Experience a visit into one of the world's largest lava tubes.
The municipality of Icod de los Vinos in the north east of Tenerife is home to the Cueva del Viento-Sobrado caves. This is Europe's largest lava tube and is considered to be the 5th largest in the world after four of Hawaii's volcanic wonders. Its underground passageways form tunnels spanning over 17 Km (10 miles).
The Cueva del Viento – or Wind Cave – was shaped by lava flows from Pico Viejo, a volcanic cone located alongside Mount Teide. A volcanic tunnel is a cavity that forms inside a lava flow. As the lava flows and comes into contact with the air, the surface of the flow cools and hardens, forming an outer layer while the lava continues to flow through it until the flow stops, thereby forming the volcanic tube.
The tour starts at the Visitors Centre, where a vehicle collects the party and transports them to a spot near the entrance. The route then continues on foot through medium-altitude farmland, pine forests and along a former royal pathway.
The Visitors Centre and the inside of the tunnel are fitted with bilingual information boards which, in addition to the guide's explanations, offer more complete information about the cave itself, the lava formations and the wildlife that lives there.
The difficulty of the trip is intermediate and it takes two hours to complete, from the starting point. Visitors will spend approximately 45 minutes inside the cave exploring some 250 metres (800 feet) of tubes.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VISIT CUEVA DEL VIENTO, HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
o Four guided tours are held daily, from Tuesday to Saturday: at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm.
o For tours in English or German, please check for availability.
o Groups are limited to sixteen people, so we recommend that visitors book in advance by calling +34 922 815 339, via the website www.cuevadelviento.net or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
o Please make sure you get to the Visitors Centre at least 30 minutes before the start of your tour.
o Visitors must wear long trousers and hiking boots or trainers.
o Please follow the guide's instructions at all times; do not take unmarked routes or separate from the group.
o Jumping is not advisable inside the caves as you might injure yourself on the uneven floor.
o Do not remove your helmet at any point.
o If you feel tired, let the guide know immediately.
o Do not drop any litter on your trip and leave the cave as you found it. Remember it is an extremely valuable protected ecosystem.
o Keep the noise level down so as not to disturb the area's wildlife or other visitors.
o Animals are not allowed.
o Do not take anything from the surroundings.
o Each guided tour group will comprise sixteen people. Latecomers will miss their chance to take part.
o Remember that access to the volcanic tube is limited in order to protect the ecosystem.
o The trip is not recommended for children under the age of 5, people who suffer from claustrophobia or persons with reduced mobility in bones, knees and ankles.
GETTING THERE BY CAR:
Take the TF-5 northern motorway towards Icod de los Vinos. Once you reach the municipality of Icod, take the TF-366 road towards El Amparo and follow the signs for the Visitors Centre reading 'Centro de Visitantes – Cueva del Viento'. As you come to the El Refugio restaurant, turn left and carry on for about 1 km (⅔ of a mile) until you reach the Visitors Centre.