Tenerife: Parque Nacional del Teide

Hi everyone, long time no post! I’m back from my short hiatus and plan on blogging loads more than I have before, as I have officially passed my final exams and am now gearing up to become a student at Amsterdam University College in September. But first, of course, I get to enjoy my summer break. Coincidentally, I have also just returned from a (sneaky post-exams, but pre-results) trip to Tenerife! Not only did we get to escape the gruesome weather, I also got to see mount Teide; the highest point in Spain and third-highest volcano of the world. So yep, I’d say Parque Nacional del Teide, named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007, was the absolute highlight of our trip (cheesy pun intended). Such a shame I only got to visit the park once, unfortunately not every family member shares my interest in one of the most interesting geographical spots on this beautiful planet, *sigh*. Anyways, I’ll show you guys some photos I took and share a teeny bit of information about the Island and its nature…and stuff.

Yes, there it is: Pico el Teide! Mount Teide is a relatively active caldera volcano, its most recent eruption having occurred in 1909, and measures 7500 metres from its base on the ocean floor. Only Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii acceed Teide in height, which subsequently makes Tenerife itself the tenth highest island worldwide (now, see how creatively I reworded Wikipedia? Though I am aware of the actual definition of a caldera volcano, yes I’m not lying, I passed my geography exams). These first two shots provide quite an adequate representation of the landscape around Mount Teide, giving a glimpse of the dramatic rock formations that can be found in the national park, though you’d have to bear in mind the terrain of the whole area varies greatly from spiky and rocky aa-lava fields to flowy and smooth pahoehoe plains. Ok, I just really like saying those words, but I do know what I’m talking about!

I attempted to photograph the incredible variations of colour in sand in these two shots, ranging from an orangey yellow to light green, but I have to say these photos do not do the actual site justice. What’s interesting as well is the area on the right (of the second picture), where you can clearly discern a lava-like flux, as if it were still flowing down the slope (mount Teide can be spotted in the background as well).

The national park is home to many indigenous species of flora and fauna. The second photo is actually a close up of the peculiarly shaped vegetation on the left side of the first photo. These plants go by the name of Tajinaste Rojo (although presented to tourists as “the tower of jewels” or more commonly, the red bugloss). The plants were absolutely full of life with various types of insects, busying themselves with what they do best: pollinating and occasionally flying and bumping into each other.

This point is about as far (up high) as you could get by car. Visiting the actual crater involved applying for permits and whatnot, so we (not me) decided to leave it at that. I believe this was at about 2350 metres of altitude. If you looked out into the distance opposite of mount Teide, all we could see was a thick layer of fluffy clouds against a pure blue sky. It doesn’t get more idyllic than that.

There were plenty of lizards to be found in the park, most of them indigenous only to Tenerife, especially around the visitors centre, where tourists tend to leave a few crumbles here and there (yes I know I’m not supposed to feed them, it wasn’t on purpose! My cookie was just really crumbly and I tried to shoo them away, but those creatures would practically crawl onto your face to snatch a lunch). If you take a closer look at the first photo, you can actually see the lizard is in the process of shedding its skin. There were a lot of them crawling around with only half a tail like the third one, which I’m pretty sure has something to do with their defence mechanisms. The second one has subtle blue spots, but there were many more that were twice, thrice as blue (they just wouldn’t sit still), known as the Southern Tenerife Lizard.

And I shall end my post about Parque Nacional del Teide with a random (but, of course, uber-indigenous) flower featuring a lovely little insect buzzing round the fields and a photo of sedimentary layers that causes my geography senses to tingle uncontrollably. Look at it! Doesn’t it just rock your world? I’m just too funny.

*Thank you so much WordPress for featuring my post on Freshly Pressed!*

150 thoughts on “Tenerife: Parque Nacional del Teide

    • Thank you very much, neither did I! Geographically speaking, Tenerife actually belongs to North Africa, which is why it has such different climatic conditions compared to mainland Spain.

  1. I can count myself among those who visited that surreal landscape! Where are the tour buses? But the great thing is you can walk nice and far out there and get into that dusty, strange spot of nature. I have not been to anyplace else like it.

    • Hi fellow visitor! :D There were indeed only a few tour busses! I’m guessing since it’s still early season, I’ve heard that August and September are usually the busiest months. If I can I definitely want to go back someday to explore more of the park and hike some routes!

      • Yep, I was there in August a couple of years ago. It was busy, but still so very nice. It’s a great, strange island. Black beach sands, pine forests on the way up, and the surreal desolation of the Teide.

        • I agree! Especially when compared to the busy southern beaches. It really is a sharp contrast, at one point it was just completely quiet up there.

  2. Ahh I went here in September and I was just blown away with how beautiful it was! It’s awe inspiring in a totally different way from what I would normally consider “beautiful”. It was totally worth the intense heat and sun to see. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    • Glad to meet another visitor! I also thought the landscape had such a unique character, I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like it elsewhere. Thankfully, it wasn’t even that hot when I visited, so it was an even more incredible day! haha :)

    • Thank you! There are still parts of mount Teide visitors are allowed to climb, but it has indeed become a bit more complicated to do so.

