Of all the Canary Islands that we have visited so far, I like Tenerife by far the best! This is primarily because the island offers a diverse and impressive nature: From unique beaches, over volcanoes, to breathtaking cliffs. The best things to do in Tenerife are ideal for adventures, but at the same time to relax – there’s something for everybody.
Join me in exploring all the best things to do in Tenerife and take advantage of my personal Tenerife travel tips. As always, I will share with you my Tenerife map which includes all the mentioned sights.
When is the best time to visit Tenerife?
Tenerife has a mild climate all year round, which makes it a great destination at any time of the year. In winter the temperature is around 17 °C, which is ideal for hiking, while in summer it gets up to 30 °C. As with most European destinations, the number of visitors to the island is highest during the summer months. So, to avoid high prices and many tourists at the famous best things to do in Tenerife, a trip during spring or autumn is the best option. In this period you can enjoy the unique nature of the island and warm weather.
By the way, the weather on Tenerife is different between the north and the south side. Clouds stick to the 3750m high Teide volcano in the center of the island, where they rain down easily. Therefore, the north has a little more precipitation and is cooler, while in the south it remains rather warm and dry.
How many days are ideal to visit Tenerife?
The island of Tenerife is perfect as a destination for a few days, but also for a longer period. Within 5 days you can explore most of the best things to do in Tenerife and discover the island. If you also want to spend a few days relaxing on the beach, a week is ideal.
How to get around on Tenerife
To be flexible and independent on Tenerife, a rental car is the ideal choice. The easiest way is to pick it up directly at one of the two airports, right after landing. The roads on Tenerife are in a very good condition and are easy to drive on. If you still prefer to do your round trip without a car, the bus on Tenerife is a good alternative. It goes to all spots around the island and even inside the Teide National Park is a bus connection.
Where to stay on Tenerife?
Since Tenerife is very well connected with roads and bus systems and driving from one end to the other only takes around 1,5 hours we decided to only stay at one accommodation in Tenerife located in Adeje at the West coast of the island.
We stayed at the resort → GF Victoria which had an amazing infinity pool and other wellness features we loved. There are a huge amount of hotels in different price categories on Tenerife located in nearly all parts. So feel free to get some inspiration in the search box below:
The best things to in Tenerife
Due to its volcanic origin, Tenerife offers a great variety of landscapes. Unique rock formations characterize the island, which can be discovered especially in the interior of the island or as spectacular cliffs on the coast.
During our trip to Tenerife we unfortunately had some bad luck with the weather, because a storm caused very unusual weather on the Canary Islands: From a total of four days, two were completely rainy. On Tenerife it normally only rains in short showers. For this reason, we didn’t have enough time to see all the sights on Tenerife, which I had marked on my map. Nevertheless, I have also included those Tenerife tips in this blog post, because I don’t want to withhold them from you in any case.
My Map with the best things to do in Tenerife:
The best things do at Tenerifes West coast
Impressive green canyons and rock faces, with a winding road which leads through it. This is the beautiful Masca Valley in the west of the island. The most famous sight is the tiny village of Masca, which consists of only a handful of houses. The village itself is not very spectacular, but the view of the small settlement surrounded by cliffs and a green overgrown monolith is a spectacular scene. The drive down into the valley alone is worth a visit.
Unfortunately, we had very cloudy weather on the day of our visit. In the evening the setting sun normallyshines through a crevice directly onto the village, creating a wonderful light and a magical atmosphere.
The settlement of Los Gigantes owes its name to the surrounding steep cliffs on the ocean. On a small black sand beach, which is protected from strong waves, you can see them up close. Due to the easy accessibility as well as the location directly in the settlement and the small size of the beach, Playa Los Gigantes is usually much more crowded than other beaches on Tenerife. Nevertheless, it’s worth taking a look at the impressive cliffs – there are usually no people at the end of the beach, which means you can still take photos as if you were all alone. Perspective is everything 😉
Punta de Leno
A less known spot and a Tenerife insider tip for beautiful sunsets is Punta de Leno. The point is located at the westernmost tip of the island and offers a great view of the entire west coast of Tenerife.
