Mount Teide

Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  ,
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I have been on this island 3 full days and already I can say for sure there IS more to Tenerife than the few resorts on the south coast. The scenery here is incredible and seems to change with great frequency. Anywhere you go you are never away from mountains and there are lunar landscapes, hillsides with pinetrees hugging them and mountains of laurel forests. 
Today we head for the interior of the island and within minutes of leaving we were climbing up into the mountains. The landscape here was totally different to either of the mountain areas we have been in over the last two days - the road climbs through pine forests and huge rockfaces.
Our first stop was in the village of Vilaflor, which is said to be the highest village of the Canary Islands. We parked up at the bottom of the village and walked up the hill to the plaza. At the top of the plaza is the seventeenth century Iglesia de San Pedro. It was another beautifully sunny day, so we wandered around looking at the buildings and taking photographs of the church before our thoughts turned to lunch.
We went to a restaurant on the plaza where John tried a fish on the menu called Abadejo, which I have since had translated as Pollock. We ordered Canarian potatoes to go with it - Canarian potatoes are unpeeled new potatoes, boiled dry in salt water and are delicious. The mojo sauces that we have received with most of our meals also arrived. Mojo is a sauce that originated in the Canary Islands, generally either red or green, the red one being hotter.
After lunch we started to make our way over to Parc National del Teide, which is home to Mount Teide a huge volcano, lava fields and volcanic cones. The road continued to climb from Vilaflor and our surroundings started changing again - every twist and turn of the road bought something new. There were several viewpoints along the way where we stopped to take pictures and admire the views. It's amazing how few people we saw along the way and more staggeringly the amount of people who merely pulled into the viewpoint to jump out of their car, click the camera button once and dive back in the car to continue on. The only way to describe the scenery when we reached the national park is awesome. The superlatives would flow easy, but I'll post some pictures and hope they go some way to describing it.  Its one of those places where you keep taking photo after photo hoping to capture the feel of it. Every time the sun went in or came out the lava and rock formations would show different colours - red, purple, orange, brown, green, it was totally amazing. Originally we had planned to take the cable car up to Pico del Teide, I wanted to go up and whilst John agreed to come with me I knew it was something he wouldn't be comfortable with as he suffers from vertigo. As we were approaching it John became quieter and quieter, almost to the point of irritation, when we got there, there was no sign of cable car movement "I think it's closed" John says with glee - he was right, no cable cars moving and no sign of anyone around. "Okay, we'll just have to walk around and takes pictures" he said, a beaming smile returning to his face - so time to don our walking boots and investigate. Taking photographs is a recent thing for John, not something he's ever taken much interest in before, but there he was, seemingly with the same thirst for it as I have, taking photo's of everything - it was when he said "I can't take that shot from here because that'll be in the way" that I thought "my work here is done", he's been converted.
We spent hours in the crater, in total awe of our surroundings, we just stood looking and looking again and again and again, magnificent. The sun goes down around 7.30pm and once again the daylight ran out on us - I tried to get pictures of the sun going down as we left the park, but we were never really in the right position and it disappeared once more behind the mountains. By the time we got back and parked up near the apartments it was already late, so we decided to leave our stuff in the car and go in search of something to eat. We found a place right next to the sea where they seemed to do paella for one - we were a bit dubious about this as we got caught out once before in Barcelona where they said this and then it clearly came out of a packet - but John eats seafood and not meat and I eat meat and not seafood, it was getting late and we decided to just risk it in the hope that it might be good paella. I opted for the Canarian meat one and John the seafood - fortunately we were not disappointed and it was cooked to perfection - John washed his down with a couple of local beers - all in the name of trying all things Canarian of course!!  Followed by the words "hmm that beer was stronger than I thought" as we were leaving with John rosey cheeked and finding everything funny.  I did laugh at him.
Recently through the TravelPod website someone who has been living on the island for over 16 years got in contact with me and gave me some advice on places to go and see the 'real' Tenerife, she offered to meet up with us the day we go over to Garachico and be our unofficial guide. I thought it was a great idea, so I rang her today to let her know we are going there tomorrow and we've arranged to meet, so I'm looking forward to meeting the name from the e-mails.
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sianeth on

I remember going here - it was like Planet of the Apes or something!

I definately found there's more to Tenerife than people think, some select places just give it a bad rep. Apparently there are some really nice spots on places like Ibiza aswell that people get put off from because of the clubbing scene etc.

Glad you enjoyed the trip!

travelmonster on

Re: .
That's exactly what it reminded me of - haven't seen landscape like it before, awesome!

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