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Home » A guide to island hopping in Tenerife


Fancy a holiday to sunny Tenerife and visiting other top destinations in the Canary Islands? Read our guide to island hopping in Tenerife.

Aerial view of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest of the magnificent Canary Islands, situated off the coast of West Africa, dominated by the colossal Mount Teide – a dormant volcano and Spain’s tallest peak. Visiting Tenerife brings sun, sand, and tranquil holiday vibes, and it’s also the ideal starting point for an island-hopping bonanza. As one of the seven main islands in the paradisical Canary complex, there’s an abundance of interest for those who choose to hop on a ferry from one of Tenerife’s ports. In this guide we introduce you to island hopping in the Canary Islands, letting you know about the islands to visit and what fun you can have in Tenerife and its neighbours.

What are the ports of Tenerife?

Tenerife is one of the most visited destinations in the Canaries, and its prime position makes it perfect for island hopping to neighbouring destinations. There are two ports in Tenerife: Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Los Cristianos – Located in the south of Tenerife, close to the attractive resort of Costa Adeje and the iconic party beach of Las Américas, Los Cristianos port not only provides great links to other islands but features a wide promenade, market, and beach and is known for being an exciting hub for water sports.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife – For exploring the north of Tenerife, the port of Santa Cruz is the best place to be. Part of the island’s capital city of Santa Cruz, the port is inhabited by fishing boats and passenger ships, and offers a host of activities as locals and holidaymakers bustle about amidst a backdrop of sea and mountains.

Islands to visit in the Canary Islands


Tenerife is a verified island paradise, home to picture-perfect beaches, mountainous hillsides, friendly locals, and more sunshine than you know what to do with. Its vast beaches are envied the world over, and with a brilliant collection of terrific Tenerife resorts that are perfect for families, couples, and everything in between, those seeking a sun-soaked holiday retreat need look no further. For example, Costa Adeje on the island’s south coast has everything one could ask of a beach holiday and the majestic Golf Del Sur is decorated with glorious golfing greens set between sandy beaches.

Tenerife’s jaw-dropping backdrop is dominated by the fierce-looking but dormant Mt. Teide, the third-largest volcano in the world, surrounded by a surreal landscape of solid lava. Mount Teide and its encompassing national park are well worth a visit, as are the more than 40 protected nature areas that cover nearly half of Tenerife’s tropical expanse.

Beach resorts are the name of the game in Tenerife, thanks to its truly impressive array of sumptuous sandy bays, tranquil waters and year-round sunshine. You can also look forward to visiting top attractions like Siam Park – considered the world’s best waterpark- and the incredible Cueva del viento. This complex lava tube system allows visitors to journey into the earth’s interior.

Tenerife is also home to a collection of amazing wildlife attractions, such as the mammoth Loro Parque – home to over 400 animal species – and Tenerife Monkey Park – a sanctuary for endangered primates with walk-in cages.

Girl with a parrot on her shoulder in Loro Parque Tenerife

Paulina, from the travel blog Paulina on the Road, lived in Tenerife for six months and shared with us her love for the island and a few personal recommendations: “The island’s beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality made it an unforgettable experience. Exploring the stunning Teide National Park and catching the breathtaking sunset from Mount Teide were my personal highlights.

“If you’re planning a visit, don’t miss out on trying the delicious local cuisine, especially the fresh seafood and traditional Canarian dishes (paps arrugadas or mojo sauce). And make sure to spend some quality time relaxing on Playa de las Teresitas, a pristine golden-sand beach that feels like paradise. If you want to go more off the beaten track, make sure to visit Tenerife’s north.”

Molly from the travel blog loves the Island of Tenerife, especially as it is a good all-year-round destination: “Well known for the Teide Mountain, you can visit in the daytime. But I enjoyed a late afternoon/evening excursion to Teide National Park to see the sunset. The activity was followed by dinner at the excellent Parador. A personal highlight from a recent trip.

“I have also enjoyed visiting the local food markets around the island. The range of tropical fruits, local wines and cheeses is fabulous. The amount of potato varieties will also amaze visitors. Far more than most markets around Europe and the UK.”

