A self-guided visit to Teide volcano in Tenerife
Today I will talk about an independent visit to the volcano Teide , about the preparation for this trip, as well as its features.
Teide volcano is the highest point of the island of Tenerife (3,718 meters above sea level), the highest volcano in Europe. It was the eruption of the volcano that formed the island itself. Currently, the volcano is not erupting, but to see it is quite interesting.
Preparing to visit Teide volcano
First, I recommend that you decide whether you want to get to the top of the volcano (to the crater) or just want to see the volcano. Preparation in the first and in the second case differs significantly.
The thing is that to visit the peak of Teide you need to get a special permit. And you need to do this in advance. I recommend ordering a permit no later than a month before the trip, because the number of seats is very limited and they simply can not remain. If you are not interested in the volcano itself, you can skip the next steps.
So, you can get a permit at www.reservasparquesnacionales.es. Consider the procedure step by step:
1. Go to the site and click on the picture “TEIDE”. Select English at the top of the site for further convenience.
2. Click on the “PICO DEL TEIDE ACCESS PERMIT” button.
3. click on the “BOOKINGS” button.
4. Click on the “NEXT STEP” button.
5. Select the date and time of your visit.
First, select the month you want from the top of the calendar. The days of the month will be displayed below. Some of them will be colored green – seats available, some will be red – no seats available.
Choose the green day that’s right for you. On the right side, you will see 4 possible visiting times. Some of them will be red, some green. Choose the appropriate time and click on the “SELECT” button to the right of it.
If you will be taking a bus to the volcano, be sure to select either the 11:00 to 13:00 or the 13:00 to 15:00 time. This is connected with the fact that the buses come to the lower part of the funicular only about 11:00 and you can get to the gate, where they check permissions, closer to 12:00 (depending on the queue). On the way back the bus leaves at 15:40, so at about 14:50 you will have to take the funicular.
Note: This article was written on March 22, 2014. At this point, half of the days in April are fully booked. On the remaining days you can get permits to visit, but not at any time. Permits can be obtained on any day in May, but also not at any time.
If you don’t have the right time on either of your vacation dates, take the 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. time. Theoretically it is possible to go to the volcano a little earlier, I’ll tell you how to do it below.
After selecting your visit date, enter the number of campers in the bottom field and click “NEXT STEP”.
6. On the next page, fill in all the fields according to your passport information. Passports will be checked when you visit the volcano, so fill out carefully.
After filling in all the fields check the box “I have read and accept these rules” and click “NEXT STEP”.
7. Permission granted. All you need to do now is print it out by clicking on the printer button.
Be sure to print out the permit and take it with you. Without this paper you will not be allowed to go to the top of the volcano.
Now you know how to get permission to visit the summit of Teide volcano, let’s move on to the next step of preparation.
I recommend taking the following things from home :
1. warm clothes (sweater, jacket, hat), as the temperature on the volcano is much lower than on the coast.
2. Sunglasses and sunscreen (there are no clouds at the top, so you can easily and quickly get sunburned).
3. Sneakers and gloves, as you have to climb the mountain. Sometimes on the very steep parts.
One last thing. Find the nearest bus stop Titsa #342 (south) or #348 (north) and print a map with its location.
That concludes the home part of preparing to visit the volcano; the rest can be done right on the island.
I recommend bringing a supply of food (cookies, muffins, fruit, etc.) and water to visit the volcano. You can buy them in any supermarket.
Also, don’t forget to take your permit, passport, and 25 euros per person to pay for the cable car and about another 20 euros for the bus.
Please note: In 2013, the BONO card receiver did not work on bus #342, so you should not buy a card to visit the volcano.
How to get to Teide Volcano
As I wrote above, you can get to the volcano on buses 342 and 348. The first runs from the southern part of the island, the second from the northern part once a day. In the morning the buses go in the direction of the volcano, in the evening in the opposite direction.
You can also reach the volcano by rental car. From the south of the island, take Highway TF-51 or TF-38; from the north, take TF-21 or TF-24.
Note that many tour operators offer a sightseeing tour with a visit to Teide volcano. For example, our tour operator offered such an excursion for 60 euros. Separately, I note that during this tour you will not climb to the top of the volcano. Moreover, you will not even ride the cable car. You will only get a ride to the foot of the volcano and you can look at the top from a distance.
