Teide also boasts a European Diploma awarded by the European Council, and it is part of the Natura 2000 Network Sites. The Park is well deserving of such acknowledgements. Firstly, it boasts the broadest sample of supra-Mediterranean vegetation on Earth. Secondly, it covers one of the world’s most stunning volcanic landscapes – and certainly the most outstanding in the Canary Islands.
Teide National Park lies right in the middle of the Island, at an altitude of 2,000 m (6,500 ft) above sea level, topped by Spain’s highest peak at 3,718 m (12,198 ft). These record-breaking figures add to the fact that it is the most visited national park in Europe, welcoming some three million visitors a year.
From a geomorphological point of view, this place is one of nature’s true wonders. The structures of the caldera and the Teide-Pico Viejo stratovolcano are unique in the world. But its list of virtues does not stop there. With hundreds of cones, lava tongues and caves, it is the focus of much scientific and scenic interest. Not to mention its wealth of fauna and flora, which includes a significant array of endemic Canarian species and several others that only live in the Park.
Teide National Park was created in 1954 in recognition of its volcanic and biological singularity. Covering roughly 19,000 hectares (47,000 acres), it is the largest and oldest out of all the national parks in the Canary Islands. It has a peripheral protection area and is surrounded by Corona Forestal Natural Park, which covers an expanse of 46,612.9 hectares (115,183 acres), making this the largest protected nature area in the entire archipelago.
Key facts about Mount Teide
Mount Teide dominates dominates the skyline and is clearly viewable from pretty much any part of the island. Located on Tenerife in the Canary Islands (a Spanish-owned island chain off the north-west coast of Africa), the summit of Mount Teide at 3178 metres (just over 12000 feet) is the highest point in Spain.
Teide is the third highest volcano in the world.
The most recent eruption of Mount Teide happened in 1909. It also erupted in 1798, 1706, 1705 and 1704.
On his voyage of discovery Christopher Columbus apparently saw the 1492 eruption of Mount Teide when he was sailing past Tenerife.
Mount Teide is currently a dormant volcano, but many scientists believe it will erupt again in the near future.
In the mid seventeenth century a group of Englishmen were the first Europeans to reach the summit of Mount Teide. The group included Philips Ward, George Cove and John Webber.
To the Gaunches (the original, pre-Spanish invasion, inhabitants of Tenerife) Teide was a sacred mountain and the home of Guayota, the devil.
Mount Teide is a stratovolcano, formed from layers of hardened lava and volcanic ash.
Several plants can only be found on the slopes of Mount Teide. These include: the Teide white broom and the Teide daisy.Mount Teide appears on Tenerife’s coat of arms and it used
Mount Teide appears on Tenerife’s coat of arms and it used feature on the back of the 1000 Peseta note (before Spain adopted the Euro as its national currency).
Mount Teide and the areas of land directly surrounding it make up the Teide National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is visited by nearly 3 million visitors every year.
In winter temperatures at the summit temperatures can vary between -5 and -10 degrees C. The summit is often covered with snow.
The Spanish name for Mount Teide is Pico del Teide.
Source: Tenerife Tourist Board