At 12,198 feet (3,718 meters) above sea level, Mt. Teide (El Teide) is the highest point in the Canary Islands and all of Spain. The towering peak in Tenerife allows visitors to stand atop a volcano and look out over nearby islands including La Palma and Gran Canaria — if the clouds cooperate. Adventurous travelers opt for an intense five-hour hike to the summit, while other visitors prefer to ride the cable car to the observation deck just shy of the mountain's highest point.
Lots of full- and half-day tours visit Teide National Park, many of which combine some light hiking with a cable car ride. For more personalized attention, opt for a private tour, or, for a unique experience, book a stargazing experience to take advantage of the volcano's status as one of the best places in the world to observe the night sky. You can also book a combo tour that includes time in the provincial villages of the nearby Masca Valley.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most guided tours include round-trip transport from Tenerife hotels.
- Travelers should note that, although the cable car is not formally accessible, some visitors in wheelchairs find they're able to ride it with the assistance of their travel companions.
- It's colder on Mt. Teide than on the rest of the island of Tenerife, so dress accordingly.
- The mountain's lower station, where the cable car ride begins, features food and drink offerings, a gift shop, and public restrooms. The upper station has restrooms as well.
How to Get There
Mt. Teide sits in Parque Nacional de las Cañadas del Teide, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's possible to drive to the site, or take the bus from Puerto de la Cruz or Playa de la Americas. Both have one morning departure to the mountain and one afternoon return trip.
When to Get There
There's never a bad time to visit the park, with the average temperature in Tenerife hovering around 73°F (23°C), but be aware that it's often cooler in the park than on the rest of the island, especially at night. Summer is the busiest season at Mount Teide, while springtime visits allow for the chance to see the stunning contrast of wildflowers in bloom at the base of the mountain and snow still gracing the peak.
Not only is Mt. Teide the tallest mountain in Spain, but it's the world's third tallest volcano, rising 24,606 feet (7,500 meters) from the ocean floor. Technically, it's an active volcano, though it hasn't erupted since 1909.