The Canary Islands…the biggest and most important city of the Canary Islands…Costa Teguise, the capital of Tenerife…the best beaches in the world…and the most important place in the world to connect with nature.
If you are thinking about visiting Tenerife, you have probably already heard about it. Paradise on Earth for some, but for others, a hard life away from home. Either way, it is one of the most beautiful, exotic and amazing places to visit in the world. Here are some of the more popular activities to do in Tenerife – if you are an avid traveller, or if you know some who are taking a trip to the great island soon, here are 15 awesome things to do in Tenerife.
There are a number of things to do in Tenerife, and I’ve tried to list 15 of the most fun and adventurous and interesting things to do while you are here. I have met many of the people who have been lucky enough to visit Tenerife, and I can tell you that Tenerife has much more to offer than just amazing beaches and great weather. Just imagine, you can:
Tenerife is one of my favorite places in the world. The island offers a wide variety of landscapes and activities, from tropical beaches with palm trees to lunar volcanic deserts.
When I was asked to participate in the #SpainOnMyMind campaign, I was very excited about the opportunity to write about Tenerife. I lived on the island for two months and would love to return one day.
Tenerife is not limited to the tourist attractions you might think of. Tenerife is a very exciting place to surf, paraglide, spot whales, hike and many other outdoor adventures.
In this article I have listed the best things to do on Tenerife, which made me fall in love with this Spanish island. If you love the outdoors, Tenerife is the place for you.
Read on to discover all the beauty that Tenerife has to offer!
15 amazing things to do on Tenerife
Exploration of Teide National Park
Mount Teide is an active volcano on Tenerife. The summit reaches 3,715 metres, making it the highest column in Spain and one of the highest volcanoes in Europe. No visit to Tenerife would be complete without a visit to the Teide volcano.
The Teide National Park covers an area of 190 km² and includes a wide variety of landscapes. If you like hiking, you should set aside at least a few days to explore the beauty of this volcano.
One of the most popular walks is undoubtedly the Roque de Garcia. It is a circular walk of 3.5 km long, with a height difference of 170 metres.
The trail is well marked and easy to navigate, making it a relatively easy hike for all skill levels. This shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.
From a height of 2,000 metres there is a magnificent view of the Teide summit and the surrounding rocky landscape. Unique rock formations can be found along the trail, so the view is never boring.
Another must-see is the walk to the Mirador de Samara. Although at the same altitude as the Roque de Garcia, the landscape and views are completely different.
This walk is famous for its characteristic view of pine trees growing on a black lava field, with the top of the Teide volcano on one side and a view of the sea on the other.
The trail is about 10 km long, the altitude difference is 400 m, and it takes about 2.5 hours. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and that was one of the things that fascinated me most about Tenerife.
On almost every wish list in Spain is a visit to the top of the volcano Teide. At an altitude of 3,700 meters, above the clouds, overlooking the sea and neighboring islands, is an incomparable experience.
Hiking in Anaga Rural Park
The Parue Rural de Anaga is without doubt one of the best places to visit in Tenerife. The natural landscape is completely different from that of the south of the island and the areas around the Teide volcano.
You will find a rugged green coastline, with spectacular peaks and cliffs that rise just above the sea.
I spent most of my time exploring Anaga to the soundtrack of Jurassic Park, and once I got here, it’s easy to see why.
In Anaga you will find many hiking trails that will allow you to thoroughly explore this part of Tenerife. My favorite is the one that leads to the Igueste de Semaphore.
This 4.5km trail starts in the town of Igueste and offers spectacular views everywhere. The walk is very steep (470 m rise) and takes about 2.5 hours.
During the walk you can admire the green and steep mountains on one side and the sea on the other. The white houses of Igueste are built against the mountainside and form a beautiful contrast to the lush green vegetation.
The north coast of Tenerife also offers many hiking opportunities, especially in Roque de Taborno and Benijo. All specifications of the walking tours can be found on the official website of Tenerife Walking Tours.
Whichever hike you choose, bring your hiking gear and get ready for an exciting day in a breathtaking natural landscape!
Holidays in Playa de las Teresitas
There are many beautiful beaches on the island, but Playa de las Teresitas was definitely one of my favorites.
It is located in the north of the island, behind Santa Cruz de Tenerife and nestles on the coast of Anaga. This is one of the most picturesque beaches I have ever seen.
Playa de las Teresitas is 1.3 km long and 80 m wide, which means there is plenty of room for walking! The beach offers white sand, turquoise water and the spectacular Anaga cliffs that surround it.
There is an observation deck above the beach that I highly recommend visiting if you go, because you can really admire the beauty and grandeur of Playa de las Teresitas from there.
