Mount Teide and its surrounding national park ist the crowning glory of Tenerife.
Since 1954 the national park “Parque Nacional de las Cañadas del Teide” covers a surface of approx. 136 km². It was the third national park which was founded in Spain.
With thousands of visitors per year the national park of mount Teide is the most-most visited national park of Spain.
“Pico del Teide” is with 12,195ft (3.718 metres) the highest mountain of Spain. Furthermore mount Teide is third-highest island volcano of the world.
He forms the northern border of the national park. In the south, the west and the east the mount Teide national park is limited by the cañadas, or lava flows which enclose a diameter of approx. 16 kilometres.
The park and the lava flows are called “caldera“, what means kettle and describes a broken in place in the volcano which is formed like a kettle. This landscape has been created when the empty vaults of magma under the earth, which are near the surface, collapsed.
Mount Teide is – as mentioned – the third highest volcano in the world. It is one of 16 decade volcanoes worldwide considered by volcanologists to be worthy of in-depth study because of their history of large and destructive eruptions and their proximity to heavily populated areas.
Considered dormant at the moment, Mount Teide last erupted less than a hundred years ago.
At just 75 square miles, the national park is relatively small. Nonetheless, it is the most visited in Europe and is home to 220 species of plants of which 73 are endemic to the Canarian archipelago and 16 unique to the park.
It’s a testimony to nature’s ability to adapt that anything survives at such an altitude and in the face of extremes of temperature and weather, ranging from hot and dry to gale-force winds, snow and ice – sometimes all on the same day!