Exploring Tenerife – El Teide volcanio, lava fields and spectacular views

Tenerife is an island that you just have to hire a car and get out to explore.  Here is the first of our two favourite routes:

El Teide peak, lava fields and spectacular island views

Tenerife’s volcano, El Teide, is one of the biggest in the world.  The peak of its cone is the highest point in Spain at over 3,700 meters above sea level.

A relatively easy drive will take you high up above the clouds to the El Teide cable car for a final assent to the top.

From Los Cristianos, take the motorway TF-1 north, continuing on the TG-82 towards Chio.

At Chio, take the TF-38 toward El Tiede (well signposted). The route is an amazing scenic drive up through forests and across miles of high altitude lava fields.  Even on a cloudy day, much of the road from Chio will be in sunshine above the clouds.


The road continues towards the cable car station.  The cable car (27€ per person return trip) makes for an easy final assent to almost the top of the cone. The picture below was taken at 2km above sea level. The cable car is just visable on the right hand side.


Temperatures at the top of El Teide can reach 0°c or less, so wear jeans and coat.  Thermal jackets can be hired at the cable car station for 5€.

The views from the top are breathtaking, as is the altitude!


After visiting the peak, drive back down the road but follow the signs to Vilaflor.  One a clear day, the drive down is full of spectacular views of southern Tenerife and has quite a few hairpin bends. From Vilaflor, follow the signs back to Los Cristianos.

Journey time – Approximately 3-5 hours, depending on how many photo stops you make and time at the top of the volcano.

Wear – Jeans and a coat.

Food & Water – There is one restaurant on the road to the cable car serving drinks and hot snacks. The cable car base station has a cafe and basic self-service restaurant.

Click here to see our recommended route to explore Masca and the northwestern cape.


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