Experience the scientific side of Tenerife with a visit of the Teide Observatory
Tenerife is so much more than just sun and beaches.
The island is also famous for science and its volcanoes. Discover it during your visit of the Teide Observatory!
You must already know that the Canary Islands are one of the three best spots in the world to observe the sky, along with Chile and Hawaii, which is why the Tenerife Observatory is the largest solar observatory in the world.
The Teide Observatory began to operate in 1964 and focuses on solar observations and robotic astronomy. It is home to many solar and nocturnal telescopes, owned by different European countries.
What you probably don’t know, yet, is that the researchers who work at the Tenerife Observatory make great contributions to the field of science, with an average of one publication per day.
And did you know that the discovery of the Sun having its own frequency and beating like a heart every five minutes was made at the Tenerife Observatory?
Book your ticket today, to visit the Teide Observatory with us, to discover this spectacular scientific centre during the day, and to get to know the Tenerife Observatory and the activities of the researchers who work there, in an enjoyable way.
Our guides will make you feel like a scientist for a day as during this tour of the Teide Observatory:
- You will be introduced to the importance of the sky in the Canary Islands, the Teide Observatory telescopes and the different projects of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics, the institution that manages this solar observatory.
- You will participate in a workshop on astrophysics given at the visitor centre, in which our guides will explain what astrophysics is and how astrophysicists work.
- You will observe sunspots and solar flares through two solar telescopes, which you will have at your disposal to fully enjoy them.
- You will explore the inside of a nocturnal telescope and won’t leave until you know how it functions and learn about its exciting history.
- Reservation for a group of at least 30 people or an equivalent fee
- Visit the Teide Observatory during the day
- The largest solar observatory in the world
- You will be amazed by the inside of a nocturnal telescope
- Prepare to be astounded when you observe the Sun
- Guided visit of the Teide Observatory
- Spanish, English, German, Russian, French or Italian-speaking guide.
What's not included...
- Guide in other language than Spanish, English, German, Russian, French or Italian.
- Reservation for a group of at least 30 people or an equivalent fee.
- Reservation subject to confirmation. Payment by credit card, bank transfer or via PayPal.
Group visits of the Teide Observatory are preferably held at 10.00am. If you need to book for another time, please let us know. If you book a visit of the Teide Observatory without transportation, you must arrive at the Izaña Observatory at least 30 minutes before the tour is scheduled to start.
Purchase of this service to visit the Teide Observatory implies that you have read and accepted all the points described in the following section:
RECOMMENDATIONS AND WARNINGS FOR VISITORS
We appreciate your interest in visiting the Teide Observatory (OT) and we hope that you enjoy your visit.
The Teide Observatory is not responsible for the difficulties or discomfort caused by not following these recommendations.
The arranged visits will only be carried out when the weather and the operating status of the telescopes permit. Due to adverse weather conditions, especially during winter, which may affect the safety of the roads leading to the Observatory (snow, ice, falling rocks) visits may be unexpectedly cancelled.
Before visiting the Teide Observatory
Health and altitude
The Teide Observatory (TO) is located at an altitude of approximately 2,400 meters above sea level, an altitude at which oxygen diminishes. Groups will move about within the Tenerife Observatory on gravel paths. For this reason, the visit is not recommended for people with general health problems (anaemia, breathing or heart problems, etc.). If you are not sure if you should visit, consult your doctor first.
The Teide Observatory is not responsible for any health problems that can be caused by the altitude or by not following these recommendations and warnings.
The Tenerife Observatory does not have medical assistance within its facilities.
Bear in mind that the closest hospital is approximately one and a half hours away by car.
If you show symptoms of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, ringing in your ears, plugged ears or headache during your visit, please,immediately inform the guide in charge of the tour of the Teide Observatory.
Recommended equipment for a visit of the Teide Observatory
- Protect yourself from the sun. It’s recommended that you use hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Due to the low levels of humidity that are common in the Tenerife Observatory, bring sufficient liquid (water or juices) to prevent dehydration.
- Bring comfortable clothes and adequate footwear (avoid sandals and heels).
- Bring some warm clothes in case the weather changes abruptly and to enter the interior of the telescopes.
Transportation and punctuality (for visits of the Teide Observatory that do not include pick-up)
We ask that you be very punctual. Bear in mind that the Observatory is located at an altitude of 2,400 m and that you must travel on high mountain roads to reach it. Therefore, please make sure that you calculate well the time needed to reach the Tenerife Observatory.
