Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is a popular destination for tourists seeking sun, sea and sand. But there is much more to this Spanish island than just beaches. From natural wonders to cultural experiences, Tenerife has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top 10 things to do on Tenerife, showcasing the island’s unique attractions.
One of the most unique experiences on Tenerife is a visit to Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. This volcanic mountain offers stunning views of the island and is a popular spot for hikers and nature lovers. Another must-see attraction is the Masca Valley, a picturesque valley surrounded by towering cliffs. Visitors can take a guided hike through the valley and enjoy the stunning scenery.
For those interested in history and culture, Tenerife has plenty to offer. The island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is home to several museums and art galleries, including the Museum of Nature and Man and the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes. In addition, Tenerife is known for its unique architecture, including the colourful houses of La Laguna and the traditional Canarian buildings of Garachico.
Natural Beauty of Tenerife
Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is a nature lover’s paradise. With its stunning landscapes, volcanic mountains, and beautiful views, it’s no wonder that Tenerife is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. Here are some of the top natural attractions that you should not miss during your visit to Tenerife.
The most iconic and famous natural attraction in Tenerife is Mount Teide. This active volcano is the highest peak in Spain, standing at 3,718 meters above sea level. The landscape around Mount Teide is otherworldly, with barren volcanic rock formations and a lunar-like surface. Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views of Tenerife and the surrounding islands.
Anaga Rural Park
Located in the north-eastern part of Tenerife, Anaga Rural Park is a protected area that is home to some of the island’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes. The park features lush forests, rugged mountain ranges, and stunning coastal cliffs. There are several hiking trails in the park that take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island.
Masca Calleyis a deep ravine that is located in the Teno Mountains. The canyon is famous for its breathtaking views, narrow pathways, and towering rock formations. Visitors can hike through the canyon and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
Los Gigantes Cliffs
Located on the west coast of Tenerife, the Los Gigantes Cliffs are a spectacular natural wonder. These towering cliffs rise up to 800 meters above sea level and are a popular spot for boat tours and whale watching. Visitors can also hike along the cliffs and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Punta de Teno
Punta de Teno is the westernmost point on the island of Tenerife. It is a rugged and remote area that is known for its stunning natural beauty. Visitors can hike along the rugged coastline and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby island of La Gomera.
Beaches of Tenerife
Tenerife is a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. With over 400 km of coastline, the island has a lot to offer when it comes to beaches. Here are three of the best beaches in Tenerife:
Playa de Las Teresitas
Playa de Las Teresitas is a beautiful beach located in the north-east of the island. The beach is known for its soft golden sand, which was imported from the Sahara Desert. The water is calm and perfect for swimming, and there are plenty of chairs and parasols available for rent. The beach is also surrounded by palm trees, which provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Bajamar is a popular beach located in the north-west of the island. The beach is known for its natural pools, which are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The pools are filled with seawater, and the waves crashing against the rocks create a relaxing atmosphere. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, where you can enjoy a cold drink or a delicious meal.
Playa Los Guios
Playa Los Guios is a small but beautiful beach located in the south-west of the island. The beach is known for its black volcanic sand, which is a unique feature of Tenerife’s beaches. The water is clear and perfect for swimming, and there are plenty of rocks and cliffs to explore. The beach is also surrounded by restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy some local cuisine.
Attractions and Activities
Siam Park is one of the most popular water parks in Europe and a must-visit attraction in Tenerife. The park features a wide range of thrilling rides, including the Tower of Power, The Dragon, and The Wave Palace. Visitors can also relax on the lazy river, float in the giant wave pool, or enjoy the white sandy beach. Siam Park is perfect for families, couples, and groups of friends looking for a fun day out.
Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, and a tour is an unforgettable experience. Visitors can spot various species of whales, dolphins, and other marine life in their natural habitat. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide interesting information about the animals and their behaviour. It’s a great activity for nature lovers and families.
Tenerife is home to some of the clearest skies in Europe, making it an ideal destination for stargazing. Visitors can take a guided tour to the Teide National Park, where they can observe the stars and planets through high-quality telescopes. The tour guides are experts in astronomy and provide fascinating insights into the universe. It’s a unique and memorable experience for all ages.
Kayaking is a fun and exciting way to explore Tenerife’s beautiful coastline. Visitors can rent kayaks and explore the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The island’s rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and stunning beaches make it the perfect destination for kayaking. It’s a great activity for all levels of experience and a unique way to discover the island’s natural beauty.
