The first thing anybody visiting Tenerife sees is the mountain (volcano) right in the middle of the island. It should come as no surprise that visiting Teide Volcano is considered among the most popular attractions on the island. The last time volcano erupted was back in 1909, but you can actually see the smoke coming out of it once you get closer to the summit
What makes Mount Teide Tenerife day trip so worthwhile is the fantastic lunar landscape close to the peak. Formed by the lava, it is unique and truly fascinating.
How to get there?
Numerous tours will offer Mount Teide Tenerife day trip. If you are a bit more adventurous, I highly recommend hiring a rental car. In fact, you will save lots of money by grabbing a rental right off the plane, at the airport. We used the company called PlusCar and got a really good deal for 1 week. Their meeting point is a bit tricky to find (public car park), but they will send you instructions with confirmation email.
We used Google maps to navigate, but once you are on the highway, brown signs will guide you to Teide in no time. Make sure to arrive as early as possible, as the parking space is limited and you might have to walk quite a lot.
Teide National park
The famous volcano is not the only attraction in Teide National Park. Along the way, you will see different stops signboards and information. These are also fantastic photo opportunities, so make sure to stop and enjoy.
Teide is the most visited national park in Spain and Europe. Over 3 million people come here yearly. Since 2007 it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a bit similar to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and shares similar scenic characteristics with the Grand Canyon National Park. The park has important spiritual significance to aboriginal Guanches.
Despite the high price, taking a cable car is well worth the cost (27€ both ways). Once again, we recommend getting there as early as possible, because the waiting time may be quite long. We got the tickets around 11:30 and the first available spot was in 2 hours, at 13:30. The reason for that is because they only allow certain amount of people to stay at higher station.
If you wish to visit the volcano crater, you need to apply for permit. Otherwise you may walk couple of paths and enjoy fantastic view of the island. Although the ticket only allows you to stay up for 1 hour, you may actually stay longer as long as you catch the last funicular back.
Beware that the air is thinner at this altitude (3500m), so you might have difficulty breathing. Make sure to walk slowly and watch your steps on the stones. Also, it is much colder than at the sea level, so bring some warm winter clothes!
Hiking and trekking
If you love trekking and hiking, Teide National park has a fantastic trail for you – hike all the way up! The hike will take you 6-7 hours depending on your skills, but you could also do just half the hike. Either way great impressions are guaranteed.
For a unique experience, consider staying over night at Altavista del Teide Mountain Refuge, in order to watch sunrise from the highest peak in Spain. The price for a bunk bed starts at 21€. If you are lucky and it is a clear day, you will have a fantastic view of surrounding islands as well as shade of Teide peak above the ocean.
This was our 3rd time visiting Teide National park and the first time we used the cable car. Everything was perfect about this trip – the weather was sunny and clear, with light breeze. Despite the long waiting time we had great fun watching the crowds, soaking up the sun and strolling through the gift shop. The trip can easily take all day, especially when it’s a busy day.
Have you been to Teide National Park and volcano?