You can combine your visit to Playa de las Teresitas with one of the walks in the Anaga Rural Park. After hours of walking and admiring the beautiful views, you can relax on this white sandy beach and cool off in the clear turquoise sea.
Enjoy the waves at Playa de Benijo
On the north coast of Tenerife, between the cliffs of the Anaga National Park, lies Playa de Benijo. Playa de Benijo is a black sand beach surrounded by steep cliffs.
This beach is famous for its picturesque setting and huge waves. It is common to see children (and adults) jumping into the waves, while others relax and sunbathe on the black sand.
Wilder and wilder than Playa de las Teresitas, it is the ideal place to rest after a walk on the north side of Anaga.
Learning to surf in Las Americas
Surfing in Tenerife was one of my favorite things to do. I had surfed in Bali, Fuerteventura and Costa Rica, but Tenerife was particularly good.
You will find consistent waves for all levels. Playa Las Americas is a great surf spot, but as a beginner I often felt it was too crowded and the rocky reef was too close.
I took regular lessons with Surf Life Tenerife and I loved that they always took us to different places on the coast to surf. The waves are smaller here, the reef is not as close, and there are not as many people.
Enjoy the view from the Mirador Cruz del Carmen
As you may have guessed, there are many beautiful viewpoints on Tenerife, but the Mirador Cruz del Carmen deserves a special mention. On the outskirts of Anaga you can combine this view with several uncomplicated hiking trails.
From the main parking lot and tourist office, you can follow two easy paths through the surrounding laurel forests to enjoy the view of the valley below.
On a clear day you can also see the top of the Teide. When I was there, it had recently snowed on the top of Mount Teide, which made for the beautiful contrast you see in the photo below!
Discover Mask Village
Masca is one of the most unique places in Tenerife that you must visit during your stay on the island. This small mountain village is nestled in the mountains of Masiso de Teno and offers views like no other.
Originally settled by the Guanches before the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands, it now has about 90 inhabitants.
The road there is very narrow and has lots of curves, but the view is more than worth being a little carsick for!
There are several lookout points where you can stop along the way to admire the surrounding mountains and the town of Masca.
Once in the town itself, you can spend time exploring the area and enjoy the soothing beauty of Maska.
Discovery of the Teno Mountains
The Teno Mountains, located in the northwest of the island, are often overlooked. You will find many incredible walks, views and beautiful towns.
We hiked with the Anaga Experience in the Teno Mountains, and despite the cloudy weather it was a wonderful experience.
From Teno Alto we hiked 10 km to the Punta Teno lighthouse, crossing different landscapes on the way. The climb to Punta de Teno is 900 m, but it is mainly a descent.
When we got there, we even took a bath in the ocean, which was so needed after a long hike! Other popular hikes in Teno are those around Musk.
See the rocks of Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes is a town on the west coast of Tenerife, known for the enormous cliffs that surround it. The Acantilados de Los Gigantes are gigantic rock formations of 500 to 800 meters high that dominate the sea and the city.
Los Gigantes means giants – an appropriate name! Shortly before you enter the village, there is a nice viewing platform overlooking the cliffs and the sea.
The place also has a small beach where you can relax while enjoying the surrounding landscape of Los Gigantes.
A popular way to see Los Gigantes is from the sea; there are many boat trips that take you along the coast of Los Gigantes. If you’re lucky, you might even see whales and dolphins!
Visit to San Cristóbal de la Laguna
San Cristóbal de la Laguna, commonly known as La Laguna, is a city in the northern part of the island of Tenerife. It was once the capital of the island, and although it no longer bears this title, it is still an essential part of Tenerife.
The historic centre of the city was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. You can easily spend a few hours walking through the historic center, admiring the colonial architecture and feeling like you’ve traveled back in time.
Flying with a paraglider!
For the real adrenaline junkies this is a must! The mountains of Tenerife are perfect places to relax and the views are incomparable.
They break free from the high mountains reminiscent of Jurassic Park, soar over trees and rock formations and fly towards the sea. Paragliding is always an exciting experience, but in such a beautiful landscape it becomes even more special.
Visit the beach bar for a drink at sunset
Although I fell in love with Tenerife for its beautiful scenery and entertainment offerings, the sense of normality that comes with a drink on the beach at sunset is what I crave most and I can’t wait to return.
The west coast of Tenerife is full of great beach bars to suit every budget and taste. Some are more clubby and danceable, while others are more casual and relaxing.
The Roca Negra Sunset Club and the Coqueluche Beach Bar were among my favorites. Here you can drink mojitos while enjoying delicious snacks and watch the sun sink into the sea.