YOU MUST ARRIVE AT THE TO’s GATE AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE the scheduled time of the tour of the Teide Observatory. Upon your arrival, you will be instructed by the personnel attending the visitors to the Teide Observatory where to go.
If you arrive late, the visit of the Teide Observatory will be cut short (but it will never be extended) by the same amount of time, andcan even be cancelled if the delay is considerable and it causes problems for later scheduled visits.
During your visit of the Teide Observatory
What should I do when I arrive?
When you arrive at the Tenerife Observatory, centre personnel will be waiting for you at the access gate to let you know what to do with the car(s) or couch(es). Please always follow the instructions you receive.
Remember that there is no need to ring the bell, and please do not block the entrance. You may park in the designated parking spaces while you wait.
Please do not forget to bring identification (ID card or passport) and a copy of your reservation to confirm access. If you are unable to produce identification and/or the booking confirmation, the TO/IAC does not guarantee your visit of the Teide Observatory.
Warnings during the visit of the Teide Observatory
For security reasons, proper operation and care of the environment, the Tenerife Observatory administration asks you to closely follow the following rules during your visit:
- Since the visits of the Teide Observatory are subject to time limits and schedule constraints, the time to use the toilet is before the visit starts. Please leave the toilet as clean as you found it!
- Please be respectful of the surroundings as the Tenerife Observatory is located in a National Park. It is prohibited to:
- Smoke and eat
- Throw away rubbish except where indicated
- Leave the established paths.
- For your own safety, please remain with your assigned group throughout your visit of the Teide Observatory and follow the instructions given by the guide at all times.
- In case you are given suits or safety equipment in the facilities area, they should be properly used and cared for.
It is absolutely prohibited to leave the safety area or touch anything inside the buildings.
Children under 8 are not allowed to participate in the guided visit of the Teide Observatory.
The Observatory is not recommended for people with poor general physical health (anaemia, heart disease, respiratory problems, and so on), nor for individuals with reduced mobility as the tour requires the use of paths and stairs.
In order to access the Tenerife Observatory it is necessary to have own transport.
If you plan to arrive to the Tenerife Observatory by taxi, please take into account that it will have to drive you inside the premises, since the installations are 2 km away from the meeting point at the access gate, and the driver will have to remain on the premises until the end of the activity.
It is not allowed to access the premises by bicycle.
Please bear in mind that you must have a sufficient knowledge of the language in which the visit of the Teide Observatory is held in order to be able to correctly follow the explanations of the guide.
Pets are not allowed.
In the event of changes or cancellations the following terms shall apply:
- Less than 30 days' notice: 50% of the invoice amount
- Less than 15 days' notice: 100% of the invoice amount
In the event that the access roads to Teide are cut off due to weather conditions, the activity will be postponed or cancelled, in which case its cost will be modified accordingly.
In the event that weather conditions impede or hinder proper visibility of the stars through solar telescopes, or if they pose a threat to the physical integrity thereof, we will visit another nocturnal telescope instead. In case of cloud cover conditions in the Observatory, the usual itinerary of the visit may be modified.
Our facilities include public toilets. Please take into account that the toilets are a 10 – 15 minute walk from the car park.
Where to find us
The Teide Observatory is located at an altitude of 2,390 m, in Izaña, on the island of Tenerife (Spain). The entrance is located at km 1 of the TF-514 motorway, which can be accessed from km 37 of the TF-24 motorway. It takes approximately two hours to reach the Teide Observatory from the south of the island, an hour and a half from Santa Cruz, and an hour from Puerto de la Cruz.
Its geographic coordinates are: Longitude: 16°30'35.4" West - Latitude: 28°17'50.8" North. UTM: 28.297430, -16.509841
Frequently asked questions
Yes, because places are limited.
Children under 8 cannot take a visit of the Teide Observatory due to the complexity of the topics covered.
It is not possible to visit the observatory during night hours.
Given that part of this guided tour takes place outside the building and involves walking up the stairs and over rocky ground, the visit is not recommended for people with mobility problems.
We will see the inside of a nocturnal telescope, but the inside of solar telescopes cannot be seen as the work of the scientists would be interrupted.
The guide will set up a portable solar telescope outside to observe the Sun.
Usually we visit the Carlos Sánchez telescope or the IAC-80 telescope.
Lunt LS100 H-alpha B1200 and Skywatcher ED80 with a white light filter for the photosphere.
Yes, in the visited areas.
No, pets are not allowed.
No, it’s not necessary. You can download it and display it on the screen of any mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.).