Tenerife is most famous for its beautiful beaches and its luxurious resorts. But the biggest of all the Canary Islands is actually a fantastic destination for people who enjoy trekking outdoors, taking in mountain scenery and exploring all the glory the landscape of the island offers.
It only takes about an hour and a half to get to Teide National Park by rental car. This is the home of Mount Teide, a volcanic mountain that reaches over 12,000 feet over sea level. Although the last volcano happened over 100 years ago, the landscape still shows evidence of it which is a fascinating thing for all explorers to see. The petrified lava flow and the volcanic rocks look something like that which belong on the moon and not the Earth.
The volcano is a UNESCO World Heritage site today but it has been held as sacred even in ancient times by Aboriginal Guanches. There is a cable car that will take any visitor up to the top in just a few minutes, so no real hiking experience is required to get the most out of the park. Tickets are available for purchase online in advance.
Many tourists visit Teide National Park during daylight hours. If you want to really enjoy what the park has to offer, visit during the evening and stay overnight. There is no light pollution to spoil the incredible view of stars. Stay at the only hotel there in the highlands, Parador de Las Cañadas.
Enjoy all the hiking trails available. You can even take a ride up to the park and view the scenery and then ride down the mountain via mountain bike. This thrilling route ends in Los Cristianos about 50 km away. This is a coastal tourist city that is one of Tenerife's most popular.
Next to Teide, Roque del Garcia is the most popular attraction. A good way to see this site is to hike around the loop trail. It takes about two hours but it is worth the effort. There are stunning views and plenty of chances to see the lava lizards or gallotia galloti.
See a magical forest on the nearby island of La Gomera. It is an hour away Tenerife by ferry. There are fantastic trekking routes along this islands. Be sure to visit Garajonay National Park. It is full of misty trees, dense laurel forests and images that evoke myths and romance. This is a side trip that is worthwhile for the whole family.
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