The North coast
On the north coast of Tenerife you will find many of the popular Charcos. This is the name of the natural pools made of volcanic rocks, which are very suitable for swimming, because they shield the strong waves of the ocean.
The most beautiful charcos are:
– Charco del Viento (you can see it on the first photo)
– Charco Los Chochos
– Charco de la Laja
Playa de Castro
One of my favorite things to do in Tenerife is visiting the black beach, Playa De Castro. Not only the dark sand and the location between cliffs make this beach so special, but above all, a waterfall, which falls down the cliffs.
If you are traveling by car, it is best to park at the Mirador San Pedro restaurant and walk down to the beach. The path, which offers several viewpoints, is already worth a trip. You will have to walk a few meters down from the parking lot to reach the beach (and of course back up your return), but it will pay off. At the bottom, you’ll find rounded black stones and, at low tide, a black sandy beach. The swell is usually very strong, but some visitors still dare to swim or surf in the water.
By the way, to reach the waterfall on the beach, you should avoid the high tide. We were at Playa de Castro in the late afternoon and the water was just high enough for us to walk to the waterfall. However, the tide changes depending on the time of year. Online you can easily find the daily tide schedule.
The best things to do at Tenerifes the North-East Tip
Punta del Hidalgo
If you are on your way to the greenest part of Tenerife, the north-eastern tip of the island, it is worth stopping at Punta del Hidalgo. There is a bus stop at the viewpoint as well as parking for cars. The spot offers a great view of the rugged and impressive coastline, which is reminiscent of a movie set from Jurassic Park.
Anaga Rural Park
Almost the entire north-eastern tip of Tenerife, consists of the Anaga Rural Park, which is known for its spectacular coastline, hikes to viewpoints and moss-covered forests. Because the park has so much to offer, it’s worth setting aside a full day to explore this beautiful part of Tenerife. Anaga Rural Park is home to some impressive Tenerife landmarks that you won’t want to miss:
Roque de Taborno
Due to the limited time we had available, we had to choose one of the longer hikes in Anaga Rural Park. Our choice was the hike to and around the rock Roque de Taborno. It is also called the “Matterhorn of Tenerife”. This, however, less because of its height, but rather because of the shape, which reminds of a sugar loaf.
During the hike, and especially halfway around the Roque de Taborno, you will be able to enjoy unique views of the coastline.
The route begins in the small village of Taborno, which consists of only one main road with a few buildings. I advise parking your car at the end of the street and walk to the right, past the small chapel to the viewpoint Mirador sobre Barranco La Fajana. From here, on the left, a little staircase leads down into the forest. This is the starting point of the trail to the rock. The whole hike leads you once clockwise around the rock and back to the chapel where you parked your car. It took us about 2.5 hours for the 4 km, but that included some photo stops.
I would describe the difficulty level as moderate. In some places the trail is more like a path along the cliff or you have to dodge prickly cacti. We saw a family with two small children turn back halfway up the trail. However, if you are fit and good on your feet, this hike is no problem and will reward you with unforgettable views.
Path of the Senses
A typical vegetation in Anaga Rural Park are the mossy laurel forests, which create a mystical atmosphere, especially in foggy weather. Small circular trails lead from the large parking lot at Cruz del Carmen into the forest and take at least 10 minutes up to 2 hours – depending on which trail you follow. But don’t worry, it’s all signposted. Just follow the “Path of the Senses” sign at the parking lot and then your desired route.
Due to the lack of time we unfortunately missed the following spots in Anaga Rural Park but these spots belong to the best things to do in Tenerife:
Roque de Las Animas View Point
Another unique sugar loaf shaped rock, which offers great views and can be reached on a hike as well.
Playa de Benijo
A beautiful black sand beach overlooking the coastline of the Anaga Rural Park. In the sea there are black volcanic rock formations which make a great photo motif.
