Teide National Park looks like it was painted in broad brushstrokes of mauve, ebony, ochre, and ash. As you venture into the volcanic wonderland of Las Cañadas caldera, you’ll see petrified lava, craggy outcrops, plains of pumice, and splashes of green and plum.
This thrilling hiking destination in the center of Tenerife island feels like another planet, far far away from the subtropical forests of Anaga and the fertile valleys of Orotava and La Laguna. Naturally, the main focal point is Mount Teide (3,718 m), Spain’s highest peak. Most visitors are fixated on climbing El Teide (permit needed) during their trip to the largest Canary Island. However, there are many other hiking trails along the Caldera rim and in Las Cañadas del Teide that shouldn’t be overlooked.
From easy 1-hour loop trails to more demanding summit hikes, Teide National Park is a hiker’s paradise. We recommend spending two full days in the park. Base yourself directly in the heart of Teide National Park at Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide, or in the town of Vilaflor.
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Best Hiking Trails in Teide National Park
- Parador Nacional to Guajara
- Roques de García
- Montaña de la Botija and Montaña Samara
- Huevos del Teide and Montaña Blanca
- Pico del Teide
All hikes are plotted on a map at the bottom of this post.
Tips for Hiking in Teide National Park
- Wear warm clothing and bring layers. You’ll be hiking between 2,100 and 3,718 meters. Even on crystal-clear sunny days, it can be really chilly and windy in the park. Pack your thermal jacket, beanie, and gloves.
- Pack hiking snacks and sufficient water. There are a few places you can eat in the park, but not many. Eating options include the cafeteria at Parador Nacional, the Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide hotel restaurant, the cable car bottom station café, Restaurante La Bamby and Restaurante El Portillo.
- Wear Grade B/C hiking boots like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I wear) or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX.
- Don’t leave valuables in your parked car.
- Use Maps.me (offline maps app) to locate trailheads.
- Purchase the Tenerife Rother Walking Guide.
- Rent a car if you want to do lots of hiking in Teide National Park
- To get updates on trail closures, facilities, and weather, visit volcanoteide.com.
1. Parador Nacional to Montaña Guajara Circuit Trail
- Trailhead: Parador Nacional (bus stop, hotel, gift shop and cafeteria)
- Type of Trail: Circuit
- Distance: 10.1 km
- Elevation: 650 m ascending / 650 m descending
- Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
- Time Needed: 4:30 hrs
- Route: Parador Nacional – Degollada de Guajara (mountain pass) – Guajara (mountain) – Degollada de Ucanca (mountain pass) – Parador Nacional
If you only have time for one hike in Teide National Park, choose this one. This circuit trail starts at Parador Nacional and takes you to the summit of Guajara, 2718 m, a broad-shouldered mountain along the caldera rim. From the top of Mount Guajara, you’ll be treated to inspiring views of Mount Teide, the Cañadas, the coast and neighboring Canary Islands like La Gomera.
From the roundabout at Parador Nacional, follow trail S-4 towards Guajara (opposite direction of Mount Teide). Look for the white/red/yellow trail marker. After about 15 minutes, you’ll reach a road, where you’ll turn left onto S-4. Shortly thereafter, you’ll walk past a stone shelter.
The wide roadway gently ascends through a cluster of copper-colored rock formations. Follow trail #5 to Guajara Pass (2385 m). At the pass, turn right onto trail S-15, in the direction of Alto de Guajara. The final ascent to the Guajara plateau is very gentle. For the best views, explore the plateau beyond the make-shift stone wall, which provides shelter from strong winds.
To continue the circuit, retrace your ascent route for about 200 m to the last trail intersection. Continue right. Keep in mind that the descent route is more difficult because of uneven terrain and steeper sections. To complete the circuit, follow signs towards Parador (S-31).
2. Roques de García Loop Trail
- Trailhead: Mirador de la Ruleta
- Type of Trail: Loop
- Distance: 3.4 km
- Elevation: 200 m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time Needed: 1:15 hours
This short but nevertheless impressive walk around the rock formation Roques de García is a must-do. The trail starts at the lookout point Mirador de la Ruleta, which is on the opposite side of the road from Parador Nacional (where hike #1 started). We followed the flat path on the right side of the rock formation and followed the circuit trail anti-clockwise.
Though most of the trail is level, the final stretch is marked by a steep 200-meter ascent.
Tip: The best time to hike around Roques de García is at golden hour, one hour before sunset. At this time of day, most people have left Teide National park, leaving this popular trail blissfully empty. And as the sun slowly bids farewell, the jagged landscape glows shades of amber and peach.
