Las Canadas

Las Canadas is one of the world’s biggest calderas covering an area just over 130 km2. The caldera is created by left overs from several old volcanos. Las Canadas became a national park in 1954, because of the unique character of the area, both geologically and botanically. A walk through the crater is almost comparable to a walk on the moon.

Caldera: A subsidence in the earth’s surface which occurs during and after big volcano eruptions, which leads to the collapse of the volcano into the cavities left when lava, gasses and ashes have been hurled away. The left overs from the volcano forms a wall around - the caldera.

From the south you get there through Vilaflor, known for its clean air, and the water that you buy on bottles in supermarkets. While rising uphills, you feel how the surroundings change from pine forests to barren lava fields. It’s pretty cold, so bring warm clothes.

Going there you may park the car at Los Roques, some curiously looking rock formations. From there you’ll have a nice view to the volcano Pico del Teide. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a little trip around Los Roques. Follow the marked path to the right, and you will get away from the tourist groups and the busses, and you will discover a unique landscape. Far away you can see a fossilized ”waterfall” of lava on the mountain sides. The path around the clifs is about 3 km. The last part are rather steep, and pay attension to follow the path.

If you get there late in the afternoon, you may experience quite a different landscape because of the sun. There’s a cafeteria, and among other things you can buy canarian potatoes, enjoy a beer or a cup of coffee. Next to the lift it’s also possible to enjoy a cup of coffee, and you can buy Belgian waffles with whipped cream and chocolate.

After enjoying the view from the top of Pico del Teide, you can drive north towards La Orotava. You will pass lots of smaller volcano craters, fx Montana Blanca, here it’s possible to park the car and go for a walk. You also pass a geological museum: El Centro de Visitantes which is worth a visit. You may fail to see it, but look out for a parking area. Usually there are busses and cars parked. The admission is free.

La Orotova doesn’t look like a tourist city. The drive down through the clouds and countless hairpin bends can’t be described. The city is one of the oldest cities on the island and is known for its beautiful houses with balconies, build by wealthy, spanish noble families.

If you on the other hand choose to drive northeast, you come across an international astronomical observatory. In the weekend and if there’s snow, you will see the people from the island walk on the ice and play with the children.

If you choose the road on the western coast to go to Teide, you drive to Guia de Isora and further on to Chio. Here you turn right towards Teide. It’s a steep rise, but it’s af wonderful trip through the pine forests and landscapes where lava floods in the latest centuries have wiped out the trees.

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