Also, it is more expensive than going to the top on your own (including the funicular).
The way to the volcano
I recommend leaving the hotel early. For bus 342 at about 8:50. The reason for that is that you will only have permission for one date and if you miss the bus, you won’t be able to visit the volcano.
Before leaving, check again that you have with you your passports, permit to visit the peak, the money (at least 50 euros per person).
Rules of the bus are the usual. Go in, name your final destination (Teleferico) and the number of passengers. The driver will offer you to buy a ticket at once in both directions. It’s a little cheaper, so accept it.
The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, during which you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and serpentine roads.
The bus will first drive through a dense coniferous forest, then gradually ascend above the clouds, where vegetation is very sparse. The higher up you go, the fewer plants there are. It’s interesting, so I recommend staying awake on the road.
The bus makes an intermediate stop at the village of Parador. The bus stop lasts about 10-15 minutes and the driver notifies you in advance. You can get off the bus and take a picture of the volcano from afar. This is the place where they bring tourists on a sightseeing tour.
The next stop is the bottom station of the elevator, where you should get off.
Visiting the volcano Teide
When the bus arrives at the lower station of the funicular, there is a decent crowd of tourists. You can take your time getting in line and see the volcano from below first. Also, the lower station has a great view of the plateau, where the bus just arrived. There is a sanitary unit at the lower station, and you can visit it if you want.
After you have seen everything of interest, head to the ticket office. Note, however, that right after the ticket office you will be photographed. Be prepared for this, comb your hair, makeup, etc.
At the booking office you will be asked the name of your country and given a brochure-guidebook in Russian. After the ticket office you will be photographed and you will get in line for the elevator. The duration of the ascent is 8 minutes. At the entrance you must put your ticket to the turnstile.
The ascent is quite fast.
At the top station of the funicular you will have a choice:
– Take route #10 immediately (to the volcano crater, if you have permission);
– take route #11 to the viewpoint of La Forales (to the right);
– take route #12 to the viewpoint of Viejo Peak (to the left).
If time permits, I recommend first getting used to the altitude and taking one of the preparatory routes. If not, head straight to the gate leading to the summit (it’s to the right of the cable car when looking at the summit).
Visiting Mt. Teide
To visit the top of the volcano, you must show the staff at the gate your permit and passports. If the time is right, they will let you in.
During our visit to the volcano, we managed to get permission for the most inconvenient time (15:00-17:00). So it was decided to try our luck and go through the gate early (at 12:30). Unfortunately, the employee wouldn’t let us through.
The second attempt to pass we made at about 14:00. By this time the first guard had retired to the lodge. To the second guard I decided not to go myself, but sent my wife. Expectations were justified, and at 14:00 they let us through the gate. However, there was not much time left to climb. In the end at a very quick pace, almost running (as far as the slope would allow) we managed to get to the crater in 20 minutes and in the same time to go back down.
I should note that there is another option in case they don’t allow you or you don’t have permission at all. There is an alternative route, which begins at the end of route 12 (Viejo Peak Lookout).
This place is far enough away from the elevator, so no one is watching it. Right from the end point of the route, there is a clearly visible trail that enthusiasts take to conquer the summit of Teide.
Of course, the alternative trail is less hiked, so it is not as well troweled and marked. However, compared to many Russian sidewalks, it is very nice.
So if you do not have permission, you can go up and on it. Well, you can go down the standard route. Permission is not checked at the exit.
From the top of the volcano offers stunning views. Especially on cloudless days.
In addition, you will have the opportunity to view the crater (you can not go inside it). Somewhere at the top, gas continues to come out and there is a distinct smell of sulfur.
In general, despite the need for a special permit, I recommend a visit to the summit of the volcano Teide.
The way back
The bus back leaves at 15:40 (342), 16:10 (348), so you can take the routes that you did not have time to see before climbing to the summit of Teide.
After the descent on the Funicular, you will be offered to buy a commemorative photo.
The way back takes much less time (about an hour), the bus will bring you to the same stop where it took you.
In general, I recommend climbing to the summit of Teide to all tourists who come to Tenerife. The route is not as difficult as the Masca Gorge, but no less interesting.
In the final article of the series “Tenerife 2013” I will tell you about the peculiarities of the island, which I did not mention before.