Snow at 2100 m altitude below the Teide Volcano in the clouds (top right). Parador Hotel far left.
Teide Volcano, view from the Parador Hotel, base 2100 m, top 3700 m, highest mountain in Spain.
"Not possible go to Parador", the taxi drivers all said at the airport, "too much snow, road blocked!"
At the airport, taxi drivers did not want to take us to the luxurious hotel, a Parador, high up at 2100 m, at the foot of the Teide. This is an extinct volcano and the highest mountain of the Canary Islands at 3700 m.
Finally a young driver with a solid looking Mercedes said "no problem, 60 Euros, one hour". I checked his tires and they looked fine but I did not like theradial tires, would prefer winter tires
The two lane road up was a constantly winding road and in places narrow. Above 1000 m, there were traces of snow on the side of the road and above the last village of Villaflor at 1500 m, there was a solid snow cover but the road was clear.
It rained and the cold temperature repeatedly fogged up the wind shield. The car blower could not clear off the fog and it seems the heater didn’t function so we drove slowly.
It took us indeed one hour to get there but in a cold car. The taxi meter read 33 Euro.
Many Paradors have a good deal for a minimum of 2 nights with half board, at 20% reduction. For the 3 nights, room plus breakfast, dinner and many drinks for two would costs us only 600 Euros.
This time of the year most of the walking trails are covered in snow, see detailed map for an overview of all trails .
Only the walking trails on the dirt roads are nicely broken in  by a 4WD car. From the Parador it took us 3 hours to reach the 4WD back road up the Teide at 2300 m. It leads to the Teide access trail near the Montana Blanca at 2700 m, and goes up to La Rambleta, the top of the cable car, passing a Refugio at about 3300 m.
4WD back road up Montana Blanca, view at road going back down.
The weather was variable, temperature zero Celsius at 2700 m but with a strong and very cold, dry wind with regular mist or clouds, obscuring the much warmer sun. The trail is mostly snow covered. At Montana Blanca it was already 3 PM so we decided to go back.
Also, our eyes started hurting, now wearing proper glacier glasses with side caps preventing the cold wind blowing in the eyes.
Trail up to the refugio at Montana Blanca, elevation 2700 m.
A tour skier coming down said he reached the refugio today but higher up it was too steep for him. Tomorrow we would try again but take the 10 AM bus to have an early (!) start.
It was very cold this morning, minus something. My travel companion was not equipped for the ascend of the Teide, first a sore lower foot tendon and he also washed his light weight Gore Tex coat and pants so they are not wind/rain prove anymore.
Today we will take the “pensionades” route along the crater rim, a flat 4 hours walk to El Portillo, a hotel-restaurant, and take the 15.15 h bus back to the Parador.
"Pensionates" walking trail in the morning sun along the crater rim, right side. Close to the Parador.
"Pensionates" walking trail in the afternoon clouds along the crater rim, close to El Portillo.
We were equipped with proper gear, crampons and snow pickles, but were missing glacier glasses as the cold wind was hurting our eyes.
In the end we did not try it, but the last part to 3550 m, to the top of the cable car, from the Refugio is known to be very steep and icy. The final summit at 3700 m is prohibited without a guide and seems to consist of solid rocks .
Overview of all trails