Teide National Park is one of Spain’s 15 national parks and stands out for several different reasons. It is home to the tallest peak in Spain, Mount Teide, that stands 3,718 meters and, its considered to be one of the 12 treasures of Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also Spain’s largest national park (over 19,000 hectares), it’s the most visited national park and one of the oldest national parks in Spain … Read More
Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands with over 2,0oo square kilometers. km². Tenerife is probably the best-known island in the archipelago, but also the biggest victims of misconceptions. Tenerife offers much more than what the mass-tourist destination portrait suggests. Discover in this Tenerife guide everything you need to know to enjoy the island at its best.
While many of the tourists that arrive in Tenerife may not bother to leave their resort swimming pool during their stay, a whole lot of dramatic landscapes, traditional villages, and many things to do await the curious traveler in Tenerife.
Mount Teide, Spain´s highest peak, offers an imposing image from many places on the island. Beaches, rural parks with incredible forest, year-round sun, and almost perfect weather, local traditions like Guajinches. Tenerife will surprise you, no matter what you have in mind when you land.
Tenerife travel guide - Contents
BEST HIKES IN TENERIFE
Our 3 top accomodations in Tenerife
H10 Atlantic Sunset - 4 Stars
Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel - Tenerife
Iberostar Bouganville Playa - Tenerife
Top reasons to enjoy a vacation in Tenerife
Natural parks and hiking
Despite its image as a mass tourism destination, Tenerife is extremely rich in biodiversity. Its size and heght make it possible for over 120 endemic species to concentrate in Tenerife´s top natural areas: Teno, Anaga and Teide. Find here the best walks on the island. The iconic drago tree is the best-known example of fantastic nature in the island, but there is much more than the Drago ready to get discovered! Tenerife offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, from easy, to moderate or complex hikes. You may not have thought of Tenerife as a hiking destination, but it is one of the best places in Spain for hiking.
Whale and dolphin wacthing
Close to 30 cetacean species have been recorded in the areas near the canary islands and the space between Tenerife and La Gomera is probably the space with a higher probability to find them. Daily excursions from los Gigantes and from Las Galletas (east of los Cristinanos) depart in search of these amazing mammals. With no doubt one of the top things to enjoy in Tenerife! and one of the best places in Tenerife to enjoy whale watching.
Adventure and sea sports
Tenerife offers many opportunities to enjoy the sea and more. Paragliding has become very popular due to the dramatic landscapes that can be enjoyed and the easy access to departure areas from either north or south of the island. Snorkeling, Scubadiving, kayaking, or fishing are amongst the opportunities you will encounter to enjoy water sports in Tenerife at some of the ports on the island! Get ready to enjoy fantastic sea life including turtles!
Typical villages and delightful historical districts
La Laguna, just a few minutes from the airport at Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a Unesco heritage site and offers a good example of colonial-style architecture. La Orotava near Puerto de la Cruz is with no doubt also worth a visit. Smaller villages in Tenerife like Tacoronte, Icod de los vinos (famous for its drago milenario), Garachico, Candelaria and its amazing white church, or smaller rural villages like Masca and Teno are worth a visit.
Tenerife offers a wide range of beaches to please all sorts of public. Golden beaches in the South or volcanic, paradise beaches in the north…
You can get to La Gomera from Tenerife in a one day trip, or enjoy bus tours that combine Teide with small villages in the North of the island… Learn more about the best excursions on the island here.
Fantastic hotels and resorts
Little can be argued about the fantastic hotel network in Tenerife and the excellent value for money available for all price levels. From small rural hotels to the best all-inclusive hotels in Tenerife, you will find plenty of options to ensure your vacation is a success.
An excellent family holiday experience
The variety of activities in Tenerife and the fantastic hotel network are a guarantee for top family holidays in which everyone can enjoy. Find out more in our Tenerife with the family section.
In-depth - El Teide and Loro Park. 2 key attractions
Recommended Tenerife excursions
What follows is in this section are best options to join organized day excursions in Tenerife. If you have your own transportation you may also want to consider these,
1- Tenerife to la Gomera day trip
This is probably the most exciting day trip to be enjoyed in Tenerife since it implies changing island!. But it is not just about that, La Gomera is a paradise for anybody who enjoys nature. The Garajonay National park is simply unmissable. It boasts spectacular laurel forests, ravines.
La Gomera has been preserved from mass tourism and that implies it can be enjoyed almost intact today, with interesting quaint villages. If you decide to take a day excursion to La Gomera make sure it contains both a visit to Garajonay and also, if possible, a Silbo demonstration. Silbo is a way to communicate that was used in La Gomera and which implies whistling. Why would anyone whistle instead of shouting? The sound of whistling can travel up to 4 kilometers and that can be very helpful if the landscape is rugged!