  3. Lekker! Roselinde, congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed – you deserve it!

    Your photos are just amazing, they seem to jump right out of a travel magazine and the vivid colours do justice to the raw beauty of the landscape. Love the geographic notes as well – I’m a bit of a nerd in that respect (and volcano freak) so I was glad to see you mention aa and pahoehoe!

    I was in Tenerife for roughly a week back in December 2010; we visited El Teide on the last day and although the weather wasn’t fantastic it was still a great experience. Thank you for bringing up some wonderful memories. :D

    • Thank you very much James! I really appreciate your comment. I’ve checked out your blog and its pretty amazing I have to say (and kudos for the “lekker”, hahah).

  4. The pictures are amazing! Good to know you had a great trip. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  5. Beautiful pictures! Visited Tenerife on a botanical excursion in my student times, I am happy to be reminded of the bizarre beauty of the ‘Fortunate Isles’ today. Thank you very much. Best Wishes,
    *M*

  6. I am also fan of travel and photography so I share your enthusiasm… I did visited lot od countries but Tenerife is still on my “wanna go” list.

  7. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

    We were staying in Puerto de la Cruz, and preferred to take walks in that region. We did drive around the island twice to check out Los Gigantes, El Medano and the other beaches. From Puerto de la Cruz, we took the road through the hills to Los Gigantes, and that scared the heck out of us. So we decided to skip Mount Teide, because we did not have the guts to face such a scary drive again.

    • I understand where you’re coming from. We had one or two scary road situations up there as well, but the roads in the national park itself, closer to mount Teide, are a lot wider and easier to drive. Of course it also helps having your dad coming along who’s experienced in driving on narrow mountain trails (I would have never have dared too, having aquired my driving license only 6 months ago, hahah).

  8. Aaaah the Canary Islands! I currently live in Madrid (though not for too long) and have been constantly told by Spaniards I should visit the Canary Islands. It will happen someday!! These pictures are amazing!

  9. Fantastic photos. The close up shots of the lizard were remarkable. It is amazing how every region has it own indigenous scavenger that we find amusing. On one of our trips in Colorado we meet up with some chipmunks that amused us for days. I even devoted the post “Meet Alvin and The Chipmunks” to their antics.

  10. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Your photos are excellent. I live on Tenerife, so you can imagine, I see loads & loads, because this island is very, very photogenic! You definitely must return to see these amazing vistas at closer quarters! If your family doesn’t want to hike, contact me & we’ll go for a walk! May I also congratulate you on your English, which puts many of my fellow countrymen to shame (I’m English by birth)!

    • Thank you very much! If I ever get to return to the Island someday, I’ll definitely try to contact you, haha. And thanks for your compliment, I’ve enjoyed a bilingual education and am waiting to hear if I passed my International Baccalaureate HL English, so fingers crossed! :)

  11. Wow!!!Dts d word for these pics…incredible work…I always wanted to go to Spain, but never knew about this part of the nation…
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed….

  12. Love the lizard photos and the sedimentary layers. I am a herper, meaning I love observing amphibians and reptiles. I have a pair of red foot tortoises, and a prehensile tailed skink. People don’t think these animals have much individuality, but they do! I never tire of watching them.
    I also love the sedimentary layers. I took geology in undergrad school, and the knowledge gives me an appreciation of the beauty of geologic formations everywhere I go.

    • Thank you! Well, it was one particular lizard that kept coming back for my cookie, so I’m guessing that’s some kind of proof of individuality! Hahah. I agree, having studied a little bit of geography really reinforces my appreciation of the natural world.

  13. We have such similar blogs….well except for the follower count! And of course that you are fresh pressed; congrats to that!! I’m at downtownjbrown.wordpress.com and even if you don’t get time to visit my site, I’ll do enough stalking of your site for the both of us, as it is beautiful and can serve as an inspiration!

    • Thank you very much! I truyly appreciate your comment and I’ll definitely pay your blog a visit :) Follower count is only a number! After all, quality above quantity, right?

  14. to be honest, I do not pay attention to the content of the text, because the pictures are amazing. I have scrolled down the page twice and will do it again some more times :) No words are necessary because the scenery in the pictures offset against the text:)

  15. Youve documented the place in such a wonderful way! Being very much interested in wild life and photography myself, I couldnt help but genuinely enjoy. Thank you for the post!

  16. Beautiful pics! I went there when I was too young to remember what it is like so I should go back at some point in my life…
    ps. I peered into the Irta’ Ale volcano in Ethiopia last year and it was the most fascinating experience I’ve ever had…

    • Thank you! You definitely should :) I got to peer into the Versuvius, but I didn’t see anything, because it was too misty so I was really dissapointed hahah. I hope I’ll be able to visit Ethiopia one day!

  17. Your photo’s are amaxing! If you get the opportunity to go back, I recommend getting a permit and making your way to the top. It was one of the best things I ever did and one I’ll always remember :)

  18. Pingback: Tenerife: Parque Nacional del Teide « Live, Laugh, Love

  19. That’s the most wondrous thing – a pillar of flowers and berries – I’ve never seen anything like it before. No wonder they’ve dubbed it the Tower of Jewels. Thanks for sharing, really:)

  20. Pingback: Tenerife Part III « Roselinde

  21. Pingback: Summer Resort | Roselinde

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