TEIDE NATURAL PARK
If you are considering taking a break to the stunning island of Tenerife, then there is one place you really must visit; Teide Natural Park, a popular UNESCO world heritage site.
Visitors can explore a land rich with natural beauty, as not only does Teide Natural Park contain the third largest of the world's volcanoes, but due to this volcano it also has some incredible scenery. The park sprawls across an impressive 18,990 hectares, followed by Corona Forest Nature Park that covers a further 46,613 hectares, a truly amazing amount of protected beauty for one island!
The volcanic action of the past has lead to an interesting contrast of baron landscapes - where the lava has spilled - set against the surrounding fertile lands, which are full of pine forests and some very unusual plants. Many of the flowers found in this area are quite unique to the Canary Islands, a couple of the most dominant here being the Erysimum Scoparium, a gorgeous wallflower, and the Echium Wildpretii (Tajinaste) - which grows up to three meters high with brilliant red flowers surrounding its cylindrical shape. This rare natural scenery is unique to this part of the world and makes it a great place for photographs.
As the highest point in Spain, this volcanic monument sits royally against the blue skyline. The views from its peak allow you to take in the entire island, the seas and even nearby islands on clear days. Of course, being a UNESCO natural park means that this area is well cared for too. Hence, visitors will need to take specific routes for climbing the volcano and exploring the surrounding landscape. However, there are still many options available for visitors to see the summit; from a relaxed stroll to a steady hike, there is something for everyone and every fitness level. The summit hikes normally lead up to one of two main view points, from where visitors can then take a cable car up to the peak. Once at the top, visitors can walk around and take in the picturesque views.
To take a hike, professionally guided tours can be booked via the National Park Offices, or for the more adventurous visitors there are many hiking trails available. Should you wish to climb to the very mouth of the volcano, you will need a special permit (limited number) that is obtainable from the National Park Offices. Whichever route you choose to take, it is sure to be an experience that you will remember for a lifetime!