Tenerife and Teide National Park
Tenerife is ideal for those who are passionate about nature: it represents a proper microcosm that has been developing unique animal species and vegetation. This amazing richness is taken into great consideration: this island offers its visitors a great variety of occasions to appreciate it and most of the ecosystem of the island is protected.
There are four national parks and six natural reserves of the biosphere in the Canary Islands as well as many other parks and reserves.
Here you will find the most interesting natural parks and natural areas of Tenerife:
- Malpaís de Güímar ;
- Teno Rural Park;
- Cherfe viewpoint;
- Anaga Rural Park;
- Pico del Inglés Viewpoint;
- Ortuño Viewpoint;
- Barracondo del Infierno;
- The lunar landscape of the Corona Forestal;
- Teide National Park;
In this article we want to talk to you about Teide National Park or Parque Nacional del Teide
Teide National Park
The park was established in 1954 and is situated in the highest part of the island of Tenerife. It is named after the volcano Teide which is part of it and is the highest peak of Spain (followed by Pico Viejo, located in Tenerife as well).
It is the most ancient and biggest park of the Canary Islands and covers an area of 18,900 hectares. It is also the most visited park of Europe and one of the most visited of the world: it attracts millions of visitors every year. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Where it is located
The park is located in the centre of the island, at 2000 meters above sea level, with higher peaks which are up to 3,718 meters high.
How to get to Mount Teide National Park
The park is easy to reach, no matter what part of the island you are leaving from. You can get a bus leaving from Puerto de Cruz (line 348) and from Costa Adeje (line 342).
If you choose to get to the park by car:
- Take TF-21 road (La Orotava - Granadilla) or TF-24 (La Laguna-EL Portillo) if you leave from Tenerife North;
- Take TF-21 if you live from Tenerife South;
- Take TF-38 (Boca Tauce-Chío) if you leave from West;
What to do in the park?
Apart from admiring the wonderful landscape, you can take part in a lot of different activities:
- You can take the cable-car: the starting point is located 2,356 meters of height and the upper station is at 3,555 meters, very close to the peak of Mount Teide. The trip lasts approximately 8 minutes and is exciting. From the upper station, the viewpoint will allow you a breath-taking view of the unique landscape;
- Once arrived at the upper station, you can decide whether to continue and reach the peak on foot. It is quite a challenging route, which will take about 40 minutes to complete but you will be paid back: the view of the crater is simply wonderful! On clear days, not only can you see as far as the other Canary Islands (if you are very lucky you can see four : Gran Canaria, El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera), but also the fascinating landscape of Tenerife. You need special permission granted by the authorities of the park in advance (you can book it on line on www.reservasparquenacionales.es);
- You can decide to spend the night at Refugio Alta Vista, very close to the top of the mount. You will have the chance to admire one of the clearest nights you have ever seen. You can also get up at the break of dawn and reach the crater without asking for the special permission (but you have to leave before 9 o’clock);
- The park includes many pathways which allow you to be surrounded by wild nature and a volcanic landscape which becomes almost lunar. You can head out on them alone, with good equipment and a map as they offer precise signage, but we advise you to hire an expert guide and take part in a guided tour in order to appreciate these natural beauties at their best. The guided tours start from the office in Portillo (Arenas Negras, 2 and a half hours, La Fortaleza 3 and a half hours, Risco Verde 3 hours), from the Tourist Centre in Cañada Blanca (Los Roques de Garcia 2 and a half hours, Degollada de Guajara 3 and a half hours, and Guajara 6 hours). From both starts the guided tour for Siete Cañadas, which lasts 5 hours;
- In the park are also scientific posts of the IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias). This observatory can be visited and will allow you to observe the stars from one of the best sites in the world;
- Near the office of Portillo, a wonderful Botanic Garden will show you the flora of the park;
Excursions to Teide
There are many agencies which organize excursions to Teide and offer different options: from trekking, to mountain bike, motorbike and quadbike tours. You can decide to spend a night at Refugio de Altavista or have a one-day tour.
You can observe the stars and the sky at night or at sunset or choose a tour focused on the lunar landscape or on the botanical variety. Almost every option offers a pick-up service from and to your accommodation facility.
- If you want to take part in a walking excursion, remember to bring plenty of water or isotonic beverages as well as energetic food;
- Wear trekking shoes;
- Even if you decide to visit the Mount during the summer, keep in mind that you will reach a very high peak: take warm clothes and a raincoat as the weather in this area could change;
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