Why You Should Take the Cable Car up Mount Teide

There are three things you learn by taking the cable car to La Rambleta just 163 metres below the summit of Mount Teide on Tenerife.

The first is that standing on the top of the world looking out across an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean is a humbling and extremely special experience. The cost of the ticket (€25 for a return trip; €12.50 for children under 14 and residents) may seem high, but there is no other place in the world that will give you a view like this. On clear days the other Canary Islands protrude like icebergs in an expanse of sparkling blue sea that, from this height, seems to stretch to infinity and beyond.
Of course, it costs nothing to walk up…except blood, sweat and tears – and it is immensely satisfying.

The second thing you learn is that the air at 3555 metres is lacking in oxygen – walk a short distance and you can soon be huffing and puffing. Take it easy till you adjust to the altitude.

The third thing you learn is during the 8-10 minute trip up the mountain in the cable car. Your 34 companions in the cabin may be a mix of people from Britain, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia and Russia but when that cabin judders and dips when it passes those pylons holding the cable up, every nationality makes exactly the same noise – WOOOooooOOOO.

Hordes upon hordes of people take the cable car to near Mount Teide’s summit daily (a permit is required to go all the way) and that can be a deterrent as at peak times it can involve long queues. People on an organised excursion might be subjected to the double whammy of having to wait so long to get the cable car that by the time they get to the top they’ve only got a few minutes to look around before it’s time to come back down again. This happened to my sister last year and she wasn’t a happy bunny about it.

The other thing I’d say is that if you don’t have an appreciation of nature, don’t take the cable car. Like I said hordes of people take it daily, yet when we’ve taken the cable car to La Rambleta we’ve noticed a good number of visitors simply loiter around near the upper station as though not sure what to do next. It’s as though they expect something to happen. I’m never sure whether they’re expecting Teide to blow it’s top or maybe somebody to throw dry shrubbery into a hole where it’ll burst into flames à la Timanfaya on Lanzarote.

If you do have an appreciation of nature, then time spent near the summit of Spain’s highest mountain is going to blow you away (hopefully not literally). Explore the paths, the further you walk from the cable car station, the more you’ll have the mighty volcano to yourself.

It is one of nature’s wonders and that alone makes the value of a trip on the cable car up Mount Teide’s slopes priceless.

6 Comments

  1. It’s odd how people do that, go up but no further. I noted it too. But I love this post…..for years I was frustrated by my inability to get up there (it was always closed for repairs or because of high winds or something when I attempted to go), so when I finally made it, it was possible that my expectations were too high, but they were surpassed. It’s an unforgettable experience!

    • Absolutely Linda. The landscape in Teide National Park on first (any) sight is incredible enough – but when you look down on the world from the top of that mountain, it’s akin to experiencing a mythical god’s view. Combined with the thin air, this is one that really does take the breath away.

  2. Having climbed it twice and had the summit to myself on both occasions, I couldn’t bear to have to share it with hordes of other people. That may sound a selfish attitude but sitting alone on the top made it a ‘special’ experience that would have been ruined by others chatting, taking photos etc. As you say, the experience just ‘blows you away’.

    • I think it’s fair to say that witnessing dawn from the summit of Mount Teide has probably been the most incredible experience I’ve had the fortune to be able to enjoy. Actually climbing it to get there makes it all the more special don’t you think? The more effort the greater the reward and all that. I can’t imagine it would be anything like the same to get the cable car up and walk from La Rambleta to the summit. That just seems wrong to me.

      I agree that sharing it with hordes does seem to lessen the experience (and I know that’s just being selfish on my part). But one of the things that amazed me about Las Cañadas when we first started walking there was that despite the incredible amounts of people that descend on the crater every day, you’ve only got to walk for a few minutes in some parts to feel as though you have that wonderful wonderland all to yourself.

      Aren’t we lucky to live in a place where we can explore a landscape as special as this.

  3. Hello,my name is Gabriel kahiga mountain guide from kenya,based at mt.longonot national park.I got this information of the car cable from thise site.mine is that i would like to start the car cable here in kenya or if it much expensive for me,i can invite a private investor in our project

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