Top 9 things to do in Tenerife, Spain
The island of Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands, and the most visited island by tourists. With its stunning black and gold beaches, its active volcano, its unique ecological diversity (plants from around the world can live and thrive in Tenerife’s many climate zones), and its charming towns over the cliffs, it’s no wonder that it’s the most popular island among the Canary Islands. These beautiful sights , as well as the many things you can still do in Tenerife, make this island a must-see.
The Canary Islands are located off the coast of Morocco, but the easiest way to get to Tenerife is usually by a two-hour flight from Madrid or direct flights from your city. If you’re heading to Spain, consider visiting the island first before or after exploring mainland Spain. Or, if Tenerife is your main destination, cement the experience by visiting Madrid and Barcelona for a few days.
The Canary Islands, strange as it may sound, mean “dog islands” from the Latin word canis.
According to the commonly accepted version, the modern name of Tenerife comes from two words “tene” (mountain) and “ife” (white), the Spaniards combined these two words and added “p”, which resulted in the now familiar name “Tenerife”.
The autonomous canary islands have 2 official capitals: Santa Cruz (on Tenerife) and Las Palmas (on Gran Canaria).
Parliament always sits in Santa Cruz, and the government moves 2 capitals every year. It is perfectly normal for the president of the government to have the cabinet in one island and the vice-president in another. In addition, the ministries migrate between the four cities (on 4 islands). This is done to reduce corruption and to develop the islands evenly.
Here is a list of things to add to your Tenerife travel guide, to plan your vacation or to be inspired for your future island vacations.
1. go to the beaches of Tenerife
Not surprisingly, Tenerife is an ideal beach vacation destination with black and gold sand beaches scattered all over the island. For black sand, head to Playa Jardín on the north side of the island in the town of Puerto de la Cruz. There are several bars and restaurants nearby, and on a clear day you can admire the top of the volcano. Popular golden sand beaches can be found on Playa de las Americas, also a popular spot for nightlife enthusiasts, on the south side of the island, and Playa de las Teresitas in the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. On most beaches you can stretch out comfortably on the sand or rent sun loungers for a few hours for just a few euros.
- Las Teresitas is the most beautiful beach, it is the one that shows up in all the photos of tourists. Snow-white sand, calm sea in the bay and palm trees. For this beach for several years, sand was transported from the Sahara (320 thousand tons!).
- Playa Arena is a small beach near Los Gigantes with the blackest sand. It is saturated with minerals and is considered therapeutic.
- La Tejita is a nudist beach. A small enclosed cove that you will have to look for.
- Playa de Leocadio Machado – better place for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
- Playa de las hippies – a beach where isolated peaceful European hippies live in caves and huts.
2: Taste the local cuisine in Tenerife
You can enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine in Tenerife, like tortilla española tortilla española (a delicious omelette with potatoes and onions) and paella paella (a rice dish similar to pilaf, usually with a variety of seafood and meat options), but there are some unique local dishes that you must try.
Papas arrugadas (literally meaning “wrinkled potatoes”) are small boiled and salted potatoes, usually served with red and green mojo sauces as a side dish or on their own as tapas (appetizer). And for dessert, order churros . You’re probably familiar with this sweet treat, but here they’re the freshest, not overly doused in cinnamon, and served with a hot chocolate sauce for dipping.
Other foods that are typical and common in the Canary Islands are gofio (a type of flour made from wheat or corn that is used in many dishes), papayas, bananas, and wine. Food and drink prices in Tenerife are usually inexpensive. For example, a good size breakfast in a restaurant, will cost 5 to 10 euros, and a liter of good local wine – from 10 euros at most. Canary wine, a sweet, white wine called Malvasia, was imported to Britain in Shakespeare’s time, and he mentions it in two of his plays, Twelfth Night and The Mockingbirds of Windsor. It is said that because he himself loved the drink so much, he received a barrel of wine (about 157 liters!) as part of his salary for popularizing the outlandish island wines of the time.
