Your trip to Tenerife is going to have plenty going for it. With the gorgeous sunshine, sea and blue skies of the Canaries at your beck and call, you can dine, shop and sunbathe to your heart’s content.
Yet one part of the island that definitely deserves a day dedicated to it is the glorious Mount Teide. This volcanic peak is steeped in history, but also rich in things to see and do both high and low.
Check out our rundown of everything you need to know to make a trip to Mount Teide as memorable as it is invigorating.
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How to get there
Mount Teide is at the heart of a natural park that the government of Tenerife has set up especially to protect and preserve its gorgeous environment.
Teide National Park is well worth visiting even if you’ve no plans to take on the peak itself, thanks to its rolling hills, lush forests and hidden trails full of winding paths and chirping birds.
Add the hot weather to the mix and it’s fun in the sun with a generous helping of getting back to nature thrown in.
The easiest way to reach Teide National Park is by road. Although hiring a car or a bicycle to make the trek yourself is a grand adventure, it could be quicker to grab a cab.
Better yet, there are frequent shuttle buses to and from Teide National Park that run from Playa de las Americas and Puerto de la Cruz, nicely linking east and west. Tenerife is nothing if well connected, and that’s definitely true of Mount Teide.
The cable car
For those of us daunted by taking on the trail up the mountain on foot, the cable car is massively appealing. Of course, it’s also appreciated for its views, its serene rise up along its route and its convenience.
Kids are sure to love it and you can expect a fair few holiday snaps from up high.
You ought to be aware that queues for the Mount Teide cable car can get a little long in peak times, but incorporate that into your plans and you’re sure to make good time.
Cable car cabins can hold about 35 people at a time in comfortable conditions, and they head up from a little way up the hiking trails that criss-cross through Teide National Park.
The whole area is well signposted, so you’ll have no problems finding it, whichever direction you’ve driven to the park from.
The cable car will lift you to just shy of 12,000 feet, and those of you who simply have to conquer the peak will be able to apply for a special permit to climb to the very top.
The air is a little thinner here, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re planning to head even higher. Sunsets are magical from up here, and you’ll see the island sprawled beneath you like a gorgeous tapestry.
Knowledge is power, and the people of Tenerife definitely had that in mind when building Teide Observatory. The great telescope is pointed heavenwards and is full of facts sure to inspire the little ones and give a real sense of gravitas to your stay.
The distinctive white dome and surrounding buildings of the observatory are easily found on trails around Mount Teide, and many guided tours will include a visit to this place of knowledge in their scheduling.
Astronomy, lessons on astrophysics and the secrets of the universe are promised within, with the skies above Mount Teide and Tenerife noted as some of the most remarkable for stargazing and observing the heavens.
In fact, on nights here visitors are able to see 83 out of the 88 constellations that have inspired stargazers on Earth for aeons.
There’s a secret getaway you can book and stay at if you plan on hiking up Mount Teide overnight. The Altavista Refuge is a spacious and vibrant red building that styles itself like a mountain lodge for weary travellers to rest.
It comes complete with bunk beds, lavatory facilities and a fully equipped kitchen, and of course the terrace overlooking the view of your hike up the mountainside so far makes for fascinating sunrises and sunsets.
However, keep in mind that this place is designed to be an optional waystation on your trek rather than a fully fledged hotel or camp site.
As such, there are no restaurant facilities or the like, but if you bring your own food you can use the kitchen here to prepare it in warmth and comfort.
Food and drink
You’re out in the rough and ready hinterlands on your day trip to Mount Teide, but don’t think you’ll go entirely hungry if you forget to pack a lunch.
There are a fair few spots dotted around the base of the mountain where you can grab a bite to eat, and in several places barbecue grills have been set up to let visitors grill up some treats.
Elsewhere though, you can enjoy croquettas, baguettes, pies and pork ribs at Restaurante Papillon, where they also do some superb pastries.
It’s in the eastern edges of Teide National Park, but for dining closer to the peak you can also check out Restaurante Bambi for similar snacks and dishes.
It’s right by the base of the mountain, making it easily accessible for tour groups as well as for those looking to get to or from the road to the rest of the island.
All in all Mount Teide is a majestic peak where science, nature, adventure and relaxation all get together. Assuming you can tear yourself from Tenerife’s wonderful beaches, it makes for a more than inspiring day out.
If you’ve any of your own fond memories of Mount Teide or wider Tenerife to share, let us know in the comments too.