Home to Spain's highest point, Teide National Park is the biggest park on the Canary Islands.
Why you should go: Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 for its diverse geology, Teide National Park has a unique landscape of volcanos and craters. There’s a reason it’s the most visited national park in Europe!
What to do when you’re there: Mount Teide stands at 3,718 m, making it the world’s third-tallest volcanic structure and Spain’s highest point. You can take a cable car to the top and then hike to the crater on foot*, or challenge yourself with a tough guided walk all the way up the volcano. On a clear day you’ll have an amazing view of four of the islands stretching out below. Discover the Canary Islands' mountain-top vegetation at the park’s Botanical Gardens, or enjoy a sunset and stargazing night.
Recommended route: Explore the Roques de Garcia, the spectacular eroded rocks of an ancient volcanic crater wall in the national park.
Top hiking maps: Explore the island with IGN Mapping for all of Tenerife.
Where to stay: Parador de Turismo Las Cañadas is a mountain lodge in the heart of Teide National Park with panoramic views of the island, plus its own telescope. Or if you’re looking for more adventure, stay at the Altavista Refuge, located at an altitude of 3,270 m (10,730 ft). You can then climb to the crater without a license (only before 9am) to capture that unique sunrise.
Where to eat: Both of the accommodations above have dining areas: the hotel has a popular restaurant, and you can bring your own food to the Refuge to heat up. There are many restaurants in the surrounding mountain villages: we recommend Asador Rincon de Chasna in Vilaflor, recommended for its traditional local food.
Interesting fact: On a few days each year, the Canarian Institute of Astrophysics opens its doors to let the public use the telescopes. The Canarian Parliament passed a law in 1988 called the Law of the Sky which controls light pollution levels in the area.
Top tip: *Obtain your license for the Mount Teide trail around two months before you go – it’s free, but only valid on the specified day.