Explore in the comfort of your home to safely “climb” the narrow roads of Tenerife's El Teide National Park.
El Teide National Park
Soon after landing on Tenerife (Canary Islands) we started exploring the hidden and not so hidden treasuries of the island.
El Teide, with its peak at 3718 meters above the sea level (>11200 feet) definitely belongs to the latter.
This massive volcanic cone proudly piercing high-flying clouds turns out to be the highest mountain not only on Canary Islands but on the whole Spanish soil! Standing at about 7500 meters above the ocean floor (22000 feet) it is considered the word’s third-tallest volcanic structure.
So with the full respect deserved by this “King of High-Flying Clouds”, we started climbing the sleeping giant in an easy and widely popular way – by the car. For those starting to laugh at this moment I hurry to say – well, no so quickly (although in general laughing is a healthy and good think to do on a daily basis, there is also an old saying:
“That one is laughing who is laughing the last”.
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On the left - Cone of the majestic El Teide.
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Volcanic landscape - stunning vistas from the top on the large caldera and the island
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Breathtaking views on the northern part of Tenerife from the upper cable station.
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Incredible forms of lava - "Made by nature"
The ascent through the foothills of El Teide’s massive by car is not an easy task given the narrow roads endlessly turning left and right, with tight bends and quite noticeable traffic of similar to us “car-hikers”.
Manual gear does not make it easier (I have to admit that I’m a “rotten-spoiled” automatic guy with the “manual gear” background from the “too remote” past).
What makes it worse is the fact that at almost every second bend of the road the breathtaking views instigate temptations – to stop right away and “glue” your eyes in a “secure way” on the opening in front of you scenic view.
Somehow the “cold logic” that higher up there views will be even better does not resonate with me. But may be there is a reason for that, because sometimes it is just this moment, this position of the sunlight, and that cloud that makes it spectacular.
Well, this is like in an old Hitchcock’s movie scenario which starts with an earthquake and then tensions are continuously raising up.
At height of about 2000m (>6000 feet) the vegetation starts to give way to the characteristic moon-like landscape of volcanic lava forms. Vibrant colors of strange lava formations open imagination – actually not only mine, because as I quickly learned some “exotic” movies like “Planet of the Apes” or “Star Wars” were filmed here.
Majesty of El Teide from the road.
After a good “hour and something” of climbing the road, suddenly in front of us opens a gigantic collapsed caldera – witness to the pre-historical times.
The sharp, boundary-like rim ridges we just crossed, like the ancient defensive walls seem to watch over the kingdom of the jealous goddess of fire. From here, the majestic cone of El Teide seems to be at the touch of hand, but we well know that this is just an illusion so typical in the mountains. Fortunately taking advantage of this vast flat area, the new road leads straight as an arrow towards our goal.
Finally I can hear the engine’s “music” which when mixed with the sound of wind seems to be a symphony to my ears, something already forgotten during agonizing hours of climbing winding roads..... (continued on the next page)
If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)
To continue the tour of the El Teide Volcano Park click:
El Teide Volcano - (page 2)
If you want to make a tour of Tenerife and La Gomera, see pictures of old colonial towns, feel the atmosphere on the streets, taste local potatoes, get friendly with animals in Loro Parque, see the flower of rose.....
....experience the bird's view of the island when paragliding, visit the secluded village Masca or witness the unique whistling language then click any of the above links:
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Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur
Transandino Uspallata Railway
Spring flowers (3 pages)
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