Teide National Park is for many the number one highlight of a visit to Tenerife. Visit here to experience the island’s visually impressive backdrop, see surreal rock formations and explore a lunar, otherworldly landscape. It’s not to be missed, particularly if you enjoy stargazing or hiking.
Planning Your Trip to Teide National Park Last Minute?
Below are our favorite tours and hotels we highly recommend when visiting the national park.
Top Experiences and Tours:
Mount Teide Tour with Cable Car Ticket & Transfer (all in one, perfect if you don’t have a hire car)
Teide Stargazing Experience (Teide is one of the best places in the world to view stars!)
Mount Teide Summit Guided Hiking Tour (once in a lifetime experience!)
Quad Adventure Tour (very fun tour riding quad bikes to the national park)
Mount Teide Observatory Guided Tour (perfect for science buffs!)
Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide (This is the only hotel inside the national park. We stayed here and highly recommend it!)
Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest attraction in Tenerife is Teide National Park. To miss seeing it while visiting the island seems almost criminal.
Parque Nacional del Teide is spread over more than 13,500 hectares of the island – or around a tenth of the land mass. The park and highest peak is located in the Macaronesia volcanic zone, and the active volcano last erupted in 1909. The peak of Mount Teide is Spain’s highest summit, and the mountain is surrounded by an otherworldly, lunar landscape. Other things to see at this national park include dark caverns and intriguing rock formations.
A variety of altitudes also means there’s a vast range of floral species to be seen when hiking in Teide National Park. Some of these are found nowhere else on the planet. That’s only one of the reasons why the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting around three to four million visitors each year.
Over 80% of the volcanic rock formations found on Earth can be seen at this unique national park. The variety of colours and textures is incredible and includes green due to the presence of copper oxide. As for the peak itself, it emerges from a large caldera left over from a previous volcano.
There are plenty of things to do when you visit Teide National Park. You can take a cable car or hike to the summit. There’s also plenty of other amazing hikes in the park which pass through lava fields. Or you can just visit the numerous viewpoints, soaking up the views without the need to tackle a hike.
You can also stay overnight in the only Teide National Park hotel. The park is among the best places in the world for stargazing, due to minimal light pollution, the location and the lunar landscape.
From getting there to planning countless activities the park has to offer, this ultimate guide has you covered. Let’s dive deeper into the volcanic, surreal world of Teide National Park in Tenerife!
Weather in Teide National Park
Due to the altitude, the weather in the national park is usually several degrees cooler than the rest of the island. In winter, averages are around 8°C, and in summer, highs can reach about 20 to 22°C.
When we lived in Tenerife for a year, we saw Teide every single day while taking the kids to kindergarten. In winter, the mountain was covered in snow. Upon seeing that, we were so excited to go up there and feel it for ourselves because it’s such a contrast to the balmy 20°C temperatures on the coast.
We failed in our mission a couple of times, as the roads leading to Teide were closed. This happens when there is heavy snow. By the third time, though, we did manage to get into the park and were completely enthralled by it. As it was 4°C by then, the snow was melting but you wouldn’t believe how many Spanish families brought their kids here to play with the snow! It was incredible to witness. The children brought their sledges along, which they probably only get to use 2 to 3 days per year.
If you take a cable car ride to the top, you’ll find that it’s even colder up there. In winter, minus temperatures aren’t uncommon. So do prepare for that by taking warmer clothes with you.
Any time of year is good for visiting the park. Many people hike to the peak in summer, but during spring is the best time due to the wildflowers covering the lower slopes. The summit may also still be snow-clad in spring. In winter, reaching Teide National Park by car can be impossible due to road closures.
Most of the park is above the clouds. So even when it’s cloudy on the coast, you will drive past a certain point while heading to Teide and it will suddenly become sunny.
How to Visit Teide National Park
This section covers how to get to Teide National Park and essential information you need to know. Thankfully, due to its popularity, there are now plenty of ways to visit. Of course the simplest option for many is to rent a car, as this is the most flexible means of getting there, but other options are also covered below.
El Portillo is the main one and can be found in the east of the park. It offers information on hiking trails in Teide National Park, plus exhibits about local flora, fauna and geology. Some free hikes are also led by staff.
