Beyond the magnetic Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain, and the warm southern beaches where winter never comes and which attract thousands of tourists, the island of Tenerife has a lot to offer.
In Tenerife, you will find a sea of clouds, a sea of waves, or a sea of people, depending on what you want to do, as it has plans for all tastes and types of travel: more adventurous in the dense laurisilva forest of Anaga or touching the summit of Spain, more relaxed on a huge beach or a secluded cove, more cultural in its beautiful villages, or more partying in its nightlife.
In this guide, we tell you everything you need to explore Tenerife on your own: things to do, weekend, 5-day or week-long itineraries around the island, how to get there, how to get around, where to stay, and even where to eat.
If you don’t have much time, jump directly to the itineraries section where we suggest what you can do in a weekend (or more days) around the island.
- Basic facts for traveling to Tenerife
- When to visit Tenerife
- How to get to Tenerife
- How many days to spend in Tenerife
- Things to do in Tenerife
- Map of Tenerife
- Central Tenerife: Teide and its National Park
- South Tenerife: beaches, cliffs and villages
- Los Gigantes
- La Caleta
- Diego Hernandez Beach
- Costa Adeje
- Las Americas: beach and nightlife
- Los Cristianos
- Vilaflor de Chasna
- Montaña Amarilla
- El Medano
- Arco de Tajao
- Punta de Abona: beaches, a lighthouse, and an abandoned leprosarium
- Granadilla de Abona and the first high mountain observatory in the World
- North of Tenerife: “Green, how I want you green”
- Anaga Rural Park
- San Cristobal de La Laguna
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- Las Teresitas beach and viewpoint
- Puerto de la Cruz
- El Bollullo Beach
- Rambla de Castro
- La Orotava
- Pyramids of Güimar
- Charco de La Laja
- Icod de los Vinos and the millenary Dragon tree
- Garachico and its old town
- Punta de Teno Point
- Masca and Masca Valley
- Santiago del Teide
- The best hiking trails in Tenerife
- Where to dive in Tenerife
- Where to stay in Tenerife: best areas
- Best restaurants in Tenerife
- Tenerife itineraries
- Getting around: rent a car in Tenerife
- Indicative budget: how much does it cost to travel to Tenerife?
- Tips and Precautions for traveling to Tenerife
- Useful apps for traveling to Tenerife
- Checklist: what to pack in your backpack/suitcase for your trip to Tenerife
Basic facts for traveling to Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary archipelago and the most densely populated, yet it is possible to enjoy it with few people even at the peak of summer if you know where. It is home to the highest point of the Spanish territory, the summit of the volcano Teide at 3715 meters, known as “the roof of Spain” and what surrounds it, its imposing National Park, the largest and oldest of the whole archipelago. In addition, Tenerife hides biodiverse trails, beaches for all tastes, and villages that give authentic history lessons at every step.
Population: 978,000 (in 2022)
Daily budget: From 70€/day per person (approx.) for a one-week trip. More budget information here.
Weather: Nice all year round but advisable between May and October to enjoy its beaches with good temperatures, find out more about when to go here).
Accommodation: Given the size of the island, the best area will depend on your itinerary. If you are looking for good weather and relaxing days on the beach, the ideal is to stay in the south of the island in Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos or even overlooking the impressive cliff of Los Gigantes. If you prefer to be close to many of Tenerife’s points of interest, in the north you can stay in the beautiful colonial city of La Laguna, in the first tourist destination of the island, Puerto de la Cruz or even in its capital, Santa Cruz. We recommend accommodations and give you more details on where to sleep here.
Duration: Minimum one weekend, but if you can stay a week, you won’t regret it. We recommend different itineraries around the island.
Transportation: The best option is to rent a car. More info here. There are bus lines that connect the different points of the island but the schedules are very limited and it is not an option that we can recommend if you want to take advantage of the time on the island of Tenerife.
Time zone: UTC +1. The time in Tenerife and the Canary Islands is one hour behind mainland Spain.
When to visit Tenerife
The island of Tenerife has mild weather all year round, always with a few degrees more and sunnier in the south of the island, so any time of the year is pleasant to walk around the island. For a reason, it is known as “the island of eternal spring”.
The orography of the island causes a multitude of microclimates: in the south, the weather is almost always sunny and clear, while in the north it is more unstable. The trade winds cause the north, especially in the summer months, to be filled with clouds that are pushed towards the Teide (known as “panza de burra”), so that at that time it is difficult to find clear days in that area (on the other hand, in the south the sun shines).
To enjoy a dip in its beaches, the ideal time to visit is from April to October. In spring-summer, the temperatures are between 16 and 29º, while in autumn-winter they are between 15 and 22º.
The peak tourist seasons are carnival (Feb-March), Easter week (March-April), the winter months (Dec-Feb), and the summer months (July and August).
In our opinion, the best time to visit Tenerife is during April, May, September, and October, when the weather is warmer and it is less crowded (and more affordable prices for accommodation and other services). Although if you want to coincide with the biggest party on the island, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife takes place every February, a unique event of the Canary Islands, declared of International Tourist Interest. On this website, you will find all the information about the event.
If you like jazz and you visit the island in summer, don’t miss the Canarias Jazz, a festival that usually takes place between the end of June and mid-July with Jazz shows all over the archipelago.
How to get to Tenerife
The fastest way to get to Tenerife is by flying. There are many flights both from the peninsula (Spain) and from other European points, with very competitive prices thanks to low-cost companies such as Ryanair and Easyjet. We recommend you to be flexible with dates and use price comparators such as Skyscanner and Kiwi.com to find the one that suits you best. You can also fly between islands with Binter (more expensive) or Canaryfly (cheaper).
Tenerife has two airports: Tenerife North and Tenerife South. Low-cost airlines usually fly to Tenerife South, and inter-island flights usually depart from Tenerife North, keep this in mind depending on your itinerary.
The most sustainable way to get to Tenerife is by boat. Doing the crossing between Huelva and Tenerife is also ideal if you travel with your own vehicle (your motorhome for example) or you want to travel with your pet and you don’t want it to go in the hold. It will take you longer (31h approx) but it is an adventure in itself with decks where you can relax, self-service restaurant and bar. In this post, we tell you how was our experience on board the Marie Curie operated by Fred. Olsen Express and Baleària in case you want to do it.
If, in addition, you are interested in exploring other islands, you can also do it by boat. So we did to reach the neighboring island of La Gomera (the ferry ride between the two islands takes less than 1 hour) and we had already done to get to Gran Canaria from Fuerteventura. Of course, be careful with the rental car, you have to ask the company to be able to move it between islands (when we went the only company that allowed it was Cicar).
How many days to spend in Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary Islands, and it is full of things to see and do. Therefore, if you want to see a bit of everything, you will need at least a week.
If you have less time (a weekend of 2-3 days or a long weekend of 4-5 days) you will have to discard places and choose those that interest you the most.
Things to do in Tenerife
Here we leave you a summary of the places of interest to visit in Tenerife, and below you have the map and specific information about each place.
Things to see and do in Tenerife
- Tenerife Center: El Teide and its National Park
- How to get to Teide
- Viewpoints where to stop to contemplate the views
- How to climb Teide: cable car, on foot or both
- Observatory to learn and see the stars
- South Tenerife: Beaches, Villages, and Cliffs
- Los Gigantes
- Costa Adeje, La Caleta, Las Américas, Los Cristianos
- Arona and Vilaflor
- Montaña Amarilla
- El Medano
- Arco de Tajao
- Punta de Abona and Granadilla de Abona
- North Tenerife: Verde que te quiero Verde
- Anaga and El Pijaral trail through the laurisilva forest
- La Laguna
- Santa Cruz
- Las Teresitas
- Puerto de la Cruz
- La Orotava
- Icod de los Vinos and the millenary Dragon Tree
- Punta de Teno
- Santiago del Teide
Map of Tenerife
Here is a Google Maps map with all the things to do in Tenerife included in this guide, so that you can take it with you on your smartphone during your trip.
We also leave you a useful and updated map with the roads and some of the points of interest of Tenerife, made by Cicar, which may come in handy on your trip. You can download it in high resolution by clicking on the image.
Central Tenerife: Teide and its National Park
The Teide volcano with its 3715 meters is, nothing more and nothing less, the highest point of the Spanish territory and, by the way, the third highest volcano in the world from the bottom of the ocean (not from sea level). The entire surrounding area, the Teide National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest and oldest of the Canary Islands’ national parks, and a must-see with plenty to explore. There is a lot to see in the National Park and in this section we give you a summary of what you should not miss but if you want to know all the information, we detail it in our Guide to Teide and its National Park.
How to get to Teide and its National Park?
Access to the Teide National Park is free and can be made from La Orotava (north) or Vilaflor (south) by the TF-21 road; from La Laguna (east) by the TF-24 or La Esperanza road; or from Chío (west) by the TF-38 or TF-563 roads.
- Our favorite option is to go along the TF-24 road, also known as the Road of Hope because along this road you can stop at different viewpoints both before entering the park and already inside the national park (Spoiler: the viewpoint of Chipeque, one of our favorite places on the island to see the sunset, is located on this road) and also on this route is the astronomical observatory of the Park. It takes about 1 hour and a half from Santa Cruz (or San Cristobal de La Laguna).
- From Puerto de la Cruz (or from La Orotava) you reach the national park using the TF-21 road which also has a handful of impressive viewpoints. It takes 1 hour from Puerto de la Cruz to the cable car to climb the Teide. It is also on this road that the parking Montaña Blanca is located, where the official path to climb to the summit of the Teide volcano begins. In addition, this route goes up through a thick pine forest. If you come along this road, before entering the national park make a stop at the Mirador de la Bermeja,
- From the west of the island via the TF-38 or the TF-563, taking about 1 hour, you will see landscapes that seem to be from another planet and points like the lunar landscape in Vilaflor.
Essential viewpoints of the Teide National Park
The Teide National Park has several viewpoints where you can (and should) stop to contemplate the views: 23 viewpoints within the national park and 3 viewpoints that you can reach from the top of the Teide cable car station. In addition, the park also has 41 hiking trails to enjoy these magnificent landscapes.
In our opinion, if you have time, these ones are worth a stop:
- Mirador de la Tarta (TF-24) and its multicolored stratification, each layer corresponding to a different volcanic eruption.
