Do more than just see Spain’s highest volcano from afar—float to the top on the Teide Cable Car (Teleférico del Teide). This smooth-moving ride transports you to the summit of Mount Tiede, a jumping-off point for hikes among the otherworldly landscapes of UNESCO-listed Teide National Park or stargazing from Teide Observatory.
Your journey starts at the accessible lower station at 7,730 feet (2,356 meters), from where you rise over a diverse volcanic landscape to the upper station at a sky-high 12,200 feet (3,718 meters). If you have limited time, simply soak in the views before returning to the bottom. For a full-day adventure, take one of the routes leading to popular outdoor destinations in Teide National Park.
The La Fortaleza vantage point offers views of the northeastern part of the island, including the Orotava Valley, while Pico Viejo looks out over Mount Chahorra’s crater and beyond to La Gomera. If you're feeling intrepid, continue to the summit crater of Mount Tiede, or gain some astronomy knowledge at Teide Observatory. Tours led by guides with expert knowledge of the volcanic landscapes help take the guesswork out of a trek.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A rest area complete with restrooms and a coffee shop is located at the lower station.
- The hike to El Teide crater requires a special permit; though free, it should be reserved online well in advance.
- Mountaintop weather conditions are unpredictable and often cold, so bring extra layers.
- If planning a hike, bring all the water and food needed for the day, as there are no restaurants at the upper station.
- Pregnant women, visitors with heart conditions, and children under 3 are not permitted on the cable car due to the risks associated with a sudden change in altitude.
- The cable car is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The cable car’s lower station can be reached via the TF-21 road, or by public bus No. 348 (from Puerto de la Cruz) or bus No. 342 (from Playa de las Americas). Free parking is available.
When to Get There
Arrive early for fewer crowds and a view of the morning fog lifting off the island. Spring and fall bring ideal weather for outdoor activities on Tenerife. Summers can get hot but also offer reduced hotel rates as tourism wanes.
Thanks to their remote location free from light pollution, the Canary Islands are among the world's best stargazing destinations. As the island’s highest peak, Mount Tiede makes an ideal location for the Teide Observatory, where you can study the heavens alongside professional astronomers. Guided observatory tours allow amateur stargazers to use solar and nocturnal telescopes and explore the state-of-the-art mountaintop complex.