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Canary islands

Tenerife

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The ultimate guide to TENERIFE

Tenerife guide

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 guide - Contents

Best of Tenerife in a nutshell

Where is Tenerife?

Located in the Canary Islands, some 300 kilometers from the African continent, Tenerife is at the heart of the archipelago.

So many things to enjoy!

Many visitors to the island believe Tenerife is just about fantastic hotels and resorts and staying next to the beach all day long while food is getting ready. Not a bad plan, but the island offers some incredible experiences.  Find the best ideas, plans, and things to do in Tenerife in our dedicated guide. 

Quick facts about Tenerife

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.

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.

Beaches

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… Find out which beach in Tenerife to visit in our guide. 

Day excursion

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.

Clouds below the Teide peak
Natural area in Northern Tenerife
Dolphins in the area of Los Gigsantes in Tenerife

Weather in Tenerife

Top cities in Tenerife

Seacoast in Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

Puerto de la Cruz was Tenerife´s top tourist resort till the lated 1970s. Despite it is not the most authentic place in the island, there are a good number of interesting buildings and attractions which make it an interesting visit.

Tower of the church de la Concepcion in La Laguna

San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

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.

santa cruz de tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife city guide

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located on the island of Tenerife which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, a Spanish territory of the coast of Morroco. It is the capital of the island and its largest and most cosmopolitan city. The Island of Tenerife is a tropical jewel that enjoys amazing weather all year round and features some of the most spectacular beaches you will ever see.

Build your itinerary with our interactive map of Tenerife

Top attractions in Tenerife

Los Gigantes cliffs in Tenerife

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

Carnival of Tenerife / Carnaval de Tenerife

Carnival of Tenerife: The Ultimate Guide

One of the most colourful festivals in the world, the Carnival of Tenerife is second only to the one in Rio de Janeiro. During two weeks, the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are full of people that take part in parades, dancing competitions, or that simply observe the queens. A great party, with amazing atmosphere and one of the fun guaranteed festivals in Spain

siam park

Siam Park

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

Bottleneck dolphins in Tenerife

Dolphin and Whale watching in Tenerife: the complete guide

One of the best things to do in Tenerife is to join a whale watching experience. A permanent colony of pilot whales and dolphins make it almost sure you will enjoy their presence in their natural habitat. Tours run daily from the South and west of the island and they can be enjoyed all year round!

teide national park

Teide national park

Teide national park 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

Killer whale jumping at Loro Park in Tenerife

Loro park Tenerife

Loro Park Tenerife Loro park or the parrot park in English is a private zoo on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands (off the coast of Morocco). It features an extensive collection of animals and tropical plants. Loro park is one of the top things to enjoy with

Trekking in Tenerife

Lighthouse in Punta de Teno, Tenerife

Teno natural park in Tenerife

The  Natural Park of Teno is for many people the most beautiful area in Tenerife. Over 8,000 hectares of nature with just a few hamlets scattered here and there, it offers the perfect escape from mass touristic resorts. As in the case of the Agana park in the northeast side

Path in the forest of Anaga Tenerife

Anaga natural park in Tenerife

The Parque de Anaga is located in the northeast of the island, at 30 minutes drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife (at 30 minutes drive). This park offers ravines, a lauresilva (laurel) forest that could have been taken from a fairy tale, beautiful rock formations, and beaches that are hardly

El Barranco del infierno in Adeje

What is the Barrando del Inferno? The Barranco del Infierno is with no hesitation one of the most popular hikes in Tenerife. Its appealing name contributed to this, but the main reason lies in its proximity to the most important tourist resorts in the island. Well, the main reason really

teide national park

Teide national park

Teide national park 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

Beautiful villages in Tenerife

Views of teide from the Casa del vino in Tacoronte

Tenerife best places to visit

Our favorite villages, towns, and cities in Tenerife. Discover traditions and hardly accessible places in one of the most tourist islands int he world. Interesting places where traditions remain and natural areas that will make you feel like in paradise. Discvoer in this guide with the best places to visit i Tenerife a very complete world from the touristic resorts in the island.

Views of the ocean from la Orotava

La Orotava, 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.

Masca, Tenerife´s most popular walk

The village of Masca used to be a farming village but it became so popular that nearly everybody in Masca is dedicated to tourism. Only 100 people live here and many of the traditional-styled houses have been transformed into restaurants.  Many day excursions stop at Masca to illustrate what a

Canary islands

Juniper tree in El Hierro

El Hierro, Canary islands

El Hierro is the smallest island in the Canary islands and the least known of them all. This makes of el Hierro the island where things have stayed more unchanged. Eco-friendly, home of the giant lizard and of fantastic juniper trees, el Hierro offers the best scubadiving in the iCanary slands and a a very relaxing, tourist free atmosphere where you can enjoy the real Canarian islands

Landscape of La Gomera

La Gomera, Canary islands

La Gomera is the second smalles island in the Canary islands but with no doubt one of the most beautiful islands. The Garajonay national park boasts the most impressive laurel forest in the archipelago. Locals from La Gomera have managed to keep some of its ancient traditions and culture. These include the Silvo, a way to communicate which is unique to La Gomera.

Golden sand and green water in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura, Canary islands

La Palma, known as “La Isla bonita” as the beautiful island is the second highest island in the Canary islands and a hikers heaven. La Palma offers spectacular star-gazing opportunities and a stress-free destination for nature lovers

alinas de Fuencaliente in La Palma

La Palma, Canary islands

La Palma, known as “La Isla bonita” as the beautiful island is the second highest island in the Canary islands and a hikers heaven. La Palma offers spectacular star-gazing opportunities and a stress-free destination for nature lovers

Road trip in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria offfers a bit of all the best to be found in the Canary islands. Excellent beaches, quaint villages, one of the best historic districts and beautiful natural areas. Discover in this guide all the things Gran Canaria offers and build your perfect holiday in the island!

Lanzarote vineyard landscape

Lanzarote, Canary islands

Lanzarote is an amazing place. Its dark soils and blue waters contrast with white houses and vineyards caved in the ground. Learn more about this magical gift of nature and how to spend a superb holiday riding camels, enjoying art, fantastic hotels and the best waves in the Canary islands

The island of Tenerife is famous for its mild weather for good reasons. Average high temperatures are above 20 C (68F) degrees all year round, and daily lows (average) do not typically get below 15 C.

July and August are the warmest months of the year with daily high averages of 28C (82F)

There is an important difference in rain probability in the island if we compare the north and the south of the island. It rains much mor ein the northern part of Tenerife, though only from October till MArch you may expect rain more than 5 days per month.