The Cañada Blanca visitor centre is in the south, and this focuses more on the relationship between the park and humanity.
- You don’t have to budget for Teide National Park tickets, as entry is free. You do have to pay for the cable car to take you to the top, though. It costs 38 Euros for a round-trip ticket for adults, and 19 euros for children aged between 3 and 13. Children under 3 are not permitted to ride. Book the tickets via the official website.
- The cable car takes you to the top station called “La Rambleta”, at an altitude of 3,555 metres. There you have the option of choosing between three walks. One of these is to the peak. You need the right Teide permits to do this: you can get that here. Do keep in mind that spaces fill up about two months in advance. If you fail to get one, you could opt for the official tour instead. This involves climbing to the peak as part of a guided tour, without needing to get a Teide National Park permit.
- Parking in the national park is free, but free spaces soon disappear during high season. Sometimes you might need to drive around for some time before a space frees up.
- Don’t leave your valuables unattended inside the car when parking at the park – or in other tourist places in Tenerife. There is a chance that the car window will be smashed and your belongings stolen in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, car thefts are common in Tenerife, even though we have never experienced them ourselves.
- There is one hotel in the park – Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide – so you can stay overnight if you’d like to.
Getting to Teide National Park
This is for many the easiest and most flexible option. There are four roads leading to the national park:
- From the South. If you are staying in the popular areas of Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje or Los Cristianos, you will usually take this road. It passes Vilaflor – the highest village in Tenerife, located at an altitude of 1,400 m. After reaching the village, take the TF-21 to reach the national park.
- From the West. If you are staying in the Los Gigantes area, firstly you must get to TF-38 through Tamaimo. You’ll then switch to TF-21 once inside the national park. This is the fastest route, and you’ll pass spindly pines and a stretch of solidified lava along the way.
- From the North. If you’re staying in Puerto de la Cruz, you need to get to La Orotava before switching to the TF-21. This will get you into the park.
- From the North-East. From Santa Cruz de Tenerife or San Cristóbal de La Laguna, take TF-24 from La Laguna (Carretera de La Esperanza). This then connects to the TF-21. It’s probably the most picturesque road.
The roads are in very good condition and we find them easy to navigate. Despite the fact that you are gaining elevation, this happens smoothly and thus shouldn’t be a problem for any intermediate driver.
Alternatively, take a bus to Teide National Park. Two bus routes can get you there without a hire car.
Number 342 runs from Costa Adeje, via Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, to various stops within the national park. It runs only once per day. The bus departs at 9:15 am from Costa Adeje bus station, and the whole trip takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. To get back, catch the bus at 3:15 pm from El Portillo. This also passes the cable car station at approximately 3:40 pm. The price is 7,60€ one way.
Number 348 runs from the northern part of Tenerife. It sets off at 9:30 am from Puerto de la Cruz and the final stop is near the Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide hotel. The whole trip takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can head back at 4 pm, and the price is 6,20€ one way.
Both buses give you plenty of time to use the cable car from 12 pm. You can then spend up to 3 hours up there (which is enough even for hiking to the peak if you have a permit) and still get back in time for the return trip.
In all honesty, rarely do people spend so much time on the top. Usually about an hour is enough.Then you’ll have some time left for other activities, such as visiting several viewpoints.
To help with that, there is a third bus that can transport you within the park, from one site to another. It’s the number 341, and runs a few times per day.
If you have any questions on using a bus system in Tenerife, check out our complete bus guide.
On a Tour
Taking a Teide National Park tour is a third way to get there. Many of these will show you the highlights, without any stress, renting a car or driving. Unless specified, it’s best to assume these tours don’t leave sufficient time for the return cable car trip.
Whether you’re staying in the north or south, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a suitable trip. Many include pick-up from your accommodation too. Here are the tours that we can recommend. Some of these are organised by the national park itself, and others by private companies.
- Excursion from Southern or Northern Tenerife. The cost is 67 Euros and this includes transport from your hotel, a return cable car ticket and an official guide in your preferred language. If you are staying in the Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos areas, the tour is available daily. For the Los Gigantes or Costa del Silencio areas, it takes place on selected days only. Check the link above for more information. Duration: 7 hours.