- Mirador de Montaña Limón (TF-24), the panoramic view of the Orotava Valley and the brave people who paraglide. Do you have the itch? Book your paragliding flight in the south of the island.
- Mirador Corral del Niño (TF-24), is ideal for visiting the telescopes because it is very close to the Teide Observatory.
- El Portillo Visitor Center (TF-24 and TF-21) where you can learn about the endemic flora and fauna, as well as being the starting point of one of the famous hiking trails of the Park, the route of the Siete Cañadas (16 kms between El Portillo and Cañada Blanca).
- Mirador Minas de San José (TF-21) and its Martian landscape where NASA robots have been tested or Hollywood movies have been filmed. Right next to it is the Montaña Blanca trail to ascend to the peak of Teide.
- Mirador Tabonal Negro (TF-21), is ideal to contemplate, in spring, the contrast of the red tajinastes in bloom and the black lava. It is also a perfect place to watch the stars at dusk.
- Mirador de Montaña Majúa (TF-21): where you can contemplate the views from below or from above since it is possible to climb it on a short trail.
- Mirador de la Ruleta overlooking the Roques de García (TF-21): one of the most important viewpoints of the national park, the Roques de García make up the famous picture that invaded the thousand-pesetas bills until the arrival of the euro, more specifically the rock formation of Roque Cinchado. Also, if you want to do a short trail, the circular route of the Roques de García is an easy and short route of 3.6 km. More info about the route here.
- Mirador de los Azulejos (TF-21): where it is possible to observe a work of art by nature with a striking green color (the color comes from a complex process of solidification of the hydrothermal fluids that the volcano expelled in its day and that the erosion of thousands of years has left uncovered).
- Mirador Llano de Ucanca (TF-21): one of the most sought-after panoramic views, especially in winter when the Teide is snowy.
- Mirador del Zapato de la Reina (TF-21): apparently, the rock in front of this viewpoint resembles a high heel shoe (in our opinion, you have to have a creative day to see it). What do you see?
- Mirador Boca Tauce (TF-21): facing the south face of Pico Viejo volcano, the second highest volcano on the island (3100 meters), this viewpoint is located at the end of the large volcanic lava flows from the last eruption inside the National Park in 1798.
- Mirador Las Narices del Teide (TF-38): its name comes from the pair of holes that can be seen in the lava that resemble two nostrils although they are really two exits of the lava to the outside. If you are lucky and when you go to this viewpoint you get a clear day, you will be able to greet the neighboring island of La Gomera and, with a lot of luck, even the island of La Palma and El Hierro.
- Mirador de Samara (TF-38): at the mountain viewpoint Samara starts a hiking route of contrasts between black lava and the green of the resilient Canary Island pine with several volcanic formations (and even volcanic bombs!) along the way (more info about the route here).
Continuing along the TF-38 road and already outside the national park we reach the Sendero del Volcán Chinyero, the last volcano that erupted in Tenerife in 1909 (remember that the last volcano that erupted within the Teide National Park was the Pico Viejo). It is a circular, short and practically flat route that circumnavigates the Chinyero, you can find more info about this route here.
Also, outside the national park, don’t forget to stop at the following viewpoints if you take the TF-24 road, our favorite:
- Mirador de Montaña Grande (TF-24) and the panoramic view of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna as protagonists.
- Mirador de Ortuño (TF-24) and the panoramic view of Teide and its sea of clouds (with luck and a clear day you can even see the neighboring island of La Palma).
- Mirador de Chipeque (TF-24): our favorite. If you can, book this viewpoint for sunset because on a clear day it will give you, probably, the best sunset of your trip around the island with the sun hiding in the sea of clouds with the Teide as a witness.
- Mirador de la Crucita (TF-24) and its landscape are dotted with Canary Island pines (if you are lucky, you will be able to see Gran Canaria in the background).
If in addition to contemplating the jewel of the island from below, you want to contemplate it from above, in the following section we tell you how.
Randomtip: Remember, if you make the ascent to the summit of Teide on foot, with overnight stay (here we tell you how), you will start the hiking route in the afternoon so you can take advantage and visit some of these viewpoints in the morning.
How to climb Teide, Spain’s highest point: on foot, by cable car or both
- Visit Teide quickly and with the least effort: drive to this parking and go up and down by cable car (recommended to buy the cable car tickets in advance). Does not include access to the Pico. More info here
- Climbing Pico del Teide: you need a permit, either for the peak or to spend the night in the refuge (depending on the schedule), and can be done in several ways (up and down by cable car, up and down on foot or do a section of each type; the last stretch to the peak is yes or yes on foot). Book here the cable car with permit included. More info here about going up and down on foot and here about going up and down by cable car.
In our Teide Guide we detail all the information you need with the different possibilities to climb Pico del Teide:
At Randomtrip we did two different options in two different years (we went up and down by cable car the first time and ascended to the summit walking in two stages with an overnight stay and descended by cable car again) and we have written this guide with everything you need to know to climb Teide in the best way for you.
Important: Whether you reach the summit from 3555 meters from La Rambleta cable car station or if you reach the summit walking (after 9:00 am) you must ask for permission to climb to the summit in advance. If you do the hiking route with overnight stay at Refugio Altavista, climb up to the crater to see the sunrise and leave the trail number 10/Telesforo Bravo before 9:00h in the morning (like most people who chose the hiking route option), you don’t have to ask for the permit, but need to book your place at Refugio Altavista, which is closed at the moment.
Are you passionate about astronomy and investigating some of the greatest unknowns of astrophysics? Then do not miss the guided tour of the Teide Observatory, at 2390 meters, in which, in addition to learning, you will enjoy incredible panoramic views of the volcano. You will be able to see how the Teide Observatory works during the day, learn about the different solar and night telescopes in the Visitor Center and the various laboratories. In addition, you will also learn about the history of this important research center, considered one of the best in the world in its field along with the Roque de los Muchachos on the island of La Palma where we were in 2022.
In addition, having the Teide and the summits of Tenerife the Starlight certification that accredits them as a privileged place for stargazing, do not miss the activity of Stargazing on Teide or, if you prefer something more adventurous, a Night Hiking Route through the Cañadas del Teide to contemplate the spectacular starry mantle.
South Tenerife: beaches, cliffs and villages
One of the most beautiful sights of the island, the (pardon the pun) gigantic volcanic rock cliffs can reach 600 meters above sea level!
The landscape of solidified lava is so overwhelming that it is not surprising that the Guanches, the first settlers of the island, believed that these steep cliffs marked the end of the world and, therefore, referred to them as the “wall of hell”.
One of the best places to contemplate them is from this viewpoint and, afterward, why not have a drink with these views? At Randomtrip we enjoyed a nice lunch with friends in front of Los Gigantes Marina.
If, in addition to appreciating the Giants from land, you want to do it from the sea, you have two options: go to Playa de los Guios and watch them while you take a dip or, on aboat ride where you can also see dolphins!
This area is also very sought after by scuba diving enthusiasts because its seabed (about 30m maximum) hides great biodiversity. We tell you more in our section Where to dive in Tenerife.
In addition to the beach, here you will also find the natural pools of Puerto de Santiago. Also very close to Los Gigantes is the center of Playa de San Juan and the beautiful Playa de Alcalá, ideal for watching the sunset overlooking La Gomera on clear days.
You can also appreciate the views of Los Gigantes from the viewpoint of Archipenque.
It was precisely in Los Gigantes where we stayed on our first trip to the island. Can you imagine staying overlooking these impressive cliffs? Take a look at Vista Azul , a 1-bedroom apartment overlooking the sea and the imposing Los Gigantes cliffs or find your accommodation in Los Gigantes here.
One of our points of choice in the south of the island, in La Caleta de Adeje (and the nearby Playa Diego Hernandez which we will tell you about in a moment) it is still possible to feel the island tranquility that is lost as we go down the coast (the most frenetic tourist spot being Las Americas).
Here you can take a swim in La Caleta Beach or, what we liked the most, enter directly into the sea from the staircase that is located there.
In La Caleta, we discovered a restaurant that we loved and repeated, El Mirlo, with delicious and original tapas overlooking the sea. In addition, it also offers some options for accommodation (we have noted the apartments La Caleta Sunrises for the next trip to Tenerife).
Diego Hernandez Beach
The beach that we repeat every time we set foot on Tenerife (and that’s three trips to the island!) is this turquoise cove of fine sand hidden between volcanic cliffs, Playa Diego Hernandez.
It is not one of the best-known beaches in Tenerife nor one of the busiest, partly because to get to this beach you have to take a 10-minute walk from Golf Costa Adeje (you can park your car in Tajore Street) or, a little longer (as we did in Randomtrip) about 25 minutes walking from La Caleta (the trail begins after climbing these stairs).
It is a pleasant walk, between Tenerife cactus, endemic flora, and observation of marine or migratory birds, and easy but best done with sneakers or closed shoes (the first time we did it in flip flops and we regretted it, especially in the descent to the cove that involved more adrenaline). In addition, before reaching the cove itself you will see that there are other points where to go into the water and even where to hang the towel so if you do not want to walk further, it is another option.
When you get to Diego Hernandez cove, you will see that the cove is not very big so ideally you should visit it at low tide, because when the tide is very high, there is hardly any space to spread out your towel. Find out beforehand how the tide will be, something you can check for example on this website.
Nudism is common on this beach and there is usually a soundtrack of drums at sunset (if you are lucky, on a clear day you can see the Teide from the beach!) so take a snack, water, and a couple of beers (remember to take all your trash back with you) and enjoy!
If you prefer, in this 3-hour catamaran ride (with open-bar of beer, sangria, and soft drinks) you will pass by Diego Hernandez Cove and other coves with fun between dips.
Here we begin to enter the most crowded area of the coast, or wouldn’t Costa Adeje be one of the tourist epicenters of the south of the island (along with Las Americas and Los Cristianos). It is, for that reason, one of the areas with the largest offer of accommodation and where we found the best value for money on our last 3-week trip to the island.
In addition to swimming on its beaches such as Playa de Fanabé, Playa de Torviscas, Playa el Bobo, or Playa de La Pinta, Costa Adeje has a promenade with several terraces where you can have lunch, dinner, or a drink.
It is also in Costa Adeje where Puerto Colón is located, from where the whale watching boats depart: there are catamaran whale watching trips for 3 hours or longer, 5 hours including lunch and open bar on board. If you prefer to take a sailing boat trip, there are also 3-hour whale watching boat trips departing from Puerto Colon.