There’s so much fun to be had on Tenerife, and Greta, from the travel blog Greta’s Travels, shared with us some of her suggestions based on her time on the island: “What I love most about Tenerife is the huge variety of things to do. It’s a fairly small island, but you’ll find it has lots of different landscapes, which offer lots of diversity when it comes to activities.

“The south of the island is the warmest and sunniest part of Tenerife, where you can enjoy relaxing beach days, as well as try out fun water sports like surfing, windsurfing, whale watching and kite surfing. The north is very green and mountainous, and you’ll find tons of stunning hiking trails, especially in Anaga Rural Park. In the centre of the island is Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. Surrounding this volcano, you will find a unique lunar landscape, which is also dotted with plenty of wonderful hiking trails.

Mount Teide Volcano Tenerife

“Mount Teide is also a very famous stargazing destination, thanks to the low light pollution. In Tenerife, you will also find cute historical towns, like San Cristobal de La Laguna or Masca, where you can wander around the narrow streets and take in the colourful colonial architecture.”

Things to do in Tenerife

  • Glorious beaches
  • Mount Teide National Park
  • Siam Park
  • Cueva del viento
  • Loro Parque
  • Tenerife Monkey Park
Cofete Beach Fuerteventura Canary Islands


Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 4 hours +
Flight time from Tenerife: 50 minutes

The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is a must-visit on any island-hopping exercise from Tenerife. Fuerteventura is famed for its white sand beaches and year-round heat. A feature of Fuerteventura is the myriad beaches that wrap around the island, spotted with cliffs and secluded coves. Fuerteventura’s hot temperatures are cooled by consistent winds from the Atlantic, providing a refreshing respite as you explore all the island has to offer.

The consistent breeze characterising the island means that Fuerteventura is the perfect destination for a wide range of water sports. Those seeking some thrills and spills in the azure waters of the Canary Islands will find plenty to match their appetite.

Exploring the island’s incredibly rugged landscapes is a major draw for visitors. A tropic oasis one moment and an arid desert the next, the scenery is dramatic, to say the least. The spectacular Cofete is an ideal place to experience this epic contrast, as is the ancient Badlands known as Malpaís de la Arena. The natural swimming pools on the Betancuria shore provide an outdoor spa experience, and Oasis Wildlife provides a premier attraction with hands-on animal encounters.

Hammer & Guillaume, from the travel blog A Fun Couple, have visited Fuerteventura and spoke to us about their tips for future visitors and what they believe makes this island so special: “We spent almost a month in Fuerteventura during our trip around the world. We completely fell in love with this place. Fuerteventura is the ‘wildest’ island in the Canaries! The red colour of its soil, its incredible beaches, great waves, arid landscapes, and its volcanoes make Fuerteventura a truly unique place.

“As we are both very sporty, we mostly enjoyed all the outdoor activities on the island. From surfing (indeed, Fuerteventura has some of the best surf spots in Europe) to hiking, cycling, kitesurfing and sailing, we explored every corner of this island.

“However, Cofete was our favourite place to discover in Fuerteventura. This is arguably the most incredible beach in the world! We’ve never seen anything like it, even though we travelled to so many places around the world! Make sure to check it out during your trip; it’s a must-see!”

Megan has been to Fuerteventura and blogs over at her website, Megan & Aram. She spoke to us about her thoughts on Fuerteventura and some additional island-hopping possibilities: “What I loved most about Fuerteventura was that I felt like I was on a different planet. The landscapes were so barren, yet so beautiful and mesmerising. I visited during the wintertime, and the temperatures were ideal, and every day presented us with new opportunities to make new memories.

“The highlight of my trip to Fuerteventura was my day excursion to Lobos Island, just a short boat ride from Corralejo. This island is a nature reserve, and it was wild and quiet. You can go hiking, snorkelling, or just spend your time relaxing on the beach. It had something for everyone!”

Things to do in Fuerteventura

  • Water sports
  • Cofete beach
  • Malpaís de la Arena
  • Natural swimming pools
  • Oasis Wildlife
  • Hiking and cycling
Maspalomas natural reserve dunes in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria

Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 80 minutes
Flight time from Tenerife: 30 minutes

Gran Canaria is an alluring island paradise begging to be discovered when island hopping in the Canary Islands. Its diverse landscape boasts stunning beaches, dramatic volcanic cliffs, lush green valleys, and rugged mountains. Look forward to immersing yourself in the vibrant island culture, exploring charming villages, and savouring the mouthwatering local cuisine. Whether you crave relaxation or adventure, Gran Canaria offers the perfect escape with guaranteed memories to cherish.

