First Tenerife Walking Festival – Conquering Teide
Long before I first visited Tenerife I wanted to climb the impressive Teide. Spain’s highest mountain and active volcano can be spotted from almost every point of the island. Rising in the centre of the island it combines three once independent islands to what we now know as Tenerife. On cloudless days the white peak salutes and invites you to enjoy the amazing view over not only Tenerife but also more of the Canary Islands.
Note: this hike is not for beginners, physical fitness and proper equipment are necessary.
It all started at 11am in the morning when we got picked up by our bus, and visited the Teide Museum before we headed to the starting point to conquer Teide at around 3 pm.
The first few kilometre are quite easy as a road leads the way to the hike trail. Impressive black lava flows can be seen from past eruptions of Teide. The landscape is very unique and I have to admit that I have never seen anything like this before.
After over an hour of easy walking the fun begins! The hiking trail starts to climb up the mountain and so do you. Rocky underground and the altitude will be hard on you. Altitude sickness is very important to take into account. The higher you hike, less and less oxygen is the air you breathe. Still we need or better said our body demands a certain level of oxygen so it can function well. Hiking itself can be challenging and your body needs even more oxygen to keep you going, but the altitudes plays a trick on you then. Walking slower than usual and stopping every now and then will help you deal with altitude sickness. Remember to drink a lot of water to keep yourself well-hydrated. I noticed that my heart was beating very fast and loud when I was walking.
Arriving at Refugio de Altavista
The best way to conquer Teide is to stay overnight at the Refugio de Altavista to get some rest, rise early and watch the sunrise from the top. (Beds are 21€ or 25€.)
Dorms await you there and also a well equipped kitchen – but no food! Meaning you will have to carry all your food with you. FYI: There are also bathrooms, but no showers.
Have fun meeting other hikers and exchanging experiences before you head to bed earlier than usual.
Early Rise – Night Hike to the Top
We got up at 4.45 am to be ready to leave at 5.30 am sharp. The moon and the stars shine bright from the dark sky, but you’ll still need a head light to see the path. From the refuge to the cable car it is about an hour hike. Slowly the darkness of the night disappears and the sun rises as you walk the last few steps up to the crater and peak of Teide. Impressive, stunning and breath-taking doesn’t describe the feeling when the sun rises for a new day and you arrive at the very top.
Steam is escaping the crater of Teide and the smell indicates sulphur.
Happiness, joy and pride arise in you because you just climbed the highest mountain of Spain.
The view leaves you speechless. You can spot La Gomera and Gran Canaria which are not too far away.
The Teide – the perfect adventure for
- People in good physical shape
- Couples (remember: dorms at the Refugio de Altavista)
What to pack
Read my comprehensive Teide Packing List here.
Get to the top in 2.5 minutes
Helpful Information and resources
- Please be aware of altitude sickness and it’s possible side effects.
- Make a reservation at the Refugio de Altavista, to be sure to have a bed for the night as spots are limited.
- There is a cable car taking you from 2,356m up to 3,555m
- You need a permit to go up to the peak of Teide
- Tenerife Tourism Board
- Tenerife Walking Festival
- Refugio de Altavista
- Teide National Park
- Teide Cable Car
Let me know when you visit the Teide by tweeting me @wanderlust_vik!
Keep on travelling,