Mount Teide - Teide mountain Tenerife

Tenerife’s mount Teide (pronounced Tayeeday) is at 3717 metres (12,222 ft) high, the tallest mountain in all Spanish territory. Mount Teide or, in Spanish, El Teide is the third largest volcano in the world, measured from its base. It is an active volcano and last erupted from El Chinyero vent on the Santiago (northwestern) rift in 1909. El Teide and its massive surrounding crater comprise the Parque Nacional del Teide, Las Cañadas. The park covers an area of 18,900 hectares and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 29, 2007 and was also declared one of the Twelve Treasures of Spain in 2007.


Teide is reputed to have been much higher just a few hundred years ago but collapsed in on itself causing the massive crater that surrounds it on three sides. Because it is set back several miles from the crater rim, when Teide is viewed from the Southern side of the Island it doesn’t look that impressive but viewed from the North of the Island, particularly when the top is covered in winter snow, it’s a very impressive site indeed. Even when viewed from inside the crater at some 2,200 metres Teide at a further 1500 metres higher shows its massive size.


El Teide and the national park of Las Cañadas is the most visited national park of the Canary Islands, attracting, in 2008 some 2.8 million visitors. A hugely popular feature of the park is the Teleferico, a cable car that runs from the road which bisects the park, up to almost the summit of El Teide. It starts at 2,356 metres up to 3,555 metres and takes 8 minutes for the journey. Each car will hold 38 passengers; it’s worth remembering to stand at the rear of the car when travelling as the views from there are far superior. Once at the top station visitors have a choice of walks to the East or West, the Eastern walk has views down into the multi coloured crater of Pico Viejo.


Keen walkers wishing to get to the very top of Teide by walking the last 200 or so metres must obtain a permit from the park office in Santa Cruz, Calle Emilio Calzadilla, 5 - 4th floor. This permit can be obtained online before travelling to Tenerife but people already here must visit Santa Cruz in person. Anyone making this climb should remember that due to the altitude, oxygen levels are lower than at sea level. This can cause altitude sickness which usually starts with a headache then light headedness, dizziness, and in extreme cases unconsciousness. The only treatment is to ensure that the victim is hydrated and return to lower altitudes and rest.