As with all the Canary Islands, there’s ample opportunity to bask in the warmth of sun-kissed shores and embrace the untamed wilderness that calls the island home. Playa de Maspalomas, with its tumultuous sandy dunes, and the urban Playa de Las Canteras, are two of the top beaches to pay a visit to for fun in the sun.

Anu, from the travel blog Country Hopping Couple, spoke to us about her recommendations based on her visit to Gran Canaria and highlighted its famous dunes: “The fact that there’s guaranteed sunshine all through the year and for being such a small island, Gran Canaria boasts diverse landscapes and offers a wide range of attractions.  Like every other person who has been to Gran Canaria, I am going to recommend Maspalomas Sand Dunes as the highlight and topmost thing to do. You can walk across the dunes, drench in the warm beach, or catch a sunset near to Faro de Maspalomas.”

Palmitos Park is also well worth stopping by during your time on the island, packing a trio of attractions with its botanical garden, aviary, and zoo. There’s a top aquarium on offer thanks to the Poema del Mar Aquarium, and Roque Nublo is a volcanic area that has been consumed in greenery, providing incredible hiking opportunities and stunning views. The port city of Las Palmas, known for its duty-free shopping, beaches, and top-class restaurants¸ will provide plenty of delights as well.

Things to do in Gran Canaria

  • Playa de Maspalomas
  • Playa de Las Canteras
  • Palmitos Park
  • Poema del Mar Aquarium
  • Roque Nublo
  • Las Palmas

Beautiful view of Papagayo beach Lanzarote Canary Islands


Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 8 hours+
Flight time from Tenerife:
53 minutes

Synonymous with volcanoes and lava fields, with typical whitewashed houses, a deep blue sea and a light blue sky, Lanzarote is another perfect place to visit on an island-hopping trip from Tenerife.

Lanzarote, like a lot of the other Canary Islands, has stark, rolling mountains, beautiful beaches of white and golden sand, lush palm groves… and silence. On this biosphere reserve island, there is a fascinating mix of lively tourist resorts and peaceful little villages, so you will experience a land where tourism, art, and nature combine perfectly.

Besides visiting the volcanic landscapes, you can relax in the sunshine on one of Lanzarote’s picturesque beaches, which are perfect for the smaller members of your family. Papagayo Beach, a cove of white sand and raw beauty, and Famara Beach, boasting luscious golden sand in a natural park, are two of the most popular beaches if you want to lie down and top up that suntan.

When it comes to reasons to visit Lanzarote, Amanda from the blog The Boutique Traveler highlighted the food when speaking to us: “The thing I most enjoyed when I visited Lanzarote was the fantastic food. I am crazy about Mojo sauce and added it to almost everything I ate and took some home. I ate my body weight in pulpo and the delicious, wrinkled potatoes.

“In keeping with my passion for the island’s food, my top recommendation whilst on Lanzarote is to visit the stunning Timanfaya National Park. Enjoy its magnificent landscape, and make sure you schedule time for lunch at El Diablo. Designed by Lanzarote artist Cesar Manrique, this restaurant is enclosed in glass and has amazing views over the park. Plus, El Diablo is famous for its chicken which is cooked using the heat of the volcano.”

Things to do in Lanzarote

  • Timanfaya National Park
  • Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park
  • Marina Rubicon
  • Cueva de los Verdes
  • Jardin de Cactus
  • Playa de Papagayo
Natural pool charco azul La Palma Canary Islands

La Palma

Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours
Flight time from Tenerife:
30 minutes

La Palma, or Isla Bonita as it is eloquently known, is famous for its volcanic nature and lush forests. The eruptions that have taken place on the island have created beautiful landscapes, whilst the forests that have taken centuries to grow now cover the sides of steep ravines and are home to a complete network of eye-catching hiking trails.

As a certified Starlight Reserve, La Palma is one of the best places in the world to observe the heavens and see planets and stars that wouldn’t be as clear anywhere else in the world. This paradise archipelago, like its sister islands, is home to some stunning coastal landscapes, including one of the three marine reserves in the Canary Islands: an underwater volcanic landscape that is astoundingly beautiful and full of caves, arches and walls, as well as being home to many species that are unique to the area.

