Tenerife is blessed with many magnificent places to witness one of nature’s most beautiful offerings: sunset. Across the ocean, looking out as the sky unveils mesmerising shades of gold, pink, orange, red and purple, with the sun slowly bidding us goodnight from behind La Gomera, well, what more do you need?
But it’s one thing to enjoy this glorious moment from the beach, your balcony, your bedroom window or from any one of the fabulous restaurant or bar terraces around Tenerife, and another thing entirely to experience sunset from way above the clouds on Teide. You didn’t realise you could do that? Ah, then read on. Because to be quite honest, ladies and gents, watching the sun set from anywhere else afterwards is just not the same…
From your collection point, enjoy the picturesque climb through some of Tenerife’s most beautiful countryside, stopping along the way to provide you with perfect photo opportunities as you pass through the clouds and reach the lower station of the cable car, situated in Tenerife’s fascinating Cañadas de Teide National Park – the most visited in Europe.
On your way up, you will watch the sun set from the lookout point in Chio, glass of champagne in hand, peace all around, and, best of all, no mobile phone coverage to spoil the moment with an ill-timed beep (you can upload it to Facebook later). All you need to concentrate on is watching the scene unfold, which, funny as it sounds (and perhaps the result of the champagne bubbles and the warm, calming effect they bring) is almost a form of meditation. If you’re lucky (and many people are, so your chances are quite good), as the sun goes down you will be able to see not only La Gomera but La Palma and even El Hierro, too.
On certain days, weather permitting, there is also the option of going up by cable car to witness the experience from one of the lookout points up on Mount Teide. If at all possible, this is definitely worth doing, as the views from above, with Teide’s gigantic shadow projected over the landscape is a vision that words cannot do justice to, and an image – and a memory – that will stay with you forever.
After sunset, wherever you’ve had the privilege to witness it from, your stomach will be more than ready for the feast that awaits you at the base station of the cable car. A fabulous selection of dishes are offered during the informal cocktail dinner, which includes many local specialities such as carne fiesta (seasoned pork), gofio balls (typical Canarian cereal), local goats’ cheeses, the famous papas arrugadas (salted potatoes) with typical red and green mojo sauces, Canarian banana fritters and, of course, local wine.
After dinner it’s time to witness another of nature’s most captivating shows: stargazing. Your guides will shed some light on the constellations, as you get to learn more about the skies above you, with the help of some long-range telescopes. The clear, unpolluted skies found in Teide National Park are world-famous, and enable us to see far more stars than we are normally able to. The Milky Way, the North Star and, depending on the time of year you visit, one of the many other famous constellations, all have their fascinating story to tell and the guides are very happy to share it.
Captivating, spiritual and unique, this is one experience we definitely recommend anyone does at least once, whether you’re a tourist or resident here in Tenerife.
There are three little pieces of advice that, being the friendly, helpful people we consider ourselves to be, we want to share with you about this experience.
1. No matter how warm you are when you set out at around 18:00, and however impossible you find it to imagine feeling cold in Tenerife, it gets very, very chilly at the heights you’ll be reaching. A jumper and long trousers are a must.
2. Choose your footwear wisely. And take this advice from someone who forgot their trainers and spent the evening in flip flops. Mountain terrain and very low temperatures are not a match made in foot care heaven. No sandals with heels, either. Broken ankles are not the kind of holiday souvenir we recommend…
3. Charge your camera. And don’t forget it, obviously. One poor couple remembered to take their camera but forgot about charging it, and not even the latest iPhone or Android will do anything resembling justice to the views you will see.