The island of Tenerife may well seem like a ‘safe’ choice of holiday destination for those in search of a little more adventure, but don’t let its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and popularity lull you into a false sense of security. Journey further inland and away from the crowds and Tenerife unveils a host of glorious scenes to discover, with none more compelling than that of the mighty Mount Teide.
As you pass through the arid terrain – itself offering a sense of otherworld wonder – to the heart of the island and Teide National Park, the bustling beaches one so readily associates with Tenerife fade from the memory and seem to belong to another time altogether. The Park, which covers nearly 20,000 hectares, is largely uninhabited, and which is drenched in scorching sunlight all year round, is home to the active volcano of Mount Teide, with the wisps of sulphurous vapour that are gently emitted a reminder that Mount Teide truly does offer adventure in abundance.
Of course, there’s really only one way to appreciate the might and majesty of the volcano…
TAKE THE MOUNT TEIDE CABLE CAR
Visitors choosing to ascend the summit of the volcano – and let’s face it, if you came this far, why miss out now – are given the helping hand of the Mount Teide cable car. Capable of transporting you to the 3,718-metre summit in a mere eight minutes, hopping on the cable car is undoubtedly the simplest option for witnessing the magnificent views from atop the volcano.
Those of a healthier disposition, however, may well find that tackling the five-hour trek and the chance to witness the fascinating black obsidian lava balls known as the eggs of Teide (or Los Huevos del Teide) far more rewarding. Regardless of how to plan to ascend, ascend you must!
Once you’ve make it to the peak and you’re able to gaze out across Teide National Park, witnessing just how unusual, compelling, and breathtaking the views are will doubtless help you see Tenerife from a whole new perspective.
Experience the yellow and white sulpurous rocks that make their way down the slope of Mount Teide’s crater and, if for but a second, you would be forgiven for almost feeling like you were standing on the lunar surface. And, while the gentle emissions continue around you, it’s easy to imagine the ferocity of the volcano when it erupts.
(For those somewhat nervous about potential eruptions, the most recent was 1909. You can take that as either as a good thing since it doesn’t look like happening soon. Although, saying that, you could also speculate that it could be overdue. Hmm… – Ed.)
THE LEGEND OF MOUNT TEIDE
Many people may be unaware of the mysticism and legend that surround Mount Teide. In fact, stories have evolved from the earliest inhabitants way back in 1000BC – ancient aboriginal people known as the Guanches.
According to legend, the Guanches afforded Mount Teide the same deference you would expect to show a deity, with the belief that the mountain was responsible for holding up the sky. What’s more, ancient items have been found within hiding places on Mount Teide to indicate deposits paid to the Mount to ward of evil spirits.
GUAYOTA AND MAGEC
The stories don’t end there. Tenerife folklore talks of the devil (Guayota) and the god of light and sun (Magec); the former trapping Magec in the bowels of the volcano and plunging the Earth into darkness. It would take the intervention of the supreme god, Archaman, to cast Guayota into the volcano and seal the crater before freeing Magec. In doing sun, light was returned to the land.
SHARE YOUR MOUNT TEIDE EXPERIENCE
Have you climbed the summit to gaze into Mount Teide’s crater? Perhaps you’ve been surrounded by the billowing smoke and felt your heart beat that little bit faster? If so, why not get in touch with us at Road Less Travelled and share your story today? Leave a comment below or get in touch using one of our contact forms. Don’t forget to share this article with others!