One of the most common questions people have when taking a trip to Tenerife is how to visit Mount Teide. This famous volcano is the tallest peak in the Canary Islands and all of Spain, reaching nearly 12,190 feet above sea level. It’s in Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visiting it is considered one of the best things to do in Tenerife.
So, if you’re traveling to the Canary Islands, specifically Tenerife, you should definitely hike up Mount Teide. I know that this excursion can be intimidating, so in this guide, I’ll explain everything you should know and share the best ways to visit Mount Teide.
The first thing you should know is that you can climb Mount Teide on your own, or you can book one of the tours in Tenerife that goes to this mountain. In this article, I’ll tell you all the options so you can choose the one that suits your fitness level, budget, and preferences.
How to visit Mount Teide
During our trip to Tenerife, we decided to walk up Mount Teide on Trail 7, or the Montaña Blanca route, and spend the night in the Altavista Refuge. It was the most incredible experience, especially since we could watch the sunrise from the summit.
You can hike up Teide mountain on your own, or you can drive or take the cable car, so there are options for all travelers.
Go up Mount Teide by cable car
Taking the cable car up Mount Teide is the most comfortable way, and it’s the option that most visitors choose.
The cable car station is located 7,730 feet above sea level and connects to La Rambleta, which is at an altitude of 11,660 feet. If you want to reach the top of Teide volcano, you’ll have to complete the remaining 530 feet or so on foot.
Moreover, the cable car goes over an area of the mountain where the terrain is very uneven, which is why it’s one of the most popular ways to climb Mount Teide. The trip lasts a little less than 10 minutes, so you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful view of Teide mountain and its surroundings.
If you want to go up the volcano by cable car, I recommend booking your ticket in advance here.
In case you also want to hike to Mount Teide’s summit, you must get a permit, which you’re responsible for obtaining.
Climb Mount Teide on your own
If you’re in good physical shape and enjoy hiking, you can walk up Mount Teide.
There are several hiking routes that you can take to visit Mount Teide. We did Trail 7, or Montaña Blanca trail, which is one of the most popular hikes in Tenerife. It starts at the base of the White Mountain, quite close to the cable car station. From here, you have to hike about 5 miles to reach La Rambleta, which is 11,660 feet above sea level.
It’s a challenging route, with about a mile of elevation gain, so it’s not recommended for people in poor physical condition, or who aren’t used to hiking in the mountains.
Once at La Rambleta, you’ll find several more paths, such as Trail 10 or Telesforo Bravo, which leads to Mount Teide’s peak. It’s a short trail, just 1,970 feet long, but it’s quite difficult due to the 656-foot elevation gain. To take this trail, you’ll need to request a permit in advance since only 200 people can enter this area each day.
There are also other trails I recommend in the area: Trail 11, which leads to the Mirador de la Fortaleza, and Trail 12 to the Mirador del Pico Viejo. From the Mirador de la Fortaleza, you’ll get incredible views of the southern part of the island, while you can see the northern region from the Mirador del Pico Viejo. These two trails are perfect if you want to climb Teide without a permit.
If you prefer to climb Teide mountain with a guide, I recommend this full-day hiking tour, which includes the permit. Remember, you’ll need to get the permit to climb Teide if you’re going to hike on your own.
Visit Mount Teide by car
If you’re looking for another option, you can drive up Mount Teide by car. While you won’t be able to reach the peak by driving, you can go to the foot of the volcano, where the cable car station is located. The parking lot in this area is free, so be sure to park there to avoid any violations or related problems.
If you have your heart set on going to the summit of Mount Teide in Tenerife, you must hike or take the cable car. However, if you choose this way, you won’t be able to reach the peak.
There are several roads that you can use to drive up Mount Teide, so no matter which part of the island you’re in, you can get there without any issues. The best options from the south are Vilaflor Road (TF-21) and Chío Road (TF-38), which is ideal for people who get carsick on curvy roads. If you’re going to visit Mount Teide, Tenerife from the north, take La Esperanza Road (TF-24) or La Orotava Road (TF-21).
Even if you don’t go to the summit, the surroundings of the Teide volcano, also called Las Cañadas del Teide, is one place you can’t miss, and you can easily get there by car. This area was created after several volcanic eruptions, so it’s a unique mix of a desert landscape and peculiar rock formations, like the Roques de García. Also, during the spring, you can see the tajinaste rojo, or tower of jewels, a plant that only grows under specific conditions. Best of all, from here you can appreciate how high Mount Teide is!
Permit to climb Mount Teide in Tenerife
You’ll need a permit to climb Mount Teide’s Peak unless you book a tour that already includes it.
