My amiga and fellow hispanophile Paulina from Paulinaontheroad.com has lived in Spain for over 5 years and fell in love with the food, architecture and year-round sunshine of Tenerife after spending half a year on the island.
Here she shares her insider tips, with advice on the very best things to do, see, eat and drink in Tenerife.
Tenerife is part of the Spanish Canary Islands and boasts breathtakingly beautiful sea and mountain-scapes. Tenerife’s weather is famously warm and sunny all year-round, making it one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Spain.
From natural wonders and beautiful beaches to museums and amusement parks, Tenerife has promises a memorable vacation for every form couples and families to solo travellers and groups.
1. Explore Tenerife’s Most Beautiful Beaches
With the coastline spanning some 342 km, Tenerife is a beach lover’s paradise – undoubtedly the prime reason for Tenerife being one of the most popular travel destinations in Spain.
From golden sand beaches on the southern coast to black sand pebble beaches on the north, Tenerife is filled with sandy surprises.
Whether you prefer crowded, intimate, sporty or even man-made beaches, Tenerife has it all. Indulge in water sports, sunbathing, enjoy stunning views, take a romantic walk, or even build some sandcastles.
Tip: Las Vistas Beach and Puerto Colon are some of the best beaches in Tenerife.
2. Enjoy Aquatic Adventures at Puerto Los Cristianos
Located on the southern coast of Tenerife, Puerto Los Cristianos is extremely popular among adventure-seekers.
Blessed with abundant sunshine throughout the year, it is a perfect destination to enjoy water sports. Ranging from kayaking and jet skiing to windsurfing and parasailing, there are plenty of thrilling activities to choose from.
You can also explore Tenerife’s astonishing underwater world by learning how to scuba dive or enjoying some snorkelling with turtles.
Tip: Definitely don’t miss the exciting opportunity of whale watching and dolphin watching!
3. Visit Tenerife’s Famous Teide National Park & Climb Spain’s Highest Peak
Teide National Park is a glorious destination that amazes travellers with its incredible natural beauty. Filled with pine forests, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is spread across 18,900 hectares.
The highlight of this destination is the famous volcano Mount Teide, which stands tall at 3,718 metres above sea level, making it the highest point in Spain.
Tip: The views from Mount Teide are as jaw-dropping by night as they are during the day – join this stargazing tour and find out why Teide National Park has been y NASA as one of the best places in the world to view the universe.
4. Feast on Traditional Canarian Cuisine
Tip: Restaurant El Calderito de la Abuela in Santa Cruz is a great place to indulge in traditional Canarian dishes while you’re in Tenerife.
A trip to Tenerife is incomplete without trying the following Canarian dishes:
Papas arrugadas or ‘wrinkled potatoes’ with mojo sauce.
Rancho canario soup and and ropa vieja ‘old rope’ stew.
Gofio is a local type of flour made with roasted wheat, corn, barley.
Tip: If you’re a bit of a foodie then definitely consider joining a food tour like this one and setting off on culinary quest through Tenerife’s most traditional tapas and local wines.
5. Savour Tenerife’s Beautiful Wines
Some of the best and oldest wines of Europe come from the Canary Islands. The wines are so popular that they are even mentioned in Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night.
Tenerife is home to many beautiful vineyards that deserves a visit to taste the wines and explore the scenic vistas.
Tip: Take a wine tour to Bodegas Monje and Bodega Reveron to enjoy some of the best wines that Tenerife has to offer. If you want to learn more about Tenerife’s wine culture (and taste its delights), then definitely join this ‘gastronomy and grape’ tour.
6. Go Wild at Tenerife’s Action-Packed Siam Park
Loved by visitors of all ages, Siam Park in Tenerife is known to be the world’s best waterpark according to TripAdvisor. Located in Costa Adeje, this Thai-themed park is a must-visit for a fun and thrilling experience.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this is the perfect destination. Siam Park is filled with many diverse surprises, like the wave pool with the world’s largest artificial wave.
You can also explore the floating market which has a typical vibe of a Thai town. It’s not hard to understand why visiting Siam Park is one of the best things to do in Tenerife with kids.
Tip: Save time and money with this skip-the-line entry ticket which includes transport to and from the park.
7. Visit the Best Museums in Tenerife
Visiting a museum might seem unconventional on an island visit for many. However, that’s only until you find out the fascinating museums located in Tenerife. From fine arts, toys, wine, handicrafts, to archaeological finds, there is a lot to be explored in the museums of Tenerife.
The most popular museum on the island of Tenerife is Museo de la Naturaleza y Arqueología located in Santa Cruz. This one-of-a-kind museum is widely recognised for its impressive collection of Guanche mummies and ceramics.
Tip: Another amazing museum is Casa del Vino where you can get a glimpse of the history of Tenerife wines.
8. Explore Tenerife’s Best Food Markets
The credit for impeccable collections in the markets goes to Tenerife’s location as a bridge between Europe, Africa and America.
From antiques, jewellery, clothes and wines to fresh farm produce, you can find an array of diverse goods in the markets of Tenerife.
Some brilliant markets in Tenerife include Puerto de la Cruz market and Tacoronte Farmer’s market.
Tip: Take a walk around the Costa Adeje street market and you will stumble upon some amazing souvenirs to take home.
9. Take a Day Trip to Tenerife’s Historic Little Town of Garachico
Garachico is a picturesque little town located on Tenerife’s northern coast and is a extremely popular tourist spot.
This historic town has kept alive its authentic charm by preserving the colonial architectural gems and old churches. Garachico is also known for its breathtaking landscape, scenic views and rock pools
The most notable attractions of Garachico are Convento de San Francisco and Plaza de la Libertad. Take a step into history by wandering through its cobbled streets and exploring the old buildings.
Tip: Save time and money by joining this day trip tour that also visits Tenerife’s essential beauty spots of Volcano Teide, Los Gigantes and Masca as well as Garachico.
10. Admire the Splendour of Auditorio de Tenerife “Adan Martin”
Located in Tenerife’s capital city of Santa Cruz, Auditorio de Tenerife “Adan Martin” is a remarkable example of contemporary architecture.
Since its opening in 2003, it has become one of Tenerife’s most iconic landmarks – a great destination to click amazing pictures.
The auditorium houses the popular Tenerife symphony orchestra and also hosts numerous musical events. Make the most of your visit to this awe-inspiring structure by attending a concert.
Make it Happen
Best Time to Visit Tenerife: Tenerife is warm and sunny all year-round so you might as well visit during the winter season to avoid the crowds and get some vitamin D. You’ll find better deals too.
Where to Stay in Tenerife:
Couples: Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital and offers a wealth of attractions for couples looking for romance.The historic fishing village of Alcalá is another romantic options with plenty of beaches and seafood restaurants.
Adventurers: La Orotava is a great area for those who want to explore the national park and mountains.
How to Get to Tenerife: There are two airports on the island, including Tenerife North Airport (aka Los Rodeos) and Tenerife South Airport (aka South-Reina Sofia Airport).
When are you going to Tenerife – or have you already been?