Not for nothing was Teide National Park chosen for the filming of scenes depicting the seat of the gods in Clash of the Titans
. The stark volcanic landscapes, striking colours (almost every conceivable shade of red, brown and grey), weird and wonderful rock formations, and the fact that its upper reaches are often above the cloud, lend it an otherworldly feel.
And then there are the views from the summit itself. At 3,718 metres – the highest point in Spain and in all of the Atlantic archipelagos – you really do feel as though you are on top of the world.
To enjoy this privilege, you’ll need to apply in advance for a permit. They are free of charge, their purpose being to limit the number of people on the summit at any one time – you’ll be asked to choose a two-hour slot, which is more than ample time to ascend from the upper cable-car station to the summit, and to drink in the astounding views.
Lower down, there are some fantastic walks within the massive volcanic crater from which Mount Teide rises. The route past the bizarrely shaped Roques de García is not to be missed, and the ascent to the highest point of the remaining crater wall, Alto de Guajara (2,715 metres), is also worthwhile.
Besides the scenery itself, you’re also likely to be struck by the variety of plants which grow in this arid landscape. 50 of them are endemic to the Canary Islands, including the Viper's Bugloss or Tajinaste which, with its three-metre-high spikes, seems perfectly proportioned and in keeping with its striking surroundings.
Which Inntravel holiday? To the Top of Spain
(hotel-to-hotel walking) and Valleys, Vines & Volcanoes
Trivia: The original inhabitants of Tenerife believed that Mount Teide held up the sky, a notion that actually doesn’t seem that ludicrous.