National Park ''Mount Teide''
National Park of Spain
At a height of 3,718 metres, the summit or crater of this enormous volcano is the highest point not only of the Canary Isles, but also of the whole Iberian Peninsular. On 22nd January 1954 it was declared a National Park, and its 130 sq.km. extend through the municipalities of La Orotava, Guia de Isora, Santiago de Teide and Icod de los Vinos. In 1998 its 3,500,000 visitors outnumbered those of any other National Park in Spain.
Mount Teide can be reached from Los Cristianos, or any other part of the island, although the most usual, practical route begins in La Orotava. This way we will pass through the fish hatchery at Aguamansa and go past different miradors, from which, on a clear day, we will be able to admire the lower-lying part of the island. At a height of 2,000 to 2,500 metres, the abundant vegetation we have been through gives way to the lava landscape characteristic of Las Cafladas, and in the centre, called Circo de las Cafladas, the impressive mass of the Teide peak rises up, surrounded by mountains of considerable height, such as El Cabezon, Guajara, El Roque de las Grietas and Montana Colorada. At the foot of Montana Blanca there is an access route climbing the Teide and continuing to Altavista mountain inn , but it is more advisable to use the modern cable-car, which will take us up to within just 200 metres of the summit. From this point we can venture to the very mouth of the Teide and inhale the sulphuric fumes which, although inoffensive, are proof that there is still volcanic activity, the last eruption being about 25 years ago. At a height of 3,100 metres, the old peak was formed by eruptions at the end of the XVIIIth century, which also moulded the surviving lunar landscape, from which Pico Cabras stands out on the lower part of the Teide, at a height of about 2,330 metres.
Tenerife's landscape is awesome and despite covering only 2036 square kilometres it boasts many volcanoes including Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3718 metres, which is 40% of the height Mount Everest, but no more than 90 minutes drive from the beach in any direction.