If you can drag yourself away from the pool for a day, you’ll be delighted to discover the diverse range of things to do in Tenerife. As the largest and most populated Canary Island, Tenerife hosts some of Spain’s biggest carnivals, best hotels and the country’s largest mountain, Mount Teide. It is no wonder the island welcomes over 5 million tourists each year.
From exciting family outings to exploring the natural volcanic wonders or from evening showbiz to cultural visits in quirky villages, there really is so much to do in Tenerife. To help you plan your trip we’ve put together an ultimate guide to activities, sites and all things Tenerife.
Why visit Tenerife?
Be it world-class beaches, year-round sunshine or luxurious hotels, we can think of many reasons to visit Tenerife.
Where is Tenerife?
The largest Canary Island, Tenerife is located around 186 miles west of the Moroccan coast of Africa, meaning much warmer year-round temperatures.
Contents for things to do in Tenerife:
- Top Things to do in Tenerife
1. Mount Teide
2. Diving and snorkelling
3. Relax at Playa del duque
4. Visit Garachico and the rock pools
6. Spot dolphins and whales
7. Visit the hilltop village of Masca
8. Cueva del Viento
9. Tenerife Carnival
- Walking in Tenerife
- Watersports in Tenerife
- Things to do in Costa Adeje
- Things to do in Tenerife for couples
- Things to do in Tenerife for families
- Places to visit in Tenerife: Tenerife Resorts
- Tenerife excursions and activities
1. Drago Milenario Tree
2. Piramides de Guimar
3. Lago Martianez
4. Auditorio de Tenerife
- Nightlife in Tenerife
- Museums in Tenerife
- Golf courses in Tenerife
- Tenerife Beaches
- Tenerife Food
- Events in Tenerife
- Practical information
1. Best time to visit Tenerife
2. Where to stay in Tenerife
- Top Things to do in Tenerife
Top things to do in Tenerife: Tenerife Attractions
1. Mount Teide National Park
Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain and third largest volcano in the world. The Impressive volcano of 3,718m above sea level, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site not to be missed. Indescribable views await when you climb to the top of Mount Teide. A cable car can take you to 1,200m, but the real treasures can be discovered when you take the footpaths higher (although permission is needed). On certain days the peak can be cloudy, however still a wonderful experience souring high in the sky above this magnificent island. The national park itself, covering 18,900 hectares, has out of this world moon style landscapes, an impressive lava canal and a fascinating wide crater.
Cable Car: Open 9am-4pm, admission €27 for adults and €13.50 for children
Tours: Jeep safaris, stargazing tours, designated hiking trails.
Mount Teide National Park
2. Diving and snorkelling in Tenerife
Tenerife is shaped by its volcanic past and this does not exclude its underwater world; in fact, Mount Teide continues for 3,782m below sea level. Dramatic volcanic columns teem with marine life and the clear warm waters welcome many marine species including turtles and dolphins; this whole new view of Tenerife is one not to miss. Several dive centres are dotted around the island or you can simply pack a snorkel and peak underwater from one of Tenerife’s many beaches.
Best places to snorkel in Tenerife: El Puertito, Playa de Las Vistas, Playa del Duque.
3. Soak up the sunshine at Playa del Duque
Tenerife is home to a range of luxurious hotels and superb beaches in which to relax and soak up the sunshine. Located in Costa Adeje, Playa del Duque is a sheltered bay protected from wind and rough seas. The stunning beach is a favourite for sun worshippers with its rich golden sands and clear turquoise waters. The beach has blue-flag status, so is kept beautifully clean and remains relatively uncrowded.
Sunbeds are around €10, although this can change seasonally.
Playa del Duque
4. Visit the unique town of Garachico
Located in the north west, Garachico is a hidden Tenerife gem. It was once the wealthiest town in Tenerife, famous for exporting wines and other local produce until a volcanic eruption in 1706 unfortunately engulfed the town in lava. The volcanic eruption has formed lava style rock pools which fill with crystal clear waters, making an excellent spot for swimming. Nestled between cliffs, Garachico is full of Spanish charm, including colonial buildings, monasteries and local restaurants serving the best of Tenerife cuisine.
