In this post I told you about all the cool hiking possibilities offered by the Teide National Park, but I promised to give you more details about one of them: The hike to the top of the Teide volcano (by day or by night).
The Teide, with its 3718m is actually the highest mountain in Spain and one of our plans when coming to Tenerife for the winter was to climb to the summit to admire the sunrise over the Canary islands. And we enjoyed the view so much from from the top of the Teide Volcano that we went up there 3 times (once with our friend Faustine and twice with a few people from Nine Coliving).
If you want more ideas about things to do in Tenerife, check out our detailed post here
On the other hand, as I explained here, the volcano is protected by a UNESCO World Heritage National Park (which is a good thing given the number of tourists who visit it per year) which will add some constraints to climb the Teide volcano as you will see.
Well, let’s get down to business. Here is all you need to know to climb to the top of the Teide volcano.
- Routes to get to Teide (with map + gpx)
- The permit to access the top of the Teide (and its limitations)
- Hiking Teide by night in 1 day
- Spend the night at the Altavista refuge and climb in 2 days
- Climbing with the Teide cable car
- Tips and practical information
- Other hikes in Teide National Park
Routes to get to Teide (with map + gpx)
There are actually 2 main options to climb to the top of the Teide volcano:
- You can take the cable car (the black dots on the map) and simply make the last climb to the top (only if you have obtained a permit to pass… we will discuss it again just below). Be aware that the last bit of ascent is less than 1km long but still for 200m of climb!
- You can park in the Montaña Blanca car park (at an altitude of about 2300m) and climb to the top via the Altavista refuge (the blue route on the map below). This option is of course much more challenging because the path to the top is about 8kms(5 miles) for a 1350m (4400 feets) climb! Count 3 to 5 hours of hiking depending on your physical condition.
If you wish, you can download the track to climb the Teide directly on AllTrails. To do this, click on the link below and if you don’t have an account yet, create one (it’s free). Then you can download the track in the format of your choice (GPX, KML, Garmin, etc) and take it with you on the hike.
Note: creating an account to download the tracks is free. If you wish to access the maps “offline” directly in AllTrails, you must upgrade to an AllTrails+ account. If you want to take the subscription, you will get a 30% discount through this link. (1.75€ / month for 1 year instead of 2.5€/month)
There is also another path that climbs to Teide via the Pico Vieijo (after Pico Vieijo, the path continues up to the cable car and then to the top) but this path is even longer and is in general not the one people chose to hike up to the top of Teide. On the other hand, you could go down on this side if you don’t want to follow the same path as the hike up through Montaña Blanca.
To get to the Montana Blanca car park, there are not many options: you have to rent a car! (especially if you want to drive up at night). As always, we went through Rentalcars to rent our car in Tenerife because we found the best prices on their site. And if you can, avoid the Goldcar company because we’ve heard very bad feedback about them here.
The permit to access the top of the Teide (and its limitations)
For the site preservation, access to the summit of the Teide is limited to 150 people per day and a permit must be requested to access it. The permit is 100% free of charge. (The use of the permit only concerns the last end to reach the top of the Teide since the top station of the cable car. You can easily climb up to the top station of the cable car without a permit)
The problem is that there is so much demand that you have to book it several months in advance! It’s obviously a little annoying because it forces you to plan a long time in advance and it becomes impossible to organize your hike according to the weather (it’s a bit silly if you’ve booked everything and on the day you want to leave the weather is bad )
But the trick to know is that in fact this permit is not necessary if you climb to the top of the volcano before 9am (arrival time of the 1st cable car)! This leaves us with the following options to climb to the top of the Teide:
- During the day, having obtained a permit for the last part of the climb to the top of the volcano.
- Without permit option 1: In 2 days by sleeping at the Altavista refuge (you will have to book the night) then by climbing to the top for sunrise (so passing before 9am)
- Without permit option 2: In 1 day by doing all the night ascent to reach the top for sunrise.
As for us, we climbed to the top of the Teide 3 times, hiking at night from the Montaña Blanca car park. But we will still describe for you all the different options below.
