Things to Do on Tenerife Canary Islands
Plan your Tenerife holidays to include a great variety of activities.
Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands, has so much to offer to visitors, from beautiful Tenerife beaches and stunning ocean views to boat tours, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, whale and dolphin watching and more.
Enjoy Tenerife Holidays in the Sunset at Costa Adeje on the Atlantic
Beach Vacations on Tenerife Canary Islands
Outdoor activities include hang-gliding, parascending, rock-climbing, hiking and walking tours, jeep safaris and golfing.
The nightlife on Tenerife Canary Islands is spectacular, especially on the big resorts in Playa de las Americas.
While a lively nightlife is a part of Tenerife holidays in Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, romantic strolling and dining seem to be the highlight of the evenings in these old quarters.
Wine Dine at Las Rocas Beach Club on Tenerife Canary Islands
Plan a Day Trip to Spain’s Highest Peak – Mount Teide
Much of Tenerife’s fascination is the geological and climatic contrast from the subtropical lushness of the north to the dizzying heights of Mount Teide and the shimmering sunshine of the southern resorts.
The pictures I am featuring here are mainly of the southern part of Tenerife Island.
On your holidays in Tenerife plan a day trip to Mount Teide. You can either plan a car rental or take a bus tour, and the hotels and resorts will be pleased to help you with your planning.
Tenerife Holidays on the Canary Islands
Tenerife is basically divided into four main regions:
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- La Laguna the Northeast
- The Northwest
- The South
Map of Tenerife Canary Islands
Geography and Landscape of Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife is a rugged and volcanic island with uneven and steep topography and because of this it also has a variety of micro-climates and landscapes, geographical and geological formations.
Tenerife Beaches at the Playa de las Americas
This island offers a unique combination of subtropical forests, wine-growing regions, pine forest, deep gorges and semidesert areas.
Promenade along the Coast of Playa de las Americas on Tenerife Canary Islands
To experience this broad range of diversity, take a ride up to the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, in the Parque Nacional del Teide.
Tenerife Holidays in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz, in the north east part of the island, is the urban center of Tenerife, away from the tourism of the south.
Luxury Resorts near Las Cristianos on Tenerife Canary Islands
In Santa Cruz, you can visit museums, churches, do some people-watching on wonderful patios and terraza and experience the bustle of a real Spanish city.
A Mix of Tropical and Desert Flora on Tenerife Canary Islands
If your Tenerife holidays are at the end of the winter, you will be delightfully surprised with the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is regarded as the second largest in the world, next to Rio de Janeiro.
Explore the Boardwalk near Los Cristianos on Your Tenerife Island Vacations
Vacation Ideas In and Around Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Museums, Parks and Squares
Plaza de Espana – In the heart of the city, a great place to start for a waterfront stroll, have a leisurely meal, do some shopping and get a feel for the city.
Plaza de la Candelaria – This is a broad pedestrian boulevard connected to Plaza de Espana. There are pedestrian streets off the square that lead to great boutiques of all types as well as theatre at Teatro Guimera and an exposition on photography at Centro de Fotographia.
Plaza de la Iglesia – Santa Cruz’ most striking church built with a mix of Portuguese baroque and Moorish styles.
Plaza del Principe de Asturias – Highlights of this square include the Museo de Bellas Artes, which includes a wealth of island art and beautiful architecture, and the church Iglesia de San Francisco next door, founded in 1680 and featuring a baroque facade typical of the island.
Castillo de San Juan and Auditorio – Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s oldest forts built in 1679.
Parque Maritimo – On your Tenerife holidays, visit this carefully crafted water park and lovely rock garden set beside the Atlantic Ocean with an opal blue pool dotted with palm trees. You can also enjoy a relaxing meal in the park restaurants.
The Palmetum – A 12 hectare botanical garden with the largest collection in Europe of palm trees from around the world.
Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa – A typical Spanish produce market including a flea market and patios where you can relax and get a bite to eat. Plaza 25 de Julio – A lovely square surrounded by Moorish style of architecture with a fountain in the center.
