How to Climb Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain

What is the highest mountain in Spain, I hear you ask? Well, it is Mount Teide. But it’s on the Canary Islands, not the Spanish mainland! (Mulhacén, at 3479 is the highest on the mainland). Read on if you want to know about how to hike Mount Teide.  

For me, after climbing Kilimanjaro, climbing Mount Fuji, hiking up Mount Kinabalu, climbing Mont Blanc, climbing Mount Elbrus, climbing Aconcagua, and climbing Carstensz Pyamidtrekking to Everest base camp, I’m starting to get a thing for mountains, so the next one I’ll be taking on is Mount Teide in Tenerife, Spain in the summer.

At 3718m (more than 12, 000 feet) Mount Teide is Europe’s highest volcano (the world’s third-highest) and Spain’s highest mountain and it’s a UNESCO world heritage site too, let’s have a look at climbing Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain:

TOP-TIP: You can book a guided hike to the summit of Mount Teide with the same guys I used, for about 70 quid.

The highest Mountain in Spain
The highest Mountain in Spain; Hike Mount Teide

When’s the best time to climb Mount Teide?

Before and after the European summer is the best time to Hike Mount Teide. You can climb it all year round. April – May and September and October are the best months.

In the winter, snow is pretty likely, from November until March the higher slopes are snow-covered, while in the summer it can be scorching hot

Hike Mount Teide
Hike Mount Teide

How long does it take to climb Mount Teide?

One long hard day. With so many foriengers living here (it’s easy to find assistance for moving to this country) it means there are engless English speaking guides to help the plan.

Generally speaking, people leave early in the morning and try to get to the top by sunrise, if that’s too much of a nightmare, you can casually hike Mount Teide up late afternoon and when you reach the refuge of Altavista, (3, 270m), you can sleep there, set your alarm for the next morning, have a quaint night climb for the last section and get a wonderful sunrise on the mountain.

Note: you’ll have to book your accommodation in advance ($30 per night)

Is Tenerife a Country?
Is Tenerife a Country?

How much does it cost to climb Mount Teide? DON’T FORGET YOUR PERMIT!

There is no fee BUT you do need a permit. So 8 days before you do it, email and get your permission first. Or a permit for the summit can be obtained from the national park office in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Emilio Calzadilla 5; open 9am-2pm; take a copy of your passport too.

TOP-TIP: If you book with this operator, you don’t need a permit

mount teide sunrise
Sunrise from Mount Teide 

Do I have to be fit to climb Mount Teide?

You don’t have to be a marathon runner, but it’s a bit of a hike. Don’t forget, it is the highest mountain in Spain!

It takes 5-8 hours to hike up, you start at 2300m and carry on to the summit at 3718m, where the oxygen level is only 50% of what you’re used to.  Frankly, if you’re unfit you can still do the climb, just give yourself most of the day to do it.

Climb Mount Teide
Climb Mount Teide  

What about the cable car?!

So you heard about the cable car huh? Ok, you can take the 8 min cable car to near the top of $32 USD return, but you wouldn’t wanna cheat though, would you?! If you do take the cable car, you’ve still got an hours hike to reach the summit.

Hike Mount Teide
Hike Mount Teide, or take the cable car!

Where is Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain?

It’s in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, off to the coast of Morocco. You can easily get cheap flights to Tenerife. Once you’re here, you can book with your hostel to do the climb or take the one bus a day from Puerto de la Cruz (number 348) and Playa de la Americas (342) run to Teide. Both leave at 9.15am and return at 4pm.

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