There is a special kind of coffee in Tenerife – baraquito, a mixture of strong coffee, condensed milk, liqueur, poured in layers in a shot glass. The locals have a strange habit of never drinking the whole thing. If they drink beer, they always leave some at the bottom of the glass. No one knows why.
3. rent a car and drive around the island
Tenerife boasts many picturesque mountain ranges along the coastline. There is good public transportation on the island, and there are tour buses, but renting your own car will allow you to explore every corner of the island on your own schedule.
Here are a few tips about the area before you rent a car. The roads can be very narrow and windy, especially in the mountains, and there are not always strong guardrails along the road. The roads are also very steep, which explains why local vehicles have many bruised and dented front bumpers, which you will regularly see caused by cars pulling off steep roads onto a flat road, while snagging the front end of the car in the process. Because of the steep roads, only slow down slightly when going downhill or shift into a lower gear so you don’t burn your brakes.
However, once you’re behind the wheel, enjoy the beautiful mix of beaches, mountains, and historic towns, and stop more often.
4. Visit Volcano Teide
The highest point in Spain, Mount Teide is an active volcano that reaches 3,718 meters. Plan at least half a day to visit Teide National Park, where you can climb to the top of the volcano by cable car.
The funicular to Teide is a five-minute drive from the hotel, offering scenic views of the volcano and the surrounding national park. It can be reached from about 2,356 meters. (You can also hike if you are physically fit, but beware of elevation changes and the onset of mountain sickness.) If you want to reach the summit of Mount Teide, which is 163 meters above where the cable car will take you, you will need to obtain a permit in advance to climb the latter section. They are available in limited numbers, so you need to apply months in advance, even during the low season (March to May, October and November).
The official version is that the top is very rarefied air and people with health problems are better off not visiting. But below only 163m no permits are needed. The semi-official version – with the flow of tourists the height of the volcano decreased by a couple of meters due to the fact that it is “trampled” and spread on the rocks, so they decided to limit access a little.
Nevertheless, you can buy tickets for the cable car days in advance on the official website.
Once you get off the cable car, there are several short trails at the top to various vantage points with great views. The best views can be seen on a clear day, but at 3555 meters, when you are above the clouds, you can enjoy the view even on an overcast day.
Often guides and guides are confused and say that Teide (3,718 meters) is the third highest island volcano in the world, after the 2 Hawaiian volcanoes. This is not true, above Teide, in addition to these two Hawaiian peaks, also volcano Jaya (5029 m) in New Guinea, Mount Cook (3.754 m) in New Zealand, Volcano Fujiyama – the highest mountain in Japan (3,776 m),
But in terms of volume, it is really the third island volcano. The fact that it is located in a deep Atlantic depression and its height, counting from the bottom of the ocean 7,500 m.
In addition, Teide is the highest point in Spain and the highest point in the Atlantic.
The shards of volcanic rocks can not be taken as a souvenir you can get a severe penalty (2000 euros).
5. See the Dragon Tree
Although this tree is found in other places around the world, such as the Azores and Morocco, the one in Icod de los Vinos in Tenerife (“Drago Milenario”) is supposedly the oldest of its kind, estimated to be about 1,000 years old. It is also worth noting that its size is 22 meters in height.
The tree is easy to recognize because it is different from any other tree you have probably seen before – its trunk looks like several thick, intertwining tree roots that transition into a broad, overarching crown. When the bark or leaves are cut, they secrete a red sap known as dragon’s blood, which is actually what gave the tree its name.
6. Experience local life in Garachico
Located on the north coast, the quaint town of Garachico is not a tourist destination, so it retains more of the island’s authentic culture. Stop here for at least a couple of hours to grab a bite to eat and walk around town. You can learn more about the city’s history by going to the local convent of San Francisco (Convento de San Francisco), a former monastery that is now a museum. Then spend time walking around the volcanic coves, natural pools that were formed from lava after a volcanic eruption. If you’re going to take a short hike, return to town, walk through the Plaza de Libertad and find a road leading up the hill where you can see the city’s colorful buildings and coastline.
