The Island of Tenerife
Tenerife’s postcard-perfect beaches, diverse mountain landscapes, animal life, and deep history amaze over five million vacationers each year. Tenerife is also the largest Canary Island and contains the Pico del Teide, the tallest mountain in Spain. Crazy, right?
Such magnificent landscapes will make your day at the beach all the more memorable. From stunning dark volcanic beaches to postcard-perfect white sands, there’s something for everyone. And the Teide National Park and the Anaga Mountains are perfect for amazing hiking adventures!
Would you rather explore some picturesque villages tucked away in the mountains? No problem! Take a day to experience their wonder and try the popular papas arugadas. The little wrinkled potatoes usually come with mojo, a delicious Canarian sauce.
Tenerife is also home to a diverse selection of recreational activities for people of all ages. Want to visit one of the most beautiful zoos in the world or try out the slides in Europe’s largest waterpark? Either way, the island of eternal spring is perfect for you!
Since Tenerife is in the Atlantic Ocean and only 100 kilometers away from Morocco, it has pleasant temperatures year-round. The mild climate gives Tenerife its nickname, “island of eternal spring”. Sounds inviting, right? The trade winds are just as attractive to surfers and wind surfers. The World Surf League hosts a surfing competition every year that sports lovers can’t miss!
Activities on Tenerife
Tenerife’s diverse landscape means you’ll find plenty of recreational activities. Whether on water, land, in nature, or in the city, there’s something for everyone. We’ve compiled some of our favorite activities to give you the time of your life!
In the North of Tenerife
The north offers a splash of jungle to the island paradise, proven by the Anaga Mountains in the northeast. They formed 7 to 9 million years ago from volcanic activity, making it the island’s oldest element!
One of the best features of the Anaga Mountains is the laurel forests. At Mirador Cruz del Carmen, you can choose between three hiking trails and explore the unique forest. At Mirador, there’s also a viewpoint from which you have an impressive view from La Laguna Valley to the summit of Teide.
Another attraction you can’t pass up is Faro de Anaga on the northeastern tip of the mountain. Since you can only reach the lighthouse on foot, not many people find this place, making it a special highlight.
Are you interested in some history? In the little village of Afur, you’ll find historic cave homes. Back then, these homes were built into the cliffs by the original inhabitants – crazy, right? Today, they are one of the Canarian must-see spectacles.
Don’t think a visit to the zoo belongs on your itinerary? Then you’ve made a big mistake! Loro Park has been considered one of the most beautiful zoos in the world for many years, and for good reason. You can discover 4,500 animal species, from parrots, dolphins, and sea lions to orcas and monkeys. The park’s priority showing its deep respect for nature and its inhabitants, something the 50 million visitors can attest to. You can either explore the park’s aquariums, bird cages, enclosures, and lakes or attend one of the animal shows. Did you know the name Loro actually comes from the Spanish word for “parrot”? This is because the park is the world’s most diverse reserve for parrot species and subspecies.
Playa de las Teresitas
Playa de las Teresitas is one of Tenerife’s most popular beaches and is near the capital, Santa Cruz. It’s an artificially filled golden beach that looks gorgeous both in person and in photos. Tenerife created an oasis for tourists and locals by creating this beach. This was outside the norm of black volcanic beaches, especially in the 70’s. To this day, Playa de las Teresitas is a relaxation paradise. Who wouldn’t want to bask in the Canary sun on 100,000 cubic meters of the finest Saharan sand?
In the Center of Tenerife
Teide National Park & Pico del Teide
Teide National Park is among Europe’s most visited national parks, and you’ll soon realize why! This national parker offers one of the most diverse landscapes in the world and was therefore declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can discover densely wooded forests, lava fields, and even bizarre rock formations made of volcanic stone. Whether you venture through the experience-rich landscape on foot, with a bike, or even in a Jeep Safari, the possibilities are endless.
In the middle of the park, Pico del Teide is Spain’s highest point, with a height of 3,718 meters! The view from the summit at sunrise and sunset are especially impressive. Early birds will receive an incomparable view over the entire island and neighboring islands as nature slowly wakes up. However, you should head up the mountain in the late afternoon for a pleasant dinner at 4,000 meters. Since there are no cities or lanterns to taint the sky with light pollution, you’ll observe it in a whole new way. To find out more about the incredible star constellations, we recommend a guided tour, where the guide will explain them to you.
The Masca Mountain Village
The mountain village of Masca is like a descendant of Machu Picchu. It’s in the northwestern region of the island and houses a mere 100 residents in 80 houses. An old myth says this village was a pirate hideout during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but there’s no truth to it. Masca is split between three rock ridges rising from deep gorges. Most residents live on the center ridge. You can buy local fruits and vegetables at little stands between the rustic farmhouses, palm trees, and terraced fields, or enjoy a coffee and the view in a cafe. The green subtropical vegetation and steep rocky gorges are worth a snapshot.
In the South of Tenerife
Tenerife’s flourishing waters offer unparalleled whale watching opportunities. Most tours are in the southwest, from Los Gigantes to Costa Adeje, and contain whales and dolphins. The waters are home to about 250 whales and dolphins living in 12 families, with the most common being the pilot whale and bottlenose dolphin.
Have you ever seen an 18.5-hectare water park? No? Then visit Siam Park! It was built in a Thai style and is the largest water adventure park in Europe. You’ll find unique slides, various water channels, and huge bathing areas. If you want more than the wet blue of the ocean and want to incorporate action-packed slides, then Siam Park in the south of island is the perfect. Have fun trying out the attractions!
Playa Honda is one of the top spots for surfers. The beach has perfect conditions for both beginner and advanced surfers. You can either plunge straight into the waves or visit one of the surfing schools on the beach and join a course. The beach owes its name to the rocky and pebbly conditions here, since honda means “slingshot”. As a result, the beach isn’t very suitable for bathing and relaxation. However, the reef in front of the beach makes great surfing conditions that surfers won’t want to pass up!
Tenerife’s diversity is impressive. Since the island is so vast, the recreational activities are endless. You have a large selection of beaches, hiking and cycling trails, hidden mountain villages, and even whale watching tours on this Canary Island. From north to south, there’s something for every traveler. And honestly, who could say no to so many fulfilling activities?
To prolong your adventure, you can even island hop from one Canary Island to another! Here’s a quick guide to get you started.