If you prefer to get out of the agglomeration of tourist apartments and hotels to get in touch with nature, it is possible and, quite close, in the Barranco del Infierno. This is a simple trail in the Special Nature Reserve of Barranco del Infierno, within the municipality of Adeje, which is completed in about 3 hours (round trip 6.5km). The trail is dotted with viewpoints with magnificent views and ends with a small waterfall. Access is restricted to 300 people per day, so it is advisable to make a reservation in advance(schedules and tickets on this website).
In Costa Adeje there is plenty of accommodation, from hotels with all-inclusive bracelets to apartments and hostels. Check out La Maison du Surfeur and La Tortuga Hostal or, for something more special, the SeaView Costa Adeje. More hotels and apartments in Costa Adeje here.
Las Americas: beach and nightlife
And we arrive at the area where the frenetic tourism and nightlife are the strongest of all the coast: Las Americas. Here the music of the discotheques overlaps the soundtrack of the sea, the neon lights overshadow the colors of the sunset or the twinkling of the stars and the screams, laughter, and stumbling of tourists with a few too many beers are a constant. If you are looking for a party night, we warn you that in front of the Veronicas shopping center there is such a concentration of people and partying that queues form on the street and at the entrances of the various clubs and nightclubs.
We admit it, it was the area we liked the least on the whole island, so we can’t recommend it much because we hardly spent time here (we tried to go for a drink at the Papagayo Beach Club, in front of the sea, but there was a huge queue so we gave up) but both restaurants and bars and clubs have menus (and prices) made for their target.
There are several beaches around here, being Playa del Camisón one of the calmest, both in the water (calm sea sheltered from the waves by two breakwaters) and out of the water (more frequented by families than Playa de las Américas).
The 2-bedroom apartment Veronicas has a terrace and is located very close to the nightlife of Las Americas, ideal for those who want to party on the island. More accommodations in Playa de las Americas here
Although it is also part of the same area that hosts the busy Playa de las Americas, Playa de los Cristianos is somewhat quieter. From the fishermen’s dock of Los Cristianos you can go on catamaran trips for whale watching (20€ for 2 hours) or daily excursions to the neighboring island of La Gomera. If you have never dived before and would like to try it, you can do it here with a diving baptism.
In Los Cristianos, quieter than Las Americas, you also find several options to stay such as the Modern Apartment Los Cristianos Center , a 1 bedroom apartment with sea and mountain views. More options in Los Cristianos here.
The historic center of the town of Arona is of cultural interest but not only the emblematic buildings of this small town surprised us but also the urban art in its well-kept streets. Although Arona is located in the same municipality as the busy tourist centers we talked about before, here the decibels go down and the calm goes up along with the altitude.
The Plaza de Cristo is the heart of the town where the residents gather and the festivities take place. In this square, the balcony of Tea wood, typically Canarian, and the Church of San Antonio Abad stand out.
We also went to the Casa La Bodega, a historic building of the XVIII-XIX century, an example of traditional Canarian architecture known as the “Bodega de los Tavio” to elaborate and store, precisely, the wine of this family. At the moment it presents an exhibition to approach us to the agricultural exploitations of traditional character.
Nearby, on the main road, we ate at El Chamo restaurant, a traditional Canarian food restaurant.
Vilaflor de Chasna
In the highlands of the south of the island, at 1400 meters of altitude, Vilaflor is surrounded by centenary pines and trees, and, in fact, those of us who come here are probably because of the famous Pino Gordo (represented in the coat of arms of Vilaflor) or the pine of the Dos Pernadas, considered the highest in the country and which are only 200 meters from the village of Vilaflor. In its surroundings, it is also possible to do some trails such as the PR-TF 72 trail, a 13 km circular trail along the Camino Real de Chasna, the old communication route between the north and south of Tenerife through which you will pass through authentic lunar landscapes.
Vilaflor is also known as the birthplace of the first Canarian saint and is the site of the Sanctuary of Santo Hermano Pedro, a mythical pilgrimage temple dedicated to San Pedro de San José Betancur, founder of the order of the Betlemitas.
We also recommend you appreciate the views from the Mirador de la Cruz.
The beach of Montaña Amarilla is a beach of crystalline waters at the foot of the Montaña Amarilla volcano, called a Natural Monument for its beauty, an authentic work of art of nature sculpted over the years by the wind and the sea.
Due to its biodiverse waters with good visibility, it is a very popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, so bring goggles if you come here.
Be careful, it is a beach of rocks and creeks but it has an enabled area to hang towels and lie in the sun and stairs for direct access to the sea. It is not a guarded beach and has no services but you have a beach bar right there and many more in the next town, Costa del Silencio.
If, in addition to beach relaxation, sunbathing, and sea bathing, you want to do a little exercise, this circular trail runs along the crater of the Montaña Amarilla volcano.
Between Playa de la Montaña Amarilla and El Médano (which we’ll tell you about in a moment), on this coast, you’ll find La Mareta pool. We did not get to go there but we were told that it is a pool with incredible transparent waters and highly recommended. Also on this coast is Playa de La Tejita, a long sandy beach.
One of the most beautiful beaches of the island, the beach of El Medano of fine gray sand has the volcanic cone Montaña Roja and the wind as protagonists, which makes its sky (almost always) dotted with kitesurfs and windsurfs.
Besides being a beach much sought after by lovers of these water sports ( Windsurfing and Kitesurfing championships are often held here), it is also a beach frequented by those who go in search of a dip or to end the day with a beautiful sunset.
The beach closer to town is quieter (less waves) and as we go further away we find more kites and windsurfers so depending on what you are looking for, you know where to go.
Arco de Tajao
If you like works of art sculpted by nature, you will want to visit the San Miguel de Tajao Cliffs and, more specifically, the Arco de Tajao in the Vijigua Ravine.
It is a rock formation of volcanic origin that erosion and the years were responsible for sculpting and is highly photogenic.
Remember that a large influx of people can have a negative impact on this natural wonder, so as always, if you visit, be responsible: do not climb the arch, do not leave trash, do not paint on the walls, avoid touching the formations and out of respect for the rest of the people who visit the place, do not make noise or “monopolize” the place with your photos.
Punta de Abona: beaches, a lighthouse, and an abandoned leprosarium
We approached the village of Abades, on the coast of Arico, curious about the abandoned Old Leprosarium and the history that surrounds it. The construction of the Abona Sanatorium (with more than 40 buildings) dates back to the 1940s, in the middle of the post-war period, being a Francoist project that never served its purpose and was abandoned before even receiving any leprosy patients. Its almost 900,000 square meters of land were later used, in the 1970s, as a military cantonment for Falange shooting practice, and more recently, in 2002, the Ministry of Defense sold the land to a private developer for the construction of a tourist complex. The work was halted shortly after by the Tourist Moratorium Law and remains, to this day, abandoned and deteriorating whose sepulchral silence is only interrupted by the occasional rave, rally, or even a film or series recording. Here the series of Antena 3, “Las Noches de Tefía”, has been recorded, about the Francoist concentration camp that existed on the neighboring island of Fuerteventura under the name of Colonia Agrícola Penitenciaria de Tefía where the regime sent homosexuals condemned by the Law of “Vagos y Maleantes”, between 1954 and 1966. A series that portrays and recalls one of the (many) episodes of the horror of the fascist dictatorship, recorded in one of the failed projects of the dictatorship.
Nearby is the Playa de los Abriguitos, also known as Playa de Abades, a dark sandy beach where the sea is usually calm, despite being in a windy area. It is also an area sought after by scuba diving enthusiasts.
Granadilla de Abona and the first high mountain observatory in the World
We approach the historic town of Granadilla de Abona, granted for having been the last stronghold of resistance to the conquest of the Canary Islands and for having hosted the visit of the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan on his first voyage around the world.
On our walk through colorful alleys, we discovered, thanks to an explanatory panel, that Granadilla de Abona was also consecrated as the first Starlight municipality in the world! It turns out that on the summit of the Guajara Mountain, at 2717 meters (the second highest peak of the island) are the remains of the first high mountain astronomical observatory in the world, installed in 1856 by the Scottish astronomer Sir Charles Piazzi Smyth, helped by the experienced muleteers of the Camino de Chasna.
This Starlight route is a trail (difficult, with quite a steep slope) that they propose in the municipality and that we noted down for a next visit with time and desire for adventure (more info about the route here). The route starts in the Caserio de las Vegas and follows the PR-TF 83.1 and GR-131 trails, ancient roads used in pre-Hispanic times until the 20th century to move livestock from the coast to the summit and for the exchange of products between the north and south of the island. The explanatory panels that you will find will bring you closer to the past and to the relationship of the ancient inhabitants with the Estellar observation.
During the day, the route offers breathtaking panoramic views of Pico del Teide, Pico Viejo, Siete Cañadas, and a great diversity of volcanic forms and endemic flora, but the best part comes when the sun goes down: its clean atmosphere is ideal for observing the sky and the stars.
North of Tenerife: “Green, how I want you green”
Anaga Rural Park
To get into the greenest and most biodiverse nature of the island, put on your sneakers, take a deep breath and reserve a day, or at least a morning, to explore the Anaga Rural Park. This mountainous massif covered in laurisilva forests, with jagged peaks and ravines that slide down to the sea, was declared a Biosphere Reserve.
In its more than 14,500 hectares that cross the northeast of the island along three municipalities (La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Tegueste), Anaga hides several viewpoints and several hiking trails to enter its magical laurel forest.
There are hiking trails that do not require specific authorization (such as the popular and short Sendero de los Sentidos trail of less than 1 hour or the 2-hour route of the Bosque de los Enigmas ) and routes that do require prior authorization because they are integrally protected areas with a capacity limit (such as the almost 3-hour route through the Pijaral Reserve that we chose to do in Randomtrip). On this website, you will find all the existing trails, both short trails that do not require authorization and longer trails that require prior authorization. The website also includes updates on trails that may be closed for maintenance or other reasons.
El Pijaral Trail: the enchanted forest of Anaga
At Randomtrip we chose to do a route through the enchanted forest of El Pijaral, an ancient laurisilva forest, and we highly recommend it. To do this route you do need prior authorization that you can request on this website. Please note that you can make the reservation with a maximum of 15 days in advance (the earlier you make it, the more likely you will get a reservation) and that the reservation limit is 45 visitors per day.