The beautiful, wealthy port city of Garachico was wiped out by lava in 1706. But right on top of the boiling lava the inhabitants rebuilt a new city, though not as impressive anymore. Now Garachico’s coat of arms features an erupting volcano, an anchor, a cone, and a seashell – a strange food composition.
7. Explore the historic city of La Orotava
La Orotava is one of the oldest towns in Tenerife, and it was once home to some of the island’s wealthiest residents, as seen in the beautiful architecture and mansions. One example is the famous Casa de los Balcones Casa de los Balcones (house of the balcones), which, as the name implies, is a mansion with magnificent balconies overlooking the cobblestone cobblestones. Another picturesque place to visit in the city are the Jardines del Marquesado de la Quinta Roja, where you can stroll through lush, beautiful gardens. There is also a botanical garden where you can see the Dragon Tree.
8. Visit the mountain village of Masca
Tenerife offers so much natural beauty, but the town of Masca on the west side of the island may be the most incredible place to visit. The reason to get there is only half the reason to visit – the views through the narrow mountain pass are stunning, and you’ll be sure to stop and take some pictures.
Once you get to Maska, the views don’t end. The gift store and restaurant on the edge of the mountain, where you can stop and enjoy a cold beverage, offer gorgeous scenery. There are also several trails to walk further into the village and get a little closer to the unique vegetation in the area.
In the 16th century, the Canary Islands were flooded with pirates much more than the Caribbean Sea. The heyday of smugglers and pirates came at the time of the discovery of America. All trade routes from America to Europe passed through Tenerife, which created ideal conditions for pirates. Not all of them were petty bandits, the most famous were of noble birth and in the service of the Queen of England (John Hawkins, Francis Drake). If you want more pirate romance – then you have to go to the gorge of Mask and the village of the same name. Not long ago this gorge was cut off from the island by a ridge and had no land connections. In addition, the gorge is conveniently hidden and not visible from the water or land, goes directly to the trade routes. It was there that pirates and smugglers lived. According to legends, there are hidden chests and unseen treasures in the gorge.
9. Find adventures in Los Cristianos
If you go to Los Cristianos (Los Cristianos) on the south side of Tenerife, you’ll probably notice immediately that the climate here is drier and more deserted than the lush, tropical north side of the island. The warmer climate and lots of sunny days make it a popular spot for water sports and lots of activities. Along Playa de los Cristianos are agencies that offer diving, snorkeling, dolphin and whale watching, fishing, and more. Head to nearby El Médano to enjoy windsurfing.
7 things to do in Tenerife
The Canary Islands are a true paradise on earth. It has a surprisingly mild climate, which attracts a large number of tourists. In winter the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees, and in summer it rarely rises above 30 degrees, so the flow of tourists here does not stop all year round. The Canary archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean and consists of seven large islands and several smaller ones. As in the case of Hawaii and the Galapagos, it is of volcanic origin. The largest and most populous island is Tenerife. It is here that I recommend to begin your acquaintance with this distant Spanish territory. When you come to the island, be sure to rent a car, because without it it will be difficult to see as much as possible. Here is a list of the best things to do on the island:
Get ready for a fascinating trip around the island of Tenerife
1. See an orca show in Loro Park.
This is a place that adults and children alike will enjoy. This is not just any zoo, there are many rare animals and birds from all over the world. From the warmth of the island of Tenerife you can be transported to the distant and cold Antarctica, because the “penguinarium” of Loro Park is considered to be one of the best in the world. There is a large colony of emperor penguins, which is provided with 12 tons of fresh snow and ice daily. And the “highlight” of the park is a huge swimming pool with a capacity of 22.5 million liters of seawater, with trained dolphins and killer whales. Several times a day they show their incredible performances to visitors. You will see more than 3,500 parrots of different sizes and colors in the park. In some parts of Loro Park, they fly freely and don’t even mind meeting you. Sea lions, gorillas, flamingos, anteaters, meerkats, leopards and tigers are an incomplete list of the park’s inhabitants. There is also a huge oceanarium with more than 15,000 inhabitants of the underwater world. The admission ticket includes admission and all the shows that are on that day. To be able to see everything, come early. For the current price and schedule of all the shows, visit the park’s official website at http://www.loroparque.com/index.php/en/.