Hiking Teide by night in 1 day
It is the most flexible option but it is also the most difficult of the 3 (since we hike up and down in 1 day). By climbing up at night, you will not need the permit or to book a night at the Altavista refuge (the refuge is often fully booked several weeks in advance). This is clearly the best option if you want to avoid booking your hike weeks in advance and be flexible with the weather.
As I told you, we always chose to hike up at night because there was never any room at the Altavista refuge and we also wanted to be sure to climb up with good weather conditions. But I can reassure you right away, hiking up to the Teide by night is note easy but not as difficult as it seems. Basically you just need to have a headlamp in addition to the usual hiking gear and follow a trail that is super well indicated (plus you can download the gpx track on the map above 😉 ).
The departure time will depend on your physical condition. For example, when I hiked up for the first time with 2 friends who were in better shape than me, we left at 4am from the Montaña Blanca car park and arrived at the top around 7am. On the other hand, the 2nd time we went up with friends from our coliving who were a little less used to this kind of hiking and we left at 2:30am from the parking lot.
The first part of the ascent is done on a wide track and is not very steep (perfect to warm up). If the night is clear, there is hardly any need for the headlamp. Moreover, when you turn off the lights, you can admire the Milky Way and the magnificent starry sky… what an experience to hike under the stars on the Teide volcano.
After maybe 4-5 km, we reach the beginning of the trail and that’s when the serious things start. Even if the path is technically speaking easy, the slope becomes much steeper which should warm you up properly 😉 . After 2 km of a good climb, we finally reach the Altavista refuge for a well-deserved warm break.
In the refuge, a screen shows the time of sunrise, the temperature at the top of the volcano and the wind. If you are fast, it takes about 1 hour to get to the top, if not 2 hours. After the refuge, it continues to climb steep enough to a flatter part and then reach the top station of the cable car. At this point, the first lights of the day should slowly there and the summit is in sight.
Then we start the last climb to the top of the Teide (the path that requires a permit after 9am). This part is short (7-800m) but it is clearly the steepest part of the whole hike. With altitude, the legs are heavy and the breath is a little short. However, we reach the summit quite quickly and the reward for our efforts is right in front of us: the sun rising above the sea of clouds.
We then witness an incredible phenomenon that I had the chance to see onc on top of the Rinjani volcano in Indonesia: the volcano is so big that its shadow projection far ahead of us at sunrise. That’s really impressive!
The smell of sulphur at the top is very present and many fumaroles remind us that we are on an active volcano. In fact, if you are too cold, you can always get closer to one of them to warm up 😉 (if you can stand the smell of rotten eggs lol)
After enjoying the beautiful sunrise lights, it’s time to go down again and you have 3 options:
- Hike down to the cable car and take the cabin down (option I recommend if you are already very tired and have €13.5 for the ticket:) ). No need to book tickets in advance… this is the option we chose the 2nd time with our Coliving friends because many people were very tired.
- Hike down the same path as on the ascent. If you still have the energy, I highly recommend this option because when you walk down during the day, you will have a completely different perspective than when you hike up and the landscapes are really breathtaking.
- Hike down through the Pico Viejo. This is perhaps the most spectacular option with a view of the huge crater of Pico Viejo. But know that if you go down this way again, you will have to find a means of transport once on the road to get back to the Montaña Blanca car park (by lifting your thumb it shouldn’t be a problem;)). For more information you can take a look at our hike on the Pico Viejo.
To sum up, if you are not super tired, I really recommend that you walk down to take the time to enjoy the lunar landscapes of the Teide volcano.
Spend the night at the Altavista refuge and climb in 2 days
This option is quite interesting because by cutting the climb in half and sleeping at the Altavista refuge, you make your task easier and you also take more time. You can enjoy the late afternoon and the view from the refuge.
Then you just have to get up around 5am to do the last part to reach the top of the volcano and admire the sunrise. I do not give you the details of the path because it is the same as for the night hike.
So on paper this seems to be the best option… but the problem is that the refuge is usually full weeks in advance. And so we end up with the same problem as for the permit, we have to plan the day of the ascent weeks ahead, which is not great for flexibility with the weather. But the refuge looks pretty good and a night costs only 20 euros… so if you can book a bed it’s a great option.
