Mount Teide

Emblem of the Canary Islands and without a doubt Tenerife’s most spectacular natural feature, Mount Teide dominates practically the whole of Tenerife’s center and can be seen from virtually anywhere; its often snow-capped peak and even be seen from the beach!

The mountain’s peculiar name derives from the Spanish version of its Guanche name Echeyde or Echeide, which essentially means hell in the indigenous Guanche language. Due understandably to Mount Teide’s volcanic nature, the Guanches thought Mount Teide to be one of the portals to the fiery underworld in which the evil spirit Guayota – destructor – lived.

The soaring – at 3,718 meters tall it’s Spain’s highest peak – Mount Teide actually forms merely the northern ridge of the massive volcano credited with the creation of Tenerife millions of years ago. To give you just an idea of the sheer magnitude of the volcano (and evidently its eruptions), another indication of its colossal dimensions is “la caldera,” the crater measuring a jaw-dropping 17 kilometers across.

The volcanic nature of the Mount Teide National Park makes for a geological playground full of fascinating hiking trails and routes. Along with Mount Teide and the giant crater, other features of the park include peculiar rock formations left behind by lava flows, a second volcano – Pico Viejo – and its stunning 800 meter crater, the collapsed craters that form Las Cañadas, and Guajara- a site created by the internal crater walls that are practically sheer cliffs shooting up hundreds of meters.

The Mount Teide National Park is essentially vast, unspoiled wilderness ranging from volcanic rock formations to fields of wildflowers and pine forests. Hundreds of species of trees, flowers, insects, birds and other creatures inhabit the area and easily make it one of the world’s most fascinating biological regions. Keep an eye out for autochthonous Tenerife species such as the lagarto tizón, a stone-colored lizard, and the Mount Teide violets, an endangered species of wildflowers.

via Mount Teide.

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