In Loro Parque, everything reminds us that animals live here. Even the bushes are cut in the shape of elephants A gorilla told us at once what kind of mood it was in today And flamingos are always in a good mood An aquarium with jellyfish can inadvertently hypnotize you Imperial penguins Here I tried to take a picture of a penguin in motion, There are a lot of parrots in the park because of the screaming parrots are never quiet. You can even make friends with some of them, but be warned, they have very sharp claws and beak. They are nursed by the park staff after they hatch. Fed from a dropper with fruit mixtures A very focused anteater The most “star” residents of Loro Park – orcas At their show always comes a lot of adults and children
2. Climb to the top of Teide
Mount Teide is one of the most famous landmarks of Tenerife. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists come here just to climb to the top of the highest point in the Atlantic Ocean. The volcano looks incredibly beautiful at any time of year. However, in winter, when its top is covered with snow, it is most impressive. Teide is right in the middle of the island, so it is clearly visible from almost anywhere. It is possible to climb to its summit on foot, or you can comfortably ride a cable car (if it works. It is often closed due to weather conditions). At the foot of the volcano stretches a huge national park, an area of 19 hectares. Since 2007, it was awarded UNESCO status, which indicates its great value. If you don’t even want to go to the top of the volcano, you should definitely come here to spend time walking around the huge area of the park. The lunar landscape is the hallmark of this park – you feel like you’re on another planet. There are always a lot of overcrowded tour buses here, so arrive early to get a parking spot. If you get tired of the long walks, you can always stop in the numerous cafes and get something to eat. It is best to choose places with a view of Volcano Teide.
Admission to the National Park is free. You can find out the cost of a cable car ride on the official site of Teide https://www.volcanoteide.com/ru/natsionalnyyi_park/vulkan_teyide.
In good weather Teide volcano is clearly visible from almost anywhere on the island In winter and early spring the snowy peak is a special decoration of Teide National Park is a place where you can spend more than one day In Tenerife we came for this point Space landscapes will give you the opportunity to visit Mars by sight About the origin of these round stones I consulted with a volcanologist, and he suggested that they were spit out by a volcano during one of its eruptions Teide looks very beautiful in the sunrise and sunset. There are many huge rocks around Teide, Although Tenerife’s coastline rarely sees winter temperatures below 10 degrees, there’s almost always snow on the slopes of the volcano at this time Climbing the volcano, you’ll find yourself above everyone in the Atlantic Ocean Teide is very fast at forming clouds around you. Literally in 10 minutes it can completely “wrap up”.
3. Get to the Carnival in Tenerife
Every year from mid-January to the end of March in many cities on the island are numerous street Carnivals. They close off the roadways for this purpose. Their culmination will be the big Carnival in the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This is the second largest after the Brazilian, so if you do not have the opportunity to go to Rio de Janeiro, then feel free to come to the Canaries. Once here, you will be immersed in an atmosphere of absolute carefree happiness and fun. People come to Carnival to have fun and forget all their problems for a while. About a million people from all over the world take part in it every year. Sea of smiles, loud and cheerful music, bright and beautiful clothes – it’s as if you find yourself in another world. And if you want, you can even take part in the colorful procession. Just keep in mind that each year the date and theme of the Carnival change, so check this information in advance on the official website http://carnavaldetenerife.com/.