Cities and Architecture
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital city of Tenerife and one of the most popular cities on the island. The city boasts an impressive mix of modern and historic architecture, with many buildings showcasing the unique Canarian style. One of the most iconic buildings in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Auditorio de Tenerife, a stunning concert hall designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Other notable landmarks include the Palacio de Carta, a beautiful neoclassical building that houses the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Iglesia de la Concepción, a 17th-century church with a striking Baroque façade.
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna is a charming town located just a short drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The town is known for its well-preserved historic centre, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets and admire the colourful buildings, many of which date back to the 16th century. Highlights include the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the Palacio de Nava, and the Casa de los Capitanes Generales.
Garachico is a picturesque coastal town located on the northwestern coast of Tenerife. The town is known for its beautiful architecture, which includes many historic buildings that have been carefully restored. Visitors can wander through the cobbled streets and admire the colourful houses and mansions, many of which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Highlights include the Iglesia de Santa Ana, a beautiful church with a Baroque façade, and the Castillo de San Miguel, a 16th-century castle that now houses a cultural centre.
Tenerife is a gastronomic paradise, with a variety of traditional dishes and local products that will delight any foodie. Here are some of the must-try dishes and ingredients during your visit to the island:
Papas Arrugadas, or wrinkled potatoes, are a staple of Canarian cuisine. These small potatoes are boiled in salt water until they are tender and the skin becomes wrinkled. They are typically served with Mojo sauce, a spicy sauce made with garlic, peppers, and olive oil. This dish is a must-try for any visitor to Tenerife.
Tapas are small dishes that are perfect for sharing with friends or family. In Tenerife, you can find a wide variety of tapas, from traditional Spanish dishes like tortilla and croquettes, to local specialties like grilled octopus and fried goat cheese. Many bars and restaurants offer a tapas menu, so you can try a little bit of everything.
Tenerife is home to several wineries that produce high-quality wines. The island’s volcanic soil and unique climate create the perfect conditions for growing grapes. Some of the most popular local wines include white wines made from the Listán Blanco grape and red wines made from the Listán Negro grape. Be sure to try a glass or two during your visit.
Tenerife is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, so it’s no surprise that seafood is a big part of the local cuisine. Some of the most popular fish dishes include grilled or fried fish, seafood paella, and octopus stew. If you’re a seafood lover, you won’t be disappointed.
When it comes to accommodation options on Tenerife, there is something for everyone. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious five-star hotels, the island has it all.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, Tenerife has plenty of five-star hotels that offer top-notch amenities and services. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Ritz-Carlton Abama: Located on the west coast of Tenerife, this hotel offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and features a golf course, spa, and several restaurants. Prices start from £300 per night.
- Bahía del Duque: This hotel is located in the south of Tenerife and boasts beautiful gardens, several swimming pools, and a private beach. Prices start from £250 per night.
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey: Situated in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this hotel is perfect for those who want to explore the city. It features a spa, rooftop pool, and several restaurants. Prices start from £120 per night.
If you prefer a more home-like experience, renting an apartment might be the way to go. Tenerife has plenty of apartments available for rent, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Los Cristianos Harbour: This apartment is located in the heart of Los Cristianos and features a balcony with stunning views of the sea. Prices start from £50 per night.
- Royal Palm: Located in the popular resort of Los Cristianos, this apartment complex features several swimming pools, a restaurant, and a bar. Prices start from £80 per night.
- Santa Maria: Situated in the resort of Torviscas Bajo, this apartment complex is perfect for families. It features several swimming pools, a children’s playground, and a restaurant. Prices start from £60 per night.
If you’re on a budget, Tenerife has plenty of hostels that offer affordable accommodation. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Albergue Montes de Anaga: Located in the Anaga Rural Park, this hostel is perfect for nature lovers. It features a shared kitchen, lounge, and several hiking trails nearby. Prices start from £15 per night.
- Hostel La Vista: Situated in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this hostel is perfect for those who want to explore the city on a budget. It features a shared kitchen, lounge, and free Wi-Fi. Prices start from £20 per night.
- Tenerife Hostel: Located in the popular resort of Los Cristianos, this hostel is perfect for backpackers. It features a shared kitchen, lounge, and several bars and restaurants nearby. Prices start from £10 per night.