Difficulty level: The trail through El Pijaral is an easy, circular trail, with little elevation gain, of almost 7 km that we completed in almost 3 hours. We started at 10:30 am and finished after 1:00 pm, including a stop to eat our sandwich. More info about the trail here.
Before parking and entering the lush laurisilva forest on the El Pijaral trail, make two stops along the road:
- Viewpoint of La Jardina and its views of the city of La Laguna and the peak of Teide, although in our case the fog did not let us enjoy them.
- Mirador Cruz del Carmen: here begins the Sendero de los Sentidos, ideal if you do not have much time and want to go into Anaga for less than 1 hour. If you are lucky and it is a clear day, this viewpoint will give you an incredible view of Teide.
Then park the car around here and the adventure begins!
Before embarking on this adventure, don’t forget to bring water and if, as in our case, it’s lunchtime, a sandwich or some energy bars while you enjoy the surroundings and the views. Remember also that the earlier you get up and start the route, the easier it will be to park and the less people you will come across, so you know: Anaga helps those who get up early.
The name of the Pijaral Reserve comes from the Pijara, a fern of up to 3 meters! with which you will meet along the way, as well as laurels, lindens, wild orange trees, and all the trees that make up this enchanted forest. You will feel like you are in a real fairy tale, with elves and gnomes, among the smells of the forest, the creaking of trunks in the damp earth, and the lush greenery that you will be scattering behind a blanket of fine mist.
In addition to the Laurisilva forest, the El Pijaral trail promises sights:
- Roque Anambro: an imposing rock formation, an ancient volcanic chimney, more than 800 meters above sea level.
- Cabeza de Tejo viewpoint: panoramic view of the northwest coast of Tenerife (we were not lucky with the views because we had some fog) where several finches approached us to see if some food fell (never try to touch or feed a wild animal to avoid interfering with their natural processes and modification of their behaviors).
- Bailadero viewpoint of the valley of Taganana that did receive us clear and sunny so there we decided to make our stop for a snack. The Taganana Valley is surrounded by imposing mountains and extinct volcanoes that have been sculpted by nature over thousands of years. At the foot of the sharp mountains, several beaches of fine black sand ideal for a dip after completing the trail wait.
Taganana: one of the first settlements on the island
Abundant in water and pastures, the valley of Taganana was the place chosen for one of the first settlements of the island by Guanches (Tenerife’s ancestors). Later, the sugar cane and then the wines, especially those of malvasia, gave fame to Taganana although, until only about 40 years ago, there was no road to go down so the only way to get to Taganana was walking or by sea.
Today you can (and should) visit Taganana, its cultural and scenic heritage, and taste its products (in Randomtrip we ate in the rich and flowery Guachinche Bibi and Mana). In addition, if you continue along the same road you can visit other viewpoints and villages with beaches such as Roque de las Bodegas, Almáciga, and Benijo, which also offer surprises, dips, and breathtaking views. We will talk about the latter below.
Benijo Beach and a well-deserved dip in the water
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Playa Benijo is ideal for resting your eyes and feet in the sea after a walk through the Anaga Rural Park.
The wild beach of black volcanic sand is a nudist beach, without any services or lifeguards, with amazing views of the Roques de Anaga. It is characterized by strong waves so do not be brave and be cautious. If you get hungry here, know that there are several options where to eat or snack in Benijo as El Frontón or El Mirador (close at 17:00h) or Casa Paca (closes at 21:00h).
Between the Anaga Rural Park and La Laguna we drove through a village between vineyards that caught our attention, Tegueste, one of the municipalities through which the Rural Park passes (in addition to Santa Cruz and La Laguna). We didn’t have time to stop but we are looking forward to the next time we visit the island.
Punta del Hidalgo: beach, swimming pool, and a stroll along the seashore
Near the Anaga Rural Park, we stopped to watch the sunset at Punta del Hidalgo where you can also take a dip in the beach or pool. Here there is a nice coastal path: the Sendero Litoral Punta de Hidalgo, also known as Camino de la Costa or San Juanito (because it connects the hermitage of the same name with the neighborhood of Hoya Baja). It is an easy trail along one of the best preserved coastal stretches of the island, without slope, at the foot of the Anaga massif.
San Cristobal de La Laguna
La Laguna, as it is known locally, is the second largest city on the island and the colorful colonial-style buildings have earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This city was the former capital of Tenerife and the de facto capital of the entire Canary Islands until 1833. Its glorious past, the cradle of the Enlightenment and the Canarian aristocracy for centuries is still easily recognizable in its streets (many buildings still have their facades) as they were in the fifteenth century when its linear layout was made.
It is 545 meters above sea level so it is likely that, especially if you do not visit La Laguna in summer, it is quite cool here: bring a coat. In Randomtrip we visited it in July the first time and in February a second time and we saw how it changes according to the season (it was the point of the island where we felt colder in winter, along with some points of the Teide National Park). Apparently, its name comes from a lagoon that was originally dried up to build the city and that is why it is so flat, something not common in Tenerife.
Among the buildings that you should not miss on your tour of La Laguna are:
- The Cathedral of San Cristobal, whose dome you can see from all points of the city center (and inside are the remains of the conqueror and founder of the city Alonso Fernandez de Lugo);
- The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, the oldest church on the island (it was built in the 16th century in baroque style), and, if you can, climb the emblematic bell tower to enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the city.
- Plaza del Adelantado, the most central square where there are several terraces and, especially in spring and summer, a lot of street music. In one corner of the square is the Palacio de Nava (from the 16th century, it has been a Site of Cultural Interest, with the category of Monument, since 2000).
- The Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife is housed in the impressive 16th-century Casa Lercaro (which alone is worth a visit). It exhibits a permanent collection that brings us closer to the island’s history.
- Casa Salazar and its stone facade which was restored after the 2006 fire
- Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena (15th century) and Convent of St. Clare (16th century)
- Manor houses such as the Casa del Corregidor and the Casa de los Capitanes Generales, homes of important characters that take us back to when La Laguna was the capital of the island.
If you like jazz, in July the Canarias Jazz Festival takes place with several concerts all over the archipelago. At Randomtrip we were lucky that there was a concert we were interested in at the Teatro Leal in La Laguna (25€/person for each concert) while we were staying there, so we didn’t even hesitate. If you visit the island in summer and want to know if there is a show that might interest you, visit this website.
The route by car from La Laguna to the Teide National Park is one of our favorites of the island. The TF-24 road, also known as the road of Hope, is dotted with several viewpoints, ideal for contemplating the majesty of Teide and its sea of clouds.we tell you our favorite viewpoints in our Teide Guide.
In La Laguna we stayed on our second trip to the island, before flying to El Hierro where we would spend 10 days. It has a lot of accommodations and is ideal to stay after a day of walking and several kilometers, as you can park the car, have dinner in one of the several restaurants, and sleep around. You have from cheaper options like the Aguere Nest Hostal ( 23€/night in bunk beds), the Estudio La Vera (38€/night the studio), or the Rincón de mi Niña (55€/night the 2-bedroom apartment) to more special options like the La Laguna Gran Hotel, in the center, very close to the Teatro Leal (93€/night the deluxe room in a great hotel with views of the city and swimming pool):
Find more accommodations in La Laguna here .
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The capital and main port of the island of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, is the second most populated city of the Canary Islands (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria takes the palm to the most populated) and, although we do not consider it essential to know on the island, especially if you have a few days, has some very interesting points that deserve your visit if you approach the capital.
Interesting points to include in your tour, from Zona Centro to Punta Marangallo, in order:
- Plaza España: in this emblematic downtown square, the largest in the archipelago, there is a small subway Interpretation Center with the remains of the old Castle of San Cristóbal that brings us closer to the history of the city.
- Plaza de la Candelaria and its Obelisk to the Virgin of Candelaria, Patron Saint of the Canary Islands. It was in this square that the city’s first fountain was built; for that reason, it used to be called Plaza de la Pila (Fountain) in the 18th century.
- Church of San Francisco de Asís, one of the best examples of baroque architecture in the Canary Islands and one of the richest churches in the archipelago in terms of sacred art.
- Museum of Fine Arts, free admission to see 14 rooms with works of art from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Garcia Sanabria Park or the lung of the city. This park of more than 67,000 square meters is ideal to take a break from the city and do some of the trails dotted with sculptures of great artistic value.
- Casa del Carnaval: taking into account the importance of the Carnival of Santa Cruz, it is not surprising that the capital dedicates a space to the most important festival of the city.
- Guimerá Theater: the oldest theater in the Canary Islands (1851) named after the writer, poet and playwright Ángel Guimerá.
- Iglesia Matriz de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción: known as the “cathedral of Tenerife”, it was the first catholic temple of the island.
- Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) (2008): This impressive building houses the Óscar Domínguez Institute (the largest collection of the surrealist painter from Tenerife), the Tenerife Island Photography Center (with one of the most important private collections in Europe, the Ordóñez Falcón Collection) and the library of the Island Network. Its acronym, TEA, also refers us to the Canary Island pine tree.
- Museum of Nature and Archaeology (MUNA): Located in the emblematic building that was the Old Civil Hospital, this incredible museum allows you to see the largest existing collection on the Guanche culture (aborigines of the island and ancestors of Tenerife). It was also from this museum that the urban art collective project This is Not a Zoo was born (visit their facebook page to find out about new exhibitions).
- Municipal Market of La Recova Nuestra Señora de África: ideal to buy typical Canarian products in its stalls (cheeses, mojos, sausages, wines), the curious building of the market was built in 1943 with a colonial neoclassical style. Inside the market you can find a small carving of the Virgin of Africa to which it owes its name.
- International Trade Fair and Congress Center of Tenerife: designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, this avant-garde center of more than 40,000 m2 was inaugurated in 1996 to host various trade fairs, congresses, concerts and sporting events.
- Auditorio de Tenerife: also designed by Calatrava, the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín is one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in the city. Inaugurated in 2003, it is the home of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and has a varied musical program. Ideally, you should check their website to see if there is a show that interests you when you visit the island. It has a cafeteria with a panoramic terrace if you want to have a drink.
- Parque Marítimo César Manrique: designed by the famous Lanzarote artist César Manrique, this 22,000 square meter complex was recently inaugurated and has swimming pools and restaurants to enjoy in the capital.