- Teide Stargazing Experience. As already mentioned, Teide National Park is one of the best places on Earth for stargazing because of the clear skies. This tour takes you from selected hotels in Southern Tenerife (or you can drive before joining the tour at the park). You get to experience sunset above the clouds with a glass of Cava, savour an authentic meal in a local restaurant and watch the night sky with powerful telescopes. This one is highly recommended. Duration: 6 hours with hotel pickup, or 4 hours if you drive to the national park yourself.
- Mount Teide Summit Guided Hiking Tour. Another great option. By choosing this tour, you get to hike to the summit of Teide with a guide, which is a truly memorable experience. This option includes a transfer from Tenerife South or North, cable car tickets, and a permit to visit the crater. The latter is very important because if you want to summit Teide without this tour, you would have to get the permit yourself. This must be done at least two months prior to your trip. By choosing this tour, you can save yourself the headache. Perfect.
These 3 first options listed above are the best tours, in our opinion, so we urge you to try at least one. Here are a few different, fun options worth considering too:
Guided Teide Observatory Tour – Teide has its own stargazing observatory: in fact, it’s the largest solar observatory in the world. By opting for this 1.5 hour tour, you can learn how an observatory works and get to use professional-level telescopes. Children under 8 years old cannot join this tour.
Full Day Scenic Tour – By choosing this tour, you can travel through the highest village in Tenerife – Vilafor. Next, you’ll visit Teide National Park. After that, you also get to go to Icod de Los Vinos, Garachico and Masca. Keep in mind that by choosing this tour, you will only get a glimpse of Teide and won’t be able to use the cable car. It’s a good option if you’re short on time though.
Quad Adventure Tour – a very very fun tour! It’s a guided quad bike tour including hotel pick-up. You’ll travel 90 kilometres from Playa de las Americas to an elevation of 2,400 metres at Teide. You can choose to have a quad bike of your own, or share one with a friend or family member.
Things to Do in Teide National Park
If you’re now wondering what to do in Teide National Park, how do some of the following options sound?
Visit a Variety of Viewpoints
For magnificent panoramic views, visit the many miradors (viewpoints) located along the road through the park. Each has a unique perspective to offer.
Mirador de los Poleos
This viewpoint is in western Tenerife, along TF-38 leading from Los Gigantes. You can catch your first glimpse of the peak from here, and see where some of the most recent eruptions have occurred. Oh, and the views of the neighboring island La Gomera are unforgettable.
Location: Google Maps
Mirador de las Narices del Teide
Mirador Narices del Teide literally translates as the nostrils of the Teide. This viewpoint shows Tenerife’s longest volcanic eruption, which lasted for three months in 1798. The path taken by the lava is very evident here.
Location: Google Maps
Llano de Ucanca
This quiet little layby gives you great views of Teide, La Ruleta and the Roques de Garcia. For stargazing, this is one of the best spots on the island.
Location: Google Maps
La Ruleta Vista Point
This is probably the stop that the majority of people visiting Teide make. You will find the largest car park here, and there’s also further parking spaces on the other side of the road, near the Parador de Cañadas del Teide hotel.
That said, finding a free space during high season here is still a challenge. You usually have to drive around while waiting for a car to leave.
One of the main hikes in the area, Roques de García, starts here. It’s perfect for the whole family, so many people choose to do it. (You can find out more about it below.) You will also find an observation deck here that overlooks Las Cañadas caldera.
Location: Google Maps
Mirador El Tabonal Negro
This is one of the first viewpoints you’ll pass when heading to the park from northern Tenerife. There are stunning views over mountains and valleys, as well as Teide itself.
Location: Google Maps
Minas de San José
This is one of our favourite stops when visiting the park. This one’s different, as you’re permitted to walk around on the volcanic sands. Contrasting shades of red, orange, yellow, black and grey make this a very photogenic spot.
Location: Google Maps
Mirador de El Corral del Niño
This is probably the best place to watch the sunset and see the stars. There are great views of Teide observatory and Teide volcano, plus a sea of clouds beneath you. It’s truly a breathtaking place. Bring warmer clothes for sunset, as it gets chilly quickly here after the sun goes down.
Location: Google Maps
Zona Recreativa Las Lajas
This is not actually a viewpoint, but rather a place for picnicking and camping. It’s a beautiful, tranquil place with barbecue grills for public use, taps and restrooms. There’s also a play area for kids.
