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Once upon a time in Spain

Mount Teide

Story - told by Philip Dainton

Mount Teide is the third highest volcanic structure in the world, its 3718 m summit is the highest point in Spain. 170,000 years ago the formation began following a giant collapse in the former volcanic edifice. Teide is an active volcano, the most recent eruption occurred in 1909. Due to the height of the structure, most eruptions have occurred around the base of Teide in the last 20,000 years.

Many historians and adventurers began to identify the Atlantic Islands with the remains of Atlantis during the Renaissance. They believed that the Canary Islands represented the highest points of the sunken continent, where Teide proudly stood tall as Mount Atlas. Seafarers from Britain, Spain and Portugal used Mount Teide as a navigation beacon in the Atlantic Ocean to help orientate themselves.

According to Guanche legend, Guayota kidnapped Magec (the sun) and locked it in the Teide, leaving the world in darkness. Humans prayed to Achamán who saved Magec. Guayota was defeated and locked up in the Teide. Guayota is the king of evil genies, demons. Since then, Teide volcano is the home of Guayota. Guanche people worshiped him and when they wish to pray to the demon they would climb to the top of Teide to stand in front of the gateway of the underworld. Demon Guayota would appear as a black dog. If he came with other demons, they would also come in shape of black dogs. They are known as Tibicenas.

Teide, along with Montana Blanca and Pico Viejo form the Central Volcanic Complex of Tenerife. Around the volcano, you will find 47,000 acres of national parkland where you will discover why Teide if the most visited wonder of Spain.

You can experience an 8 minute cable car which climbs Montana Blanca boasting incredible views, and enjoy a buffet restaurant at the upper cable car station. Or walk La Rambleta at TF-21, taking in the national park’s natural beauty as you approach the Altavista mountain refuge.

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