Getting there: Easily accessible for day trips via road or local buses
5. Spot dolphins and whales
Tenerife is one of the top 3 whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world. Resident species of pilot whales and bottle-nose dolphins make Tenerife their home all year round. Thanks to the wonderfully warm waters and wealth of ecosystems, a huge array of species can be spotted off the coast of Tenerife. It is a magical experience speeding along sparkling waters watching whales pop up for air.
Getting there: boats usually leave from Los Cristianos port, which is easily accessible by car.
Frequency: tours leave several times a day.
6. Visit Masca
Masca is a tiny hamlet hidden within a mountainous ravine on Tenerife’s west. A small collection of rural houses, stone walkways and quaint restaurants make up this hilltop village. A visit to Masca brings local tales and legends and an authentic experience of Tenerife culture. Masca may be difficult to reach, but the scenic journey makes it well worth it.
Village of Masca
7. Cueva del Viento
Cueva del Viento is a complex underground maze created by lava. The lava tube contains 3 levels of passageways and extends over 17km making it the 5th longest in the world. Uncover ancient fossils of the giant lizard and rat and delve in to the beauty of lava stalactites, lava cascades and lava lakes, as well as archaeological remains of the Tenerife Guanches.
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am – 7pm; Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4.30pm
Admission: adults €20; children €8.50
Cueva del Viento (image courtesy of www.cuevadelviento.net)
8. Tenerife Carnival
The Carnival de Santa Cruz is held every February in Tenerife’s capital. Often considered the 2nd largest international carnival behind Rio de Janeiro, Tenerife Carnival is a spectacle of festivities, parades and celebration. The carnival includes street festivities, an opening parade and fancy dress which continues night after night until Ash Wednesday when Entierro de la Sardina takes place. For more annual events, visit our post Events in Tenerife.
Walking in Tenerife
With its many trails and tracks, walking in Tenerife is a rewarding experience. With diverse volcanic landscapes, laurel forest and coastal trails there’s something for all levels. For avid hikers the annual Tenerife Walking Festival takes place in May, where walkers from across the globe come to experience the best of Tenerife’s routes in a sustainable way. Be it Mount Teide National Park, Punta del Hidalgo or the Anaga Mountains there’s plenty to uncover on foot.
Watersports in Tenerife
Due to its fabulous weather and diverse coastline, Tenerife is fantastic for watersports including: Parascending, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing, water skiing, diving, banana boating, kayaking, fishing, rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, you name it and Tenerife is sure to have it.
Things to do in Costa Adeje
As Tenerife’s most luxurious resort, Costa Adeje is the capital of designer shopping, upmarket dining and fashionable bars. There is so much do in Costa Adeje including designer shopping in Centro Ceomercial Plaza del Duque, relaxing on Playa del Duque and catching thrills at Siam Park. There are several beaches, waterparks, shopping malls, golf courses and much more to entertain, as well as a wealth of restaurants in which to simply wine and dine. Each Thursday and Saturday from 9am – 2pm is Costa Adeje market where you can browse souvenirs and bargains. With its coastal location there are several boat tours, boat charter and sailing trips that operate form Costa Adeje.
View of Costa Adeje Beach
Things to do in Tenerife for couples
Stargazing in Tenerife is an exceptional experience. Away from light pollution and urban areas Tenerife’s night skies are some of the best in Europe. In fact, 83 out of the 88 recognised constellations can be seen, as well as meteor showers. For the best stargazing head to Teide National Park.
With its jaw dropping views over Tenerife and Mount Teide, Mirador de Humboldt is a wonderful place for couples to enjoy evening cocktails, relaxed dining and remarkable sunsets.
View of sky from Pico del Teide
Things to do in Tenerife for families
For families, a visit to Tenerife’s Siam Park is an unmissable experience. Get family thrills in the lost city or dose up on adrenaline by soaring down the 28m power waterslide. For those that prefer the quiet life, the Mai Thai River is the perfect ride to gently float away. This huge aqua theme park is full of activities for both families and couples alike. Alternatively, Aqualand is another superb water park with a range of exciting slides, tubes and flumes, ready to excite. For a unique experience, several horse riding excursions take place including horse treks and pony strolls, an enjoyable day out for families.