- Castillo de San Juan Baptista or, as it is known locally, Castillo Negro: it is the best preserved castle on the island, considered Spanish Historical Heritage, built in the first half of the seventeenth century.
- Palmetum: the former landfill of the capital is now a botanical garden of 12 hectares with hundreds of species of palm trees, in fact it presents the largest collection of palm trees in Europe! You can buy your ticket for the Palmetum (3€/residents; 6€/non-residents; 1,50€/children residents; 2,80€/children non-residents) directly here
Are you familiar with the word“chicharrero“? Although the formal demonym of those who live in the municipality of Santa Cruz is santacrucero/a, the use of the nickname “chicharrero/a” has become popular, a nickname that arose in La Laguna, in a derogatory way towards their neighbors of Santa Cruz, who had the habit of eating chicharros, a cheap fish and of worse quality. Currently the nickname has spread to the entire island of Tenerife, being known as “chicharreros/as” all people who are from Tenerife.
In the capital there are several options to stay, from a room in Hotel Adonis Capital or an exquisite loft with jacuzzi and views of the city in the Palacio de Daoiz. Find your accommodation in Santa Cruz here.
Las Teresitas beach and viewpoint
A few kilometers from the capital is the Playa de las Teresitas, one of the best known of the island. We recommend that you contemplate it from above, from the Mirador de la Playa de las Teresitas, before or after the dip.
In reality this beach is an artificial beach, created to please tourist and family tastes with all kinds of services(parking, bathrooms, restaurants, beach bars, sun loungers, lifeguards, etc).
It was in the 70’s that the transformation of the beach into the Barranco de las Teresas (from which it gets its name), a beach of callaos and black volcanic sand, into the beach you see today, covered by sand from the Sahara, began!
The waters of the beach were also not calm as they are today, but experienced the strong currents of the Atlantic Ocean so another of the transformations (the first in fact, and more of a priority to make it more appealing to its family use) was to protect the beach from the strong waves with the construction of a large breakwater.
It is currently a beach of 1.3 kilometers long and 80 meters wide of fine sand where you can sunbathe.
From the viewpoint we will see on one side, the beach of Las Teresitas and on the other side the Playa de las Gaviotas, a black sand beach where nudism is common.
Puerto de la Cruz
Formerly known as Puerto de la Orotava, the city of Puerto de la Cruz has the particularity of having been one of the first tourist destinations in the country, back in the late nineteenth century, due to its climate and hospitality.
To make a tour of this city of the sea, you should not stray from the coast. Here are some points to pass through, from east to west:
- Martiánez Lake, by César Manrique. We begin our tour in the coastal creation of the Lanzarote-born Manrique in Puerto de la Cruz, a set of saltwater pools. Next to it, the beach of the same name, Playa de Martiánez, a black sand beach ideal for learning to surf. From the Mirador la Paz you will get the best panoramic view of the beach and the pools with the imposing Atlantic Ocean. Nearby is the Ermita de San Amaro, the oldest hermitage in the city.
- Ermita de San Telmo, a beautiful 16th century hermitage dedicated to San Telmo from where you can watch the sunset. If you want a dip, next door is the beach of San Telmo (also known as Bajío de San Telmo), very popular with local people and ideal for children at low tide for the small natural pools that form between the rocks.
- Punta del Viento viewpoint: a picturesque balcony overlooking the sea and the Manrique project.
- Plaza de la Iglesia: here is the most important church in the municipality, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia, which houses some of the most beloved images by the people of the port, such as the Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of the city, who is taken in procession on the Tuesday before July 16 each year.
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Eduardo Westerdahl (MACEW): a small museum located on the second floor of the Casa Real de la Aduana building, an example of traditional Canarian architecture from the 15th century. On the first floor is the Tourist Office.
- The Muelle de Puerto de la Cruz, the culprit that formerly the city was known as Puerto de la Orotava because its pier was the gateway to the delicacies of the Orotava Valley, such as bananas, wine or sugar cane, and entry to other iguarias of the world on the island.
- Plaza del Charco is a square in the heart of the city where you can find several restaurants and bars with terraces where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the city and the Canarian gastronomy. The name of the square arose because in the past there used to be a large puddle fed by seawater where fish were bred.
- La Ranilla neighborhood and its street art: the traditional fishermen’s neighborhood, La Ranilla, is now an open-air museum of urban art through the Puerto Street Art project. Stroll through the streets of the neighborhood that runs between the Plaza del Charco and the Peñón del Fraile to admire various interventions by national and international artists. In addition, this neighborhood is also home to the Archaeological Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of Guanche ceramics on the island.
- Castillo de San Felipe, this 17th century fortress (renovated in the 19th century) protected the city from attacks by pirates who were attracted by the importance of the commercial and maritime traffic of Puerto de la Cruz. Currently the fortress is declared a Historic Artistic Monument and hosts various cultural activities.
- Playa Jardín is actually the union of three coves, Playa del Castillo, Playa del Charcón and Playa de Punta Brava, connected by the promenade with many landscaped areas full of cactus whose colors contrast with the black sand.
In addition to this walking tour, if you have time, go to the:
- Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz, a garden of the eighteenth century that functioned as a space of care andacclimatization for all the plants that arrived here and needed to adapt before being introduced in mainland Spain. Here you will find 2 hectares with more than 2,500 species of plants from the American, Asian, African and European continents. The entrance fee to the Botanical Garden is 3€ and the opening hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. As a curiosity, you can find in La Orotava the Hijuela of this Botanical Garden.
It was precisely in Puerto de la Cruz where we stayed on one of our trips to the island for its varied choice of accommodations from this beautiful Studio with sea views, this Studio overlooking the pier or the Sunny Island Lago Martianez apartment.
From Puerto de la Cruz there is a trail to Playa del Bollulo that starts here and goes along some banana plantations if you prefer to go on foot instead of by car.
El Bollullo Beach
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, in Playa El Bollullo the fine black volcanic sand contrasts with the blue of its clean and transparent waters along 160 meters.
Despite being a wild beach (without services) it is relatively accessible by car although the road to get there is not the easiest: it is a narrow road where only one car can enter, so it is common to have to stop and reverse to where there is a gap to let you pass. Luckily we didn’t have to stop on the way there, but you know, here the ideal is to go slowly, carefully and patiently.
As soon as you arrive, you will see that there are several pay parking lots. The one we chose cost 3€ until 18:00h and an additional 2€ if you wanted to stay from 18:00h to 21:00h.
If you visit the island in summer, consider that every July 16, the day of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of sailors, takes place the Embarcación de la Virgen del Carmen al Bollullo. On this day, every year, the Bajada de la Virgen takes place, a walk along the coast with the image of the Virgen del Carmen, which is located in the chapel of the stairs that give access to the beach.
That is why that night, hundreds of people (mostly young people) camped at El Bollullo Beach after long hours of partying. At Randomtrip we happened to unknowingly approach the beach on that very day and found the black beach dotted with colorful umbrellas.
Nearby, about 15 minutes from Bollullo by car, is La Giganta, in Santa Ursula, a beautiful 4-meter stone sculpture surrounded by flowers and plants, symbol of the municipality in which it is located.
Rambla de Castro
The Protected Natural Landscape of Rambla de Castro hosts 45 hectares where the history of the island and nature are intertwined. Here you will find the most exuberant palm groves of the island (the Madre de Agua is ideal to contemplate one of them), impressive specimens of dragon trees and several historical buildings such as the water elevator of La Gordejuela, the Fort of San Fernando, the Casona de los Castro or the Ermita San Pedro. In addition, you will pass by beautiful beaches where you can take a swim as the Gordejuela Beach or Castro Beach.
You can do a short circular trail along Rambla de Castro or, the longest and most recommended (but equally easy with almost no slope) along the coast of Los Realejos whose starting point is next to the Hotel Maritim and ends at the Mirador de San Pedro. More info about the route here.
Villa de la Orotava was one of the places that surprised us most on the island with a historic center of colorful cobblestone streets and colonial buildings so well preserved that it was declared a Historic-Artistic Site.
La Orotava is located 390 meters above sea level in the middle of the valley of the same name, the Orotava Valley, which was created by the detachment of a cliff. Within its majestic historical ensemble stand out:
- The Town Hall, a 19th-century neoclassical building in front of which beautiful carpets of flowers and volcanic earth are exhibited every year during the Corpus Christi festivities and its traditional Holy Week.
- Hijuela del Botánico Do you remember the Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz? Well, here is the Hijuela, much smaller, also for acclimatization of some plants that came mainly from the American continent, due to the climate of the area, and then redistributed. You can also contemplate a beautiful dragon tree, a symbol of Tenerife.
- La Casa de los Balcones, also called Casa Méndez Fonseca, a traditional Canarian manor house considered a monument of the Villa de la Orotava whose construction dates back to 1632. It has been inhabited by several illustrious families (such as the Fonseca family) and houses a collection of antiques and a space dedicated to Canarian lacework (a rather complex woven lace) where we can learn about this craft technique that is at the origin of the Casa de los Balcones. It has a beautiful courtyard with many plants and the craftsmanship of the balconies in Canarian pine wood is impressive. It was our favorite visit in La Orotava:
- Molino de Gofio La Máquina: an old water mill where one of the most typical foods of the Canarian gastronomy, gofio, is still manufactured and sold.
- Iglesia de la Concepción: on the façade of this 18th-century church, one of the most important examples of baroque on the island, stand out its 25-meter high towers, and the circumferences in which the Canary Islands and Cuba are represented. Its maroon dome can be seen from several points and is highly photogenic.
- Jardín Victoria or Jardines del Marquesado de la Quinta Roja, a set of landscaped terraces ideal for contemplating the views of La Orotava towards the sea.
- Plaza de la Constituición and the Church of San Agustín, which currently houses the Casa de la Cultura de La Orotava.
If you get hungry in La Orotava consider the cafeteria of the Liceo de Taoro, a palace surrounded by gardens, or the restaurant of Casa Lercaro, an impressive manor house where you can enjoy a traditional Canarian dish in its courtyard (2-in-1, right?). Your visit to La Orotava deserves nothing less.
In La Orotava you will also find a careful selection of accommodations, find yours here.
Only 15 minutes away from the capital of Tenerife, Candelaria is probably the place of most religious interest in Tenerife and probably in the Canary archipelago, because it is home to the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria. In her honor, festivities are held twice a year: the first on February 2 (Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria) and the second on August 14-15 (Feast in Honor of Our Lady of Candelaria).