The ferry transfer takes less than one hour and during this transfer, you may be lucky and be able to spot dolphins or whales since groups of both mammals live all year round in the waters between La Gomera and Tenerife.
We include below an interesting option for a day excursion to La Gomera which offers also pick up on the northern part of Tenerife. A day excursion to La Gomera from Tenerife is in our view one of the best trips to enjoy not just in Tenerife, but one of the best day tours in Spain!
2- Teide day tour from the North or the South of Tenerife
The Teide mountain was formed around 180,000 years ago. It sits on a much older volcano which remains can still be found in the Cañadas del Teide area (an amphitheater of 17 kilometers). No eruptions since 1798 but Teide is not extinct. The Teide is Tenerife´s top tourist attraction and one of Spain´s favourite national parks. With over 4 million visitors every year, this is a must do! You will enjoy Spain´s highest peak, and spectacular views. Daily excursions are available to ease the day. Roads are good so in case you have your own car or are ok with driving, this is a good option. But in case you prefer to get driven and get explanations from a guide a bus tour to El Teide is a good option.
There are tours available from both the South and the North of Tenerife. Before you make your decision on the tour to book check if tickets to use the cable car are included in the excursion.
3- Teide at night with stargazing
The Canary Islands are a fantastic destination for stargazing. Whilst La Palma is probably best (the famous Roque de los Muchachos observatory was installed there for good reason) Tenerife is also an excellent place to enjoy stars, and especially in the Teide due to the lack of towns and its height. A fantastic overall experience.
Our recommendation is to join a professional guide for this type of activity unless you are yourself an expert. You can drive to the meeting point or book a guided tour which includes transportation. Bear in mind that temperatures in El Teide at night can be rather cold. You should also check well pick up points for a guided tour with transportation to ensure your hotel area is not far from one of the bus stops. We would not recommend this type of experience during full moon if your objective is to enjoy the stars.
4- Teide plus North of Tenerife highlights in a day tour
If you want to enjoy both the Teide and the north of the island but do not want to dedicate too much time to this, a mixed day tour could be a good option for you. These tours concentrate both Teide and locations of interest in one single itinerary. If you want to enjoy the famous dragon tree in Icod, the Garachico natural pools and a typical Canarian village like Masca, plus the Teide in one day, these tours offer great day experiences.
We can recommend the tours we show below. It covers the “essentials” and has excellent value for money. Make sure you select the tour that departures from North or South of Tenerife based on your accommodation. You should also check the departure or meeting points to ensure the tour suits your need.
5- Canarian wines and gastronomy day tours
Driving and drinking is never a good match. In case you want to enjoy the exquisite wines from Tenerife it makes all sense to join a wine tour in the island. Some of Spain´s most special wines are produced in the Canary islands. Lanzarote is the most famous island thanks to its wines, but Tenerife is after and wines from Northern Tenerife have become increasingly popular in recent years. The volcanic soils and special terroir of the islands, provide very special grapes and wines which are worth trying. If the wines are excellent, the explanations about harvesting and history of wine commerce are equally interesting.
If wine is interesting, you should not miss the next item in our list; Guajinches. It is very probable you have never heard this exotic word before. Guajinches are not restaurants as such, but houses where wine was produced. Local Guajinche owners served wine and food as a way to please customers ready to purchase their wines… These places are really special and visiting and enjoying lunch at a Gujinche is a life time experience! The world is becoming too standardised and Guajinches are all but that.
6- Adventure day tours in Tenerife
If you are looking for a bit of adventure during your holidays in Tenerife the island offers great opportunities to enjoy excursions that will make your adrenaline jump!
Let´s start with the sea and dolphins or whales. Tenerife is one of the few places in the world where these fantastic creatures can be spotted all year round. You can learn more about whale watching in Tenerife in our complete guide.
Other options include jeep safaris, buggy or quad tours. Some of the tours use sand roads that provide with the ultimate adventure experience in Tenerife. Perfect for groups of friends or to enjoy along with teenagers!
Quick facts about Tenerife
Located in the Canary Islands, some 300 kilometers from the African continent, Tenerife is at the heart of the archipelago.
Close to 1 million people population (and growing every year due to an increasing number of people that decide to retire in the island), Tenerife is green in the north and dry in the south. The north receives a considerable amount of rainfall (over 425 mm per year). Tenerife has in Teide mountain the highest peak in Spain. The island´s economy is mainly based on tourism. It has two airports, north and south, to cater for both national Spanish traffic and international arrivals. Agriculture is important and the main crops are bananas, wine, and potatoes. Construction connected to tourism is also a key contributor to the island´s economy.
Did you know that on the beautiful island of Tenerife, there’s an amazing event called the Carnival of Tenerife? It takes place in the capital city of Santa Cruz every year and it’s famous all around the world! This celebration is so vibrant and full of life, making it the biggest carnival in Spain and the second largest in the whole world.
