Ay Las Canarias … What a great paradise we have in Spain. Each island is completely different and today I take you on a direct trip to the largest of the archipelago. Tenerife is probably the island that moves more tourism but also keeps corners away from the overcrowding and with a special charm. Today I tell you what to see and what to do in Tenerife. 8 unforgettable experiences by land, sea and even in the clouds.
Let’s not waste a single second. If Tenerife is one of those destinations that you have pending and you have not decided, this list will leave you with long teeth and with an irremediable desire to buy a direct flight to the island. These are my recommendations in your visit to Tenerife.
What to see and what to do in Tenerife
It was impossible to start with another. With its 3718 meters is the volcano that gives profile to the island, its most precious symbol, one of the most visited National Parks in the world , the second highest volcano in the world and the roof of Spain. From the air, from the sea, from the mountain and from the neighboring islands, his vision is not made to beg.
What to do in Teide? The options are varied. Tour its roads full of viewpoints, walk through its network of trails, ascend to the heights by cable car, enjoy the sunset among a sea of clouds, stargazing, stay in a hostel or a refuge, freak with the snow (only in winter), skimming the sky in the peak … The possibilities are many.
2 Scandal Sunsets
Finding the best places to see the sunset is a classic in my travels and Tenerife could not be less. As I said, the weather did not help much. But that was not an obstacle that prevented me from capturing some of the most special sunsets on the island .
The best, without a doubt, is the sunset from one of the viewpoints of Mount Teide . If all the stars are aligned to your favor you can see a real show, the sun slowly hiding in a sea of clouds creating a magical moment. The best viewpoints to meet our objective are those found within the National Park on the TF-38 that ends in Chío. In the north in the TF-24 you can also capture this special moment with the silhouette of the volcano in the background.
Another wonderful place to see the king star hiding under the ocean is Punta del Teno . A small and beautiful lighthouse on our right and the impressive stone cliffs of the giants on our left will make the moment unforgettable.
If you’ve been wanting more, you may want to try your luck with other locations just as good to see the sunset as are the beaches of Benijo and Punta del Hidalgo . Or why not? A sunrise from the beach of La Tejita in El Medano?
The most frequented beaches are those of the south of the island. I personally flee from these macro-tourist complexes around beaches crowded with foreigners. But one thing is clear, it is the south that enjoys the best climate on the island and the sun is assured. Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje are the ideal spots if you are looking for sun and beach only.
But Tenerife is much more and you have to leave the most touristy places to find really beautiful and wild beaches. I have a special predilection for the contrast that forms the black sand of volcanic origin with the white of the waves and the blue of the sea . My favourites? This requires a more detailed entry but I give you an advance. Benijo beach, Tamadiste beach, El Bollulo beach or Los Guíos beach are some of my favorites. What do you say? Do not want a dip away from the world?
4 Observation of cetaceans and cliff of Los Gigantes
It is a must do in Tenerife or in La Gomera, yes or yes. It is impressive to navigate a few meters of whales and playful dolphins in complete freedom. And it is right in the warm waters of the channel that separates the south coast of Tenerife from the island of La Gomera where there are colonies of cetaceans that reside permanently in the area.
All these favorable characteristics make the probability of sighting of several species of cetaceans with a sea excursion made from Tenerife very high. Worth? I have no doubt, a resounding yes.
There are many companies that offer boat trips with departure from the Playa de las Américas, the port of Los Cristianos or from Los Gigantes . In this sense I can recommend the company with which I hired an excursion from Puerto Colon in Playa de las Americas: Neptuno Sea Company . It was a perfect five-hour day aboard a beautiful sailing ship called Shogun. The biggest reward of the day was seeing several groups of pilot whales and some jumping bottlenose dolphins. In addition to including fresh food and drinks, the second prize of the day was to sail along the towering cliffs of Los Gigantes and be able to cool off with a swim in this paradise. I took a whole 2 × 1. If five hours of sailing seem a lot to you (I assure you that it is short), they also give you other options with two or three hour departures. You can read all the details of my excursion in search of cetaceans .
5 Curve in curve towards the hamlet of Masca
We have already seen a sunset from the Teno Massif but you can not leave here without driving on the road that leads us into deep barracos and cliffs in the direction of Masca’s hamlet.
The TF-436 is one of these … do you like to drive? From Santiago del Teide to Buenavista del Norte it is a succession of sharp curves that take us into a place of intense beauty. The road is in good condition but I find a very important problem. There is an incessant coming and going of buses, and the width of the road is not ideal for them. We had the odd mishap with buses that did not have much intention to reduce speed in sections where it was impossible to get out of the way. In short … disadvantages of mass tourism.