Playa de Las Teresitas
Outside the Anaga Rural Park, at the southern end of the headland, is the largest and most famous white sand beach in Tenerife: Playa de Las Teresitas. It is an ideal beach for relaxing and swimming. Due to its location at a tourist village, the beach is very popular, but thanks to its size, you can still find a quiet place.
Playa de Las Teresitas
Playa de Benijo
The south of Tenerife has a special landscape. It is drier and less overgrown than the north, with special rock formations that offer great photo opportunities:
Arco de Tajao
A natural rock bridge, which can be easily reached on foot from the road.
Playa Amarilla is not particularly suitable for swimming, but wind and water have drawn reliefs in the rock walls, which are a natural spectacle worth seeing.
The center of the island
Teide National Park
In the center the roads lead from 0m to almost 2500m above sea level, because in the Teide National Park is the highest elevation in Spain and on all islands in the Atlantic: The volcano Mount Teide with a height of 3715m. The last time he erupted in November 1909 and has formed the island over the millennia with fascinating rock formations. Driving into the national park, you can already see the black lava fields, which at the beginning are still green forested. The higher you get, the fewer plants you see and the landscape might remind you of Death Valley in the USA.
Plan enough time for your drive through the national park and keep your eyes open, because spectacular views and landscapes are waiting for you.
You should not miss these spots in the Teide National Park on your road trip in Tenerife:
As the name suggests, this rock formation is reminiscent of an oversized lady’s shoe. Near the rock you will find a parking lot and the last steps you can easily walk.
Mirador Azulejos II
The viewpoint, as well as the road that leads past it, offers a great view of the Teide volcano – especially in clear weather. From the road you can take impressive photos: Both in the direction of the Teide volcano, and if you direct your view to the opposite side – you can see this perspective in my photo.
Mirador Azulejos II
Queens Shoe Rock
Here you’ll find more impressive rock formations with a great view of the summit of Teide Volcano, as well as a great view of the national park.
Additionally the visitor center of the national park is located nearby with a cafeteria as well as a bus stop.
Cable car – Teleferi Teide
The last meters to (almost) the summit are best done with the cable car Teleferi Teide. It starts at an altitude of 2356m and goes up to 3555m. Unfortunately, we had bad luck and the cable car was closed at the time of our visit. Although we had sunny weather that day, it was unfortunately stormy and foggy at the top of Teide. On the → website of the Teide cable car you can find a webcam, with live pictures of the summit, as well as information on whether the cable car is open or not. A round-trip ticket costs 38 Euros per person. If you want to go only one way by cable car and the other way by foot, you pay 21 Euros for one adult. Tickets can be booked either on the spot or online.
How do you get to the top of Mount Teide?
The last 200 meters of altitude difference can only be done on foot, but there is a catch: access is limited to only a few visitors each day. To belong to the lucky few, a time slot must be booked online before your visit. These are usually booked up weeks in advance. So you should definitely take care of that before your trip! (Occasionally, dates become available spontaneously when travelers cancel their time slot, but I wouldn’t count on that). You will receive a reservation confirmation with your name, which is only valid in connection with your passport or ID card. So be sure to remember to bring those!
A guard checks every hiker from 9am until 5pm in the evening. Outside this time you can also hike up to the summit without a reservation, but there is one disadvantage: The cable car is not running and you have to walk back to the road at 2400m. Should you want to know more information about the hike to the summit of Teide, then you can find → here more details.
Even if summer temperatures prevail on the island, you should pack warm sweaters and/or jackets for the visit to the Teide National Park. Especially on the summit it is much cooler and windy. I also recommend that you wear enough sunscreen. We got sunburned during our visit to Teide National Park, because the UV radiation is much higher than on the coast.
Tenerife exceeded all my expectations and is a wonderful destination for adventures and relaxation, which should be on everyone’s travel list. I hope my list with the best things to do in Tenerife could also inspire you to a trip. If you have any other questions about Tenerife, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me a message on Instagram.