Siam Park: Located between Costa Adeje and Playa de Las Americas the park runs a free bus service. Open: 10am – 5pm; Admission: €34 adults, €23 children. Official website here.
Aqualand: Adults €26 and children €18. Open from 10am – 6pm
Places to visit in Tenerife: Tenerife resorts
Tenerife’s second busiest city, La Laguna is a historical centre and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in north Tenerife at the foot of the Anaga mountains, La Laguna houses the Canary Islands only university and a bustling Old Town. Admire 15th-17th century buildings, an impressive cathedral and a wonderful market selling flowers and vegetables.
Located in northern Tenerife, La Orotava is a colonial town painted with cobbled streets, flower filled plazas and pretty mansions. The town itself is surrounded by a lush valley where bananas, chestnuts and grapes are harvested.
Tenerife’s most westerly resort, Los Gigantes derives its name from ‘the giants’, referring to the dramatic cliffs rising out of the sea here. The cliffs protect the resort from winds giving it the best climate on the island.
Punta de Teno
The western most tip of Tenerife, Punta de Teno is great to visit for its working lighthouse and stunning views out to the ocean.
Costa Adeje is Tenerife’s most luxurious resort brimming with things to do. With its fabulous shopping mall and exquisite beaches, there plenty in Costa Adeje for the discerning traveller.
Tenerife’s capital, Santa Cruz is a wonderful city and bustling port town. In fat, its port is one of the largest of its kind in Spain. Santa Cruz is home to a plethora of things to do, including museums, monuments, art exhibitions, nightlife, restaurants and much more.
Tenerife excursions and activities
1. Drago Milenario Tree
The most famous tree in Tenerife, Drago Milenario is the largest and oldest existing tree in the Canary Islands. Measuring 20m circumference at its trunk and 16.4m in height, the tree is an impressive sight. Surrounding the tree is a natural park with a lovely picnic area and ancient burial grounds of Tenerife’s Guanches.
Drago Milenario Tree
2. Piràmides de Güímar
A complex of 6 pyramids built from lava stone. The origin of the pyramids is heavily disputed but were only discovered in the 1990’s. Within the Ethnographic park is a museum, auditorium and outdoor routes.
Piràmides de Güímar
3. Lago Martianez
Lago Martianez is an open-air swimming complex in Puerto de La Cruz. Designed by Canary Islands’ artist César Manrique, the 100,000 square metre complex centres around an artificial lake with gardens, restaurants, bars and relaxing terraces.
4. Auditorio de Tenerife
Tenerife’s own Sydney Opera House, this auditorium in Santa Cruz is an architectural masterpiece housing many superb performances.
View of Auditorio de Tenerife and Santa Cruz
Nightlife in Tenerife
Sophisticated beach clubs include Playa de Las America’s Papagayo Beach Club and those located in Costa Adeje such as Monkey Beach Club, Kaluna Beach Club and La Terrazza del Mare. For a more laid-back venue with live music and entertainment visit St Eugens Bar in Costa Adeje, Bulls Head Pub in Arona and The Dubliner in Playa de Las Americas. For tasty tapas don’t miss Los Reunidos in Santa Cruz and Restaurant Embrujo & Bodegon in Playa de Las Americas.
Bar at Hotel Botanico, puerto de la Cruz
Museum of Science and the Cosmos - La Laguna
An interactive museum showcasing everything from the human body to the movement of the stars. Enjoy exhibitions, planetariums, talks, workshops, showcases and more.
Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 8pm, Sundays, Mondays and public holidays 10am – 5pm. Admission €5. Official website here.
Museum of Man and Nature - Santa Cruz
Situated in an emblematic building, learn about the natural riches of the Canary Islands and discover an important collection of artefacts form the Guanches.
Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 8pm; Sunday, Monday and public holidays 10am – 5pm. Admission €5. Official website here.
Municipal Museum of Fine Art - Santa Cruz
A collection of paintings and artistic masterpieces from local artists and painters.