Surely you will not settle for stopping in sidings, lookouts and enjoy briefly the natural spectacle that surrounds you. If this is your case, you should know that this area offers one of the most beautiful hiking routes on the island . I can not tell you in the first person since I could not do it, but the guys from the Flying Gave tell us in this blog entrytheir experience walking through the interior of Masca Ravine. You will also have the added bonus of sailing along the cliff of Los Gigantes.
6Sea of clouds
The first time I was able to enjoy this spectacular weather phenomenon was in Tenerife for quite some years. I will not forget that image of fluffy clouds covering the entire horizon as far as my eye could see. I was small and I thought it had to be fun to jump from cloud to cloud.
It’s been a couple of decades since that but it has not stopped fascinating me. You are more likely to meet the clouds in summer , but my trip was in the middle of winter. The longed-for result of the action of the winds of the sea did not want to give me my prize. They were passing gray days seasoned with a bit of haze and the forecasts did not predict success in my effort to look for a sea of clouds. However, on the last day and by pure stubbornness I went back up to the slopes of Mount Teide with the same illusion of a little girl. And I had my reward, well, I did.
This concentration of clouds is usually between 500 and 1500 meters high . The best places to observe the ‘belly of a donkey’ in Tenerife, as the islanders call the sea of clouds, is from any of the roadsides that ascend to the Teide National Park.
7Hiking in Anaga
After a few days in La Gomera, the landscapes of the Anaga Rural Park sounded familiar. It is the best representation of the Laurisilva forests that survive in Tenerife. Yes, it’s that kind of forest that looks like something out of a story. Dense and leafy with twisted trunks, moss and a humidity that will make you think that you have traveled to the jungle without finding out.
But in Anaga there is much more: steep cliffs, ravines, rocks and spectacular black sand beaches. With the car you can travel a large part of its geography and look out at its viewpoints. But my recommendation is that you fit your hiking boots, go to the information center of Cruz del Carmen and inform yourself well about the many hiking trails you can do in the area.
In my opinion, the most recommended routes are the circular of Afur and Taganana (which you can do linear if you want to shorten it) and the linear route from Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo . Both are quite long walks, but if you do not have enough time, there are much more affordable.
8 Colonial architecture
Not everything could be nature. Tenerife has several perfect locations to wander and soak up the Canarian architectural heritage. And if you have to highlight a city above all that is San Cristobal de La Laguna . We are talking about a historic center declared a World Heritage Site . Numerous linear streets that testify to the magnificent past of the city with its colorful stately homes. A quiet walk through its streets will take you through some of its most outstanding buildings such as the Cathedral, the Casa del Corregidor, the Lercaro Palace, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and harmonious Canarian courtyards.
Another must visit must be the next locations between Icod de los Vinos and Garachico. Icod is famous for hosting a beautiful Millenary Drago , but you should not miss its charming cobblestone streets and garden squares. Also, if you have something of an adventurous spirit, do not miss the Cueva del Viento in Icod.
It is a volcanic tube, the fifth longest in the world, in which with prior reservation you can explore the interior of the cave and play to be speleologist for a few hours. Then go to Garachico to enjoy an urban volcanic landscape in its purest state.
Garachico was devoured by lava in 1706 and has managed to be reborn with strength from its ashes. After visiting the promenade and the natural pools of El Caletón, get lost in its historic quarter among hermitages, squares and a charming atmosphere.
But there is still more heritage and things to do in Tenerife. Other interesting places to make a stop on your island route are La Orotava, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Candelaria or Güímar .
General tips for visiting Tenerife
- The best time of the year to get to know this seafaring city is in between times or in summer where the heat, its coasts and popular summer festivals are its main attractions.
- If you are like us you like to know many places. We recommend you aceraros to the tourist office and inform you of the tourist cards. In this way you will know what offers or discounts are adapted to your visit plan.
- Tenerife is a city with a lot of life for its neighborhoods. It has very good nightlife so if you want to go out and have a drink, enjoy its variety. The best areas near of the coast.
- We recommend you to dedicate several days not only to the Tenerife island. Since if you have the opportunity to stay longer the best is to make a break or excursion through the province of Tenerife, such as Costa Adeje, Teide, Port of the Cruz. To move from one place to another, a good option is the taxi or rather private taxi. We recommend booking online and with a day in advance that is easy and practical. You already know Taxi from Tenerife airport north and south from just over 28 euros.
And to end the advice we recommend that you organize the visits well so that you make the most of the time of your trip.