Parque Garcia Sanabria – This peaceful city park provides a retreat from the city noise and is packed with a variety of tropical and sub-tropical trees and plants, soothing fountains and a few pieces of modern sculptures.
Town of San Andres and its Beaches – For a daytrip, plan a short drive to the north of Santa Cruz to the white beach of Playa de las Teresitas, or head further up into the hills to the secluded beach Playa de las Gaviotas.
Discover Great Resorts and Hotels on Your Tenerife Island VacationsStoll Along the Many Promenades in the South of Tenerife on Your Island Vacations This Promenade is near Los Cristianos The Lush Tropical Plants, Romantic Steet Lights and Colourful Architecture will Inspire Your Senses on Your Tenerife Island Vacations Lovely Condos on the South Coast of Tenerife Canary Islands
Between the two beaches of Playa de Los Cristianos and Playa de las Vistas, there are wonderful back streets and a church square that are very Spanish, with local shops and cafes.
Explore the Spanish Shops, Marble Sidewalks and Lush Greenery on Your Tenerife Island Vacations These Boutique Shops and Promenade are near Los CristianosIndulge in Great Shopping at Los Cristianos on Tenerife Canary IslandsA Lovely Shopping Mall to Visit at Los Cristianos on Your Tenerife Island Vacations
Tenerife Holidays in La Laguna and the Northeast
On the northeast tip of Tenerife Canary Islands is the charming old city of La Laguna with its wine industry.
Nearby in the Anaga mountain range, visitors can enjoy hiking and walking tours with breathtaking views.
The climate at this height can be quite cool and unpredictable so do come prepared with a few layers of clothing.
Places to Visit in La Laguna:
- Plaza del Adelantado
- 17th century Casa de los Capitanes
- The Catedral with a neo-classical facade
- Retablo de los Remedios
- Iglesia de la Concepcion
- Convento de Santa Clara
- Lovely Canary Islands mansions on Calle San Agustin
- Museo de Historia de Tenerife
- Take a break and enjoy a glass of wine or ale at one of the splendid terrazaz on Plaza del Adelantado
Tenerife Holidays in the Anaga Mountain Range (Montanas de Anaga)
This rugged mountain range is a nature reserve and a protected park. You can hike and follow the trails to impressive points along Tenerife’s wild northeast coast, and among the best know is the Vueltas de Taganana.
Taganana is the largest of Anaga towns and slithers down a steep hill facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Other intriguing hamlets to explore on your walking tours are Taborno and Chinamada.
Alternatively, you can drive along the narrow winding roads to the small villages, which is also a delightful experience.
Bosque de la Esperanza – A high ridge that climbs southwest from La Laguna towards Mount Teide with thick woods and awesome lookout points.
Tacoronte – This pleasant town is in the heart of wine country and worth a visit for wine tastings and the Grape Harvest Festival ( Fiestas de la Vendimia) in September.
El Sauzal and Casa del Vino la Baranda – The 17th century farm (hacienda) is now a wine showcase and museum for Tenerife.
Casa de Carta (Museo de Antropologio) – The Museum of Anthropology in a beautiful country home.
Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo – Unique coastal towns with waves pounding the black volcanic rocks, with the breath-taking views of the Anaga Mountains in the background.
Sunset View of the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera Tenerife Canary Islands Stay at the Hotel Jardin Tropical and Enjoy the Stunning Vistas of the Atlantic Ocean on Your Tenerife Beach Vacations Pool Side Dining at the Hotel Jardin, the Tropical Las Rocas Beach Club of Tenerife Beaches Pool View of Hotel Jardin Tropical Las Rocas Beach Club on Tenerife Canary IslandsWind Blown Palm Trees at Hotel Jardin Tropical Las Rocas Beach Club on Tenerife. Enjoy Your Island Vacations with views of the Atlantic, Exotic Pools and Romantic DinnersHere I am standing in Front of a Huge Palm Tree on a Cliff-Side Promenade Over-looking the Atlantic near La Gomera Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Holidays in the Lush Northwest
The western half of Tenerife Canary Islands offers historical town centres, fishing villages, seaside resorts, rugged coast, banana plantations, unique trees and vegetation and an interactive zoo.