It is said that the statue of the virgin was found before the conquest, by Guanche shepherds, and another of the tourist attractions of Candelaria are the statues of the 9 Menceyes (Guanche kings) of Tenerife.
Besides this, other points of interest in Candelaria are its black sand beach, the Ermita de San Blas (where the shepherds found the virgin) or the Centro Alfarero “Casa Las Miquelas” (an old house rehabilitated to learn about pottery, the main industry of Candelaria between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).
Pyramids of Güimar
Pyramids in the Canary Islands? Yes! In Güimar you can appreciate them in the Ethnographic Park Pirámides de Güimar, founded in 1998 by the Norwegian researcher Thor Heyerdahl who managed to protect them. They are a set of 6 pyramids, whose origin is still unknown: some archaeologists argue that they are simply “piled stones” (known as majanos by the local population, piles of stones created by farmers when clearing the land for cultivation), but on the other hand the structure of the same and its orientation (they are oriented towards the summer and winter solstices) make them consider that they have historical interest.
In any case, the park also has exhibitions and a botanical garden, which includes a poison garden (with 70 poisonous species) and a sustainable garden that reproduces what a Canarian ravine would look like. There is a fee for access to the park.
Buy your ticket to the pyramids of Guimar here and save the queues.
Charco de La Laja
In the north of Tenerife, we can find several puddles (natural pools), such as the Charco de La Laja in San Juan de la Rambla, a volcanic work of art made by nature. It is advisable to visit it in good weather (be careful when there is high tide if the sea is rough) and during the week to try to coincide with fewer people.
To get there, you can drive to the lookout point, park wherever you can in the surrounding area, and take a couple of photos from the lookout point before going down the stairs to the pool.
Very close to this pool of transparent waters is the Playa de los Roques, a pebble beach accessible by a small dirt road.
Icod de los Vinos and the millenary Dragon tree
If there is something that stands out in Icod de Los Vinos is undoubtedly its Millenary Dragon Tree, the largest and oldest in the world with an estimated age between 700 and 800 years (the second oldest is said to be the one that can be seen on the island of Pico, Azores, in the Museu do Vinho do Pico).
The Drago Milenario is about 18m high and about 20 in diameter (in its branches) and is located within the Drago Park, which is paid for access (5 €) and in which besides being able to see the Drago up close you can enjoy its small botanical gardens and a recreation of a Guanche cave. It is open every day of the week and the schedule varies depending on the time of year:
- From April 1 to September 30: open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- From October 1 to March 31: open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
In our opinion, if you are only curious to see the Drago, it is not worth paying the entrance fee, since you will be able to see it perfectly well from a safe distance from the Plaza Andrés de Lorenzo Cáceres, specifically from this point.
At 3km from the center of Icod de los Vinos there is another place we recommend you visit: the Cueva del Viento. It is a volcanic cavity, shaped like a tube, created by lava from the first eruptions of the Pico Viejo volcano some 27,000 years ago. Although the visitable section is only 200m, the explored galleries extend 18km underground (it is the 5th largest volcanic tube in the world, after the 4 in Hawaii). Visits are conducted in small guided groups and tickets must be purchased online (20€/person). The activity includes a projection, specialist guide, helmets, flashlights, transport to the cave by 4×4 and a short walk through the forest (about 2h in total).
Garachico and its old town
Another interesting stop in the north is Garachico, a small town that during the first centuries after the conquest was the main commercial port of the island until the eruption of the Garachico volcano (or Arenas Negras volcano) destroyed the port and part of the town in 1706.
Today, if the weather is good, it is possible to take a dip in its pools(natural pools El Caletón), generated when the lava from that destructive eruption cooled, or stroll through its narrow streets observing its historical heritage, such as the Plaza de la Libertad (named after the statue of the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar, El Libertador, who in theory had ancestors here in Garachico), the Church of Santa Ana (built in 1520 but severely damaged in the eruption of 1706, so it had to be rebuilt; inside, the highlight is its“Cristo de Maíz“, made by Mexican Indians), or the Puerta de Tierra (the remains of the old commercial port, where all people and goods entering or leaving Garachico had to pass through the gate, which is now preserved in a park).
The “last” village in the north of Tenerife, Buenavista del Norte, so called because of the “good views” it has, deserves a visit to its historic center, where the Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (from the sixteenth century, although a terrible fire destroyed part of the heritage in 1996), the Plaza de los Remedios (meeting point and nerve center, with a small bar/kiosk where you can have a drink) or the Casa de la Viuda (an example of Canarian architecture of the seventeenth century) are worth a visit.
Punta de Teno Point
La Punta de Teno, within the Teno Rural Park, is a small piece of land in the area of Teno Bajo, the result of more recent eruptions, as can be seen perfectly in this incredible aerial photo from Flywithstan.com(The Piper Pilot, always sharing incredible images of the Canary Islands).
From Punta de Teno you will have incredible views of the cliffs of Los Gigantes, you can take a dip in its clear waters or see its lighthouse.
Access to Punta de Teno is through a narrow road, which, being in a protected area (the Teno Rural Park), has time restrictions: at present, access by car is prohibited (unless authorized) at the following times:
- Summer (July, August, and September):
- Tuesday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- From 9:00 a.m. Friday to 8:00 p.m. Monday
- Rest of the year (October to June):
- Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- From 10:00 on Friday to 19:00 on Monday
That is, if you want to go in your car to Punta de Teno you can only do it from Tuesday to Thursday, outside those hours (for example, after 20h to see the sunset in summer). The main alternative is to go by guagua (bus), line 369 connects Buenavista with Punta de Teno every 20 minutes and costs 1€ each way, or you can also go by cab (or by bike or on foot).
Masca and Masca Valley
One of our favorite landscapes of Tenerife is the panoramic view of the Masca Valley that you can have from the Mirador de Masca.
The winding road between the ravines and cliffs of Teno Rural Park is impressive and recommended to watch the sunset. The TF-436 road from Santiago del Teide to Buenavista del Norte is a succession of sharp curves that take us into an incredible landscape that is worth to be contemplated.
On the way down to Masca from Santiago del Teide, you can make stops at the different viewpoints, as long as there is space to park (it is advisable to avoid weekends and holidays where the influx is greater). Once you get to the village, there are some restaurants, but the best thing to do is to enjoy the views.
There is a demanding hiking route that goes all the way down the Masca ravine to the sea. The route is limited to 100 people per day and only on weekends (book your place here) and will reward you with an adventure among the vertical walls and breathtaking landscapes. More info about the route here. If you don’t find availability, you can try hiring a tour, as it seems that the agencies have/block the places. Before there was an option to do only the descent and then go out by sea by boat or kayak, but nowadays there is no option and you have to go down and back up again (about 6-7h in total).
Santiago del Teide
In addition to visiting the square of Santiago del Teide (where the town hall and the Church of San Fernando Rey are located), you can learn about volcanology at the Centro De Visitantes e Interpretacion Volcan Chinyero and take a hiking route around the volcano that gives its name to the center, the Chinyero Volcano, the last to erupt in Tenerife (in 1909).
If you visit Tenerife between January and March, you can also enjoy the flowering of the almond trees.
The best hiking trails in Tenerife
Here are some of the best-known and most impressive hiking trails in Tenerife, although there are many more:
- Climbing the Pico del Teide (reservation required, more info on how to climb here)
- Roques de García circular trail (more info)
- El Pijaral-Bosque Encantado in Anaga(reservations required)
- Barranco de Masca: demanding route (you have to climb and descend 600 m of vertical drop, between 5 and 7h in total) reaches the sea and is limited to Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays with a maximum of people per day. You will be rewarded with an adventure among vertical walls and breathtaking landscapes. If you want to do it, you must book your place on this website(if there are no places, you can try to book a tour like this one), go in mountain shoes and consider that you must wear a helmet at all times (they lend it to you there). Also consider that if you are going to do the route, although you can get to Masca by car, the main parking is limited to 2 hours maximum so it is better to arrive by bus or cab from Buenavista or Santiago del Teide. They are small buses so ideally you should arrive at the bus stop in good time.
- Circular route of the Chinyero (more info)
Where to dive in Tenerife
With more than 60 dive sites along the coast for all levels, an average water temperature of 26º in summer and 19º in winter, and a visibility of up to 25 meters, Tenerife is an excellent island for those who want to hit the (oxygen) tank.
Here are just a few of the dive sites but there are many more. When you arrive at the dive center, tell us your level of certified diver (Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, …), how many dives you have done, how long you have not dived, and what you would like to see so that your adventure is as adapted as possible to your needs.
Where to dive in Tenerife South
- Los Gigantes: the seabed of Los Gigantes is 30 meters deep and is quite difficult to access, so it is home to a great biological diversity: calcareous algae, black coral, sponges and much more.
- Barranco Seco (Los Gigantes): possibility of seeing eels, stingrays and angel sharks.
- Atlántida (Los Gigantes): large prism-shaped basaltic rock where it is possible to see moray eels, red mullet, bream, trumpet fish, etc.
- Punta Blanca: possibility of encountering large schools of fish
- Los Gemelos (Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje): two small ships sunk (apparently on purpose) at the end of the 20th century.
- El Condesito (El Palmar): a 30 m long ship that ran aground off the coast in 1971 and is currently sunk in a submarine canyon at a depth of 20 meters.
- Chuchos (Las Galletas): to see, as the name of the dive indicates, black storks.
- Montaña Amarilla: very biodiverse seabed, you can see trumpet fish, bream, bream, pejeverdes, grunts, old and in the sandy bottom lizards, spiders, tapaculos, cuttlefish, eels, gardeners and stingrays.
Where to dive in Tenerife North
- Las Anclas (Garachico): possibility of finding blankets!
- La Catedral de Garachico (Garachico): groupers, shrimps, trumpet fishes
- Los Realejos (Rambla de Castro): groupers, bicudas, morays
- La Catedral (Puerto de la Cruz): moray eels, crabs, sea breams
- Radazul (near Santa Cruz): barracudas, manta rays, parrotfishes, trumpetfishes
If you have never been scuba diving and would like to experience it, do a diving baptism in:
- Las Galletas, near Montaña Amarilla (South)
- Costa Adeje (South)
- Los Cristianos (South)
- Radazul, near Santa Cruz (North)
Important: Remember that, due to pressure changes and accumulation of residual nitrogen that we accumulate in the body when diving*, you should not climb to high altitudes that same day, so you should not fly or climb the Teide within 24 hours after doing this activity.