Location: Google Maps
Take a Cable Car Trip
This is our number one recommendation – and an absolute must unless you’ve come to Tenerife with small children. Kids under 3 are not allowed to take this journey, due to health concerns related to the high altitude.
It’s the simplest way to reach the mountain’s peak, and the views are spectacular – apart from when it’s cloudy. When the sun shines, you can make out the islands of La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. The ride takes only eight minutes to reach an altitude of 1,200 metres, and departs every 10 minutes.
We recommend purchasing cable car tickets online at least a day in advance. It’s almost impossible to get same day tickets when you arrive at the park during high season, so it’s best not to take the risk. Book via the official website.
You have to choose a day and a time slot for your visit. The current price is 38 Euros for an adult return and 19 Euros for children aged between 3 and 13.
You can’t be late for your appointed time, so make sure you arrive with plenty of time to find parking (it can be pretty busy at the car park by the cable car). There’s a cafe, so you can spend some time there while waiting for your designated slot.
Anyone with lung or heart issues should not travel, due to low oxygen levels at higher elevation. Bring a jacket too, even if it’s hot elsewhere.
We felt slightly light-headed due to the lack of oxygen, but nothing too extreme. It was harder to walk, though, and a bit more difficult to breathe.
Be aware that, due to weather conditions, the cable car doesn’t operate on some days, especially in winter. On any given day you can check the status of the cable car and the weather at the official website. It’s difficult to predict in advance whether the cable car will operate on the day of your visit or not.
All you can do is check the weather forecast and hope for the best. This is more of a problem in winter, when it can snow on Teide. But don’t worry – your tickets will be fully refunded, or you can change dates easily.
The cable car will get you to the upper station, “La Rambleta”, at 3,550 metres. On the top of the mountain you can choose between 2 walking routes (apart from the third route to the peak, which requires a permit: find more about that below). So you can choose to head to the Fortaleza viewpoint (426 metres) or take the Pico del Teide route to another viewpoint (731 metres).
Officially, you are allowed to stay up there for an hour. Each of these trails will take around 45 minutes, at a leisurely pace. So while it’s possible to do both trails, we would recommend choosing only one. An hour is usually more than enough because of high winds, chilly weather and the lack of oxygen.
There is also a toilet and a hot drinks machine at the top. If you don’t plan to rent a car, you can still do this by choosing one of the tours recommended above, or by using a public bus to reach the cable car station.
Climb to the Summit
Climbing to the peak of Teide, at an altitude of 3718 metres, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can do this in several ways.
From the Upper Cable Car Station
The easiest way is to take the cable car to the upper station of “La Rambleta”. You can then hike from there via the Telesforo Bravo path to the peak (trail map). The path is 618 metres long and 173 metres high, and it will take around 40 minutes to reach your destination. For comparison, you would be able to cover a distance of about 3 to 4 kilometres in normal conditions, but it’s more difficult to walk here due to the lack of oxygen.
This path is rocky underfoot, with challenging conditions and steep sections. It’s not recommended for those with health issues or children, but the views are stupendous.
The problem with this option is that you need a permit, as we mentioned briefly above. This is to restrict visitor numbers. You can apply for your permit here, but do bear in mind that spaces fill up about two months in advance. So you will need to plan.
You will have to choose from one of the 2 hour time slots: 9 to 11 am, 11 am to 1 pm, 1 to 3 pm, or 3 to 5 pm. Then you have to calculate how much time you’ll need to arrive at the national park and travel up by cable car. Take your passport or ID with you on the day, and don’t miss your time slot. If you have a 3 to 5 pm permit, you must enter by 4.30pm at the latest. Before leaving, also check that the summit isn’t closed due to the weather conditions.
If you can’t get a permit, thankfully there is another option. You can take the official guided tour where you will climb to the peak without needing a permit. The price is reasonable at 111 Euros, and this includes hotel transfers, return cable car tickets, a Spanish, English or German speaking guide – and the permit you need.
There are a few other so-called VIP tours available, where you can ascend the peak of Teide privately, with a guide for just you and your friends or family. The price is 430 Euros per person if you want to climb the peak after using the cable car, or 590 euros if you want to cover the whole distance on foot from the bottom. A minimum of 2 people is required.