Places to Visit in Tenerife Northwest
La Orotava – The prettiest old colonial city in the Canary Islands in one of Tenerife’s most beautiful valleys.
Puerto de la Cruz – During the winter, you can see the white snowy peak of Mount Teide.
For attractive leisure fun on your Tenerife holidays, head west to Playa Jardin, a broad strand of fine black volcanic sand and great ocean waves, and the nearby Castillo San Felipe, a 17th century structure which is now used to stage classical and folk concerts.
Icod de los Vinos – This wine-belt town offers spectacular views of Mount Teide and a famous bizarre and huge 15 metre tall dragon tree in the Parque del Drago, estimated to be between 1,000 to 2,000 years old.
Also visit a modest botanical garden beside the dragon tree, the Butterfly Museum (Mariposario del Drago).
If you have time, venture over to Plaza de la Constitucion, not far from the Parque del Drago, to see the mansion Casa-Museo “Los Caceres”, a beautiful 19th century neoclassical house with an enclosed art gallery.
Garachico – In a small bay are a couple of rocky inlets with natural lava rock pools you can swim in.
There are several wonderful museums and art galleries exhibiting an eclectic collection of sea shells, fossils and minerals, wood-working instruments and Spanish art.
The main attraction is the Convento de San Francisco, home to the House of Culture (Casa del Cultura).
Masca – One of Tenerife holidays most engaging stops, the dramatic hamlet of Masca is located high in the Teno Massif.
Hike down to the coast or watch the splendid sunset from this cozy setting. Arriving to Masca is a theatrical process, driving along a winding road through farmland and dizzying bends before you reach the town.
If You Love Great Architecture, Make Sure to Wander Around the Side Streets between Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos on Your Tenerife Island Vacations Banana Tree and Unique Water Fountain in Front of a Condo and Resort in the Los Cristianos District of Tenerife Canary Islands Treat Yourself to the Ultimate Spa Experience on Your Tenerife Island Vacations
The Arid Southern End of the Northwest
Acantilado de los Gigantes – At the southern end of the Teno Massif are walls of volcanic rock that drop sheer in the ocean. Known as the Giants’ Cliff, they form a formidable piece of natural architecture.
You can lie on the Tenerife beaches and stare at the staggering 500 – 600 metre high cliffs of Los Gigantes, or take a boat excursion and do some whale and dolphin watching.
Loro Parque – A private zoo with a wealth of tropical plants. The great variety of living creatures here includes 4 species of penguins.
Bananera El Guanche – Filled with unusual and wonderful trees and plants from all over the world, this is an impressive garden of tropical delights and an great source of information on the history of bananas on the island of Tenerife.
Playa de San Marcos – Tucked away in a protected bay by forbidding rock walls, this black-sand beach also has restaurants with balconies overlooking the strand.
Punta de Teno– One of the wildest locations on Tenerife Canary Islands, the scenery of the oldest existing volcanic outflows on the island is starkly untamed and great for hiking.
Make sure to get a good hiking map available at Tenerife tourist offices. The walks take about four hours to half a day depending on the walking paths you choose.
Enjoy Outdoor Dining at Las Rocas Beach Club at La Gomera on Your Tenerife Beach Vacations Garden View at Las Rocas Beach Club Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Holidays in the Sunny South
The rain-starved south coast from Santa Cruz to the Costa Adeje, features year round fun-in-the-sun, with small fishing villages, like Los Cristianos, and adjoining beaches like Playa de las Americas offering fantastic beach vacations full of great hotels, intimate apartments, exciting bars, English breakfasts, watersports and guided tours of the island.
Los Cristianos – This is a pleasant town with back streets and a church square that are resolutely Spanish. There are wonderful local shops and cafes, as well as ferries to La Gomera, a nearby island just south of Tenerife.