- Trailhead: El Portillo
- Type of Trail: Return (out and back)
- Distance: 12.1 km
- Elevation: 106 meters ascending / 106 meters descending
- Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
- Time Needed: 4 hours
- Route: El Portillo (Visitor Center) – Cañada de los Guancheros – Cruz de Fregel – Fortaleza – El Portillo
La Fortaleza is a rusty-brown, flat-topped massif in Teide National Park. The hike to the summit of Fortaleza is a leisurely walk through the Cañadas of Teide. With continuous views of Mount Teide, this flat path traverses an expansive volcanic landscape dotted with laburnum bushes and Teide gorse. If you hike here in spring, you’ll see blooming red bugloss.
To start the hike, head to the Visitor Center at El Portillo. Just before the entrance, there’s a walkway on the left side. Take this ramp and follow trail No 1 in the direction of Mount Teide.
You’ll hike along trail No 1 for an hour (3 km) before reaching the Trail No 29 intersection. To ascend to Fortaleza, turn right onto trail No 29 to a small chapel, called Cruz de Fregel. Continue uphill, ignoring the trail heading right. At the summit (more like a plateau), you’ll see Teide, the forests of Ortova Valley, Puerto de la Cruz, and even the coast. It’s best to descend the way you came up. We continued across Fortaleza and ended up scrambling down a precipitous slope (not recommended).
Retrace your steps and follow the route back to the visitor center.
4. Montaña de la Botija and Montaña Samara Circuit Trail
- Trailhead: Mirador de Sámara, small parking lot off of TF-38
- Type of Trail: Loop
- Distance: 5 km
- Elevation: 200 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time Needed: 2 hours
This delightful loop trail around Montaña de la Botija is a great option for those driving from Los Gigantes to Teide National Park. The color contrasts between the young pine trees and the black lava slopes make this one of the most photogenic destinations in the park.
From the small parking lot off of TF-38 (see map for exact location), follow the trail that runs parallel to the road. Turn left onto trail 13 and follow this trail around Montaña de la Botija.
5. Huevos del Teide and Montaña Blanca
- Trailhead: El Portillo
- Type of Trail: Return (out and back) or Loop
- Distance: 18.5 km
- Elevation: 700 meters ascending / descending
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time Needed: 5:30 hours
This trail somewhat overlaps with the Fortaleza hike, so we recommend only doing one of these trails during your trip to Teide National Park. We did both and it was a bit redundant. Though not very strenuous, the hike from El Portillo to Montaña Blanca is a long one. There’s a faster approach to Montaña Blanca from the TF-21 road (see the orange marker “Sendero de Montaña Blanca” on the map). The problem is that there is extremely limited parking near this trailhead.
From El Portillo, head onto trail No 1 for 15 minutes. When the trail forks, turn left onto trail No 6 and continue straight towards El Teide for 5 km (~2 hours). Trail 6 will ultimately intersect a roadway. Turn right onto the road and ascend to the col between Montaña Blanca and El Teide.
As you ascend, you’ll hike across pumice slopes speckled with black lava boulders known as “Huevos del Teide” (Teide eggs). These “eggs” are accretion balls and they form when a lava flow moves down a steep slope and pieces of solidified lava roll over the still molten surface, gathering layers of lava, just like a snowball.
At the col, the ascent route to Pico del Teide branches off to the right. Stay left and continue for 10 minutes to the summit plateau of Montaña Blanca.
To return back to El Portillo, either follow the route you came or take trail 22 (instead of trail 6) back to the trailhead.
6. Pico del Teide Summit
If you want to hike to the summit of El Teide, you need to secure a permit. Permits are free but are not easy to get. We tried securing a permit a month in advance and it was too late.
There are different ascent routes, but the most popular and easiest way to summit Teide is by taking the cable car (there’s only one cable car in the whole park) up to the top station, La Rambleta, and hiking the final 163 meters up to Teide Peak.
If you can’t get a permit on your own, you can still book a guided tour like this one, which includes the permit, cable car tickets (up and down), and insurance. For more options, check out these Teide guided tours.
Read Next: Best Hikes in the Anaga Mountains, Tenerife
Teide National Park Hiking Map
Best Base for Hiking in Teide National Park
Teide National Park
The best place to stay in Teide National Park is Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide. This hotel is situated on TF-21 in the heart of Teide National Park. Parador is the trailhead to Guajara (hike #1) and a few minutes away from the Roques de García trailhead (hike #3). You can walk from the hotel to the cable car bottom station (1 hour) or drive (6 minutes). If you stay here, you’ll also be able to enjoy the starry skies, as there’s no light pollution in the park.
Another great base for hiking in Teide National Park is the town of Vilaflor. If you overnight in Vilaflor (1,400 m), you’ll have the advantage of acclimatizing before tackling higher elevations in the park. Vilaflor is a 30-minute drive to Parador Nacional and Roques de García.
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