With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it’s no surprise the Canary Islands are the go-to spot for European holidaymakers.
The beaches here are sought-after white strips of sand lapped by turquoise waters. But visitors to the chain’s largest island, Tenerife, might be surprised to see an active, snow-capped volcano on the horizon.
Mount Teide, housed in Parc Nacional del Teide, is the world’s third-largest volcano. Visitors here ascend over 7,000 feet en route to the peak, witnessing major landscape changes from town to vineyard to forest before finally reaching the lava rock moonscape of the park.
The otherworldly nature of the park has drawn more than just travelers. Filmmakers have been known to use Teide’s strange landscape as a movie set, like in 2010′s “Clash of the Titans” and the Raquel Welch classic “One Million Years BC,” (if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve still probably seen the poster which makes an important cameo in “The Shawshank Redemption”).
While the volcano is still active, it last erupted in 1909, making it safe to visit. The Canary Islands are located off the northwest coast of Africa and belong to Spain.
photo credits: Liz Behler