Excursions to El Teide

The majestic peak of Mount Teide is a must on a trip to Tenerife: with around four million visitors a year, here's what makes this place so special and how to prepare your excursion.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

9 min read

Excursions to El Teide

Views of El Teide | ©Maxim berg

Teide is the crowning jewel of Tenerife and the main reason to visit the Canary Islands, so no trip to this magical place would be complete without an excursion to the imposing volcano that is Spain's highest mountain.

In this guide I have selected the best excursions to Teide, where you will fall under the spell of the volcanic landscapes and the incredible views that the journey will reward you with.

1. Excursions to Teide

Snow-capped Teide| ©Michal Mrozek
Snow-capped Teide| ©Michal Mrozek

2. Half day excursion to Teide

Los Roques García with Teide in the background| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video
Los Roques García with Teide in the background| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

On this half-day excursion to Teide you will discover with a local guide the extraterrestrial landscapes that surround the volcano and you will ascend to its summit on a route that will not fail to surprise you.

Itinerary

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in a minivan and you will head towards the Teide National Park along a mountain road through forests of majestic pine trees, and as if it were a tunnel, it will end abruptly and you will find yourself facing Teide under the infinite open sky.

You will begin the route discovering the impossible landscapes formed by lava and volcanic earth, along one of the most accessible and beautiful trails in the park, the Roques de García. There you will find these rock menhirs formed by the whim of nature that are immutable witnesses of all the beauty that surrounds them.

After seeing up close some of these natural megaliths such as 'La Catedral', 'El Dedo de Dios' or 'La Cascada', you will continue through a landscape of lava frozen in time where all kinds of native insects such as lizards, centipedes, dragonflies and praying mantises live among the broom.

The final ascent to the Teide volcano can be done on foot or by cable car to give you spectacular views above the clouds, between which you will see the horizon of the island stretching all the way to the sea.

Why I recommend this excursion

Visiting Teide on an organised tour has a number of advantages, probably the most important of which is that you don't have to plan the route on your own. Also, going with a guide will give you the peace of mind that you know where you are going and that you won't miss anything interesting.

Another very important thing is that you are guaranteed a transfer to and from your hotel, and you save having to apply for the necessary permit to climb Teide (which you would have to apply for online if you wanted to climb without going on an organised tour).

Useful information

  • Group size: maximum 15 people
  • What's included: Transport to and from your hotel, professional guide, Teide National Park entrance fee.
  • What's NOT included: Cable car ticket to Teide (must be purchased in advance online).

Alex's Traveller Tip

There is a small hack for climbing Teide without a permit: access control is from 9am to 5pm, and outside these hours you don't need to present a permit to climb, although a Teide hike in the afternoon is not the best way to go. It is best to go on an organised excursion, as this includes a permit to climb to the summit.

3. Full tour of Tenerife: Teide, Icod, Garachico and Masca

Ancient Dragon Tree of Icod de los Vinos| ©Miguel Ángel García.
Ancient Dragon Tree of Icod de los Vinos| ©Miguel Ángel García.

Tenerife is an island full of enchanting corners, volcanic landscapes, remote towns and villages with traditions that date back to the times of the Guanches, the aboriginal Canary Islanders. On this complete tour of the island of Tenerife you will discover a little of each in a beautiful journey.

Itinerary

After picking you up from your hotel, your guide will take you and the rest of the group to Vilaflor, a village at an altitude of 2500 metres from where you will have a lookout point view of the island. From there, you will head to the Teide National Park, the jewel of the Canary Islands and one of the most important natural areas in Spain. You will climb the volcano and admire the peak of Teide, enjoying the incredible landscapes of the park on the way.

The excursion will continue to Icod de los Vinos, which as you can imagine is famous for its delicious Malvasia wines, a sweet wine made from this type of grape. Icod is also known for the Drago Milenario, an ancient tree and cultural symbol of Tenerife.

Next, you will visit Garachico, a village that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the early 18th century, but was reborn from the ashes to become the charming place it is today. Its beautiful church and the Roque de Garachico, an islet at the entrance to the sea in front of the village, make this a visit to remember.

And now finishing the excursion, you will explore the area of Masca, a small and remote village surrounded by ravines and cliffs that used to be a place of refuge, rest and a base of operations for pirates. On the way back, you'll pass Santiago del Teide and Los Gigantes cliff before returning to your hotel.

Why I recommend this tour

This comprehensive experience is perfect if you want to explore the island and get to know it beforehand and then go on your own to the area you like best to discover it in depth. It is best done on the first few days of your trip to Tenerife.

Useful information

  • Duration: from 7 to 8 hours
  • Price: 246.
  • Group size: 15 people
  • What's included: Private transport, pick up and drop off at your hotel, professional guide, entrance fee to Teide National Park.

4. Half day Teide excursion in a small group

Aerial view of the Teide National Park| ©Jonathan Rubio H.
Aerial view of the Teide National Park| ©Jonathan Rubio H.