The tradition of this carnival goes way back to the 18th century, and guess what? It lasts for a whole month! The exact dates change each year, but it always happens right before Lent, and the party keeps going for almost a month! If you’re curious and want to know everything about this magical island celebration, you’ve come to the right place. The Carnival in Tenerife is absolutely one of the best festivals you can experience in Spain, no doubt about it!” Read more
Weather in Tenerife
Temperatures range from 60F in winter to 80F in August (highest averages) . You can expect rain in November and December (8o millimeters per square meter) and below 50 ml the rest of the months in the year, with very low rain in summer.
The weather in the south of Tenerife is known for its warm and sunny conditions throughout the year. With mild winters and hot summers, temperatures range from around 20°C (68°F) in the cooler months to 30°C (86°F) or more in the peak of summer.
Best time to visit
Not everyone can decide when to enjoy holidays. For those who can, we believe the best months to visit the island are April and May and September and October. During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and tourist numbers are lower compared to the peak summer season and winter holidays. You can enjoy the island’s attractions and beaches with relatively fewer crowds and find more affordable accommodations and deals.
Tenerife with children
You have decided to travel to Tenerife with your family and now two main questions come up: Which is the best family resort in Tenerife or which family hotels are good and what things can you do in Tenerife with children. In this guide, we will try to answer both questions and provide you with lots of ideas to ensure you spend a wonderful time on the island. Tenerife offers far more than excellent weather all year round. Let´s discover all options available!
Tenerife is home to one of the most important National parks in Spain: Teide, but also boasts more nature reserves (like Anaga or Teno) and ocean conservancies. Much more than just beach holidays, kids will find magical hikes and walks and be able to learn and appreciate Tenerife´s remarkable volcanic and forest landscapes.
There are many myths and history about the Canary Islands and Tenerife which can make any trip far more interesting and educations for kids. Is Tenerife part of the mysterious Atlantis continent?
The island offers also adventure activities suited for children of different ages. We will provide you with our favorite options
highlight of your holiday in Tenerife with children: Loro Parque and Siam Park. Loro Parque is a zoo, but when where even detractors of zoos admit animals are really well-taken care of and which offers what is probably the most spectacular show in Europe: the killer whales show. Loro parquet is far more than the killer whales though and we are sure your children (but also teenagers and adults) will love it. One recommendation about food: we would recommend to bring your own food (sandwiches for instance). Loro parquet is located in Puerto de la Cruz, in the northern part of Tenerife. If you stay in the south and do not have a car you can join a bus tour to Loro parquet.
Siam park is located in the south and it is a water park that has been designed carefully and uses thai inspired architecture. It boasts 25 Thai style buildings and, what is more important for children, some amazing rides like the Vulcano or the Dragon. This can be an exhausting day for parents but an unforgettable one for kids. One important thing, do not forget to bring sunscreen.
Excursions and adventure
If you travel with teenagers you will be able to find more ideas that include adrenaline and adventure!
The North of Tenerife is full of small villages worth visiting. If you want to include a cultural day in your itinerary, bear in mind that La Laguna is a Unesco heritage site. Find out more about the best places to enjoy in Tenerife.
Another great option is hiking. Besides Teide, there are some great hikes. The best options with children are probably in the Anaga natural park and some other spots near la Oratava. Some of the best walks in Tenerife are however not suitable for children.
Last but not least, if you stay at a hotel make sure they run children´s programmes (both day and night) with daily activities that may include pool parties, sports competitions, dances, painting and many more activities that will give you too some time to relax. Have a look at our favorite resorts for children.
Siam Park is one of the best water parks in the world, and definitely the best in Spain. This giant water-slide-heaven is located on the Island of Tenerife, which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, located off the coast of Morocco.
The park is located in the city of Adeje, which is located on the southern portion of the island and is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful spots of Tenerife.
For several years now Tripadvisor users have chosen Siam Park, in Tenerife, as the best water park on the planet. After seven years, the award comes as no surprise. The park is located in Costa Adeje in of the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands).
The park opened its doors in 2008 and occupies 85,000 square meters and features all kinds of rides that feature water as the main protagonist. It is one of the most visited theme parks in Spain.
Construction on the park began in 2004 and cost 52 million euros. the park was set to open in 2007, but the construction hit complications and was moved back to September 17, 2008.
The park was originally going to include other rides like roller coasters, but due to the complications, owners decided to focus solely on the water park portion.
Siam Park is Thai-themed, and the park’s 25 buildings are the largest collection of Thai-themed buildings outside Thailand.
In fact, the park’s designer, Christoph Kiessling, received permission from the Thai royal family to use the park’s name and theme. The Royal Family only asked that no copies of the royal palaces, temples, or statues of Buddha were included in the park, and Mr. Kiessling complied.
