Mount Teide Trips: How to Visit Spain’s Highest Mountain
Visiting Mount Teide is one of the favorite excursions to do when traveling to the island of Tenerife. Being the highest mountain in Spain, climbing Mount Teide is for many a question of pride and “collecting climbed peaks”.
However, there are several ways to visit the Teide volcano. Indeed, no matter what type of traveller you are, there seems to be an adequate way to explore Tenerife’s most popular attraction.
Depending on your preferences and adventure thirst, you can opt between several Mount Teide excursions to explore this natural attraction. Whether you just want to enjoy the volcano’s glory from far away, or you want the full program with spending a night close to the peak, there is a Mount Teide trip for every level and type of traveler.
Even if there is a mere infinite number of things to do in Tenerife, ranging from spectacular hikes to foodie experiences, climbing Mount Teide and experiencing its lunar land is unique in its kind. It’s without any doubt one of the top things to do in the Canary Islands.
Some of my clients used to say that they felt like in a Star Wars movie when driving through the Teide national park… And who doesn’t want to experience that feeling at least once in a lifetime?
You can visit Mount Teide whether you’re based in the north or in the south of the island.
- Book here Mount Teide Trips from Costa Adeje
- Book here trips to Mount Teide from Playa de las Americas
- Book here Mount Teide trips from Santa Cruz
- Book here Mount Teide trips from Puerto de la Cruz
- There are also a few Mount Teide trips from Los Gigantes
After living in Tenerife for half a year and working in the Spanish and Canarian tourism sector, I gathered this information on the best Mount Teide trips depending on your travel profile. Let me know if you enjoyed the climb!
Related: Where to stay in Tenerife
Mount Teide Facts
- With 3718 meters, Mount Teide peak is the highest mountain in Spain and the highest in Western Europe outside the Alps
- If we would measure the full mountain’s height from the sea, Teide is 7200 m high and thus the third tallest volcano in the world
- Mount Teide is still active and the last eruption dates back to 1909
- Declared UNESCO World Heritage since 2007
- Rich flora: despite the first impression, the surroundings of Mount Teide are fertile and are home to over 168 plants species
- Teide is considered one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
- Tenerife boasts warm temperatures in winter, it is thus a great place for winter holidays in Spain.
The Teide Shadow
Mount Teide has the tallest shadow in the world projected on the sea at sunset. That’s why many visit the Natural Park at sunset. However, you get the best views when waking up before sunrise and climbing up the peak. The views on the neighbor island La Gomera are simply breathtaking.
Make sure to bring warm clothes when you visit Teide volcano. In January, the average temperature is 4°C and in August, 17,9°C. Nights are even colder, so bring a jacket, even in summer.
The guanches, the Tenerife natives, used to say that a powerful creature is living inside the volcano and that he has the power over sun and fire. Read more about Canarian words you should know.
Mount Teide Excursion for Lazy Travellers and Gourmets
I admit that sometimes, I am not in the mood for adventure. But the good thing about visiting Mount Teide is that you don’t need to be a proficient climber to enjoy the beauty of this natural attraction.
If you only have limited time at your disposal and don’t can’t/want to do too much physical effort, I recommend driving by car through the Natural Park to the viewpoint Roques de García. You can also book a taxi to Mount Teide. I found renting a car in Tenerife particularly cheap and I recommend checking RentalCars for the best deal.
It is the most visited viewpoint as you get a spectacular view of the volcano and the distinctive rock formation Roque Cinchado. This view was even printed on the Spanish peseta currency. It’s thus a must to take a picture here. There is parking space for a few cars, but which can be occupied by buses too.
If you have a bit more time at your disposal and don’t want to leave Teide Natural Park right away, I recommend lunch or dinner with a view in the emblematic Parador Las Cañadas. Their cuisine serves refined traditional Canarian food.
You can even spend the night in Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide and have the Natural Park all for yourself in the early and late hours of the day.
Mount Teide Trips for Soft Adventurers
If you want to get the feeling to have climbed up Mount Teide without going up to the peak, I recommend taking a ride with the spectacular Mount Teide cable car.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in Tenerife, thus I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance. I have several friends who couldn’t visit because they didn’t purchase their tickets in advance. I also recommend going as early as possible (the cable car opens at 9 am).
The lower cable car station is located at 2356 m above sea level and already provides jaw-dropping views on the surrounding peaks. There are parking spots to leave your car (open from 8 am – 6 pm). The lower station also comes with a souvenir shop and a cafeteria where you can plan your route.
Be ready for the temperature change on the upper station! The rides takes you in 8 minutes up to 3555 m. The upper station offers spectacular views and is home to the highest public phone in Spain. A Mount Teide tour with the cable car is definitely a great option for soft adventurers.
