Tenerife is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Canary Islands. Every year, millions of tourists fly to the island, which is located more than three hundred kilometers west of the Moroccan coast. Tenerife is especially popular among sun lovers. That is not surprising when you realize how wonderful the climate of Tenerife is. The mild subtropical climate ensures excellent holiday weather, especially on the southern coast: lots of sun, little rain and many warm days. Statistically, Tenerife has one of the nicest climates in all of Europe. Ideal for those looking for sun, sea, beach and terraces.
According to Paradisdachat.com, Tenerife has much more to offer. The island formed by volcanism is known for its impressive landscapes. And it has many faces here. Think of green hills in the north, black desolate plains in the west and almost otherworldly views in the central part of Tenerife. Those who love special landscapes have arrived at the right destination here. Those who want to can be wonderfully active here. Think of walking, cycling or all kinds of water sports. The literal highlight of Tenerife is the Pico del Teide. With a height of 3718 meters above sea level, El Teide is the highest mountain in all of Spain. If weather conditions permit,
What else does Tenerife have to offer? A lot! You can do a jeep safari, take a boat trip, participate in cool hiking trips or visit authentic villages. You can do that as an organized excursion, or you can rent a car and go on your own. We have listed the 10 nicest, most beautiful and most interesting activities and sights in Tenerife for you.
Top 10 things to do in Tenerife
#1. Del Teide National Park
Volcano El Teide and the surrounding area is a national park with a wide variety of landscapes. In the west you will find jet-black volcanic rock, just below the Pico del Teide you have a beautiful viewpoint (‘mirador’) over beautifully formed volcanic rocks and immediately east of the peak you see landscapes that are colored green by sulfur in such a way are that you imagine yourself on another planet. You don’t have to be a die-hard nature lover to enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful views that you will find in Del Teide National Park.
Entrance to Del Teide National Park is completely free. There are no entrance gates. By means of signs along the road you know when you enter the protected nature reserve. From that moment on you will see that the landscape is constantly changing.
There are roughly three ways to travel to Del Teide National Park: by rental car, by bus or as part of an organized excursion. To be honest, we find it very pleasant to drive through the area at your own pace and to get off where we want. Something you should take into account: in the heart of the area it is a lot cooler than along the coast. In winter it can freeze and even snow. The strong wind makes it feel even cooler.
#2. Pico del Teide
The highest point of the Teide National Park is formed by the Teide. The top of this cone volcano is the highest point in all of Spain at 3718 meters. Not for nothing that you can see it from many places in Tenerife. The Teide is a recognizable icon. In winter and spring, the top is usually covered with a layer of snow. Although this volcano is officially dormant, experts do not rule out the possibility of new eruptions. It is quite an experience to go up on the Teide. With the cable lift you can reach a height of 3555 meters.
The cable car is not always open. If the wind is too strong, the cable car will remain closed. Unfortunately, that happens regularly. The base station of the Teide Cable Car is located at an altitude of 2356 meters and is easily accessible by bus or car. The parking lot has enough space for more than two hundred cars. You can do three different hiking routes from the almost twelve hundred more higher mountain station. The most spectacular is hiking route 10. It leads to the 3718 meter high crater and provides the coolest views. Walk 11 goes to viewpoint La Fortaleza and walk 12 leads you to viewpoint Pico Viejo. These walks are less intensive.
#3. Pyramids of Güímar
At the town of Güímar, located on the east coast, you will find the Pyramids of Güímar. This is six pyramids that consist of stones that are stacked on top of each other in rectangular shapes. It is striking that the stones do not come from the immediate vicinity, but that it consists of lava rock from elsewhere on the island. To date, it has still not been determined with one hundred percent certainty when and by whom the pyramids were built. It has since been discovered that the pyramids are too young to have been built by the original inhabitants of Tenerife, the Guanches. The current theory is that the remarkable constructions in the nineteenth century are the work of local farmers.
The Pyramids of Güímar, including the associated visitor center, can be visited seven days a week (for a fee). The open-air museum is closed on some holidays.
#4. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, located in the northeast of Tenerife, is the island’s largest city. Together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, located on Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz is the shared capital of the Canary Islands. Almost a quarter of all inhabitants of Tenerife live in Santa Cruz. Tourism does not play an important role in this city with more than 200,000 inhabitants. The lack of large beaches means that no large-scale development of hotels has taken place here. It is precisely the scarcity of tourism that makes Santa Cruz de Tenerife so interesting to visit. Here you get a glimpse into real life. Here you can shop normally and not in the shops that are specially opened for tourists. And in Santa Cruz you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner among the locals.
Of course, a city like Santa Cruz has a number of sights that are worth seeing. The Auditorio de Tenerife, located directly on the coast, is the most famous building in Santa Cruz. This opera house was designed by the Santiago Calatrava Valls. This Spanish architect is also known for the Liège-Guillemins Station, several bridges such as the Zubizuri in Bilbao and of course also for the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, which is considered the most prominent sights of Valencia.
Other places of interest in Santa Cruz include the Castillo de San Cristóbal fortress, the baroque Iglesia de La Concepción church and the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes art museum. Whether you really should spend a whole day in Santa Cruz? Maybe not. But a trip of at least a few hours is recommended, especially if you combine it with a visit to Playa de las Teresitas or Tenerife’s second city: San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
One of the most authentic places on the island is Garachico, located on the north coast, where the streetscape is partly determined by historic buildings such as the church, some monasteries and traditional houses. It is not for nothing that Garachico has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Tenerife. Garachico is located on the northern coast of Tenerife. It is significantly different from the quiet south coast with its sandy beaches. In Garachico the sea is rougher, which has created a number of natural pools in the volcanic rocks. Not only cool to see the contrast between the dark stones and the bright blue sea, but also wonderful to enter.