You will find all sorts of slides, pools of all sizes and shapes, meandering rivers, exotic forests, shops, and several different restaurants.
- Vulcano: This four-person Giant Bowl slide features an amazing laser show inside of a large domed structure.
- The Dragon: a Tornado style slide with a 20-meter-wide funnel with a monstrous dragon statue overlooking the drop.
- Wave Palace: a wave pool manufactured with an artificial white sand beach. Waves can reach over 3 meters tall which is the highest of any wave pool in the World. You can also take surfing lessons at this pool. Really cool.
- Naga Racer: a six-lane mat racing slide.
- The Giant: This ride features twin Cannon Bowls, one moving clockwise and one moving counterclockwise depending on whether you are riding solo or with a buddy.
- Patong Rapids: a family raft ride, it’s the world’s first version of a ProSlide Mammoth going into a double Flying Saucer feature.
- Coco Beach Wave Pool: specially designed for children and younger family members.
- Jungle Snakes: four twisting slides.
- Lost City: a children’s play structure with 120 games.
- Mekong Rapids: a 4 person family river rapids ride.
- Kinnaree: A four-person 200-meter (660 ft) long that ends in a TornadoWave.
- Singha: This ride can be considered a water coaster that sends riders upwards and through multiple Flying Saucer features. Riders will reach speeds of 18 m/s.
- Tower of Power: a vertical, transparent freefall ride that sends riders through an aquarium enclosure that houses sharks, stingrays, and other fish.
- Mai Thai River: the world’s longest lazy river, which also has the highest elevation of any lazy river at 8 meters.
Siam Park is located in one of the most beautiful spots in all of Tenerife, the city of Adeje, which has long been described as heaven on earth. Adeje is a wonderful place to spend a couple of days on the island, and Siam Park is a great day activity you can enjoy with the whole family.
Adeje is located in the south of the island, about 53 km from the capital of Santa Curz de Tenerife, where the island’s main airport is located. It is about an hour’s drive, which is well worth undertaking.
Siam Park usually opens and closes around the same time. They do differentiate, however, between summer and the rest of the year:
- Summer (May 1 to October 31): 10:00 to 18:00
- Winter (November 1 to April 30): 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Top cities and villages to visit in Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Capital of the Island of Tenerife and it’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city.
Located in the Norteast part of the city, Santa cruz offers a mix of historic and modern architecture, lively festivals, and a rich cultural scene. Santa Cruz is a city with a charming blend of relaxation and urban excitement. A greast combination for a holiday!
The Tenerife North airport is located very close to the city and not far from Xanta Cruz you will find excellent beaches, interesting villages and some of the best hikes in the island. If youare planning to stay a few days in Tenrife we summarise now the top sights you may expect in Santa Cruz.
Auditorio de Tenerife
Designed by one of Spain’s top architects, Santiago Calatrava, who is also responsible for the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, this amazing auditorium is one of Santa Cruz’s main attractions. If you can attend a performance, we would highly recommend it, if not, you can enjoy a guided tour of the auditorium. It takes 45 minutes and has to be booked ahead of time. Admission is 7,5€and the tour can be enjoyed in English, German or Spanish.
If you arent feeling up to the tour, and there are no performances to be enjoyed, you can always enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee at the auditoriums bar and just sit back and enjoy the view.
TEA: Tenerife Espacio de las Artes
The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes or the Tenerife Art Space in English, is housed within an impressive contemporary building. The museum features its three galleries and the stunning library on the main floor. The galleries play host to rotating exhibitions of different art forms from photography, to installations to canvas. The space is dedicated to up-and-coming Spanish artists and therefore is quite edgy and Avant-guard
The building itself is a work of art. Designed by Swiss architects and Pritzker Prize Laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who are also responsible for London’s Tate Modern.
The TEA also features a cinema that shows independent films, and art and experimental cinema as well. The entry fee is 4€ and films are shown at 7pm and 9.30pm Friday to Sunday are in their original language, with Spanish subtitles.
Lastly, the TAE also features an amazing, classically designed library that is open 24 hours.
Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África
This bustling market opened its doors back in 1944. The building in which the market is located features arab style arches and patios making the place feel all the mor exotic. A tall clock tower helps the market stand out amongst the surrounding buildings.
You will find fresh produce, fish and meats as well as local treats and delicacies including local wines, charcuterie and cheeses. Keep your eyes peeled for mojo salsa, cactus marmalade, local honey, and the famous banana wine if you are in the mood to try some authentically Canarian products
The MUNA Museum of Tenerife is an interesting hybrid museum equal parts natural history museum and archeological museum. Housed in what was once a hospital, the museum contains mummies of the indigenous people of the Canary Islands, known as Guanches, as well as tools and artifacts used and fashioned by these original “Canarios”. You will also find informative displays on local wildlife, flora, and geology. Tenerife is a volcanic island and the local ecosystem is unique and almost other-worldly.
