What seems like an age ago, we were in Tenerife. It was beautiful, we had lots of fun escaping reality for two weeks and I’ve just about gotten over the holiday blues (where I was googling 2018 holidays for a week straight). I still want to talk about it though, so if you’re thinking of going to Tenerife, this is a post for you. Tenerife boasts a whole host of amazing attractions and according to TripAdvisor, it’s home to some of the best in the world. One of them, is Mount Tiede, an active volcano at the centre of the island. It’s marketed everywhere as a must-see attraction, and I have to say that I agree – if you are in Tenerife, you must see it.
However, as we found out during our research and subsequent visit to the volcano, there are some points that you should know before you head on out on your journey. Tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your journey and enjoy it to the very full. Hopefully, this little lot will save you some time and money along the way.
It’s not for kids.
By kids, I mean anyone under the age of maybe seven or eight. There’s not a great deal in the way of entertainment, but that’s not really the issue. The issue is the altitude. Tiede boasts a fantastic cable car that takes you up towards the peak of the volcano, but the altitude you reach by going up the cable car can make little ones very uncomfortable and ill, due to the build-up and subsequent release of nitrogen. Frankly, this place isn’t somewhere that younger children would enjoy or appreciate for what it’s worth so if you can leave them with a babysitter, you absolutely should.
You can hike to the very top, but you need permission from the Government.
I’m not overstating this either. You need a permit in order to hike to the top of the mountain. It apparently takes around three hours to get to the very top and you cannot do it without the requisite paperwork. They check as well, I saw it. I didn’t really fancy the trek to the top (I’m very unfit as it is) but there were plenty of people doing it. You need to apply for your permit in advance, so make sure you do all your research and get the documentation you need before you make the trip!
Pack a jumper
Tenerife is in sunshine for 95% of the year, and at sea level it’s nearly always warm. Not so up Mount Tiede. You will more than likely need something warmer than you’re accustomed to whilst on holiday, so bring a jacket or something with you. We went on a super, super hot day but it was still really breezy up above the clouds. No, really, you’re above the clouds once you’re on the mountain. It’s ace, but nippy.
We set of a 7:30am, being about an hour away from the mountain itself. It was by far the earliest morning we had, but it was worth it because we beat all the excursion buses that set off at 8:00am. There are just two cable cars in operation, and they get booked up very, very quickly. If you don’t beat the excursions to it, you’re likely to be waiting a couple of hours before being able to make it to the top of the volcano and when there’s only a gift shop and a café in the vicinity, it’s not ideal. There are only so many photographs of the National Park that you can take.
Hire a car
There are tonnes of excursions selling the trips to Tiede, and whilst I’m sure they’re great, they’re strict. You have to be on the bus at this time, up the mountain at this time and an hour later, you’re back down and back to your hotel. If you hire a car, you’ll likely find it is cheaper to hire the car and buy the cable car tickets when you get there as long as there are more than two of you. There were three of us, and it was certainly cheaper – even when we hired the car for two days. It means you have more freedom to go where you like and do what you want. You’re not stuck to a timetable, you’re not restricted in how long you can stay. Don’t be too put off driving in Tenerife either. With the exception of the side of the road you drive on, it couldn’t be easier – the roads are super quiet and with free data roaming, your Google Maps or Apple Maps apps will get you around no problem. And the drive is one of the prettiest I’ve ever been on – winding up little roads to get up the mountain, literally going through the clouds so that you can’t see the buildings and towns below. It’s stunning, truly.
As you can see from the photos, the views from the volcano are breathtakingly beautiful so the trip is very much worth it if you can do it. Be aware, that the terrain is very uneven around the foot of the mountain, but there are lots of places that have been made flat, so those with mobility issues can get around it.
Sure, there is a brilliant zoo and an awesome waterpark, but for me, Tiede was something really special. I’ve never seen views like it before and doubt I ever would again. Oh, and the gift shop is unlike any you’ll see in Tenerife. So for crying out loud, do not forget your camera.