Montaña Blanca Trail
You can also choose the hardest option by hiking all the way from the bottom to the peak. It takes about 3 to 5 hours to hike to the upper cable car station, then 40 minutes more from there.
The hike is normally completed via the Montaña Blanca trail. Check out the trail map here. The entire length is 16.3km and the elevation gain is 1,362 metres. There is parking at the start of the trail (location).
The Montaña Blanca track is the first section, where you can see pumice stone created by volcanic activity. Once tackling the slopes of the mountain, the path becomes very steep, and that plus the altitude is very tiring. In places the gradient is up to 60%, so only take this hike if you’re in peak physical condition and free from heart issues.
No permit is needed until you reach the upper cable car station. The good news is, if you choose to visit the peak between 6 am and 9 am (for sunrise) or from 6 pm to 9 pm (for sunset) there is almost no queue for the permit. You still need to get it via the website here (choose one of the bottom two options) but they are generally available, even for tomorrow.
That’s because the cable car does not operate at these times. This opens at 9 am. The time of the last descent varies according to the time of year, but it’s usually between 5 pm and 6:30 pm.
Of course choosing these times may mean hiking up at night or descending in darkness. Even though this sounds terrifying, it’s a pretty normal practice for people to do this throughout the year. You just need a headlamp. Sometimes the stars will light up the way for you too, and hiking under the stars is something you will remember for your whole life.
Hiking up at night is more popular. If you do this, you can take the cable car down after sunrise.
This route can also be done over two days, spending the night in the Altavista refuge. As of early 2023, though, the refuge is closed, with no news on when it might reopen. It has two buildings, and you could spend a maximum of one night there. Before COVID, the price was 20 Euros per night.
If staying over does become an option once more, you can split the climb to make life easier. The views from the refuge are impressive and you can rise at around 5 am to complete your climb. This way you can avoid hiking all the way by night.
Here’s a few things to consider if you choose to hike all the way to the top of Teide from the bottom:
- The sun is very strong during the day, even in winter. In fact, in summer it’s considered extreme. So do bring sun protection and wear a cap or a hat.
- The weather is most unpredictable at the peak. The summit of Teide is at 3,718m. At this altitude, conditions can be vastly different, and are more affected by how windy it is. In winter, the temperature at the summit is around -1°C to 5°C by day. During summer, the range is between 8°C and 12°C for calmer, brighter days. By night, winter temperatures can be as low as -8° and summer temperatures around zero.
- You will need a headlamp if you hike up at night, plus good hiking shoes at any time. Don’t forget to pack water and snacks too.
- With a considerable change of altitude, this is not an easy hike. If you come from one of the resorts in Tenerife South, you will go from zero altitude to over 3,500m in a day! There is a lack of oxygen, and mountain sickness can give you a headache. If you feel really bad on the trail, don’t push your luck; just hike back down instead.
Hit the Hiking Trails
Tackling more of the best hikes in Teide National Park is the ideal way to explore. You can follow the trails independently, or take a guided tour from the visitor centre. Whichever you do, don’t forget water and sunscreen, because all hikes here provide almost no shade at all!
The Chinyero Volcano loop passes some breathtaking lunar landscapes, so it’s one of the island’s most popular hikes. The 15,60 metre high Chinyero last erupted in 1909, and is now the protected Chinyero Special Natural Reserve. It’s not too challenging, so it’s ideal for families.
Do wear decent hiking footwear, though, for crossing bumpy lava fields and passing through pine forest. Along the way you can enjoy lovely views, plus local flora and fauna. The car park for this trail is off TF-38.
Roques de García
This is also an easy and fairly brief walk. The red landscape forms the backdrop for the most dramatic lava formations, which come in the most bizarre and unexpected shapes. It’s a circular trail, and realistic even for young children.
Wear sturdy footwear and bring an extra layer, and arrive early if you can. After a flat path to Los Roques you’ll reach Llano de Ucanca plain, made from sedimentary rock. Look out for twisty Roque Cinchado, aka the “Finger of God” or “Stone Tree”; the tongue-like La Cascada (The Waterfall); and pointy La Catedral (The Cathedral).
