Mount Teide: Facts About the Highest Point in Spain

Here are some facts about Mount Teide, the massive volcano on the island of Tenerife.

  • Located on Tenerife in the Canary Islands (a Spanish-owned island chain off the north-west coast of Africa), the summit of Mount Teide at  3178 metres (just over 12000 feet) is the highest point in Spain.

  • It is the third highest volcano in the world.
    The most recent eruption of Mount Teide happened in 1909. It also erupted in 1798, 1706, 1705 and 1704.
  • On his voyage of discovery Christopher Columbus apparently saw the 1492 eruption of Mount Teide when he was sailing past Tenerife.
  • Mount Teide is currently a dormant volcano, but many scientists believe it will erupt again in the near future.
  • In the mid seventeenth century a group of Englishmen were the first Europeans to reach the summit of Mount Teide. The group included Philips Ward, George Cove and John Webber.
  • To the Gaunches (the original, pre-Spanish invasion, inhabitants of Tenerife) Teide was a sacred mountain and the home of Guayota, the devil.
  • Mount Teide is a stratovolcano, formed from layers of hardened lava and volcanic ash.
  • Several plants can only be found on the slopes of Mount Teide. These include: the Teide white broom and the Teide daisy.
Mount Teide (Source)
Mount Teide (Source)
  • Mount Teide appears on Tenerife’s coat of arms and it used feature on the back of the 1000 Peseta note (before Spain adopted the Euro as its national currency).
  • Mount Teide and the areas of land directly surrounding it make up the Teide National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is visited by nearly 3 million visitors every year.
  • In winter temperatures at the summit temperatures can vary between -5 and -10 degrees C. The summit is often covered with snow.
  • The Spanish name for Mount Teide is Pico del Teide.

What next? Check out the Primary Facts resources page on Volcanoes, or discover some facts about Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius, other stratovolcanoes.