In Garachico you can see the traditional Canarian architectural style. This creates a beautiful setting where you can enjoy walking around. In no place does Garachico become garish or touristy. That is the strength of this village. Be sure to visit the central square Plaza de Liertad, which is home to the Santa Ana Church and the Palacio de la Gomera.
The pirate village of Masca is a popular excursion in Tenerife. And that is not for nothing. The location in the mountainous northwest of Tenerife can only be described as phenomenal. What a great place. The picturesque village looks almost fragile between the high green mountain walls that surround it. The only road leading to Masca is the TF-436. It is a narrow winding road with many elevation changes. It does require some effort from both the car and the driver. As a result, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views on the way to the village.
Quite a few people link a visit to Masca with a descent where you bridge a height difference of about six hundred meters on foot. The walking route, which partly goes through the Masca gorge, ends after about three to four hours on a small rocky beach. From here you can take a boat to Los Gigantes.
#7. Playa de las Teresitas
Some people think that you have black beaches on the Canary Islands. They certainly occur here, for example in Puerto de la Cruz. But on Tenerife you will find several beautiful sandy beaches. Those who celebrate a holiday in the tourist stronghold of Costa Adeje – Playa de las Americas – Los Cristianos know exactly what we mean. Here you can enjoy sunbathing and swimming on beautiful golden sandy beaches. The most beautiful beach in Tenerife is not located here in the touristic south, but in the north of Tenerife. This is Playa de las Teresitas. You would rather expect this beach in a Caribbean destination: a kilometer long beach that is covered with fine yellow sand and on which the palm trees are swaying in the wind.
Playa de las Teresitas was once artificially created. It’s a grouch that could be bothered by that. Because the result may be there. Playa de las Teresitas is located near the village of San Andrés, just up from the capital Santa Cruz. Due to its location, relatively many locals and fewer tourists come here, which in our opinion makes the beach extra attractive.
#8. Loro Park and Jungle Park
You can go hiking to discover the flora and fauna of Tenerife. Another option is to visit a zoo or nature park. In Tenerife there are two completely different parks where you can go. The Loro Parque, located on the west side of Puerto de la Cruz, is the most famous. This zoo originally started as a parrot park, but over the years it has grown into a large park where different types of animals live. At the moment about 350 species. Loro Parque is committed to the worldwide conservation of endangered parrot species through the ‘Loro Parque Fundación’, founded in 1994.
Las Aguilas del Teide is a park less known to the general public than Loro Parque. Today, the more commercially convenient name Jungle Park is more commonly used. Jungle Park is a zoological and botanical park near Los Cristianos beach on the Canary Island of Tenerife. The park consists of 7.5 hectares of jungle with more than 500 animals and contains a number of hiking trails with tunnels, suspension bridges, waterfalls, lagoons and caves. The plants, winding paths and suspension bridges give you the feeling that you are really walking through the jungle. At 7.5 hectares, the area of Jungle Park is almost half the size of Loro Parque.
#9. Siam Park
The climate of Tenerife is perfect for enjoying the pool. For whom the pool of the hotel, apartment or holiday home is not enough (or is missing), there are several water parks and public swimming pools on Tenerife. Lago Marianez, located on the boulevard of La Puerto de la Cruz, is the most famous public swimming pool on the island. Those who want more, such as water slides, lazy rivers where you can float on with a large tire or more spectacular water attractions, can go to two large water parks: Siam Park and Aqualand Costa Adeje. Both theme parks are located in the touristic south of Tenerife. Well located for most tourists.
Let’s get straight to the point: Siam Park is the most beautiful, best, largest and most spectacular water park in Tenerife and perhaps in all of Europe. This 18-hectare water park has several world records to its name and has been voted the best water park in the world several times. That is promising! There is something for everyone here. Are you coming to relax, do you want to have fun with the family or are you looking for a big shot of adrenaline? Siam Park offers it all! Admission is not cheap, but it is in proportion to what awaits you. So feel free to set aside a whole day for your visit to Siam Park.
The second park is Aqualand Costa Adeje. This spectacular water park is located along the TF-1 highway near Costa Adeje. Water slides with impressive names such as Tornado, Twister and Kamikaze entertain the public, who can enjoy water fun here every day of the year. For those who don’t have to go that fast, there is the quiet Congo River where you can relax on a pneumatic tire over a length of five hundred meters and enjoy the sun. Aqualand Costa Adeje has a different approach than Siam Park. This water park combines swimming pools and water attractions with a dolphinarium. So two for the price of one. We don’t want to play the moral knight, but ask ourselves whether it is still up to date to offer dolphin shows and whether this addition to the water park should be seen as a plus or a minus. Make that decision for yourself.
#10. Dolphin and whale watching
The waters around Tenerife are home to several species of dolphins and whales. The most beautiful boat trips you can make from Tenerife are those where you will spot dolphins and whales in the wild. By boat you usually leave from the towns of Puerto Colón, Los Gigantes and Los Cristianos. Often only half an hour to an hour of sailing is needed before a school of dolphins is seen. The dolphins are curious and friendly. They like to come and take a look at the boat and often swim along.
There are several providers of dolphin and whale watching excursions in Tenerife. When asked whether it is all responsible and animal-friendly, we can answer that there are rules of conduct to protect the animals. The boats that adhere to this can be recognized by the blue flag. They make sure to keep at least 200 feet away, except when the animals themselves approach the boat. In the vicinity of the animals, there is slow sailing, so that they cannot hurt themselves. There is also a limit on the number of boats, the animals are not surrounded or blocked and they have a time limit of 30 minutes with the animals.
Due to the limited number of places, it is useful to book the dolphin excursion in advance. You can also book on site, but full is full.