When you come to Tenerife, it would be a shame if you miss out on the beautiful Teide National Park. Not only is mount Teide the highest mountain in Spain with its 3.718 meters, but it is also an active volcano. Named by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 2007, the landscape of the protected Teide National Park is well known for its features that resemble the surface of Mars. So, if you don’t feel like flying all the way to Mars, this is your chance to see what it must be like up there!
Location of the Teide National Park
The Teide National Park is smack in the middle of the island so it is very hard to miss. You have a few options to get to the National Park from where you are staying
- If your accommodation is located in the south of the island and you want to rent a car, it will take you at least about 1 hour to get to the beginning of the park. You can either take the highway until Los Gigantes and then head inland towards Mount Teide. Or you can drive to Los Cristianos and head up to Vilaflor, the highest mountain village of Tenerife at 1.400 meters above sea level.
- If you are located in the northern part of the island it will also take you about 1 hour to reach the National Park, either from Santa Cruz or from Puerto de la Cruz.
- When you want to explore the park but are not seeing the benefit of driving on your own, you can always book a guided tour with your local Tour Operator or pass by one of the local ticket offices.
National Park walking
The entrance to the National Park is free and you can drive around on the paved roads through the park itself. If you want to go hiking in the National Park, this is also free. All the hiking trails are well signposted and they all contain a bit of extra information about the trails.
If you want to climb the peak of the Teide on foot, you have to obtain a permission to do so. This permit is free of charge but it is best to obtain it a few months in advance because the places are limited. Check out this website to obtain your permit. If you want to stay overnight on Mount Teide on your way up, this is possible in the Altavista Mountain Refuge, you have to book the stay a few months in advance. The price is 21€ per person and it also includes the permit for you to climb the peak of Mount Teide before 9am to watch the sunrise. You can access the refuge between 5pm and 10pm. You have to leave the refuge before 7:30am and the bedrooms open at 7pm. Book your tickets here.
If you don’t feel like hiking up the mountain, you can always take the cable car. Read more information about the cable car here.
- Did you know that researchers use the Teide National Park to test vehicles and instruments they want to send to Mars? Because of the similarity between the National Park and the planet Mars, this is the ideal test ground for researcher around the world.
- The National Park is a popular place for filmmakers. Amongst others, the park features in films like Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, One Million Years B.c., The Fast and the Furious part 6 and Rambo V.
- The Teide National Park has become a popular place for professional cyclist to train. The fact that the cyclist have access to high altitude and sea level training grounds, makes the island a very popular training destination for a lot of cycling teams.