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Teide National Park (Tenerife)

From Puerto de la Cruz – northern motorway towards Santa Cruz. Take exit Nº 9 in La Laguna, for El Teide along the TF-24 (Teide National Park).

After passing through the town of La Esperanza (El Rosario) you come to Monte de la Esperanza: Lookout Spots: Montaña Grande, Ortuño, Las Cumbres (turn off to the right), La Crucita, Ayosa, La Tarta.

From La Crucita (weather permitting), you can see the Valley of Güimar to the left, and the Orotava Valley to the right. The latter can also be seen from Ayosa.

Following the same road, you pass close by the Izaña Astrophysics Observatory facilities and you come to El Portillo – access to Las Cañadas del Teide, a giant caldera around Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3718 metres.

El Portillo Visitors´ Centre (on the right, just after the cross roads), 15 minute audiovisual. Interesting adjacent garden (sign-posted).

Cross the National Park- several lookout points, e.g.. Minas de San José and El Tabonal, to the foot of the Cable Car (9.00-16.00 h, info. telf. 922 694 038) that goes up to 3555m.

To climb to the summit, you need a special permit: Continue on as far as the Parador Nacional (National Inn), see the adjacent Visitors´ Centre and the Roques de García Lookout, the most famous lookout in the Park, opposite the Inn. The road takes you around the edge of the Ucanca Flats; to the left, you can see a shoe-shaped rock, known as “The Queen´s Shoe”. You then come to Boca Tauce cross roads.

Turn right, travelling through lava flows from 1798 and 1909 (this was the last eruption on the island: Chinyero Volcano), you get to "Narices del Teide" Lookout, with views over the island of La Gomera when the weather is clear. Turn round and go back as far as El Portillo.

Take the main road in the direction of La Orotava, TF-21, passing a series of lookouts with views over the Orotava Valley and Teide. Piedra la Rosa Lookout – it looks like a giant stone daisy – and Chasna Lookout.

Visit the old town centre of La Orotava: Casa de Los Balcones (17th century c/ San Francisco, 3: Lovely Canary Island balconies. Inside, there is an embroidery and lacework school, courtyard and folk museum. Casa del Turista (16th century): On the terrace, there is a display of the famous earth carpets and wonderful views over the Orotava Valley. Both museums open from: Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 18.30; Saturday from 8.30 to 17.00 and Sundays from 8.30 to 13.00 h. Tourist Board: c/ Escultor Estévez, 2. Tel. 922 323 041. Church of La Concepcion (18th century): façade with baroque elements. Casa Torrehermosa (Island Crafts Company): c/ Tomás Zerolo, 27. Open from Monday to Friday, from 9.30 to 14.00 and from 15.30 to 18.00, Saturday from 10.00 a 13.00 h. Latin American Craft Museum: open from Monday to Friday, from 9.00 to 18.00, Saturday from 9.00 to 14.00 h; Closed on Sunday. Back to Puerto de la Cruz.

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