Playa de las Americas – Located between Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, here you can find an endless array of hotels and apartments to suit any visitor. This stretch of beach is like a small city with supermarkets, restaurants and lots of great shopping opportunities.
What I enjoyed was the promenade between the hotels and the beach. I walked for miles and soaked in the sun. I was fascinated by the promenade, which featured various patterns in the walkway.
I saw colourful, artistic flagstone, boardwalk planks, and between Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje, cobblestone and a variety of beautiful inlaid tiles.
There are several ports and Tenerife beaches where you can lounge along the way. There is much to see and do.
On my Tenerife holidays, I indulged in sumptuous meals at the exquisite ocean side restaurants and cafes while enjoying the stunning views of the tropical vegetation and magnificent mountains.
I Have to Say the Promenades in Tenerife Canary Islands are Spectacular On Your Beach Vacations in Tenerife Take Time to Enjoy the Gorgeous Promenades
Enjoy Costa Adeje
As you walk north of Playa de las Americas, there are a number of beachside clubs, luxury hotels and beautiful lush gardens in Costa Adeje; definitely a romantic place to stroll and dine.
The Famous Siam Waterpark
The Siam Waterpark in Tenerife is one of the best in the world. The theme of the park is Thai and among the park features are water slides, roller coasters, and 25 amusement buildings.
Siam Waterpark is considered to be the first air conditioned outdoor aquatic park in the world.
Front View of Siam Waterpark in Costa Adeje Tenerife
Here are a few of the amazing attractions for your Tenerife holidays:
- The Tower of Power is a transparent slide in which you can view the sharks and stingrays swimming outside of the tube
- The Dragon has a light show inside the 20 meter-wide funnel
- The Wave Palace is a wave pool with an artificial white sand beach and 3 meters high waves, the largest wave pool in the World
- The park offers surfing lessons at the Wave Palace
- Mekong Rapids is a river rafting ride
- The Volcano and many more exciting water park features
Visit the Tower of Power at Siam Waterpark on your Tenerife Holidays
Siam Park holds 5 world records and if you are not a beach person, consider a trip to the Siam Waterpark for a day of fun and adventure.
Mount Teide – Spain’s Highest Peak at 3,718 m (12,188 ft)
On your Tenerife holidays, make sure to take a day trip up to Mount Teide in the National Park of Teide to experience breath-taking views of the volcano, the island of Tenerife and the Atlantic Ocean.
Piramides de Guimar – These are pyramids of varying sizes with platforms oriented towards the sunset of the summer solstice.
There are suggestions that there may be a relationship between these pyramids and those in Egypt and South America.
Visit the museum and educational centre in the Casa Chacona to learn more.
Hotel Sol Tenerife – a Comfortable Hotel for Singles, Couples and Families for Your Island Vacations Beach Vacations Pool Side View of Hotel Sol Tenerife The Atlantic Ocean is Just Steps Away Relax at Los Cristianos on Your Tenerife Beach VacationsTake Time to Party at Monkey Beach on Your Tenerife Island Vacations
Plan a Daytrip to the Tranquil Island of La Gomera
On your Tenerife holidays, escape to the second least populated of the Canary Islands and one of the oldest of the archipelago.
Visit deep gorges, farming hamlets, ancient forests and black sand beaches.
Consider a combination of a driving tour and walking tour.
The drives on this island are exhilarating.
For a relaxing getaway, you may want to spend a few days on La Gomera.
Getting to La Gomera
Take the jetfoil from Los Cristianos in southern Tenerife.
The ride is 40 minutes to the captial of San Sebastian.
From here you can arrange a car hire and head off to an exciting voyage on this beautiful island.
This is a great getaway destination for your Tenerife holidays.
Three Main Destinations on La Gomera Isand
1. San Sebastian and the North of La Gomera Island
- Torre del Conde built in 1447.