To access the summit, you must take Trail 10 (Telesforo Bravo), which connects La Rambleta with the mountain peak. You can only complete this journey on foot, and you must have a special permit to be granted access. Be aware that, to protect this natural place, there is a daily limit of 200 hikers who can reach the summit.
The good news is that the permit is free and you can request it through this link, where you’ll have to select a day, time slot, and the number of people in your group. I strongly recommend applying for the permit in advance since, during high season, they sold out three months in advance.
Once you’re at Mount Teide, Tenerife, you must present your permit receipt, or you’ll be denied access to the peak.
How to Climb Teide without a permit
If you want to climb Mount Teide, Tenerife without a permit, be aware that you’ll only be able to get to La Rambleta. In other words, you won’t have access to Trail 10, so you won’t be able to reach the peak. Of course, the views from La Rambleta are gorgeous, and you’ll still have access to Trail 11 and Trail 12, where you can enjoy impressive panoramas from La Fortaleza and Pico Viejo viewpoints.
Also, if the permits to climb Mount Teide are unavailable, another option is to book a tour to Teide that includes the permit or to spend the night in the Altavista Refuge.
If you’re going to stay at this refuge, you’ll be able to access the summit at dawn to see the sunrise. However, since you’ll be without a permit, you’ll have to leave the peak before 9:00 am. This is actually how we were able to do our Mount Teide climb without a permit.
What do you need to climb to the peak of Mount Teide?
Now that you know the different ways to access and request the permit to climb Teide, I’ll share some other important tips.
Check if you can climb Teide mountain today
Before you climb Teide, Tenerife, check this website to see if the volcano is accessible on the day of your visit.
This website will show you if the facilities are open, including the cable car, parking lot, and observatory. You’ll also be able to see the current status of the trails and roads.
While it’s not common, there are times when the weather conditions or a fire risk forces the Mount Teide facilities or trails to close. That’s why I recommend checking on the day of your hike or drive to see if it’s possible to make the trip.
Best clothes to visit Mount Teide
Without a doubt, it’s best to wear warm clothing when climbing Mount Teide in Tenerife. Most visitors to the island bring spring/summer clothes since the temperatures here are higher for most of the year. However, when you’re over 12,000 feet above sea level, the temperature is very different! Also, make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes or boots, especially if you’re going to hike Mount Teide.
When is the best time to climb to the peak of Teide mountain?
The optimal time to hike on Mount Teide is during the spring and autumn months. In winter, the temperatures are much colder at the peak, and snowfall can make it impossible to access. Summer isn’t a terrible time to go, but it will be much warmer, which can make the walk a bit tedious.
As for the best time to climb the Teide volcano, many travelers say that the hours between 12 pm and 4 pm are best because there are fewer tourists. Yet, for us, the best time is before dawn so we can watch the sunrise from the summit.
El Teide Refuge, a magical place to sleep on Teide mountain
Spending the night in the Teide refuge is an incredible experience. We were lucky, although we had to book in advance, to stay overnight here, and we had a wonderful time.
The Altavista Refuge has a capacity for up to 54 people and reservations are limited to one night per guest. The accommodation provides bedding, and there is a small kitchen, but you’ll want to bring water and food since there isn’t a restaurant, just some vending machines. Also, the refuge has toilets, but no showers, so it’s mostly just a place to spend the night.
If you stay at Altavista, you’ll be able to see the spectacular starry sky and one of the most striking sunrises on the island. Moreover, if you get to the peak of Mount Teide before 9:00 am, you can access the area without applying for a permit. Just be sure to leave the summit before 9:00 am.
You can reserve a night at Altavista here. Of course, if you don’t want to stay there, you can go to the Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide, which is right next to the Teide volcano and is one of the best places to stay in Tenerife.
Best tours to hike Mount Teide
For those who don’t want to explore Mount Teide by car, or who haven’t been able to get a permit to the peak, there are several great climbing tours available. These excursions are also what I recommend if you’re not sure how to climb Mount Teide and want a guide. While there are many options, these are the best tours:
- OPTION 1: Tour with cable car ride + access to the summit
- OPTION 2: Tour with cable car ride from the north (also from the south)
- OPTION 3: Tour of the Cañadas del Teide from the north (also from the south)
- OPTION 4: Hiking tour to climb Mount Teide following the Montaña Blanca trail
As you can see, the tours depart from both northern and southern Tenerife, and there are options with or without the cable car ride, depending on how much you want to hike. If you want to know more about the best excursions on Mount Teide, you can take a look at our guide.
That’s everything from me! Now you have all the information you need to visit Mount Teide and reach the highest peak in the Canary Islands. Have a safe trip and enjoy your ascent to Teide!