Road to volcano at Teide National Park.
Teide National Park (Spanish: Parque nacional del Teide, pronounced [ˈpaɾke naθjoˈnal de ˈtei̯.ðe]) is a national park located in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain).
The national park is centered on Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain (3,718 meters high) in addition, the highest volcano in the Atlantic Ocean islands and the third highest volcano in the world from its base in the ocean floor (7.500 meters high). Pico Viejo, also included within the national park limits, is the second highest volcano in the Canary Islands with its 3,135 m peak. Mount Teide and Pico Viejo are the only two peaks in the Canary islands rising above the 3,000 m level.
The park has an area of 18,990 hectares located in the municipality of La Orotava. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 28, 2007. Since the end of 2007, it has also been one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. On a ridge, to the east of Teide, are the telescopes of the Observatorio del Teide.
Teide is the most visited national park in Spain and Europe and −by 2015− the eighth most visited in the world, with some 3 million visitors yearly. In 2016, it was visited by 4,079,823 visitors and tourists reaching a historical record.
There are morning and afternoon coach trips through the park, departing from selected areas in the south of Tenerife's tourist towns. Access to the peak requires a free permit that needs to be booked in advance.
The Teide National Park has a large historical value. This place had an important spiritual significance to aboriginal Guanches and important archaeological sites have been discovered in the park. For the Guanches the Teide was a place of worship, they thought it was the gate of hell (Echeyde).
National park status was declared on January 22, 1954, which was one of the third in Spain. In 1981 the park was reclassified and established as a special legal regime. In 1989, the Council of Europe awarded the European Diploma of Protected Areas, in its highest category. This recognition and conservation management has been subsequently renewed in 1994, 1999 and 2004.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its transformation into a national park, in 2002 the paperwork was begun to declare the park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On June 28, 2007, after five years of work and effort, UNESCO decided to declare the Teide National Park, World Heritage Site in the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO held in Christchurch, New Zealand. Teide National Park is also at the end of 2007, one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.
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