Climbing with the Teide cable car
So if you think you won’t be able to hike up from the car park, you obviously have the option of the cable car which will take you up to 3555m. Then you will need the permit I mentioned at the beginning of the post to hike the last part that will take you to the top about 200m higher. Please note that the Teide cable car is open every day from 9am to 5pm (7pm in summer) and that the return ticket costs 27€.
Important note: The cable car activity is stopped if the winds are too strong!
Tips and practical information
Weather on Teide
Statistically speaking, Teide is probably the place on the island where the weather is most often good! It is very common for clouds to stop at an altitude of 2000m, which means that in the national park we are above it. In short, never forget to take sunscreen and a cap/hat if you go up during the day because the sun is strong!
Another important point to mention is the temperatures! The summit of Teide is at 3718m. It’s high, even very high! In Tenerife the temperature is over 20°C at sea level almost all year round, so it would be easy to “forget” that gaining 3700m of altitude REALLY changes the situation in terms of climate. (I see you smiling, but I swear to you that we met some people who were going up in cable cars with shorts/tongs with a small sweater and who once up were absolutely freezing). 😉
During the day, the temperatures at the top vary according to the sunshine and the wind (which can blow hard). In winter it is generally between -1° and 5° during the day and in summer the range would be between 8° and 12° for days of bright sunshine and no wind.
The above temperatures are those observed during the day, so if you go up at night know that it can go down to -8° in winter and close to zero in summer!
the gear you need to take with you
You will have understood it, to climb the Teide you must be well equipped because it can be very cold, especially if there is wind. So here is the list of things I suggest you take with you:
- a headlamp if you hike up at night
- a cap to protect you from the sun
- a hat and gloves
- a windproof jacket and a down jacket
- at least trail running shoes
- at least 2 litres of water per person
- snacks because you will need energy
Difficulties: mountain sickness and altitude difference
Finally, I would just like to recommend you not to minimize the difficulty of this hike (especially if you are hiking up all at once from the car park). Certainly there is no real technical difficulty because the path is very well indicated, but a climb of 1350m is not easy for everyone. It’s still a hell of a climb and you have to be ready to sweat.
The 2nd very important point not to be neglected is mountain sickness. To tell you the truth, during our 3 climbs I felt the effects of the altitude with a slight headache. We lived in La Orotava at 400m above sea level and within a few hours we found ourselves at an altitude of more than 3500m!
The body generally does not enjoy so much such altitude changes in a short time. Moreover, during our 2nd ascent with our friends from coliving, 4 out of 9 people gave up before the summit because of mountain sickness. To put all the chances on your side, drink plenty of water! But don’t insist if you have a headache and want to throw up… it’s not worth it and it’s better to walk back down.
If you don’t feel confident enough to do this hike by yourself at night, consider hiring a local professional mountain guide. With Fabienne we are used to prepare and do this kind of hike on our own… but the climb to the top of Teide can be challenging. So by hiring a mountain guide, you will not have to worry about the timing, the itinerary and you will have someone you can trust if it gets difficult. Plus a guide will give you a better experience by explaining you about the nature, history and geology of the area.
If you’re interested, we teamed up with Palvigo, a local outdoor specialist, to offer you a 5% discount on their climb to the top of Teide by night with a local mountain guide (180€/person). You just need to fill out this form below with the details and they will come back to you as soon as they can and offer you 5% discount.
Other hikes in Teide National Park
There is not only the ascent of the Teide which is an interesting hike in the national park (far from it). Here are some other hiking ideas that may be of interest to you:
You’ll find all these hikes (including maps) in this article
Now you have all the information you need to climb to the top of the Teide volcano. We wish you courage for the climb and above all, enjoy the crazy view from up there.
We talk more about the best places to stay in Tenerife (in our opinion) on this page. In the Teide Park itself, there are not many options except for the Parador del Teide (a hotel that is located at the top of the park and not far from the beginning of the hike). The night costs about 100€ for 2 people, but it must be quite exceptional to spend the night up there (especially if you want to go out to admire the stars!