Taste the local cuisine
Spanish food is one of my favourite dishes in the world, and there are many restaurants in Tenerife where you can try it. I especially love tapas and pinchos because the small dishes allow you to try many different dishes in one meal.
Some of my favorite restaurants in Tenerife were El Jardin de la Abuela and La Cuevita del Mar. You will be able to taste all the traditional Canarian dishes, such as papas arrugadas, pimientos del padron and almogrote cheese.
Eating a delicious Canarian meal after a long day exploring Tenerife, hiking or surfing is the perfect way to end a day on Tenerife. I can’t wait to go back to Tenerife and try the delicious Canarian cheeses.
Rambla de Castro walk
This coastal walk is one of my favorite parts of Tenerife. The Rambla de Castro, with its steep cliffs and palm trees, will give you a serious Bali feel.
You can also walk to Playa de Castro, a beach of black rocks surrounded by high cliffs. There is also a waterfall under which you can stand to cool off. This is one of the most picturesque waterfalls I have ever seen!
There are no major elevation changes here, and the trail is well maintained and easy to walk on. This is a fairly easy walk with beautiful coastal views, which I think should be on every Tenerife wish list.
Visit to the natural baths of Garachico
Given Tenerife’s rocky coastline and powerful sea, it’s no surprise that there are countless natural swimming pools on the island. Personally, I preferred the natural pools of Garachico.
The Piscinas Naturales de El Caleton in Garachico are natural rock pools with salt water where you can swim. There are also artificial additions where you can sunbathe and cool off between swims.
Personally, I really enjoyed these pools because we visited them on a day when the sea was very big and we spent the afternoon jumping in the huge waves and playing in the current.
Accommodations in Tenerife
When deciding where to stay in Tenerife, you should consider your personal preferences. Tenerife is an incredibly diverse island that can accommodate many different types of travellers.
If you are a young traveller looking for fun and meeting new people, you will be more interested in Las Américas, if you are a family looking for a relaxing beach holiday, Costa Adeje is the place for you, and if you like walking, Puerto de la Cruz or La Laguna are the places for you.
However, it is always good to remember that Tenerife is a small island and no matter where you stay, you can get around the island in about an hour.
So even if you prefer to stay close to the vibrant nightlife of Las Americas, you can reach the Teide volcano in just an hour and a half’s drive. I have listed below some accommodation options for all budgets in different parts of the island.
Budget: Banana Surf House – This beautiful surf house is perfect for anyone looking for a comfortable vacation in a great location without breaking the bank. There is also a huge roof terrace with beautiful views of the sea.
Click here to book your stay at Banana Surf House!
Intermediary: Residence El Dorado – I spent my first two months in Tenerife in an apartment in this residence and loved it every day. My apartment was spacious, well located (close to the beach and supermarket) and had a great view of the sea and sunset. I highly recommend it.
Click here to check the latest rates and availability of apartments in the El Dorado residence!
Luxury: Hotel Rural La Correa Del Almendro – This hotel is housed in a traditional Canary barn from the 1720s, which has retained its wilderness feel but has modern facilities such as a swimming pool. Located in Arona, it is perfect for those who want to be close to Las Americas without being in the heart of the party town.
Click here to book your stay at the Hotel Rural La Correa Del Almendro!
Latest thoughts on what to do in Tenerife
Here is a definitive selection of the best things to do on Tenerife! I hope this guide will be useful in planning your trip to Tenerife and inspire you to visit the island when we are free to travel again!
Spain has always been one of my favorite countries in Europe. I have spent time in Barcelona, Seville and many of the Canary Islands, but Tenerife holds a special place in my heart.
With a wide variety of landscapes and activities, you will never be bored. Even after living there for two months, I kept finding a new hiking trail or surfing spot that I hadn’t explored yet.
The warm temperatures make it one of the best places for winter sun in Europe, and it’s a place I simply loved in winter.
So, although I definitely think of Spain, I think of Tenerife the most and I can’t wait to go there again!
This post was made as part of the #SpainOnMyMind campaign, developed and managed by iambassador in collaboration with the Spanish Tourism Office. Greta’s Travels retains full editorial control over the content published on this website.
Did you enjoy reading about the sights of Tenerife? Safe!
The Canary Islands have been called the Caribbean of Europe because of their warm weather, white sand beaches, and abundant sunshine. The region is internationally known because of its stunning lush forests, numerous waterfalls, and its active volcano, La Picota. But the Canary Islands are also a hotbed of creativity, and visitors are often surprised by the friendly people, gorgeous scenery, and historic sites. In fact, they’re the perfect place to unplug and reconnect with nature and make some memories. Here are 15 awesome things to do in Tenerife.. Read more about things to do in tenerife costa adeje and let us know what you think.