Visiting Teide in a small group, with a stop for lunch with typical dishes of the island and discovering all the secrets of the volcanic landscape as well as its fauna and flora is what this half day excursion to Teide in a small group promises.

Itinerary

Departing from your hotel, you will set off for the volcanic and extraterrestrial landscapes of Teide. Taking into account the physical level of each member of the group, you will follow an adapted route through the Teide National Park, visiting some of its most beautiful spots with your guide.

You will stop at the Parador del Teide, an old converted mountain hut, for lunch and a "barraquito", a typical Canarian coffee with liqueur and condensed milk.

In the afternoon, you will visit a botanical garden and information centre to learn about the different geological features of the park, as well as the particularities of its fauna, flora and archaeological value. You will be able to visit a volcanic tube inside and watch informative projections to learn about the origin of the places you have walked through on the route.

Why I recommend this tour

This experience is perfect if you are travelling to Tenerife with children: the route will be adapted to them and they will be able to enjoy it without any problems, and the visit to the visitor centre will be quite entertaining, especially if they are interested in biology and geology. Moreover, as it is a small group, there is no risk of the little ones getting overwhelmed in a sea of people.

5. Night excursion to Teide

Contemplate the beauty of the stars in the firmament| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video
Contemplate the beauty of the stars in the firmament| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

To see the starry sky as you've never seen it before, on this excursion to Teide to watch the sunset and observe the stars, you'll take an astronomical route where you'll see shooting stars crossing the constellations in total darkness.

Itinerary

You will meet the group at the entrance to the Teide National Park and, accompanied by your professional guide and astronomy expert, you will make a route with the last light of day to the observation point.

At nightfall, you will have taken a seat on a high point to observe the night sky in a privileged environment without distractions or obstacles, far from any kind of light pollution. At sunset and in the middle of the mountain it will be quite cold, even in summer, so I recommend that you take warm clothes as well as good footwear. You will also need something to eat and a bottle of water.

Why I recommend this excursion

It is not a substitute for a day hike in the Teide National Park, as you would miss the beauty and majesty of its landscapes, but if you have already climbed the volcano it is a very unique experience that you are sure to enjoy, especially as a couple.

Useful information

  • Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Price: 345.

6. Jeep excursion to Teide and Masca

Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Masca from your jeep.| ©Jason Boldero
Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Masca from your jeep.| ©Jason Boldero

A different and adventurous experience: the Jeep excursion to Teide will take you from your hotel to the summit of the volcano on a route between paths.

Itinerary

You will explore the Teide National Park on board the 4x4, stopping occasionally to admire the volcanic landscapes and take pictures, while the expert guide in geology explains the origin of the rock formations that you will find.

In the Jeep, always with spectacular views of the majestic Teide, you will cross the park and drive along the winding road until you reach Masca, a mountain village at the top of a ravine where you will stop to eat a typical Canarian menu.

Why I recommend this tour

If you are looking for comfort, this is not the experience for you as a Jeep trip is a bit rougher and bumpier than an excursion in a minivan. If you are looking for adventure, don't miss this 4x4 tour of the Teide.

Useful information

  • Group size: maximum 6 people
  • What's included: Pick up from your hotel and return, professional guide, Teide National Park entrance fee.
  • What's NOT included: Lunch (not included in the price)

Questions and answers about the Teide National Park

Here are a few things I wish I had known before my first trip to Tenerife, where I visited Teide on my own and discovered everything as I went along.

Do I need a ticket to enter the Teide National Park?

The only way to get to the summit of Teide is on foot, and for this you need a permit issued by the National Park network to a maximum of 200 people per day. It depends on the time of year, but normally when you ask for the permit there is none available for the following two or three months.

For this reason, I recommend organised excursions as, among other advantages, they save you the need to ask for this permit.

On the other hand, the permit is completely free and this is the only entrance ticket you will need to climb Teide.

How does the Teide cable car work?

The most popular option for visiting Teide is to take the cable car up from the Base Station. There is a free car park there (for around 200 vehicles) and you can take the cable car, which in an amazing 8-minute ride with breathtaking views will take you to the Top Station, at an altitude of 3,555 metres.

A return ticket for the cable car costs €37 (round trip) or €21 (one way) per person, and can only be purchased on the official website well in advance.

How do I walk up Teide on my own?

There are several routes to climb Teide: route number 10(called Telesforo Bravo), which starts from the Cable Car Top Station and takes about 40 minutes one way. It is quite steep and the difficulty is somewhat high, but it is the quickest way to reach the summit.

If you want to do a one-day route, the best known route is number 7 (Montaña Blanca - Pico del Teide). It is 8.3km long and takes about 5 hours to cover, so not everyone can do it there and back in the same day. So something that might sound good for you is to sleep at the Refugio de Altavista ( you'll have to book well in advance) and continue the route in the early hours of the morning to see the sunrise from Teide.