We didn’t do it in Tenerife, but since we bought our van the Dahu, we really want to come back to Tenerife and discover the area by van. The island lends itself really well if you want our opinion. 🙂 If you want to rent one directly on the island (probably the easiest solution), then you can go to the website Yescapa. They offer camper vans rented directly by van owners (with all required insurances). You could also check on the Campstar website which compares the best vans and RVs rental companies
See the camper vans on Tenerife
See the campers on Campstar
Note: This post contains affiliate links. By booking your car in Tenerife via this link you will of course not pay anything more, but we will receive a small commission. Rentalcars is the platform we systematically use when we book a car, including here in Tenerife where we have decided to rent a car for the duration of our stay.
You’re true legend. Thank you for this detailed guide!
My pleasure Michal 😉
Hi Fabienne, thank you for your blog!
Pity you didn’t go to La Gomera, but my boyfriend and I will definitely plan Tenerife around your tips! I loved Rinjani and your comparison of Teide with it just made me dream 😉
do you think we can try the ascent in early January? you seem to have done it in winter while others say in winter Teide is a no-go! there is room at the Altavista refuge and I’d like to go down Pico Viejo if the weather conditions are good.
And I look forward to reading the rest of the blog, you rock guys!
Best, Eleonora and Stanislav
It’s totally possible to do Teide in Winter if the weather conditions are good (it’s quite rare but there can be snow on Teide)… and it’s a great idea to go down on the Pico Viejo side… landscapes are amazing there as well! The only problem with the Altavista refuge is that you often have to book it in advance (you would be less flexible to chose the best day weather wise).
Glad you like our blog and wish you a great adventure in January 😉
Great blog! Very helpful. We are planning to ascend tomorrow from Montana Blanca. Best wishes!
Glad you like it Agnieszka… have fun tomorrow 😉
We did have fun! Hope we can do it again this year 🙂
Awesome blog! Nicely detailed. Do you think is it possible to do the ascend from Montana Blanca also alone? Would you say there is somewhat danger on the way (anything with the path or wild life or loose stones not to step on the sides etc.)
Glad you like our blog 😉
Yeah I don’t see any problem to do the ascent alone. The path is not technical and I don’t see any danger like stones or wild life. Just be aware of the altitude… Some people might have headaches while climbing up.
thank you for the detailed guide i will do it by night for sure!
Thanks so much for your post! This made me feel much more confident about undertaking the night hike on Saturday and it was HUGELY worth it! Appreciate you putting the time into the detail and explanation – thank you!
Hi Hannah, glad we could help and to read that you had a good time up there. Greetings from Galicia
So just to let everyone know, the weather can change dramatically. We tried to reach the top on 24.04.2021. After passing Altavista Refugee around 5.00am the Temp. dropped to -7 degrees and just before the cable station the wind started to blow with guts up to 60-80km/h. The feeling of temperature was below – 10 (water frozen in the bottle!) and even though we had only 3o minutes to the summit we decided to get back (cable wasn’t working of course due to wind). Remember to respect the mountains. PS. Next try in a week or two from now on. Hope weather will be better.
BTW. Due to Covid Altavista Refugee is closed 🙁
Hi, thanks for the guide. We would definitely like to go. Is it possible/reasonable to start in the afternoon (after the cable car stops operating) and climb up to the top to see the sunset or night sky? And to descend during the night? Thank you, Lenka and Daniel
It’s possible I guess but you’ll be able to go to the top only after the last cable car went down if you don’t have the permit. Plus just remember it can be super windy and cold up there so bring good layers.
Ole Bang Frederiksen
Fabienne & Benoit – I shared the below on FB, but wanted to also thank you directly. What a lovely description of the Mt Teide trekking options, I really enjoyed reading it. I will now exploit your blog in more details 🙂
“By free-text search I was lucky to stumble over this incredibly great blog post (https://www.novo-monde.com/en/about-us/) by Fabienne & Benoit who provide detailed and first-hand experience instructions and advice how to ascent Mt Teide to enjoy the sunrise of the day. What a great, insightful and vivid guide. I can’t wait to travel to Tenerife in November and have the experience myself. Thanks a lot, Fabienne & Benoit!”
Hi Ole really glad you liked our post. Hope you’ll have a wonderful sunrise on top of Mt Teide and a great trip to Tenerife in November. Such a gorgeous Island!