The archeological displays also include remains from the Bereber people who also inhabited the islands. The Berbers came to the islands from Morocco and (understandably) never returned. Learning about the microcosm that is the canary islands is at the very least fascinating.
Nuestra Señora de la Concepción church
Nuestra Señora e la Conceptión is the cities oldest church. It is easy to find because it’s imposing bell tower. It is built in the traditional Mudéjar style. The current iteration of the church was finalized in the 18th century but the original building went up in 1498, just after the conquering of Tenerife by the Spanish. In the center of the gleaming silver altar is the 1494 Santa Cruz de la Conquista (Holy Cross of the Conquest), which gives the city its name.
San Cristobal de la Laguna
La Laguna is so close to the airport of Santa Cruz de Tenerife that many people do not even pay attention to this town. It is, however, a Unesco heritage site and has kept a special charm that cannot however be perceived in Santa Cruz.
San Cristobal de la Laguna was founded in 1496 and it was the capital of the island for centuries. Its charm lies in its architecture. Any person with a thirst for buildings and colonial architecture will enjoy a good time at La Laguna. Its historical center with cobbled streets was designed following certain planning schemes and its layout was used to shape some of the towns and cities in Latin America. Its name derives from an ancient laguna (lagoon) that dried up near the location used as a settlement for the city.
The city was founded in 1496 by Alonso de Lugo, conqueror of Tenerife and it received the award of city in 1531. It became the capital of Tenerife but in 1706 a volcanic eruption destroyed the port of Garachico in the North. This led to the development of a port in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, closer to the capital. However, many institutions moved from La Laguana to the nearby Santa cruz, and the later gained in importance whilst San cristobal de la Laguna declined in ecnomic power. As a result of this process Santa cruz became the capital of Tenerife in 1833
Feel like you are in Spain in the 16th and 17th century
Some areas in the city center of La Laguna will give you the impression that you are back in history. Its palaces, grand townhouses, and chessboard style layout contribute to this feeling.
La Plaza del Adelantado is a beautiful plaza, with fantastic trees that surround a fountain. The hermitage of San Miguel is located in the Plaza.
Church de la Concepción and its tower
This is one of the oldest churches in La Laguna. It dates back to the 16th century and it has a beautiful tower from the 18th century which is the main icon of the city. Inside the church, you will find a baroque pulpit carved from a single piece of wood and a cedarwood choir.
Museums of history and science in La Laguna
Museum of the history of Tenerife
An interesting museum, well laid and with good explanations to understand the history of the island, and how its society developed since it was conquered. Tickets from 3 Euros and audio guides are available.
Museum of sciences and cosmos
Located at 1 kilometer from the city center, this museum offers many interactive experiments and it cannot be described as a “typical science museum”. There is a planetarium and a cosmic tourism room besides over 100 experiments. The museum aims at making science fun. The canary islands are one of the best places in Europe for astronomy.
Friday nightlife in” el Cuadrilatero”
Due to its University population, La Laguna is a perfect place to enjoy a Friday night out. There is a multitude of bars in the are known as “El Cuadrilatero” which is located near the streets Dr Antonio Gonzalez and Elias Sierra Rafols. In this area, some 100 bars are the meeting point for students and party seekers alike.
The cathedral of La Laguna
Despite this cannot be described as one of the top cathedrals in Spain, it is an interesting piece of religious architecture. Works for the construction of the cathedral were initiated in 1513 but the building has been altered on several occasions. Amongst its most interesting items: the neoclassical façade, the tomb of Fernandez de Lugo, conqueror of Tenerife, a baroque retable, and a rich treasure.
The former capital of a Guanche chief, la Oratava is today a picturesque little mountainside town with narrow cobbled alleys and numerous houses adorned with coats-of-arms and beautiful balconies.
la Oratava dates back to the 16th century as aristocrats reached out for lands after the conquer of the island of Tenerife.
La Orotava has a very interesting historical district, the most interesting one in the island after the one in San Cristobal de la Laguna. When the sky is blue mount Teide provides the perfect landscape scenery on the back of La Orotava.
Church de la Concepcion
This church is located near the main Plaza. It boasts two elegant towers and a dome, a masterpiece of rococo architecture. Inside there is an interesting high altar of alabaster and marble.
Museo de artesania iberoamericana
This museum is small but holds a very interesting selection of Spanish and Latin American pottery, religious artifacts, utensils, and textiles. The museum is located in the convent of San Domingo.
Since it is almost impossible to find a parking slot in the town center. Our recommendation is to stop near the Museo de artesanía Iberoamericana.
This palace is the most elegant building in la Orotava. its balconies offer fantastic decoration and its architecture shows good contrast with la Casa de Los Balcones (see below). At Casa Lercaro there is an exhibition, a shop with interesting crafts and a restaurant and cafeteria with great views.
