A trip to Canary Islands – Exploring El Parque del Teide in Tenerife

Oh my, what a crazy destination! Canary Islands are off the coast of Africa, and thus you can be sure that the weather is still nice in winter time. I went there to check for myself back in January, and oh boy was it warm and sunny!

The Canary are actually a group of seven main islands, the biggest one being Tenerife. So this where we'll start this Travel Series.

There are a lot to do in Tenerife, wether you are a crazy nighter, an adept of outdoor activities or someone who loves to walk through centuries old streets, looking for ancient treasures.

I really wanted a change of air, Paris atmosphere having reached a record level of pollution this year. So I was up for outdoor activities mainly and I started with the Parque Nacional del Teide, surrounding the same named mountain, which actually is the highest there is in Spain. Yeah, because in case you didn't know, Canary Islands are Spanish territory. Getting to the top of El Teide is either taking 10 minutes by cable car, or 2 days if you prefer to walk up there. I chose the second option of course! The first day the path was very wide and led me to a refuge. If you are used to mountaineering, you might be disappointed when you reach Altavista Refuge, at 3260m, as it lacks the authenticity of a true mountain hutt. Anyway, be prepared to spend a cold night at this altitude, just above freezing temperature in January. On the second day, my advice would be to wake up at least two hours before dawn so you can be on the top (3718m) at the perfect time. This part of the ascent is more technical as you will be walking along a narrow and steep snow path, in total darkness. Keep in mind that it is extremely windy up there so you want to have good insulated clothes, gloves and a hat. I was so cold I couldn't take pictures after a few minutes! Also, El Teide being an active volcano, you'll find yourself in the middle of sulphur fumes, which smell a bit like rotten eggs. Just so you know.

But then, as the sun comes up, and you will forget all about the short night, the tough walk and the bad smell around you. For me, this was an amazing experience and I definitely recommend it. Go and explore!


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