So we went on Saturday night and the small parking place below Montagna Blanca was at midnight almost full of cars! There was cca 25 people and no fear to lose the way. At the top, I was freezing because of the wind, but my partner with less layers of clothing was OK. Some people had blankets or sleeping bags and were waiting and having a rest around the cable car hut and waiting to start the last part of the climbing right to see the sunrise. There were people 60+ years old, so it is definitely possible to climb for almost everybody, but as is said, warm clothing, water and some energy food helps.
Perfect blog, really like how its written. Have a question regarding the return from the top. Do i have to be back at the cable station before 9:00 a.m aswell?
Hi Richard, glad you liked the post. No no you don’t have to be back before 9am… it’s only on the way up 😉
Hi! We are planning to visit Tenerife in february, but the sunrise then is at cca 7.45 – do you think it’s doable to wait for the sunrise and then start the hike back or is there not enough time? Thank you for your help and this awesome post!
Of course! You’ll have the full day to hike back down (or take the cable car) so you should definitely take your time on top. Plus they don’t check the permit for people hiking down… they just don’t let people hike up after 9
Hey Benoit. Thanks for your great post. QQ, after we reach the summit and came down to the cable car station, is it possible to take the cable car down to the parking lot? or Should I buy the tickets online?
Hi Max, yes you can take the cable car down and then pay your ticket at the station after the ride.
Hello, great description of the hike, you’ve encouraged me to reach the summit at night! 😀 I have one more question, is it possible to go there using this trail at the left of Montana Blanca marked only with length 1.3? Or only trail number 7? 🙂
Maybe it is, but I don’t think it’s an official trail. I wouldn’t recommend you to try this option for the 1st time at night. Maybe check it during daytime first. But the other trail is super easy to follow and really well maintained.
thanks for this great blog post and the hike, I did it today and really enjoyed it.
They charge for the one way ticket now 21 €, and you need to buy it online due to covid. There is currently no option to buy the ticket on-site. However, tickets don’t need to be printed and there is pretty good mobile coverage up there.
Om a Friday morning parking was at 3:30 AM already difficult at the trail head. We used a parking spot down the road towards the cable car.
Thanks again, it is a really great idea!
Glad you enjoyed it Valentin and thanks for the feedback
Awesome blog post, thank you for the vivid share and encouragement to go at night!
We want to do it tomorrow night but wondering if parking in the middle of the night is a problem? I heard ppl sleeping in camper vans and cars parked over night in the area were checked by rangers and asked to leave so I wonder if anyone ever got a ticket after getting back down? Cheers!
Thanks for your kind words. Well I doubt it’s an issue to park the car to go hiking even by night. But as it’s a natural reserve, it’s forbidden to camp and sleep in a van inside the park.
Hi Benoit, absolute goldmine of an article. I’m planning to summit el teide somewhere next month. I have full winter camping gear so thinking of doing it in 2 days, just wild camp along somewhere. Any thoughts on that? I know it might not be permitted, but does anyone check? And you have me a bit worried about altitude sickness, I didn’t expect it to kick in at these heights. Would you think doing the hike in 2 days (splitting the elevation gains in 2) is enough for the body to cope?
Also, I’ll be doing this hike in winter time. I know temps at night can get to -5, -10. No problem really. But how much snow and ice do you think we can expect? Should I bring spikes for the shoes?
Appreciate any insights.
Glad you found some useful infos on our blog 🙂
Yeah wild camping in the national park is officially not allowed (so it’s on you)… but I really doubt anyone will check. For the short story we did a 3 days hike in the Anaga natural park (officially wild camping is not allowed) and we asked the rangers. They told us bivouac while hiking was ok so we did it 😉 (if you’re interested you can find a post about this cool adventure as well on the blog).
For altitude sickness everyone reacts differently… can’t assure you you wont feel anything. But 2 days is definitely better then everything in one go 😉
Well if you are a bit flexible with the date of your hike, I wouldn’t bring spikes for the shoes… it can snow on the Teide but it’s quite rare and the snow is melting fast (just have to wait for a few days). We also climbed up the Teide in winter time once and there was absolutely no snow. But as I said, we stayed a full winter season in Tenerife and we saw snow on the Teide maybe twice 🙂
Hope it helps
Thank you for this writing, we found it really useful!!
