Mount Teide and its Volcanic Landscapes
Mount Teide and its
Your first love affair with the island begins the moment you arrive, if you are lucky enough to fly over it on a completely clear day. From the heart of Tenerife, as if it were a lighthouse, the volcano welcomes you and points the way to a safe visit, protected by its slopes and ravines.
Once you have landed, and only half an hour’s drive from Puerto de la Cruz, is this jewel of nature, Teide National Park, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007 for being “one of the richest and most diverse places in terms of volcanic landscapes and spectacular natural values in the world”. With its 3,718 metres, El Teide is the highest peak in Spain and the third highest volcano on the planet from the sea bed (7,500 metres).
The climb to Teide is quite spectacular. Observe the changes in the vegetation, the Forest Crown, the whimsical shapes and colours on the rocks, the impressive views or the “sea of clouds” from the many viewpoints you will find along the way. Remember, the Park has four main accesses (two to the north and two to the south), and the ideal thing to do is to go up one and down the other, in order to enjoy the experience to the full.
To walk through the Cañadas del Teide, which form a giant Caldera of about 17 km in diameter at 2,000 meters above sea level, is overwhelming. A Martian landscape, with hundreds of cones, caves and a flora and fauna which are unique to the world (such as the marvellous red tajinaste, the echium wildpretii red bugloss, or the Teide Violet, emblem and pride of the Park). If you visit it in winter, maybe you can play in the snow before or after a refreshing swim in the sea.
What’s more, you can climb the peak by cable car, sleep at the Altavista Refuge or at the Parador Nacional hotel, or take a guided or self-guided hike along the Park’s Trail Network, always making dure you wear comfortable shoes, have a telephone, water, and sufficient warm clothes.
Teide National Park is also an excellent place to visit at night.
With one of the cleanest skies in Europe, to observe the stars here is to brush them with your fingertips.
With the inspiration of the important observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – one of the most remarkable astrophysical institutions in the world – installed in the area, we can stop and compare our age with the millions of years of the volcanic environment or with the billions of years of the stars we can see.
Keep in mind: a visit to Teide is a must if you spend a few days in Puerto de la Cruz.
You will only understand the nature of the islander, once you have felt his lava heart beating.