Near Casa Lercano you will find one of the thirteen mills of la Orotava. This mill is the Molino del Gofio, which refers to the typical food from the island (gofio Canario).
Casa de Los Balcones (house of the balconies)
This is the most famous façade in la Oratava and a fantastic example of architecture from the Canary island. The Casa de los Balcones has a large souvenir shop worth visiting and a very interesting museum with many of the things typical from the island, including the famous rugs from La Oratava, made with volcanic sand from the Teide!
Jardines de la Victoria or del Marquesado de la quinta Roja
This park with over 11,000 square meters of gardens boasts fountains and it is very pleasant. Built-in terraces that descend the hills, these offer superb views of La Oratava and the ocean behind.
Located 20 kilometers west of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tacoronte is a delightful place that has been put on the map to a large extent thanks to the wine DOP (denominación de Origen) with the same name. There is a small museum dedicated to local wine culture: La Casa del vino. It is located on a 17th-century wine estate. You will be able to sample wines from the different wine regions in the Canary islands!
The parish church of Santa Catalina in Tacoronte is a good example of baroque style in Tenerife. The high altar contains Mexican silver brought by the Mexican silver fleets. Tacoronte is one of our favorite places to visit in Tenerife!
Located inside the natural park of Anaga, this charming village with a charming name will welcome you with cobbled streets and its small houses. The most interesting cultural element in Taganana is the 17th century Santa Catalina chapel though it is not often open. Near Taganana it is worth visiting the Roque de las Bodegas. Wine used to be stored and transported from this Roque) this explains the name “Rock of cellars”. El Roque is a place where locals come to enjoy lunch on weekends.
Garachico was one of the first settlements of the Spanish conquistadores when they arrive to Tenerife (it was founded in 1496) and its port was the main port of Tenerife will the 17th century. The mountain of Garachico or Vulcano Arenas Negras erupted in 1706 and the fortunes of Garachico changed for ever. Part of the town was destroyed, including its port. Today this misfortune has brought a tourist attraction to Garachico. Part of the historical district remained however untouched and it can be enjoyed today. There are also natural pools created by the flaws of lava which are worth visiting.
Icod de los vinos
The name of Icod (with its surname “vinos” -wines-) dates back from pre-hispanic times. Icod is a pleasant small town, located 30 kilometers west of Santa Cruz. Icod is mainly known to the oldest drago tree in the island (dragron tree) El Drago Milenario of Icod de los vinos is said to date back 2,000 years. The drago milenario is one of Tenerife´s top tourist attractions.
The parish church of San Marcos dates back from the 16th century and houses a baroque altarpiece.
Locals enjoy going to a beach near Icod: Playa de San Marcos. The beach boasts a fantastic volcanic tube, more than 1,800 meters long, and which can be visited.
A small fishing village and an important place of pilgrimage 25 kilometers south of Tenerife.
There is a very interesting story about Candelaria. 100 years before the conquest of the island, the guanches (the original inhabitants of the island) found a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary on the beach in Candelaria. This was taken to the grotto of San Blas and it was reputed even before the Christians came to the island. Nuestra señora de ña Candelaria is the patron saint of the canary islands. The might basilica de la Candelaria is dedicated to her. It was finished in 1953 and its white color contrasts with the deep blue a few meters from it. The town fills up on both February 2dn and August 15th when locals celebrate in honor of La Virgen.
Puerto de Santiago and playa de la Arena
Best beaches in Tenerife
Best beaches in Northern Tenerife
Las Teresitas, Santa cruz de Tenerife
No guide of the best beaches in Tenerife could not mention Las Teresitas. Despite this is probably Tenerife´s busiest beach due to the fact that it is located in San Andre´s (Santa Cruz de Tenerife).
This is a 1-kilometer long beach, with golden sand and with great views of the Anaga range. Ok, we should say the sand is not local and that it was taken from the Sahara. That happened in the 1970s when Tenerife searched for ways to expand its tourist attractions. Las Teresitas is great as a family beach since a dam was built to ensure a calm area no matter the conditions of the sea. Water is transparent and the beach is surveilled.
Playa de Benijo (Anaga natural park)
This is one of the best beaches in Tenerife. Located in the natural area of Anaga and near the beautiful village of Taganaga, Playa de Benijo lacks amenities, but that only adds to its charms. This beach is unspoiled and used to be considered a nudist beach when it was less popular. Today the beach is not as crowded as other beaches in Tenerife but due to its beauty it has started to receive more visitors and parking nearby may be a problem.
As good as the beach are the views it offers of the Roques de Anaga and the environment. Playa de Benijo is located near one of the best Laurisilva forests on the island.
Playa the Benijo is at its best at dusk and on days of low tide. It makes for a perfect end of trekking in the Anaga natural park.