We are going to Tenerife next Monday and planning to climb Teide by night. As we checked for the last weeks the trails (from Montaña Blanca, Pico Viejo) are temporarly closed but there isn’t any explanation why. Do you know if this is an issue and we shouldn’t do the hikes or these are always closed during winter but people still do use them?
Thanks in advance!
Sorry I won’t be able to help you with that (as we are not in Tenerife atm). But no I don’t remember the trails being closed during winter time (and we actually climbed Teide by night once during winter time as well)
For reasons for trail closure you can contact: email@example.com
In my experience it is most always: Snow and Ice covering the trail.
SIMON HILARY BECK
Many thanks for sharing the info in your blog. I’m considering visiting Tenerife, but the aim would be to walk everywhere, can this be done going by the scrollable map here, trails seem to link across the island, with hardly any gaps, as far as the east end of the island, you get a different experience doing this compared to using a car to cherry pick the best bits!
It’s totally doable I think (either by stoping in hotels / guesthouses or with a tent) and you would get a great experience for sure. If you look on the web you’ll probably find the experience of people hiking accross Tenerife
Love this article, very useful, I will be doing this route in March 🙂
I’m thinking of ascending via the Montana route and descend via Pico Viejo, but I was wondering if there’s a possibility to fill up water bottles at the Altavista refuge (or somewhere else)?
As going down via Pico Viejo is an even longer hike, I guess I’ll be on the road for about 8 – 10 hours and I’m not sure if 2L of water will be sufficient.
Thanks for your reply!
I don’t really remember if you could fill up some water at the refuge but I wouldn’t count on it. For the water, it’s very personal I guess. For me 2L would be enough to do this hike but I don’t know about what you usualy drink. You can always pack 1L more 😉
There is no water at the refuge. Its best to take more water. Alternatively you can boil some snow 😉
Hi Benoit, thanks for the awesome and informative blog. One question, how is the mobile phone reception during the climb? Can you call in case of emergency?
I can’t tell you for sure but maybe someone from this comment section that did the trek more recently will be able to tell you
Dont expect good phone reception. There is WIFI up top at the cable car.
Thanks so much for this article – it was very helpful. We are planning to do this in November. I was wondering: If we take the cable car down after hiking up the Montana Blanca route, is there a hiking trail back from the cable car station to the Montana Blanca parking lot? It doesn’t seem to be very far, but I don’t see one on Google and was wondering if it is even possible to walk from the cable car station to the parking lot, without walking on the road (there doesn’t seem to be a lot of space next to the road either to safely walk).
Glad you found some useful infos in our post. Unfortunately there is no proper trail to walk back to montana blanco from the cable car station… so either you will have to walk on the road side or you can also try hitch hiking 😉 Have Fun!
There is definately a proper hiking trail following the road that you can take. Google maps is never good for hiking, I would recommend downloading OpenAndroMaps (Canary Islands) and loading it into app called “Green Tracks”. The trail is very well marked starting from the cable car to Monta Blanca car park. There is also a Titsa bus from Cable car to El Portillo.
Hi ya great Website. Really informative. im hoping to hike it tonight from Montana Blanca carpark. im staying on the mountain at the parador. They are giving a clear night 55kmh wind , -3 giving -19 wind chill. i have proper gear with the exception of crampons. is there anywhere i can go to see if the routes are open? any and all advise well appreciated. the cold and wind doesnt over bother me as ive good boots, underlayers jackets etc. im aiming to start the hike at 2.30am but have good moutain fitness so should be able to make the 8am sunrise,
Can confirm the night climb to Teide is still possible in 2023 (when the Monta Blance route is open ofcourse!). I climbed it on 23rd of Jan. If the walking route is open there is no need for crampons, and if it is closed don not go. Bring gloves and a proper hat!
Check volcanoteide.com for the status of trails and cable car.
Thank you for this write up! I am heading there 4/14 & 4/15 and have my hike all planned out. I am planning to take Trail 6 from El Portillo Visitor Center (https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/spain/tenerife/s-6-sendero-de-montana-de-los-tomillos?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map&u=i) and then up on Trail 7 (still trying for my summit permit though). Hoping a taxi will take me out from Puerto de la Cruz.