Mirador de Sámara
This circular trail takes you to Montaña de Sámara and Montaña de la Botija. It’s moderately challenging and the loop takes about two hours to finish. Good hiking shoes are recommended.
The landscapes are ever-changing along the way, including Mount Teide, a variety of flora, Canarian pine forest and volcanic sand. Start at Samara car park, and take path number 13. It’s worth climbing to Montaña de la Botija, Montaña de Sámara or both for the incredible views, especially at sunset.
If you want the best views of El Teide without too much effort, then the hike to Mount Guajara summit is ideal. At 2,718m, Mount Guajara is one of Tenerife’s highest peaks.
The trail starts near the Cañada Blanca information centre, which is adjacent to the Parador de Cañadas del Teide hotel. It’s quite a tough hike due to the steep incline. There is also little to no shade to be found, but the views from the top make it all worthwhile.
Along with the ascent to the peak of Teide, this hike could be named the most difficult in the entire national park. It’s a 14km out and back trail, with an ascent of about 1,000 metres. So it is considered challenging. You have to be in good physical condition to tackle it.
Pico Viejo is 800 metres wide and the second highest Canarian volcano. A lake of lava once flowed here, and the last eruption in this area was in 1798. Weather permitting, you can see La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro from the summit. “Teide’s Nostrils” can also be seen on the western slopes, and the colours of the landscape and crater are breathtaking.
The trail starts opposite the Parador de Cañadas del Teide hotel. The first section of the trail is the same as in the Roques de García trail, so you will pass the famous Roque Cinchado rock formation. Good hiking footwear is a must, and be prepared for a steep climb. In winter, you’ll need appropriate cold weather clothing, plus poles, and crampons can also prove useful.
See the Sunset
Teide National Park is one of the finest spots in Tenerife for seeing the sunset. Though slightly outside the park, Mirador de Chipeque (location) is one of the most popular places. Or we recommend Mirador de El Corral del Niño (location) for a lovely sunset inside the park.
Alternatively, take a cable car to the upper station outside of regular working hours and watch the sunset from there. This is more expensive than buying regular cable car tickets, and they must be purchased separately on their website. This activity is not available daily, and currently takes place twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also book this tour to get both evening cable car tickets and transportation from your hotel.
Or you can participate in one of these recommended tours, which offer a sunset experience plus stargazing.
All transport, telescopes and an expert guide are included with this stargazing and sunset tour.
Dinner at a local restaurant, Cava and seeing the stars and sunset is all covered by this romantic Tenerife by night tour.
Teide National Park is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also a “Starlight” tourist destination and among the best places on the planet for astronomy and stargazing. The climate, altitude, lack of light pollution and proximity to the equator creates the magic formula for seeing the sparkling night skies properly. Over 80 constellations can be seen clearly.
You have two options. Either wait for the sun to go down so you can see the stars yourself, or book a stargazing tour.
Here are the tours we like:
Teide National Park Stargazing Experience
Experience what NASA calls a “window to the universe” with this stargazing tour. Includes dinner, Cava and even coats to keep you warm.
Romantic Sunset and Stargazing Tour with Dinner
Combine sunset, Cava, starry skies and constellations with this romantic evening tour in Tenerife.
Teide Night Experience with Dinner and Stargazing
After stopping for a delicious Canarian dinner with wine in Vilaflor, experience Tenerife’s night skies with this tour led by a stargazing guide.
If you are with small children, though, a tour can be exhausting. Plus not all of them will allow your children to go near the expensive telescopes!
Once, we decided to celebrate one of our boys’ birthdays in Teide National Park, so we booked the only hotel there for a night (Parador de Cañadas del Teide). When the sky turned pitch black, we simply stood outside and watched the sky from there. And it was brilliant! We were amazed by how many different stars, planets, and galaxies we saw. The Milky Way was so bright!
We saw shooting stars, and it was the best night for our children too. So, even without a tour, it’s totally worth doing. You could also skip staying overnight and just go back to your hotel – we just thought that might be too tiring. Descending the mountain in the dark didn’t sound like the safest idea either, as there are almost no road lights in the national park.
If you are visiting Tenerife without children, then we definitely recommend one of the stargazing tours mentioned above for a better experience. They let you use special telescopes, so just imagine how awesome that is!