Playa del Roque de las bodegas (Anaga Natural Park)
This is a mid-size beach (almost 400 meters long) with volcanic sand, and located also in the natural park of Anaga.
This beach is frequented by surfers and this also implies waves! No the best beach on many occasions for relaxing swimming.
One great thing about this beach is that you will be able to find good traditional restaurants nearby . We love the views of the black mountain chain of Anaga from this beach!
Playa Tamadite (Anaga Natural Park)
Another fantastic beach in Anaga natural park. Due to currents and undercurrents, this is not the best beach for relaxing swimming, and you will find surfers and wave boarders in the area. There are no services on the beach, but it is located near Taganaga, where you will encounter good fish restaurants.
The beach is 250 meters in length and is very isolated since it can only be accessed by foot.
Best beaches in Northern Tenerife - Puerto de la Cruz
Playa del Socorro (By Puerto de la Cruz)
This is one of the best beaches in Tenerife for surfing and has been so for decades. The beach is near Puerto de la Cruz and this means that on low tide days and during good summer days with few waves the beach may get crowded.
Red cross posts and services which include showers and the presence of restaurants make el Socorro a very popular beach. The beach is 400 meters long.
Parking may get complicated so you will need to park in the road. To get to Playa del Socorro you need to head to Realejos, next to Puerto de la Cruz.
Playa del Bollullo
Like with other beaches in Northern Tenerife, waves can get really high, so probably not the best beach with children or if you are hoping to enjoy a relaxing swim. The beach is located near Puerto de la Cruz and la Orotava, but it is not too busy since it is small (200 meters) and a bit of walking is required to access it. The bay is beautiful and the nearby cliffs and black sand contribute to an overall great experience. There is a bar and restaurant at the beach, very convenient if you plan to spend the day.
Playa de los Patos
This beach is located near Playa El Bollulo. It is also named as playa de Martínez Alonso. Just next to Playa de los Patos is playa del Ancon (separated by a rock formation.
Some 20 minutes walk are required to access the beach from the closest point where parking is possible. This makes playa de los patos rather inaccessible and also explains why this is one of Tenerife´s nudist-friendly beaches.
We believe this beach is at its best during low tide since some natural rock swimming pools get visible.
Best beaches in Western Tenerife
Masca beach is one of Tenerife´s most famous beaches. Its secluded location makes it impossible to reach it unless you decide to trek the ravine of Masca (which starts in Masca village) or if you decide to join a dolphin and whale excursion or an excursion to Los Gigantes Cliffs.
The beach is simply impressive: it is located in the middle of the imposing Gigantes cliffs,
Playa de los Guíos (next to los Gigantes)
Playa de los Guios may not be one of the most isolated beaches in Tenerife but it is with no doubt one of the most impressive ones. The reason for this is simple: the beach is located right next to the huge and impressive Gigantes cliffs in western Tenerife.
It is very easy to access Playa de Los Guios since it is an urban beach. It is located near the port of Puerto de Santiago. Parking is complicated in the area, so you will need to eventually park on the upper side of Puerto de Santiago or pay the parking at the harbor.
Los Guios beach is a perfect beach for families since it is well-protected by both the cliffs and the port. It is also an excellent beach to practice kayaking in Tenerife and to enjoy snorkeling.
Playa de la Arena, Puerto de Santiago
This beach is located in Puerto de Santiago, south of Los Gigantes.It is smaller than playa de los Guios and maybe not so spectacular, but it is very well protected and offers fantastic views of La Gomera (it is amazing how some days this island looks much closer to Tenerife than other days). This is a good beach to enjoy snorkel in Tenerife and also to go with family. The beach is surveyed and has good services: bars, restaurants, etc. If you are looking for a beach with no building next to it in the western or northern coasts of Tenerife, then this beach is not for you. Other
Best beaches in the south of Tenerife
Playa de las Americas
Though frequently referred to as Playa de las Americas, there are in reality 4 beaches and not just one: Tierra Negra, El Bobo, Las Americas and Troya. All 4 beaches are artificial (with fantastic sand brought from the Sahara) and were created to provide a golden beach environment and well-protected beaches for the tourist area known as Playa de las Americas.
Any of the beaches in Las Americas has a wide range of services and are great for families, for couples who simply want to relax, for groups of friends looking for a party, or for water-sport lovers.
Daily excursions depart from Las Americas to enjoy whale watching, and there are many other opportunities to ensure fun is guaranteed no matter what you enjoy!
El Duque (Adeje)
Some of the best hotels in Tenerife are located next to this beach, which is one of the most exclusive ones on the island if we consider the number of 5-star hotels in the nearby area. As a matter of fact, this part of Adeje is the area with more 5 star hotels per square mile in Spain.
This is a golden sand beach that has received the blue flag and which boasts sunbeds where you will be able to just relax! Lots of services in the area. This beach is next to an elegant promenade and you will also be able to find many luxury shops.