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 8pm; weekends and public holidays 10am – 3pm; closed Mondays. Admission free.
Tenerife Pearl - Costa Adeje
A wonderful museum showcasing stunning jewellery and pearls locally sourced. Pick your own pearl, by picking your own oyster, they will then value the pearl and recommend jewellery to match and create a validation certificate.
Free shuttle bus, free admission, Monday – Sunday 10am – 8pm. Official website here.
Golf Courses in Tenerife
Abama Golf at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama
18-hole par 72 championship course with golf academy and club house. The course offers spectacular Atlantic views, waterfalls, lakes, sand bunkers and challenging holes, as well as over 300 species of plant life and over 20 thousand palm trees. Located at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, preferential rates are available for those staying at the hotel.
Golf Las Americas
18-hole par 72 course in Playa de Las Americas with an events hall, golf shop, tv lounge, driving range and putting green. Golf Las Americas is arranged in a gently sloping amphitheatre with attractive ravines and lakes.
Golf Costa Adeje
Sophisticated golf venue with 18-hole par 72 championship course and a 9-hole par 33 course with club house. Designed to complement the environment creating a stunning course.
Golf Del Sur
The only 27-hole championship course in Tenerife. Wide fairways and a plethora of native plant life spread over an 800,000-metre squared plot.
From volcanic black beaches to pristine golden shores, Tenerife is packed with jaw dropping beaches. Visit the pristine sands of Playa del Duque, the extraordinary Playa de Las Teresitas and the black sands of el Bullollo, as well as Playa de La Tejita with its mountainous backdrop. Visit our post for a guide to beaches in Tenerife.
Playa de Las Teresitas
Events in Tenerife
Be it bustling Carnival or local Romerias, there is always something going on in Tenerife. Including Tenerife walking festival, religious festivals, fiesta de San Juan and many more. For a full guide to events visit our post Events in Tenerife.
Typical food of the Canary Islands tends to be grilled meat, fresh fish and Mediterranean style salads. Tapas has also made its way to the island in recent years. Here is a list of local dishes of Tenerife:
- Papas Arrugadas – Boiled potatoes served with chilli pepper garlic sauce,
- Churros de Pescado – Tapas dish battered fish.
- Chopitos – Small fried cuttlefish
- Conejo en Salmorejo – Rabbit meat marinated and sautéed with garlic, white wine and a range of herbs and spices. Can also be served as chicken.
- Cherne – Grouper fish
- Cazuela de Pescado – Fish casserole served with catches of the day
- Rancho Canario – Soup containing meat, chick peas, potatoes and vegetables.
- Queso de Cabra – Cheese made form goat milk.
Tenerife Weather averages: Best time to visit Tenerife
What time is it in Tenerife?
Tenerife follows the same time zone as the UK so there is no time difference.
As part of Spain the Euro is the only accepted currency in Tenerife.
Tenerife flight time
4 hours 30 minutes from London
Where to stay in Tenerife: Best hotels in Tenerife
Perfect for adults only seclusion and tranquil surroundings. The 5* Iberostar Grand El Mirador enjoys a stunning seafront location in Costa Adeje and service standards that have guests returning year after year.View Hotel
Prefect for ultimate luxury. Situated withing beautiful grounds in Guia de Isora, This stunning resort offers Michelin-star cuisine, award-winning spa treatments and jaw dropping views out to the Atlantic Ocean.View Hotel
Perfect for location and exclusivity. Bahia del Duque is a hotel renowned for its excellent service and top notch facilities, expect sumptuous breakfasts, world-class ocean views and and an utterly luxurious stay.View Hotel
Perfect for families and couples alike. The 5* Iberostar Hotel Anthelia offers a plethora of high quality facilities, including 5 restaurants, children’s club, an indulgent spa and a diverse range of sports amenities.View Hotel
Perfect for romantic breaks. With its tempting Balinese design and show-stopping villas, the Royal Garden Villas provide a perfect retreat for couples in search of romance, exclusivity and ultimate luxury.View Hotel
Have you been to Tenerife? We’d love to hear your stories, get in touch in the comments below.