Tour the Observatory
Teide Observatory is more than 2,400 metres above sea level, and you can book a guided tour. The observatory is operated by the Institute of Astrophysics for the Canary Islands, and stargazers and scientists from all over the globe come here to see the night skies.
Mount Teide Observatory Guided Tour
After making your own way to the meeting point, this tour will show you how an observatory works and you can also use solar and night telescopes.
Mount Teide Observatory Astronomical Tour
This option includes hotel pick-up in southern Tenerife. Taking place during the afternoon and evening, you can view both day and night skies during this tour.
Do note that children under 8 are not permitted to participate in these tours.
Stay Over at Parador de Cañadas del Teide
Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide is the only hotel within Teide National Park. It’s a simple, comfortable three star property in a one-off location. Stay here to enjoy the night skies and surreal lunar landscape, or before setting off early to hike to the summit.
You can also savour authentic Canarian cuisine in the restaurant, or use the sauna or swimming pool. As you might expect, all rooms come with superb views and have large picture windows. The hotel even has a telescope, and stargazing sessions are held weekly on Friday evenings.
The hotel also has parking and a garden, and all accommodation is en suite. Book in here as soon as you can, as there’s only 37 rooms here in total.
Visit the Village of Vilaflor
If driving from Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje, you can visit Vilaflor either on your way up to the national park, or or the way back down. Alternatively, just take a separate trip.
The village also makes a great base for exploring Teide, if you plan to spend a few days in the national park. It’s just a 30 minute drive from the park itself.
Vilaflor lays claim to being Tenerife’s highest village, and it’s an idyllic, unspoiled spot. The main square is at the heart of local life here, with lacework shops, restaurants and bars. You can also visit a huge Canarian pine tree that’s 8 centuries old just outside the village, and see San Pedro church and its statue of the saint that dates back to the 1500s.
As well as all the charm the village offers, Vilaflor makes a great base for discovering the national park and mountains. It’s therefore popular, so book early if you want to stay here. You can also reach the Mirador San Roque viewpoint on foot from Calle Santo Domingo and the main square.
With a rural feel, Vilaflor is an excellent choice for fans of hiking, history and fine wine.
If you want to take a walk, don’t miss the Pino Enano route for sweeping village views.
Cycle to the National Park
If you have a full day at your disposal and are a keen and experienced cyclist, then you can ride up some steep routes to reach many of Teide National Park’s highlights. In fact the area is used by cycling pros as a training ground during winter.
The most popular cycling route departs from the southern resort of Los Cristianos. You can seek respite in the towns and villages along the way, and the first section of the route is partially shaded by trees.
Another option is the route from Puerto de la Cruz. This is the longest, but is less steep than the other two routes. It follows the Camino de Chasna, and the route is lined with lush greenery. Though it’s the least steep option, be prepared for a few serious inclines.
The third route begins in Los Gigantes. It’s a relatively traffic-free option, and involves passing some of the prettiest parts of Tenerife’s volcanic landscape.
To explore Tenerife to the fullest and at your own pace, we highly recommend renting a car. Our favourite place for car rental is the RentalCars website. It allows you to compare different providers and pick the best deal. You also get the best protection and flexibility for booking terms.
We also recommend taking at least one guided tour. Our favourite place for booking tours in Tenerife is GetYourGuide.
Top 3 excursions on the island:
- A whale and dolphin watching (pick by location: Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes).
- Stargazing in Teide National Park
- Kayaking and Snorkeling with Turtles
The best hotels for families with kids (in our opinion):
Luxury: GF Victoria (Costa Adeje) or Bahia Principe Fantasia (Golf del Sur)
Mid-Range: Spring Hotel Bitácora (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Bouganville Playa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: GF Isabel (Costa Adeje) or Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel (Los Cristianos)
The best adults-only hotels:
Luxury: Iberostar Grand El Mirador (Costa Adeje) or Gran Melia Palacio de Isora (Alcalá)
Mid-Range: Tigotan Lovers & Friends (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Selection Sábila (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Barceló Santiago (Puerto de Santiago)
Top hotels for everyone:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama or Bahia del Duque (Costa Adeje)
Mid-Range: Hard Rock Hotel (Playa Paraiso) or Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Alexandre Hotel Gala or Olé Tropical Tenerife (both Playa de las Americas)