Daily Archives: 27 June 2007

UNESCO Declares Spain’s Teide a World Heritage site



The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has just declared Spain’s Teide National Park a World Heritage site.

The 31st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is currently meeting in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The meetings, which run until 2 July, consider new site nominations, sites in danger, site management and protection. The committee will also draw up lists for possible future World Heritage sites.

The Teide National Park, on the Canarian island of Tenerife, covers 18,990 hectares and features Spain’s tallest volcano, 3,718 metres high and 7,500 metres above the ocean floor. The UNESCO committee said that Teide’s surrounding atmosphere, which casts the volcanic backdrop of clouds in different textures and tones, was very useful for understanding the geological processes that underpin the evolution of oceanic islands.

Spain already has the good fortune of having had its National Parks Doñana (in Andalucía) and Garajonay (on the Canarian island of La Gomera) previously declared as World Heritage sites.

Spain has quite a number of National Parks, most prominent of which are the Picos de Europa, the Sierra Nevada and, nearer to Mallorca, where I am based, the Archipelago de Cabrera. I’ve had the good fortune of having visited some Spanish National Parks in the past, such as the Teide, the Canarian island of La Gomera and the Doñana Park, and of course the Cabrera islands one. The then snowcapped Picos de Europa I could only admire from a distance when I recently walked my ‘Camino’ to Santiago de Compostela. I would recommend a closer visit to any of Spain’s natural treasures to anyone. Spain is such a beautiful place and not just at its coastline and beaches.

As far as the UNESCO is concerned, perhaps somebody should tell the UNESCO people that sooner or later, the whole of Spain ought to be considered a World Heritage site, as should indeed the whole of New Zealand. 

Come to think of it, the whole planet Earth might have to be declared as ‘World Heritage site in danger’ in the not too distant future.


The map shows Spain’s National Parks, four on the Canary islands, one on the Balearic islands, and eight on the Spanish mainland. There is one more, on the lesser well known Atlantic islands of Galicia. Autumn would be a good time to visit any of these National Parks.