a tour in any big town in Tenerife, the prices start at 16 euro.

Staying in Teide National Park:

  • a mountain refuge called Altavista is situated near the cable car to Teide. It’s a typical refuge with dorm rooms but you can stay there for maximum 1 night. You need to make a reservation before you go, especially on weekends!
  • second option is Parador de las Canadas hotel, bit further from the cable car. This is the only hotel on Teide and it costs about 100 euro per room.

teide-volcano

Things to do in Teide National Park

Here’s a bunch of cool ideas for your trip!


Take the cable car to Teide

Isn’t visiting an active volcano exciting?! A cable car ticket costs 27 euro and it’s best to purchase it online beforehand as the line to the ticket booth gets quite long. The number or visitors per day is limited. Buying a ticket doesn’t guarantee the ascent, as the cable car runs only during good weather conditions (but you don’t have to worry about that during the summer months).

Hike the Teide mountain!

There’s a trail called Telesforo Bravo from La Rambleta which you can take. IMPORTANT: you need a permit to visit Pico del Teide which you can get for free here, book it a couple of months before the hike. It’s highly recommended to climb the Teide early in the morning to see the sunrise from the peak.

The elevation rise isn’t huge but bear in mind it’s not an easy hike. There’s not as much oxygen at 3700 metres and people with heart or lung problems can even experience altitude sickness.

how-to-get-to-teide-tenerife

Hike around Teide caldera

You can find a list of routes here. Oh, and if you don’t want to deal with all the fuss of getting permits etc, you can just book a private tour here.

Visit the observatory

Teide’s observatory mostly researches the sun as the conditions here are perfect all year round (Teide is usually higher than the clouds). You can learn about the science happening on Teide and see the researchers at work! Learn about visiting the Teide observatory here.

tenerife-teide-volcano

Stargazing

This is a must-do on Tenerife! In every town you can get a tour which will take you to Teide caldera in the evening, let you watch the beautiful sunset and then, when the night falls, bring out telescopes and show you planets and constellation.

You can also just get to Teide by car, stay in a hotel or refuge and enjoy the stars until late. It’s an unforgettable experience, hard to describe. The crater is one of the darkest places on Earth and you can see the Milky Way and an incredible amount of stars. Be sure to pack warm clothes as it gets very cold up there, even during the summer!

sunset-on-teide-tenerife night-on-teide-volcano stargazing-tenerife

This post was not sponsored :) Have a nice trip!

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