Besides its height, Teide is famed for its stunning landscape. The National Park and the mountain attracts more than 100,000 tourists a year, some coming from inside Spain and others worldwide. It is one of the only places in the tropics that also receives snowfall, often creating a striking juxtaposition between the mountain slopes and the warm, sunny areas around the base of the peak.
Around the National Park, visitors can explore the unique rocky landscape and see around 168 different species of plants and around 140 different examples of wildlife, most of which are insects.
Facts about Mount Teide
- Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
- Height above Sea Level: 12,188 feet (3,715 meters)
- Height from Ocean Floor: over 24,600 feet (7,498 meters)
- Importance: One the largest volcanoes in the world and a source of information about geological processes on volcanic islands.
- Status: Dormant volcano
- Average Temperatures: Daytime temperate of 39 F (4.1 C) in winter to 64 F (17.9 C)
Is Mount Teide Still Active?
Yes, Mount Teide is an active volcano. The last eruption was in 1909 along the Santiago Rift. It’s currently not at risk of eruption, volcanologists have suggested. But, if it did erupt, it could cause a catastrophic event, breaking the island of Tenerife into pieces, triggering tsunamis, and taking innumerable lives.
Mount Tiede Eruptions
Throughout documented history, volcanologists believe that there have been several distinct eruptions. The first was in 1704 and 1705 and the next was only a year later in 1706. The second eruption was far more powerful than the preceding event. It lasted for nine days and did significant damage to the surroundings.
The largest event in Mount Teide’s recorded history occurred on June 9th, 1798. It took place near the edge of the park’s boundary and lasted for three months.
Why is Mount Teide Famous?
Mount Teide is famous as one of the tallest volcanoes in Europe and a point of intense geologic interest. The results of various eruptions can be seen around the island as can geographic information about the formation of volcanic sea islands. Scientists come from around the world to study the formations in and around Mount Teide.
It also has the world’s largest “cone-shaped” shadow. This refers to the height of the volcano and how when it is hit from a certain angle by the sun, the shadow it casts out over the sea.
Around the slopes of Mount Teide, there are over 1,000 archaeological sites that date back centuries. This includes constructs attributed to the Guanches, an aboriginal tribe, who created pyramids. There are six distinct pyramids that serve as tourist attractions today.
Credit: Dr. Michi
What to do at Mount Teide?
Visitors have a range of activities to choose from when they’re exploring Mount Teide National Park. These include all of the following (and more):
- Take a half-day safari through the national park.
- Climb the slopes of Mount Teide from either Montaña Blanca or La Rambleta.
- Take a cable car nearly to the top of the mountain.
- Explore the many archaeological sites around the mountain’s slopes.
- Rent bikes and ride around the mountain.
- Enjoy incredible stargazing.
- Visit the Mount Teide Observatory, the largest solar observatory in the world.
Will Mount Teide erupt again?
Scientists believe that Mount Teide may erupt again. There have been several documented eruptions since the early 1700s, and while at this point dormant, an eruption is possible until the volcano is declared extinct.
What happens if Mount Teide erupts?
If the volcano erupted, the island of Tenerife would experience significant earthquakes that would then trigger immense tsunamis. Scientists have suggested that a significant eruption could take innumerable lives.
How long does it take to climb Mount Teide?
It depends on one’s physical fitness. But, most people will take around five to six hours to climb the peak. This is due to the fact that visitors begin quite high on the side of the mountain, Montaña Blanca. It’s also possible to ascend the mountain by cable car and walk from La Rambleta where it will take another forty to fifty minutes to reach the summit.
When did Teide first erupt?
Scientists believe that the first eruption occurred in 1704 and 1705. That is, at least the first documented eruption of the volcano. This event has been described as a “fissure eruption.” These types of eruptions occur when magma moves up through cracks in the ground, leaking onto the surface. Most of these are found around already present cracks in the Earth’s crust.
Where is Mount Teide located?
Mount Teide is located in the Canary Islands, specifically on the island of Tenerife. It is the third tallest volcano globally, after two peaks in Hawaii and the tallest peak in the Canary Islands and Spain.
How old is Mount Teide?
Mount Teide is around 170,000 years old. Its formation was triggered by the collapse of a former volcanic structure that volcanologists believe was even larger than Teide is today.
When was the last time Mount Teide erupted?
The mountain last erupted on November 18th, 1908. But, this event was far less serious than other eruptions in the past and did not cause the damage that a possible, far stronger, an eruption could cause in the future.