As one of the first cruise ships, nicko cruises' WORLD VOYAGER dock in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to pick up passengers. Our 14 days trip to the Azores ends in Madeira. Before the WORLD VOYAGER Tenerife leaves, an organized bus excursion to the caldera of the Pico del Teide is on the daily program the day after embarkation. Individual shore leave is not tolerated by the Canarian authorities, which is why we take part in the almost five-hour trip.
WORLD VOYAGER in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Teide volcano and the surrounding caldera are well known to us from several stays in Tenerife. Years ago we took the cable car up Spain's highest mountain. The ride with the cable car ends at an altitude of 3.555 meters. There are an additional 163 meters of altitude to the top.
Pico del Teide cable car
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. The respective routes to more remote destinations are correspondingly long. The coach covers more than 60 kilometers to the center of the Parque Nacional del Teide. The trip leads past the former island capital San Cristóbal de La Laguna and the Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte. After La Esperanza, the idyllic village at 850 meters above sea level, the road climbs noticeably. We drive through the extensive nature reserve Las Lagunetas with laurel and coniferous forests. In between there are eucalyptus trees.
Tenerife's lush vegetation
Before the bus reaches the National Park of the Caldera Las Cañadas del Teide, the driver stops at two viewpoints. They are the Miradore de Chipeque and de La Crucita. When the visibility is good, both offer fantastic views of the north coast of Tenerife, especially of the city of Puerto de la Cruz. And of course the Teide comes into view again and again. We have seldom seen it so effectively in the past.
Tenerife - Mirador de Chipeque - View of La Laguna
Tenerife - Mirador de Chipeque - view to the northwest
Coffee break at the beginning of the caldera
In the meantime, our bus has climbed more than 2.000 meters above sea level and reached the caldera Las Cañadas del Teide, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the beginning of the caldera there are several buildings, including the Chalet Cas Tajinastes del Teide and two restaurants. A coffee break will be taken at Restaurante La Bamby. Where we saw three coaches and seven minibuses in pre-Corona times, things are tranquil. Our group's bus is standing alone in the parking lot. From the top we can again enjoy wonderful views of the Teide and the crater landscape that surrounds us.
Tenerife - Pico del Teide
The diameter of the caldera Las Cañadas del Teide is reported to be around 17 kilometers. The caldera is a spacious volcanic collapse cone that is one of the largest volcanic craters in the world. From the point of view of geologists, the steep slopes and rock faces show traces of the history of its origins. We laypeople mainly see alternating rock breaks, slag fields and sandy deserts. The play of colors in the rock contrasts from red to yellow.
Caldera Las Cañadas del Teide - Mirador
Caldera Las Canadas del Teide
Our destination - the Roques de García
The bus ride leads to the rock formation of the Roques de García. The bizarrely shaped volcanic rocks lie at a height of 2.200 meters, a few hundred meters from the state-owned Hotel Parador Nacional de las Cañadas. The rock group separates the western from the eastern part of the caldera. We admire the rock group and look into the western section of the caldera. The most famous rock of the Roques de García is called "Stone Tree"; it is often called the "finger of God".
Two more sights to finish off
The journey back leads past the Observatorio Astronómico del Teide. The observatory is located on the 2.400 meter high Izaña mountain. The observatory is used for satellite observation and the testing of optical communication technologies for space applications. It also monitors the sun's activities.
Teide Astronomical Observatory
Observatories on Mount Izaña
A little later, the unique geological formation La Tarta, consisting of several layers, follows. The rock layer formed from solidified lava flows got its name because of the variety of colors and layers that are reminiscent of a cake. The stratification can be clearly observed from a vantage point at La Tarta.
Tenerife - La Tarta rock layer
Tenerife - La Tarta rock layer
WORLD VOYAGER leaves Tenerife
The highlights of the panoramic trip are behind us. The bus driver brings us safely back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The WORLD VOYAGER is waiting for us there. The ship casts off shortly after our arrival. The first destination is Ponta Delgada on the largest Azores island of São Miguel. Shortly after leaving the port, we passengers are presented with an unfamiliar sight. Five decommissioned German cruise ships lie in the roadstead off Tenerife's cliffs.
AIDA ships in the roadstead off Tenerife