Canary islands

Tenerife

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The ultimate guide to TENERIFE

Tenerife

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. 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 Spain 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 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 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.

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

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