To Spain’s Highest Peak
When we think of the Canary Islands, most of us are thinking of eternal sunshine, warm temperatures and lying on a beach. It is true that the islands are perfect for these holidays and Tenerife in particular has been attracting millions of visitors per year for that very reason. What most people don’t realize is that there are some of the most memorable treks and walks on the island which boasts to be home to Spain’s Largest Mountain, Mount Teide (Pico del Teide). The volcano has created the islands and mountains through multiple eruptions. The last known eruption was in 1909. With the summit at an elevation of over 12,000 feet, the views at the top can literally take your breath away.
Preparations for the Trip
The internet is the best place to find the cheapest holidays to Spain, and here you can also do all the research and fact finding before you book. If you do choose to visit Tenerife and incorporate a climb to Mount Teide, you can still have the normal family holiday in the sun too. We planned to trek to the top and cable car back down, and after doing our due diligence online we found that to climb the peak a permit is required from the local authorities. This was fairly easy to obtain and free with number normally limited to a few hundred per day so as not to have too many people on the peak at the same time. We knew when we were booking that this holiday was in two main parts, first the mountain trek and then hit the beach for a week before heading home. Being a relatively small island this was not an issue as we just booked the ten days in the beach resort and did the day trip to Pico Del Teide. It is also worth noting the temperatures on the climb as it can catch you out. Temperatures at or near sea level are usually between 20 and 28 Celsius whereas the temperature on the Mountain can and very often does fall below zero. So bring the warm clothes for this part of your holiday as we met a lot of people who were hanging out near the bottom of the climb as it was too cold for them to go up in their shorts and t-shirts.
Going for the Summit
We are not experienced mountaineers or climbers; we just like to walk in and amongst nature. That was the beauty about this Mountain. You get all the benefit of the spectacular 360 degree views without having to be the next Sir Ranulph Fiennes or Sir Edmund Hillary. There are a few options you can take to get to the top. There is a fantastic cable car ride which starts at just over 7,500 feet and takes you 200 meters short of the summit. Again, permits are available free of charge, but numbers are limited so book early if you want to get to the very top. To get to the nature reserve, you can hire a car and drive it on some amazing, twisting roads. Or there are buses running regularly from Puerto de la Cruz on the northern edge of the island and Playa de las Americas towards the west of the island. Although it is a relatively easy climb, it is worth noting that you will be going to high altitude. Altitude sickness may affect you. If you have a prior history of heart or lung problems, it is worth visiting your local health center before leaving to explain what you are doing, and they will be able to give you advice on your current condition. To walk to the summit, it takes around 5 hours in normal weather conditions, so be prepared for a full day if going on foot. We found the best option for us was to walk to the top then glide down on the cable car back to the bus. Sticking to the marked footpaths, we found a whole host of weird and wonderful plant and animal life which was a little surprising to us as from a distance the park looked very quiet and dry. What we found most amazing is the way that a certain species can grow to or between certain elevations.
Ariana Louis is a keen traveler and also a writer who loves to share her adventures in the articles and blogs that she writes. As well as travelling, Ariana also loves to hike and climb mountains with family and friends. She always refers to Travel Republic reviews before booking all of her adventures abroad.