Teide National Park: Mars landscapes and starry nights
Reaching up the sky
Not everyone knows that in Tenerife there is the tallest mountain of Spain. With more than 3,700 meters, the volcano El Teide make of Tenerife the tenth highest island in the world. You can reach the top of the Teide from every corner of the Iceland in around one hour or so and you could easily spend two or three days here just to discover the Teide national park. There are also many hiking options that could fit both experts of beginners.
A multitude of Hiking Path up to 2,00 meters
By car you can drive up to approx. 2,000 meters of altitude. Here you will find have the option to explore a lot of different areas, some of which might take up to 4-5 hours of hike. Roque de Garcia: This is of the main attractions of Tenerife, and you will probably recognise the rock formation from many postcards sold in the various pueblos of the island. This is also one of my favourite spots to stop for stargazing. The circular path has reddish sand and yellowish sand and rocks that will make you feel like walking on Mars. You can walk the circular path in approx. two hours. Mount Guajara: It gives amazing views of Tenerife. Not as high as the peak of Teide mountain. From the main street it will take approx. two hours to reach the summit. Pico Viejo: Hiking in the Pico Viejo will give you the opportunity to hike in a huge crater, created with one of the eruption of the Teide back in the 1700. This hike might take up to 5 hours from the main road if you aim to reach the peak of the Pico Viejo.
Moon Landscape – Paisaje Lunar
Another great place very close to El Teide is the Moon Landscape (Paesaje Lunar). To get here you will have to stop at Villaflor (that is the highest village in Tenerife, that you will meet on your way to the top of el Teide if you are getting there from the south. Here you can start your hike that should take around 4-5 hours. Just be conscious of time. For example, you won’t have time to hike to the Moon Landscape and go to the top of Teide on the same day – way more ideal to plan these on two separate days.
Hiking up to the top of Mountain Teide
If you want to reach the very top of Mountain Teide you have the option to do it by cable car or hiking it. If you prefer to hike, you need to ask for a permit, that you can request here. You must start the path before 16:30. This might also be closed due to strong winds or bad weather. The hike can be quite intensive, especially as it will be cold as slightly harder to breath at such a high altitude. In case you prefer to get to the top in more comfort, the cablecar (or teleferico in Spanish ) will have to be booked here.
Teide is also one of the best places in all of Europe for stargazing. This can be an amazing activity to reward yourself after a day hiking. Still, I would recommend to head to the top of the Teide mountain by night even if you are not planning to visit the Teide natural park during the day at all. Remember to bring your own food and water as there are only few hotels open at the top. Also, during the night, it gets really col. In winter it’s usually very close to zero degrees and the peak of Teide mountain can get covered in snow, quite an unusual scenario, especially if you were sunbathing few hours earlier. Try to go during new moon phase and you will see one of the best night skies ever. Deneb