WHAT ARE THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN TENERIFE?
Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s seven Canary Islands, has become the go-to destination in recent years, partly due to its incredible year-round climate, as well as all the types of holidays that you can enjoy here.
The island is aptly nicknamed the Island of a Thousand Experiences, and it earns this name as no matter what your interests are, there is something to entertain you or an activity to try.
From following one of the iconic hiking trails around Mount Teide to the beautiful beaches at Costa Adeje, you can enjoy many memorable experiences. In this guide, we look at the top things to do in Tenerife.
- • Visit the island’s beautiful beaches
• Hike around Mount Teide National Park
• Aquatic thrills at Siam Park
• Head to Loro Parque
• Go wildlife watching
• Play golf
• Experience Los Gigantes
Visit the island’s beautiful beaches
The south of Tenerife is home to many of the best beaches on the island, and despite it being a volcanic island which is home to black sand beaches, there are several golden sandy beaches you can enjoy too.
If you want to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday, one of our luxury Tenerife resorts in Costa Adeje is the perfect place to be based. Not only are you a stone’s throw away from Playa del Duque, which many consider one of the best beaches in Tenerife, but you are also close to some of the island’s most famous attractions, such as Siam Park.
Other picturesque beaches in Costa Adeje that are among the best beaches on the island are Playa Torviscas, Playa Fanabe, and Puerto Colon, as they boast calm and clean water that is perfect for swimming and restaurants and bars just a short walk away.
Helen Wright, a travel journalist and editor who runs the Passport Stamps blog, has visited Costa Adeje and was impressed with the beaches:
“Costa Adeje, in the southwest of the island, has some of the best views, beach cafes, restaurants and shopping in Tenerife. It has a definite Spanish feel with quaint, colonial buildings draped in pink Canary Islands balm.”
“One thing you will also notice is that despite Tenerife being a volcanic island, the beach at Costa Adeje has lush golden sand stretching into the blue Atlantic Ocean. There is also a choice of beach clubs and stylish hotels, and Costa Adeje’s sweet location on the south of the island almost guarantees year-round sun.”
Other popular beaches in Tenerife:
- • Las Vistas Beach
• Playa de las Teresitas
• Playa de los Cristianos
• El Medano Beach
ALSO READ: A guide to island hopping in Tenerife
Hike around Mount Teide National Park
Mount Teide National Park is located in the centre of Tenerife, and it is home to jaw-dropping scenery, ranging from petrified lava and craggy outcrops to plains of pumice and splashes of green and plum.
The star of the national park is Mount Teide, the third-highest volcano in the world and the highest peak in Spain.
There are two options for travelling to the top of this volcano. The first is by cable car, as you can travel from the base station at an altitude of 2,356 m to the top station, known as La Rambleta, at 3,555 m. The second option is to hike to the peak via Montaña Blanca (a permit is needed); the trail is around 9 km long and takes six to seven hours.
Naturally, many hikers are fixated on climbing El Teide, but there are many other hiking trails in the national park that should not be overlooked.
- • Parador Nacional to Montaña Guajara Circuit Trail: This epic trail starts at Parador Nacional and takes you to the summit of Guajara, and from here, you will be treated to inspiring views of Mount Teide, the Cañadas, the coast and neighbouring Canary Islands like La Gomera.
• Roques de García Loop Trail: This might be a short trail, but its scenery is spectacular. With the rock formations, the vegetation and the views, you’d be forgiven for thinking you are on the moon. The route for this hike starts and ends at the lookout point, Mirador de la Ruleta.
Aquatic thrills at Siam Park
Sprawling across four acres, this iconic water kingdom is full of attractions for adults and children alike. The fact that Siam Park is themed around Thailand adds to the magic.
Daredevils can experience the daunting Tower of Power slide as you plunge down a 28-metre drop into a shark-filled aquarium. If you aren’t much of an adrenaline junkie, then perhaps the tranquil Mai Thai River, which is one of the longest lazy rivers in the world, is more up your street.
Families can also enjoy the adventurous “Lost City” or the exhilarating “Wave Palace” wave pool. These are just some of the incredible attractions that you can enjoy.
Cathy, the author behind the Mummy Travels blog, highly recommends a visit to the water park: “Like most kids, I used to love water parks when I was younger – and if you’re looking for the world’s best, it’s helpfully in the family-friendly destination of Tenerife, at Siam Park.”
ALSO READ: Frequently Asked Questions about Tenerife
Head to Loro Parque
Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Canary Islands. People from all over the world visit the park and are fascinated by the animal and exotic plant life.
Named as the ‘best zoo in the world’ on multiple occasions by Tripadvisor, there is a surprise at every turn. You can see the world’s largest and most diverse parrot reserve and get up close to lions, tigers, hippopotamuses, killer whales, sea lions, penguins, flamingos, sharks, alligators and turtles.
A must-visit is the penguin park. Aptly named ‘Planet Penguin’, it is the largest in the world, and you’ll feel like you are walking around Antarctica, not the mild climate of Tenerife.
You can watch several shows ranging from the dolphins performing their tricks to the park’s birds flying and swooping in front of spellbound audiences.
Go wildlife watching
The coast of Tenerife is home to a plethora of marine wildlife. November through February is prime whale-spotting season, and there’s a strong chance you can see humpback whales and finbacks if you are visiting during this time of the year. If you are super lucky, you could even see orcas and sperm whales in the spring.
Pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins live in the waters around Tenerife all year round, and you are almost guaranteed to see them. If you want to see these majestic animals in their own habitat, there are lots of boat trips leaving from towns on Tenerife’s southwest coast.
With volcanic sand bunkers, gorgeous greens, and unrivalled ocean views, it is unsurprising that Tenerife is a hotspot for golf holidays.
The reputation of golf in Tenerife has grown so much in recent years that European championships and tournaments are regularly held on the island.
There are plenty of golf resorts in Tenerife where you can stay, and some of the most popular courses on the island can be found at Golf del Sur and Golf Costa Adeje in the south.
Experience Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes is famous for its cliffs, but there is much more to the charming seaside town than this natural phenomenon.
The cliffs of Los Gigantes, or The Cliff of the Giants as they are also known, are the jewel in Los Gigantes’ crown and going to see them is one of the top things to do in Tenerife. These 600-metre-tall cliffs are one of the most spectacular landscapes in Tenerife and they dwarf the black volcanic sand beach and collection of secluded rocky coves beneath. The cliffs are a tremendous sight whether viewed on the land or sea, but going on a boat trip to view them is highly recommended.
Los Gigantes and the surrounding area are home to some picturesque beaches like Los Guios beach, which has unrivalled views of the cliffs, and Playa la Arena. The town’s harbour also provides boating, scuba diving and water sports opportunities.
There are plenty of hiking trails in this part of Tenerife, and one of the most popular routes is the walk from Los Gigantes to Puerto de Santiago.