El Teide (3718m) is a volcano and the highest mountain of Spain at the same time and going to the top was one of our main goals of this trip.
We drove all the way from the sea level to the big plateau with the elevation of 2500m in less than an hour. As soon as the barren landscape and long endless road was all we could see, there it was – the majestic El Teide, standing proudly. As we approached to the foot of the volcano, I tought to myself “I am getting you this time!”
When we were in Tenerife in 2014, we wanted to go up as well, but the foot of the mountain was as far as we could get, because the cable car wasn’t operating due to strong wind. That is why we wanted to go up even more this time.
We left our car below the volcano and bought tickets for cable car, that takes you almost to the top of the volcano – to the elevation of 3600m. If you want to walk all the way up instead of taking the cable car, you have to register in advance and get a permit for your climb.
Surprisingly 3600m was not the highest I have ever been. When we were travelling though USA, in Colorado we drove over the pass called “The Independence Pass” which was the same altitude , 3678m to be precise. But this time I was at 3600m for more than an hour, so it was something new for both of us.
The view was great and it was cold as well, so thank god we brought jackets. We took a few pictures and then decided to walk around a bit. That’s when it got from “great” to “not so great” haha. The altitude hit me soon after we started walking up the hill. My boyfriend was fine, it was just me who got a bit sick. I felt dizzy and nauseous, so we decided to head down soon. My heart was pounding faster than normal and I was eager to catch a breath. That feeling accompanied me until cable car brought us down again. As soon as we were on the plateau (2500m) I was fine , just felt a bit more tired than usual. I read sensitive people can get altitude sickness at only 1500m, and almost everyone feel some kind of changes at 3500m, so I wasn’t just being a diva (as my boyfriend called me at that point haha) if I felt bad at the altitude of 3600m.
The rest of the day we drove through the barren landscape on the plateau and explored. Even though it is massively boring landscape on the first sight, it is so different from anything we are used to and that’s the reason we awere amazed by it. I also included a few photos from our trip in 2014 and you can probably tell which ones they are.
It was a great experience, even though I probably won’t end up repeating it, if we visit Tenerife again. My boyfriend who had no issues whatsoever, said he will definitely climb El Teide by foot someday. I am not sure how it will turn out at the end haha, but I am sure that we will climb a lot of hills and mountains this summer/autumn at home.