You will never be bored during a trip to La Palma, with the volcanic landscape of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park waiting to be explored, the spectacular views from Roque de los Muchachos (the highest point on the island) and the brightly coloured streets of Santa Cruz de la Palma.

Danni and Fede, from the travel blog Scratch Your Mapa, spoke to us about their time on La Palma and shared a few favourite things to do when on the island: “What we loved the most about La Palma is the variety of landscapes that you can find on just one island! One minute we’d be sitting on a black sand beach, and the next we’d be sitting above the clouds surrounded by icicles.

“We highly recommend renting a car so that you can explore all of the incredible places that La Palma has to offer. Make sure to check out the natural pools in the northeast, the salt pools of Fuencaliente in the south, and the incredible viewpoint of Roque de los Muchachos, which is the highest point of the island.

“Some of the other places that we loved were Poris de Candelaria, La Caldera de Taburiente National Park, and the colourful centre of Santa Cruz de la Palma. We spent a full week in La Palma and found it to be the perfect amount of time to explore the highlights, as well as get a more local feel of this magical slice of paradise.”

Things to do in La Palma

  • Roque de los Muchachos
  • La Caldera de Taburiente National Park
  • Santa Cruz de la Palma
  • Fuencaliente
  • Bosque de los Tilos
  • Charco Azul
Tropical landscape at sunset Canary Islands

La Gomera

Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 1 hour
Flight time from Tenerife: 30 minutes

Sun-drenched Gomera is one of the less visited islands, but with such a short ferry crossing, we’d certainly recommend spending at least a few hours exploring this fascinating destination.

La Gomera’s attractions range from dramatic beaches to hiking trails that cut through tropical mountain scenery and misty rainforest. The mysterious Garajonay National Park and mountainous Cumbre de Chijere are two places that any keen walker should visit. The pretty beaches of Valle Gran Rey or on Puerto de Santiago are where you will want to go to soak up the sun.

La Gomera is an ecological treasure, and between its rugged coastline dotted with small beaches set between cliffs and its picturesque national park, this paradise for nature lovers will not disappoint. You’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy in its waters, with some of the best marine environments on offer for scuba diving and a whole host of boat tours and water sports available to the thrill-seekers of the family.

Things to do in La Gomera

  • Garajonay National Park
  • Cumbre de Chijere
  • Valle Gran Rey
  • Puerto de Santiago
  • Valle Gran Rey
  • Scuba diving
Natural volcanic ocean pool

El Hierro

Ferry crossing from Tenerife: 2 hours 30 minutes
Flight time from Tenerife:
40 minutes

The youngest Canary Island, after emerging just 1.1 million years ago, El Hierro has a mellow vibe and pristine natural spaces that are slightly different from the other archipelagos. Sure, you have the beautiful beaches here and plenty of ways to enjoy them, but as a designated UNESCO Geopark, there are large areas of the island which are untouched and almost feel undiscovered.

Well-known to diving enthusiasts, who come from all over the world to find fascinating underwater landscapes and its excellent cuisine where there’s something for all tastes without forgetting its wines, there is so much the little island of El Hierro packs in.

El Hierro is renowned for its hiking, and over a very short distance you’ll be able to see landscapes of great contrast: desert areas, plains, forests, volcanoes, and cliffs. The villages on the island have a special charm due to their small size, craftsmanship and inhabitants, and you should look to explore them during a day visit here from Tenerife.

Things to do in El Hierro

  • Scuba diving
  • Hiking
  • Exploring traditional villages
  • Mar de las Calmas marine reserve
  • Cuisine to suit all taste buds
  • Viewpoints over spectacular scenery

Exploring the Canary Islands from Tenerife

Using Tenerife as a home base to explore other islands in the Canaries is a fantastic idea. It’s a gateway to countless treasures, top attractions, amazing wildlife, and spectacular beaches.

Wyndham Residences Golf del Sur Deluxe 3 Bed Luxury Villa with Private Pool - lounge

If you want to enjoy a holiday in Tenerife, take a look at the hotels and resorts here at IDILIQ Hotels. We even offer amazing Tenerife family holidays, so young and old can enjoy the delights of this beautiful part of the world.

For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.