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Published: July 22nd 2018
Majestic Mount Teide
From the peak of Tenerife rises a majestic icon that is known as the centre of the Canary Islands. Mount Teide
sits as the highest peak in Spain, and is considered to be the jewel of the Canary Islands. This peak is also the third highest volcano at 12,000 feet and it is a spectacular volcanic island to see. However, you can do more than simply look at Mount Teide and marvel at its beauty. This mountain is designed for exploring!
Whether it is sunrise or sunset, the volcano and the areas around it make up one of Spain's national parks. This park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mid-2000's. It is in this park that you will be able to discover different types of terrain, and it ranges from dry stretches of land to lush and green forests. You can also take some time to explore the moon-like landscape in the lava fields.
This park is also home to a beautiful diversity of both wildlife and plant life, and this includes different types of species that are native to Tenerife. The most popular and well-known of these endemic plant species is the Canary Island pine. The needles of this tree are used in shipments of island bananas as material for packing. The trees also have large pine cones that were once used as Christmas decorations.
Walking And Hiking Trails
You can also enjoy this national park landscape by walking and hiking
the trails that crossover the park and the caldera. The trails are colour coded depending on ease or difficulty of the trail so you can choose one that is easy or one that is more challenging depending on your fitness level. There is also the option to use the cable car up to the observation deck. The deck is located on the mountain's peak, and it is here where you can look at the changing colours that are beyond the caldera.
It is important to dress in warm layers while exploring the mountain. Although the weather is mostly mild, once you begin travelling up the 12,200 feet, the weather can become very chilly. Do not wear shorts, flip-flops or a T-shirt. Instead, you should wear warm clothing as would would on a chilly day in Northern Europe.
It is best to explore the mountain at sunset. This is the time the day when the 'sea clouds' start to come off of the ocean and provide tourists with a small glimpse of paradise.
The clouds then begin to dissipate as the sun sets and you will be gifted with a stunning view of the islands and the valley that are located west of the mountain.
You may also choose to make a toast to the sunset while sipping on Champagne at the mountain lodge, Parador Hotel del Teide. This restaurant and mountain lodge is the only building in the park, and it is located close to the tram's base. The restaurant offers delicious native cuisine, and also views of the lunar-like rocks that were left after an ancient lava flow.
Have a look at some of these excellent Tenerife excursions
to give you an idea of what's available.
Mars On Earth
Another interesting aspect of the mountain is that it is the only landscape in the world that has a terrain similar to the planet Mars. In fact, NASA decided to test a rover at this location before sending it to Mars. The area has also been the site for several movies including 'Clash of the Titans' and 'Planet of the Apes'.
The mountain is also home to one of the best international astronomical observatories in the world. This observatory is the Mount Teide Observatory, and it is the location where scientists from over 15 countries go to study and research. It was constructed in 1916, but astronomical observation has been conducted on the mountain since the middle of the 19th century. This area is deemed so important to scientific research that it is protected from flight paths and pollution in the air.
If you decide to visit the Visitors' Center of the observatory around 9 at night, not only will you be in the midst of the darkness, you will also be able to enjoy some incredible stargazing. The telescopes are provided so you can get a closer view of the stars, moon, planets and the velvet sky. Tenerife's prime location near the equator guarantees that the view will not be distorted.
There is little wonder why Mount Teide is considered the most popular natural wonder in all of Spain!
Visit the Tenerife Forum blog
for some more interesting information.
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