El Medano is located on the southeast side of Tenerife and it is near the Reina Sofia airport. It is an urban beach (El Medano is actually the name of the small town where it is located) This area of Tenerife is not as touristic and Playas de las Americas or Adeje but it cannot be defined as an unspoilt beach neither. This is a sandy, light brown beach with views over the beautiful red mountain. El Medano is one of the best places in Tenerife to enjoy surf in Tenerife. Since the beach is the beach of El Medano town, both locals and tourists can be found here. There are bars and restaurants in the area.
Los Gigantes cliffs in Tenerife
The best cliffs in Tenerife
Los Gigantes is the most impressive cliffs in Tenerife and the Canary Islands. They are one of Tenerife´s top sights and a visit to these cliffs is included in many excursions and tours. In this guide to Los Gigantes cliffs, we cover the story of their creation and the different ways to enjoy them.
The name “Los Gigantes” has a simple explanation. Gigantes means giant in Spain and since the height of Los Gigantes varies from 300 meters to 600 meters we can easily understand why locals used this name to describe them and name them.
How to get to Los Gigantes?
The easiest way to enjoy Los Gigantes is from the beach of Los Guios. This is a well-protected beach next to the harbor of Puerto de Santiago and that offers good swimming and snorkel opportunities.
El Barranco de Masca and Los Gigantes
The most impressive way to enjoy Los Gigantes cliffs is to enjoy El Barranco de Masca. This can be done on your own though you will have to pay careful attention to the logistics or using one of the excursions available which normally include transportation to Masca and a boat ride from the end of El Barranco (right in the middle of Los Gigantes) to Puerto de Santiago.
Kayak next to Los Gigantes
This is one of the most popular water-sport activities in Tenerife. The kayak excursions normally start from Puerto de Santiago harbour. On some occasions it is possible to enjoy the presence of dolphins during these kayak excursions!
Where are los Gigantes located?
Los Gigantes cliffs are located on the northwest part of Tenerife. The closest harbor to Los Gigantes is Puerto de Santiago, a harbor located next to the beach of Los Guios and the holiday resort of Puerto de Santiago that has not reached the size of Playa de las Americas on the Southern part of Tenerife.
How did Los Gigantes cliffs appear?
Los Gigantes are part of the Macizo de Teno (Massif of Teno). After the volcanic base of what shapes today, Tenerife was formed, 3 massif structures appeared: Teno on the Northwest, Anaga on the Northeast, and Adeje on the Southwest. These massifs date back some 7 million years ago (the Teide dates back some 3 million years ago in comparison). When the 3 massifs appeared from the ancient balsatic base they were actually 3 different islands and it was the emergence of Teide that merged them as a unique island.
The massif of Teno where Los Gigantes is located is a beautiful area with many gorges and ravines formed by erosion. The most impressive and unusual landscape in the Teno massif is Los Gigantes cliffs with its vertical rocks of igneous rocks.
Gastronomy in Tenerife. Guajinches and wine
Wines from Tenerife
The arrival of Spaniards to Tenerife brought along grapes and wine and Malvasia became very popular during the XVI century in Europe.
There are several reasons why wines are special in Tenerife. Let´s focus on three of them: the island is not flat and vineyards are found in mountain terraces where machines cannot be used. This basically implies low yields and hand grape picking.
Some of the grapes in Tenerife like Listan Negro have almost disappeared elsewhere. The isolation of the Canary islands at the time of the philoxera plague contributed to the preservation of these vineyards and that implies very old vines. Last but not least, the volcanic soils provide a very peculiar style of wines. The most important wine regions are located in the north, neat La Oratava and Tacoronte.
Guajinches in Tenerife
A Guachinche is a local wine producer that serves food. Local wine producers did not find it easy to sell their wines and in order to foster direct wine sales they initiated to offer food as part of their overall proposal.
Guachinches are not opened all year round, and they have a very limited menu. As a matter of fact most Guachinches do not have a written menu available and you would need to pay attention to the waiter when he share the “daily specials”.
Guachinches are located in Tenerife there where wine is produced: the Northern part of the island. You will find most Guachinches from Tacoronte to the valley of La Oratava.
What can you expect to eat at a Guachinche? Typical dishes include ropa vieja, fried goat cheese, papas with mojo, chorizo and fried eggs and rabbit sauces.
Check out our full Merida City Guide to get the full breakdown on this spectacular city that is chock full of Roman history and monuments. Depending on your travel schedule you may decide to dedicate 1 or 2 days to Cordoba. One day is enough to enjoy the most important highlights and get a good feeling of the city. With 2 days you will be able to enjoy more attractions and even an excursion to MEdina Zahara. We have built this city-break in Cordoba including our recommendations for hotels, … Read More