*When we dive, we accumulate a certain amount of residual nitrogen in the body that we will have to eliminate through breathing and as the hours go by, so that same day we should not ascend to high altitudes because our body will still have excess nitrogen in the tissues. It is for this reason that divers are recommended not to fly a minimum of 12 hours before the last no-decompression dive, 18 hours if they were dives of several days and up to 24 hours if they were deep dives.
Other water activities in Tenerife:
If you prefer other types of water activities, try snorkeling in:
- The wall of El Palmar (South)
- Costa Adeje (South)
- Snorkeling with Turtle Watching in Las Galletas (South)
- Snorkeling and Kayak in Los Cristianos (South)
If you prefer, you can learn to surf in Las Americas (South).
Where to stay in Tenerife: best areas
Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, you can imagine the wide range of accommodations that the island has, there are for all tastes and budgets. If on your trip you want to escape the cold and enjoy the beach, in the south you will find good weather and sun practically all year round. In the north it is not the same as there you will find winter weather during those months of the year (especially in areas with higher altitudes) but, on the other hand, you will be closer to several of the points of interest on the island.
Where to stay in the South of Tenerife
Most of the apartments and hotels, some of them with the all-inclusive option, are located in the south of the island, in the areas of Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, although if you prefer to wake up with a view of the imposing cliff of Los Gigantes, there is also a wide range of places to stay.
Los Gigantes was where we stayed the first time we visited the island of Tenerife, and we loved it:
- Flor de Pascua (from 60€/night): 2-bedroom apartment with sea and Los Gigantes views
- Beachfront & Sunny Apartment Los Gigantes (from 75€/night): 1 bedroom apartment with terrace facing the sea, 60 meters from Los Gigantes beach.
- Perla de Roca in Poblado Marinero (from 104€/night): 2-bedroom apartment with sea views
- Vista Azul (from 128€/night): 1-bedroom apartment overlooking the sea and the imposing Los Gigantes cliffs
- Florida Ocean View Gigantes (from 129€/night): 2-bedroom apartment with terrace and sea and Los Gigantes view
In Costa Adeje, where we stayed for 3 weeks on our last Tenerife trip, there are several options for all tastes and wallets:
- La Maison du Surfeur (from €44/night): private double rooms with shared bathroom and outdoor swimming pool
- La Tortuga Hostal (from 52€/night): double rooms with private or shared bathroom with living room, kitchen, terrace and barbecue to share among guests.
- SeaView Costa Adeje (from 66€/night): 1 bedroom apartment with terrace and sea view with private parking, less than 1 km from Puerto Colón Beach
- PaulMarie Apartment OceanView (from 219€/night): two-bedroom apartment that can sleep up to 6 people
In our favorite area of this piece of coast, quite quieter, La Caleta, is also more “careta”, we recommend you:
- Apartments La Caleta Sunrise (from 149€/night): apartments with terrace for up to 4 people, facing the sea
- La Caleta Luxury Penthouse (from 320€/night): apartment for up to 4 people right next to the beach of la Caleta and the restaurants of the area.
- Royal Hideway Corals Beach (from 340€/night): if you want something a bit more exquisite, take a look at the suites in one of the most exclusive hotels in the area. We went to their rooftop for a drink although the pool can only be used by guests.
If you are looking for fun and nightlife, Playa de las Americas is your place:
- Endless Summer Hostal (from 54€/night): bunk beds with shared terrace and lounge in the heart of Paya de las Américas
- Regency Country Club (from 94€/night): 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments, some with Jacuzzi and solarium. All apartments have access to the communal pool and some have sea view.
- Veronicas (from 100€/night): 2 bedroom apartment with terrace and very close to the nightlife of the Americas, ideal for those who want to party on the island.
- Duplex in Playa de las Americas (from 137€/night): 3-bedroom apartment, ideal for groups of 6 persons
Another option where to sleep is in Los Cristianos, quieter than Las Americas, where you can also find several options:
- Casa Sonny (from 90€/night): 1 bedroom apartment with terrace overlooking the sea, 270 meters from Los Cristianos beach.
- OceanView Los Cristianos (from 93€/night): 1-bedroom apartment with sea views, ideal for enjoying the sunset from the balcony
- Apartment Beach View (from 122€/night): 1-bedroom apartment for up to 3 persons
- Modern Apartment Los Cristianos Center (from 128€/night): 1-bedroom apartment with sea and mountain views
Where to stay in the North of Tenerife
Although the weather is not as pleasant as in the south in the winter months and its beaches tend to have more waves, in the north of Tenerife the atmosphere is more local, less crowded and also ideal to know many of the corners of the island because of its location.
Our favorite place to stay in the north is beautiful La Laguna, which has a handful of accommodations to stay in its historic center and a variety of restaurants and bars to end the day after daytime excursions in Tenerife.
- Aguere Nest Hostal: 23€/night in bunk beds
- Studio La Vera: 38€/night the studio
- Rincón de mi Niña: 55€/night for a 2-bedroom apartment
- La Laguna Gran Hotel: 93€/night for a deluxe room in a great hotel with views of the city and swimming pool in the historic center, very close to the Teatro Leal.
Another option where to stay in Tenerife is that city that was the first tourist destination of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, where you will also have beach and restaurants and bars:
- Beautiful Studio with Sea View (from 58€/night): studio with sea and city views
- Punta Brava Sun Relax (from 70€/night): 2-bedroom apartment, ideal for 4 people, with terrace and whirlpool bathtub.
- Edén del Mar (from 82€/night): beautiful one-bedroom apartment in the center of town
- Studio overlooking the pier (from 85€/night): right on the pier of Puerto de la Cruz
- Sunny Island Lago Martiánez (from 110€/night): 1 bedroom apartment with balcony 400 meters from Martiánez beach
Finally, you can also choose to stay in the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- Hotel Adonis Capital (from 52€/night): rooms in the center of Santa Cruz between several restaurants, stores and bars
- Palacio de Daoiz Lofts (from 85€/night): rooms, apartments and lofts for 4 people, with solarium with whirlpool bath and views of the city, 200 meters from the TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes).
- Home2Book Bright Center Santa Cruz, Wifi (from 89€/night): 2-bedroom apartment with balcony and city view 500 meters from TEA
Best restaurants in Tenerife
Before recommending specific restaurants where you can enjoy the gastronomy of Tenerife we want to talk about the famous Guanchinches. Guachinches are establishments in Tenerife that serve traditional Canarian food and were originally created by farmers to sell their young wines of the year. They are simple places with homemade food at very appetizing prices and there are several around the island. If you have been in Galicia, the guachinches in Tenerife remind us of the Galician furanchos. There are more economical and popular ones and others with higher prices. Here we propose you some of them, among other types of restaurants.
Where to eat in the South of Tenerife
- La Masía del Mar (La Caleta de Costa Adeje): good fish restaurant, we recommend the Canary Island wreckfish, although we were disappointed with the service (we expected a different kind of attention and friendliness).
- Mirlo (La Caleta de Costa Adeje): with terrace and sea views, we repeated the Mirlo because we loved the food, the service and the views.
- Maresía (La Caleta de Adeje): it is the rooftop pool bar of the luxury hotel Royal Hideway Corales Resort Azotea and we loved it for cocktails with friends at sunset.
- Pistacho Coffee Brunch (Los Cristianos): if you are craving for brunch, here they have a varied menu for all tastes.
- Restaurant El Chamo (La Escalona, near Arona), on the main road, near Arona. Restaurant of typical Canarian food with very good quality and better treatment. Specialty in meats (kid, lamb, suckling pig, rabbit). If like Ines you are not meat lovers, you should know that the watercress stew and grilled cheese with mojo are delicious. It is the typical place where Tenerife families go to eat on Sundays.
Where to eat in the North of Tenerife
- La Huerta de Ana y Eva: this “guachinche” is located near the sculpture of La Giganta and we loved it. Excellent tapas at excellent prices.
- El Calderito de La Abuela (Santa Úrsula): Vane from La Ardilla Voladora took us there and we loved it! Various snacks to share, with good views if you get one of the tables in the window.
- Bodegas Monje: restaurant in the famous Tenerife winery, it was one of the places where we ate the best on our trip. Creative gastronomic proposals with local and seasonal products, excellent wine pairing and views to the vineyards (and hopefully to the Teide).
- Arepera Punto Criollo (La Laguna): the best arepas of the island, if you pass by La Laguna and you are hungry, don’t even think of not taking advantage of this opportunity.
- Tasca La Venta de la Esquina (La Laguna): tapas and excellent service, we will be back.
- La tasca de Cristian (La Laguna): we entered because of the coincidence of the name, of course (we remind you that 50% of Randomtrip is called Christian) and it was a good surprise.
- Tasca El Olivo (Puerto de la Cruz): we liked both the service and what we tasted.
- El Bistro de Antonio Aguiar (Puerto de la Cruz): we had heard very good things about this place and although the food is delicious, the service is very slow and the prices are abusive in our opinion.
- Cofradía de Pescadores (Puerto de la Cruz): unpretentious restaurant, delicious grilled cheese and seafood rice.
- Restaurant La Compostelana (Puerto de la Cruz): Vane from La Ardilla Voladora took us to taste their desserts and some bar snacks.
- Casa Santiago (Anaga): we were recommended this homemade food restaurant in Anaga that we did not get to try.
- Guachinche Bibi y Mana (Taganana, Anaga): Guanchinche in Anaga with traditional food and good prices.
- Bar Los Churritos (San Andrés): next to Las Teresitas, specialized in fish and octopus churros.
Tenerife has a lot of plans, so to see everything you need at least a week. As we know that we do not always have so much time, here are some suggestions for itineraries based on the number of days you have available to visit the island of Tenerife.
If you are looking for relaxation and beach time, regardless of the days you have, it is best to choose a beach according to your travel style and see the nearest accommodation options to minimize travel. We suggest a few in the south of the island, where it never gets cold here.
Things to do in Tenerife in 2 or 3 days (a weekend)
A weekend is very little time for all that Tenerife has to offer, so if you only have 2 or 3 days, you will have to make a good selection of what you are most interested in seeing. Here is a suggested itinerary for a weekend with a day for each area:
- Day 1: Arrival to the island and route through the south (Los Gigantes, El Médano, Montaña Amarilla…). Watch the sunset in any point of the coast (for example in La Caleta having a drink).
