Experience the scientific side of Tenerife with a Teide Observatory visit
There’s so much more to Tenerife than the sun and the beach. Inland, almost half of the island lies within the Canary Islands’ Network of Protected Natural Spaces, and a good proportion also belongs to the Natura 2000 Network, which aims to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most threatened species and habitats. That may give you a clue as to the environmental importance and richness of Tenerife. The island holds several international awards from UNESCO to attest to its natural and cultural wealth. The Teide National Park has been declared a World Heritage Site, as has the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, while the Macizo de Anaga is a World Biosphere Reserve.
The island is volcanoes, sea, sky, forests, historic towns and cities, and more. Its natural treasures and its culture make it a first-class scientific laboratory. Discover it on your visit to 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 latitude on which the Canary archipelago lies, the altitude of the islands above the sea of cloud and a sky at this height which is always clear, due to the trade winds, explains why we are one of the three most important observatories in the world.
The Teide Observatory came into operation in 1964, a century after the English astronomer Piazzi Smyth visited Tenerife on a scientific expedition in search of the best high-mountain skies for an astronomical observatory. Smyth can be considered a pioneer of modern astronomy, as well as the founder of the Teide Observatory, as he was the first to set up two observatories (one on Mount Teide and another on Mount Guajara) during the course of that 1856 expedition.
The Teide Observatory dedicates its scientific work to solar observation and robotic astronomy. It has a large number of solar and night telescopes belonging to various 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 Tenerife Observatory visit:
- 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.
You can also visit the Tenerife Observatory with other activities which include a tour of the Teide Observatory.
- 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
- Teide Observatory guided daytime visit
- Spanish, English, French or German-speaking guide
What's not included...
- Guide in other language than Spanish, English, French or German
- Guided visit of the Teide Observatory
- A French-speaking Starlight guide
- Starlight guide in other language than French
- Guided visit of the Teide Observatory
- A German-speaking Starlight guide
- Starlight guide in other language than German
- Guided visit of the Teide Observatory
- A Spanish-speaking Starlight guide
- Starlight guide in other language than Spanish
- Guided visit of the Teide Observatory
- An English-speaking Starlight guide
- Starlight guide in other language than English
The visits are held from Monday to Sunday in different languages. The time depends on the day booked and is indicated in the booking process. 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 Tenerife 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 Teide Observatory guided daytime visit
- 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 Teide Observatory visit. 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 Teide Observatory visit 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 Teide Observatory guided daytime visit
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 Teide Observatory visit.
Warnings during the Teide Observatory guided daytime visit
For security reasons, proper operation and care of the environment, the Teide Observatory administration asks you to closely follow the following rules during your Tenerife Observatory 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 Teide Observatory guided daytime visit 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 Teide Observatory guided daytime visit.
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 either have own transport or book our transfer service.
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 Teide Observatory guided daytime visit is held in order to be able to correctly follow the explanations of the guide.
Pets are not allowed.
It is absolutely necessary to produce the booking confirmation, either printed or displayed on a mobile device.
Remember that you must arrive at the gate to the Observatory at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time of the visit. Upon your arrival, you will be instructed by our personnel where to go.
Reservations may be cancelled or the date of the activity may be changed free of charge up to 24 hours prior to the activity. After this period, 100% of the amount will be charged.
If it is not possible to access the Teide Observatory due to technical reasons or adverse weather conditions, the amount paid for the activity shall be reimbursed. In case of cloud cover conditions in the Observatory, the usual itinerary of the Teide Observatory guided daytime visit may be modified.
Date changes are valid for 1 year provided that the vouchers have not been redeemed. Up to 3 changes are permitted.
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
In this article about ascending Mount Teide by car on our blog, you’ll find an interesting guide with the most important points of interest along each route to Mount Teide. However, we recommend not using a car and choosing collective transportation because it is important that together we do what we can to counteract overuse of the vehicle parking areas in the National Park. As a conservation measure, they have been kept to a small size, and they cannot be extended. If you ultimately decide to come by car, it’s a good idea to arrive after 1.00pm.
Check out our weekly calendar of activities and excursions on Mt Teide which we have prepared so that you can view at a glance all the information you need about our activities.
In Spanish, German and English. You can check the visit schedule on the website of the activity.
It is not possible to visit the observatory during night hours.
What telescopes will I have the opportunity to see during this guided visit of the Teide Observatory?
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, because places are limited. Book your guided visit of the Teide Observatory online here guided visit of_ the observatory
Children under 8 cannot take a visit of the Teide Observatory due to the complexity of the topics covered.
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.
You should arrive at the TO’s gate outside the observatory 30 minutes before the scheduled time of the visit.
Since the guide will meet with the participants to grant them access to the facilities, please do not touch the doorbell.
The entrance to the observatory is approx. 2 km away from the access gate, so that you will drive onto the premises in your own car, and the guide will indicate where to park it.
No, pets are not allowed.
Will I have the opportunity to see the inside of a telescope during this guided tour of the Teide Observatory?
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.
You will need to contact our offices (+34 922 010 444) to book another date, since you cannot interrupt a visit once it has started nor enter the facilities without being accompanied by a guide.
Yes it is, since you will have to drive almost 2 km from the access gate to the starting point, once the group is complete, so you cannot arrive by public transport.
If you wish to visit the Observatory using collective transportation, we recommend the Teide Tour and Observatory experience
Yes, in the visited areas.
No, it’s not necessary. You can download it and display it on the screen of any mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.).
Personalmente, hubiera agradecido mas minutos dentro del telescopio visitando no solo el interior si no la cabina de control. Y que explicasen a su vez la arquitectura, la historia de su construccion etc... Por otro lado esperaba mas explicacion en las diapositivas de la historia del lugar asi como diferentes anecdotas y no tanta fisica. A pesar de eso, la experiencia fue alucinante y 100% recomendable.
I thought I just did. I have not experienced your activity. Only disappointment.
Excellent cultural experience
Great tour, small group, great guide.
Great job of Miguel.it was in resible experience for my family.Saw the flare bursts of the sun.thanks
'"All ok thanks. Not sure it''s a good idea to.impose a min amount of words here"'
Felt a bit like beeing in school…. However great location👍🏻
Wegen schlechtem Wetter nur mittelmäßige Filmvorführung, geringe Fachkenntnisse und Besichtigung eines Telescopes, welches aber in Reparatur war.
The guides are very enthusiastic.
Alles bestens. Reibungsloser Ablauf.
It was great, thank you!!
Eine nette Führung in perfektem deutsch
So informative! Very cool. Highly recommend this
Very interesting, great explanation for astronomy naive public.
Tour at a walking pace, rest rooms available at all times, very friendly but interesting and useful information. A must do when you are in Tenerife.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic - the tour was great!
Very good tour.
It was very interesting to me with a science background and I learned a lot of new things. Some might find parts of it a bit technical but it would still be a lovely experience in many ways.
A very interesting and enjoyable visit.
Getting to the summit if Teide is a must do thing if staying in Tenerife
Guide was brilliant, such a great thing to have someone who works there to show you round, so knowledgeable
Very good presentation with a very knowledge guide!