If you get to the Carnival, then you are very lucky – this event takes place here once a year Carnival atmosphere and urges you to go dancing In Carnival all comers of all genders and all complexes can participate. Nobody cares about the figures here Where else but at Carnival, you can be photographed with Pope Saddam Hussein being carried by car Do not forget to wear your best clothes You can and should be photographed with all participants of Carnival
4. Meet the sunset near the westernmost lighthouse at Cape Teno.
Cape Teno is known for geographically “pointing” to Florida in the United States, and for its beautiful, winding, mountain road that can be rocky – which is what will lead you to the Punto del Teno lighthouse. The road to it is closed Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We didn’t know that, so when we arrived we had to stand until 5:01 pm, when the barrier opens. There was a whole line of cars standing with us. By the time we reached the lighthouse the sun was already beginning to set and it was getting noticeably colder. The high waves and steep cliffs gave a feeling of complete isolation and distance from the rest of the world. Hollywood directors have noticed this, which is why blockbusters like “Fast and Furious 6” and “Wrath of the Titans” were filmed here. The lighthouse itself can not be approached, because it is fenced off due to the fact that it no longer works. But it looks very beautiful in the photo.
Cape Tena is a very picturesque and secluded place Here you will feel how strong the wind is here The closer to sunset, the stronger the waves become The lighthouse of Punto del Tena at the edge of the land
5. Sunbathing on Las Teresitas beach
There are many beaches on the island of Tenerife, but mostly they are all of volcanic origin, which means the sand on them will be black. But in the case of Las Teresitas, people intervened and decided to make it the best beach on the island. Well, what better beach can do without snow-white sand? So barges brought more than 320 tons of sand from the Sahara desert. The place was further ennobled by palm trees and infrastructure, and the shape of the bay is very fortunate to protect against large waves. This is what made Las Teresitas the best beach on the island, where in the summer season it is difficult to find free space. However, despite the perfect sand, which creates a paradisiacal picture, the beach does not get the blue flag, meaning world recognition. The reason is that the sea near this beach is not clean enough due to the large port nearby. The authorities are not able to regulate this issue, so Las Teresitas does not appear in the ratings of beaches, but it does not make it less attractive in the eyes of tourists.
This beach is a true paradise. There is snow on the top of Teide, and people swim on the beach. This situation is normal for Tenerife.
6. Taste fresh seafood at the Nuestra Señora del Afrique market
Canary Islands is the place where you can and should eat the freshest fish and seafood. And the main market of the island of Tenerife in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the best way to do this. Built in the 1940s, this is one of the most famous landmarks on the island. In addition to the abundance of goods, you will be very pleased with the prices, which were lower than in continental Spain. Products can be bought with your own, but there is also the option that you will be cooked what you want, right on the spot. In addition, the market has a large number of exotic fruits, which experienced vendors will select for you depending on whether you will eat them today, tomorrow or right now. Try to get here as early as possible, because all the tastiest things are eaten first.
Prepare to be amazed by the huge amount of fish of the most unusual species To remember all the names, you will need to write them down Shrimp, lobster, lobsters, langoustines – you can not understand this variety alone, so do not hesitate to ask a lot of scallops, oysters, snails and other shells Sea worm or European Surfer Do not pass by the rows of fruit Watermelons in February or March? On the island of Tenerife they are eaten all year round.
7. To feel the spirit of the island’s capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The large city with a population of 220 thousand people will appeal to everyone who likes spacious bright streets. In addition, there is an old pedestrian street La Rambla (Rambla de Santa Cruz), walking along which you can plunge into ancient times. Museums, exhibitions, a botanical garden and even an opera house are all there for your enjoyment. And if you want to go shopping, you can’t beat Santa Cruz. You’ll find huge malls offering everything from the latest cell phones to baby clothes. In addition, shopping in the Canary Islands is a pleasure, because since 2000 there is a preferential system of taxation. In other words – tax-free trade – instead of the customary 20-23% in the Canary Islands you pay just 5%. That’s why it’s high time to treat yourself to goods that you didn’t dare to buy before because of their high price. February and July are the sale season, which means the chance to buy a lot for cheap increases.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife – a very beautiful and clean city Despite the large number of tourists on the streets is always very clean Very unusual building Opera House Old town will please history buffs in the port town is always a lot of cruise ships. This speaks volumes about the great popularity of the Canary Islands among tourists.
I really hope that after reading this article you have already started looking for tickets to come and see with your own eyes the incredible paradise island called Tenerife.
Enjoy incredible sunsets in Tenerife.