- Casa de Colon (on the street Calle Real 56), a colonial house with Peruvian artefacts, allegedly where Christopher Columbus stayed before his trans-Atlanic voyage in 1492.
- Hermigua, a place to stop for a drink and local snacks.
- La Boca del Chorro Waterfall is a 2-3 hour walk from Hermigua to a spectacular waterfalls.
- Playa de la Caleta is only driveable when dry but is the nicest beach on the north side.
Visit the Ancient Torre del Conde on your Tenerife Holidays
2. Valle Gran Rey
- This is a majestic, breath-taking, stunning palm-studded gorge with gigantic farm terraces which resemble stairways to heaven.
- The terraces have been named “Valley of the Great King”, after a Guanche ruler.
Valle Gran Rey – Valley of the Great King
- The winding roads pass by steep hamlets, farms and palm trees and the gorge walls, up to 800m high, protect from strong winds.
- La Playa is a pleasant beach with fine black sand.
- Vueltas is a most intriguing hamlet with hilly lanes, quaint lodgings, charming restaurants and bars.
- 4 km north of Vallehermoso is a stunning cliff of Los Organos but it can only be reached by boat. You can also do whale-watching, diving and snorkeling here.
3. Parque Nacional de Garajonay
- This laurel forest is one of the most ancient forests on earth.
- It has escaped the damage caused by the last Ice Age.
On your Tenerife Holidays escape to Parque Nacional de Garajonay
- Experience the ancient tree canopy and a park which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
La Gomera Culture Gomeran Whistle a Unique Language
With a challenging terrain, the inhabitants of La Gomera developed a unique method to communicate. They use an amazing whistled speech called Silbo Gomero, which means Gomeran Whistle.
This whistle can be heard 4km away. By placing their fingers in their mouths and cupping their hands, the Gaunches would whistle messages across the gorges to their neighbours.
The Silbo Gomero language has been in existence since Roman times and was adopted by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century.
After the Guanches died out and the language faced extinction at the dawn of the 21st century, the La Gomera government has made it a compulsory subject in the island’s schools.
Climate for Your Tenerife Holidays
Tenerife is a year-round beach destination with unique micro-climates.
While the Atlantic Ocean can be chilly and the island’s weather is not uniform, the average temperatures can vary from 20 – 24 Celsius from November to April, 25 – 26 Celsius in May and October, and 27 – 29 Celsius from June to September.
Most rain falls in the north from No ember to February as the north coast and mountain areas are sub-tropical, while the south is arid and dry.
The peak of Mount Teide is generally snow-capped in winter and well into spring. Even in summer the upper reaches of the mountain can be cool or very cold.
A beautiful time for Tenerife holidays is in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom.
Bring Your Binoculars for a Great Bird-Watching Experience on Your Tenerife Island Vacations
Travelling to Tenerife Canary Islands
Getting to Your Tenerife Holidays By Air
- Nearly all international and charter flights arrive in the south part of island at Tenerife Sur (Reina Sophia) Airport.
- A small amount of international flights along with a large share of mainland Spanish and inter-islands flights arrive in the north at Tenerife Norte (Los Rodeos) Airport.
- From the UK, some flights have a stop-over via Madrid. From the rest of Europe, Iberia flies to Tenerife from most European capitals via Barcelona or Madrid.
- From North America, there are no direct flights to Tenerife from Canada or the USA, but there are flights from New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and many other cities via Madrid.
- There are no direct flights from Australia and New Zealand, so it’s best to get a flight to London, and then fly to Tenerife via Madrid.
Birds Eye View of the Greenhouses on the Arid Coast of Southern Tenerife
Getting to Your Tenerife Holidays By Boat
- Inter-island car ferries and fast hydrofoils connect the Canary Islands.
- A weekly ferry runs from Cadiz on the Spanish mainland to Tenerife, which takes almost two days.
Views of the Atlantic with French Champagne and Olives and a Tenerife Dove
If you have dreamed of exotic beach vacations, you have to plan for the ultimate Tenerife holidays.
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