From here you can decide whether you want to continue your adventure and hike one of the 3 trails:
- Route Nr.10: (40 min, strenuous) This route takes you to Spain’s highest peak, passing by La Fortaleza Vantage Point. The route is not easy due to the altitude and the strong sulfur smell. The view from the peak is glorious as you’ll be able to spot other Canarian Islands: La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera and with some luck even Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
- Route Nr.11: (25 min, average) The route takes you to La Fortaleza Vantage Point from which you’ll enjoy a spectacular view on the northern part of Tenerife and the lush Anaga mountains. The path is flat but due to the latitude, the hike can be very tiring. Don’t underestimate it!
- Route Nr.12: (30 min, average) The trail takes you to the Pico Viejo Vantage Point from which you’ll be overlooking southern Tenerife. It’s thus the perfect spot to enjoy a view on the caldera, the Pico Viejo crater and Mount Guajara. From here, you’ll spot La Gomera and La Palma island.
Please note that you’ll need a permit to access the peak and Teide crater which is NOT included in your cable car ticket. You need to apply for a free permit here.
If you want to go hassle-free, I recommend booking your guided hike to Teide peak from the cable car station (incl. Special Mount Teide permit).
You can also opt to spend the night at The Refugio de Altavista (very basic, but does the thing), get up early and enjoy the sunrise at Teide peak. You’ll be rewarded with a unique experience during which the enormous shadow falls into the ocean. They say that it’s the most beautiful sunrise and sunset in Spain.
How to Visit Mount Teide for Hikers and Adventurers
If you are a proficient hiker, an adventurous spirit or simply enjoy traveling slow, I highly recommend climbing Mount Teide -without using the cable car! Even if it’s the most demanding way to explore Mount Teide, it will provide you the impression of nature’s magnitude.
There are several routes to climb Mount Teide, but the most popular one is probably the one starting at Montaña Blanca. The highly difficult route takes you from 1367 to 3718 meters (!!) and takes you to the Refugio de Altavista. Here you can spend the night, get up early and experience Spain’s best sunrise at Pico de Teide (the peak). Please always make sure to check the weather forecast and Mount Teide weather when preparing your hike.
The trail will take you along places of geological interest and lava canals to get to the Mount Teide crater. Wear suitable clothing and footwear and take food and cold drinks. I recommend taking warm layers to ward off the early morning cold.
Calculate 6 hours to hike up from Montaña Blanca to The Refugio de Altavista. You may want to descend by cable car.
Don’t forget to book your bunk bed in the Refugio de Altavista in advance. Book your stay here.
Please note that you’ll need a permit for Mount Teide to access the peak. You need to apply for a free permit here.
If you love to hike, don’t forget to hike your way through the Masca Valley.
Related: Things to do in North Tenerife
Mount Teide Tenerife Trips for Couples
Did you know that visiting Mount Teide can be the ultimate romantic thing to do in Tenerife? Yes, you heard right! Due to the unique stargazing conditions, you and your beloved one will want to spend hours watching the sky of Tenerife.
Indeed, Tenerife boasts very low light pollution (especially near Teide volcano) and thus the star-sprinkled sky creates the perfect setting for a romantic excursion by night.
There are several ways to create this special experience. Some include dinner and champagne, others offer a romantic cable car ride at sunset. Mount Teide by night is definitely a very romantic activity.
Here goes my selection for my favorite romantic Teide excursions:
- Romantic Sunset and Stargazing experience
- Stargazing Experience with Champagne and Transfers
- Romantic Cable Car at sunset
- Teide by Night Experience with Dinner and Stargazing
Mount Teide by Night Excursions
Visit Mount Teide National Park during the daytime and visiting the Teide Natural Park at night are 2 completely different worlds.
One of my favorite ways to spend my time after work was driving with my work colleagues to the Teide Natural Park and lay down on a blanket to observe the stars. Unforgettable memories!
Depending on your interest in astronomy, you can visit the National Observatory and learn more about stellar constellation on Tenerife’s sky. The island boasts some of the best stargazing conditions in the world due to its low light pollution and geographic location.
Did you know that the Teide Observatory is the world’s largest solar observatory?
These excursions include a visit of Mount Teide Observatory:
If you just want to enjoy the experience, I recommend booking a Teide by night excursion so that you can visit without any hassle or stress.
- Mt. Teide Stargazing Experience with Champagne and Transfers
- Mount Teide Sunset Tour & Astronomical Observation
- Stargazing at Mount Teide
Make sure to take (several) warm layers. The surroundings of volcano Teide get very cold at nightfall, even during summer months!
Did you visit Mount Teide? Let me know how it went in the comment form!
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. I travel with a FUJI XT2 (mirrorless, takes amazing photos) and Action Camera GoPro HERO 7 (takes beautiful photos in the most extreme situations, slim & lightweight). All of the cameras are WiFi-enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real-time!
- When spending a lot of time on the road, I love to wear my trekking sandals.
- Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected against all odds with World Nomads.