- Day 2: Teide NP. Tour by car, stopping at the different viewpoints and points of interest indicated on the map, and climbing by cable car. Watch the sunset in Chipeque
- Day 3: Northern route based on time available (Anaga, La Laguna, La Orotava, Garachico, Icod de los Vinos…)
Depending on taste, plans can be removed/added, trying to maintain the zones to minimize displacements.
Things to do in Tenerife in 4 or 5 days
4 or 5 days in Tenerife are not enough to see everything, especially if you want to do some hiking, but it is enough time to see the main areas and get a general idea of the island.
Here is our proposal to visit Tenerife in 5 days:
- Day 1: Arrival to the island and route through the south (Los Gigantes, El Médano, Montaña Amarilla…). Watch the sunset in any point of the coast (for example in La Caleta having a drink).
- Day 2: Teide NP. Tour by car, stopping at the different viewpoints and points of interest indicated on the map, and climbing by cable car. Hiking route Roques de García. Watch the sunset in Chipeque
- Day 3: Hiking in Anaga (e.g. Pijaral) and visit to other points and viewpoints in the park (e.g. Benijo beach) and La Laguna.
- Day 4: Route through northern villages (Garachico, Icod de los Vinos, La Orotava…). Sunset in Punta de Teno.
- Day 5: Missing spots in our favorite area (or relaxing on the beach)
Things to do in Tenerife in one week (7 or 8 days)
In our opinion, a week is the perfect amount of days to get to know Tenerife well, visiting a large part of its points of interest but leaving time to enjoy unhurried hiking or some of its beaches.
Here is an idea of an itinerary to visit Tenerife in 7 days:
- Day 1: Arrival to the island and route through the south (Los Gigantes, El Médano, Montaña Amarilla…). Watch the sunset in any point of the coast (for example in La Caleta having a drink).
- Day 2: Teide NP. Drive by car stopping at the different viewpoints and points of interest indicated on the map. Around 14:00 we start the ascent to the refuge where we will spend the night.
- Day 3: Teide NP. We get up early at the refuge to climb the Pico del Teide and see the sunrise. Afterwards we go down by cable car and continue our route through the park by the missing points. Sunset in Chipeque
- Day 4: Hiking in Anaga (e.g. Pijaral) and visit to other points and viewpoints in the park (e.g. Benijo beach) and La Laguna.
- Day 5: Route through northern villages (Garachico, Icod de los Vinos, La Orotava…). Sunset in Punta de Teno.
- Day 6: Missing spots in our favorite area, hiking and/or relaxing at the beach
- Day 7: Missing spots in our favorite area, hiking and/or relaxing at the beach
If you have more days, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the neighboring island of La Gomera. The ferry ride between Los Cristianos and La Gomera takes less than 1 hour(book your ferry here) and we guarantee you won’t regret it: La Gomera was one of the biggest surprises we had on our trips through the Canary Islands.
Getting around: rent a car in Tenerife
As in all the Canary Islands (with the exception of La Graciosa), in Tenerife we consider it essential to rent a car to enjoy the island to the fullest, take advantage of the time, and visit some emblematic places (which can not be reached by public transport). We recommend you to compare prices and conditions in comparators such as DiscoverCars.
Car rental companies in Tenerife
Pluscar is usually the one with the cheapest prices, all inclusive, no excess and possibility to modify/cancel the reservation easily and free of charge, although we always compare with other companies because depending on the demand and the season prices can vary a lot (the last time we booked with Autoreisen, for example). To always find the best price, we recommend you to use comparators like DiscoverCars (although we recommend you to check the conditions of each company and not only the price).
The companies we recommend for car rental in Tenerife are (all of them have full insurance without excess, second driver included and “return the same” fuel policy):
- Cicar and Cabrera Medina (they are the same company): Be careful! this is the only company that allows you to take your car on the boat in case you want to visit the neighboring island of La Gomera.
- Payless (the low cost of the above)
- Topcar (this one is franchised)
In our various trips through the Canary Islands, we have rented with several of these companies (Pluscar, Cicar, Cabrera Medina, Payless and Autoreisen), in all cases without any problems.
As we say, it is advisable to compare prices so it is ideal to use comparators such as DiscoverCars to see what is cheaper depending on the dates.
Important: most car rental companies do not cover damage caused by driving on unpaved roads.
Important 2: since the pandemic, the rental companies had to sell part of their fleet to hold on and now they have difficulties to acquire more vehicles, so with less supply and the same or more demand, prices have risen and it is possible that in high tourist seasons they may be sold out or have prohibitive prices. Therefore, it is very important to try to book as far in advance as possible.
Car rental prices in Tenerife
The prices for renting a car in Tenerife vary depending on the number of days rented, the season, the type of car and how far in advance the reservation is made. In the searches we made, Pluscar was the one with the cheapest prices, which currently can be at least 15€/day. For your reference, in Randomtrip we rented a car with Pluscar in 2018 and paid 13€/day; in 2023 the cheapest price was found in Cicar and amounted to 20€/day.
That price includes unlimited kilometers, all risk insurance, two drivers and a deliver-as-you-go fuel policy.
Indicative budget: how much does it cost to travel to Tenerife?
Making an approximate budget is always a complicated task because it depends greatly on factors such as your style of travel, what you prefer to prioritize, and in what season you travel, but here’s an approximation to give you an idea:
- Flights: with low cost companies like Ryanair and Easyjet you can find flights from 50€ round trip per person, from Madrid.
- Car rental: between 15 and 50€ per day for the cheapest car, which is usually a Twingo/Panda/Fiat500 (depending on the company and the number of days), all inclusive. The approximate price for a week with Pluscar with a couple of months in advance is 15€ per day (i.e. 105€ in total). Gasoline is cheaper in the Canary Islands, it will depend on the kms you do, as a guideline a tank of an economic car is about 40-50€.
- Accommodation: from 50€/night for a room with private bathroom or apartment with kitchen.
- Restaurant meals: between €10 and €20 per person
- Beach meals (sandwiches) or tapas at a beach bar: between 3 and 10€ per person
- Tours: 20 to 60€ per person per tour.
In total, as a guideline, a one-week trip to Tenerife with a rented car can cost between 550 and 800€ per person (with the cheapest options of car, accommodation and restaurants).
Tips and Precautions for traveling to Tenerife
- Don’t be an accomplice to animal abuse! If you go to Loro Park or even Siam Park you will be contributing to the captivity of animals and forced activities for human entertainment.
- Respect the fauna and flora. If you see a terrestrial or marine animal, do not touch it, do not harm it, do not scare it, and do not feed it . Do not interfere in their natural processes contributing to the alteration of their behavior.
- Respect other people and the island: don’t play your music loudly on the beach (if you want to listen to music, wear headphones), don’t leave trash, don’t throw cigarette butts, etc. Leave the beach better than you found it.
- A large influx of people to a certain site can have a negative impact so be responsible when you visit a place: respect the rules, do not climb the volcanic formation/tree/monument you are visiting, do not paint on its walls, avoid touching and, out of respect for the rest of the people visiting the place, do not make noise or “monopolize” the place with your photos.
- In some beaches bathing is dangerous due to strong currents. Do not force.
- Always travel with travel insurance: medical expenses, theft or problems with your plane on a trip can cost you a lot of money, so the ideal is to take out travel insurance. At Randomtrip we always use IATI and we recommend it. If you purchase your insurance through this link you have a 5% discount.
Useful apps for traveling to Tenerife
We recommend some applications that will be useful on your trip to the island of Tenerife:
- Windy(Android / iOS / Web): essential app in our travels, it allows you to see forecasts of rain, clouds, wind, etc. to help you plan your days based on the weather (as there are places that lose a lot depending on the weather). Obviously the forecasts are not 100% reliable. It also shows the available webcams
- Google Maps(Android / iOS): is the one we use to save / classify all the places we want to go / have gone and as GPS in rental cars. You can see other people’s opinions of the places, photos, restaurant menus, telephone numbers to contact them, etc.
- Maps.me(Android / iOS): application similar to Google Maps but works offline (although Google Maps can also work offline, this one works better) and in many cases has information that Google Maps does not have, especially trails.
- Webcams of Tenerife Playas: it is not an app but on this website you can check the weather at the beach you want to go to before going out.
Checklist: what to pack in your backpack/suitcase for your trip to Tenerife
Here is a list of essential items that you can’t forget to take with you on your trip to the island of Tenerife:
- Reef friendlysunscreen, i.e. free of coral-damaging chemicals, oxybenzone-free, and not tested on animals, such as this one or this one.
- Cap, the sun is very strong
- A water bottle like one of these to always carry water with you and also avoid using single-use plastic. Remember, in the Canary Islands you can drink tap water but it is desalinated so it has a very particular taste. If you are going to buy bottled water, it is better to buy 8L bottles at the supermarket to minimize the use of plastic.
- A neck brace like one of these to protect you from wind and sand.
- Long sleeve lycra T-shirt with UV protection that we wear to protect us from cold water or the sun when snorkeling (or even for diving, underneath the neoprene), such as one of these.
- Snorkel kit/glasses if you want to bring your own, otherwise you can rent. Here you have a kit for less than 20€.
- Waterproof bag, to keep your electronic devices safe on the dive/snorkel boat or on the beaches. This one for example costs 12€.
- Microfiber towel, which occupies little and you will use for the beach. If you don’t have one, you can buy the typical ones from Decathlon or these ones on Amazon
- Camera to record adventures. Around here we always carry a Sony A5100 and a GoPro for underwater images.
- Power bank: with so many photos you will spend a lot of battery, so it is always good to carry a good power bank. Here we travel with these two power banks(Xiaomi and Anker), which allow us to charge our smartphones, camera and GoPro.
- First-aid kit: in ourfirst-aid kit there is always a medicine against seasickness (such as biodramine for seasickness on boats), antibiotics, antidiarrheals (and some probiotics to recover more quickly), antihistamines, painkillers and antipyretics. If you need to go to the doctor, at Randomtrip we always carry travel insurance just in case(if you contract it in this link you have a 5% discount).
Which one do you prefer: the sea of waves on the beaches, the sea of clouds on the shores of Mount Teide or the sea of people celebrating life? Surely your trip to Tenerife will give you adventures in all of them so…. Bon Voyage, Randomtripper!
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