Tenerife is known for its holiday resorts, Blue Flag beaches and vibrant nightlife scene but the island’s natural landscape and great climate offer a great deal beyond this. With volcanoes, Spain’s highest mountain peak, water sports, whale watching, natural parks and caves, Tenerife is a great weekend destination for the adventurous.
1. Mount Teide National Park
Mount Teide National Park is a World Heritage Site and home to Mount Teide, a volcano and the highest mountain peak in Spain at 3718m above sea level. You can hike or take a cable car to the base of the final cone summit where you will enjoy the breath-taking views of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma. If you want to head to the top of the summit you will need to get a permit in advance.
The Teide Observatory is on Mount Teide at an altitude of 2400m above sea level it is the world’s largest solar observatory and has an ideal location to observe the sun or night sky. Guided tours of the observatory are available.
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Address: Mount Teide, 38300, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
2. Siam Park
Siam Park is a Thai themed water park in Costa Adeje, covering 48 acres with the largest collection of Thai buildings outside of Thailand and a great selection of water slides and rides, both family friendly and adrenaline filled, it is considered to be one of the best in Europe.
Alongside the water slides there is the Lost City, a children’s play area with over 120 different games, a Thai floating market, Siam Beach, a wave pool which offers surfing lessons and Thai restaurants.
Opening Hours: 10AM–6PM
Tickets: €50 per person, but packages are usually available.
Address: Av. Siam, s/n, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
3. Head to the Beaches
Tenerife has over 400km of coastline which lends to a great variety of beaches, 10 of which have been awarded the Blue Flag status. Playa de las Teresitas in Santa Cruz is a sheltered manmade beach made with sand imported from the Sahara Desert, popular with both the locals and holidaymakers. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path there are a number of secluded beaches away from the main tourist resorts, these include Playa Bollullo, Playa del Pozo, Playa El Puertito.
Those with a keen interest in water sports will be aware of the windy El Medano beach on the south coast of Tenerife. One of the world’s best beaches for windsurfing and kite surfing having hosted regular windsurfing competitions.
4. Whale and Dolphin Watching
A whale watching tour off the coast of South West Tenerife is one of the best ways to watch whales and dolphins in their natural environment. Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales, Pilot whales and Risso dolphins are all resident in the waters around the Canary Island with other species such as the Killer Whale, Mike Whale and the Striped Dolphin occasionally migrating into the waters. You may also see turtles, sharks, osprey and kestrels.
Opening Hours: The tours depart from Los Gigantes, Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Las Galletas and take around 3 hours.
Tickets: Between €20-€60 per person, depending on the boat and length of the tour
5. Loro Parque
Loro Parque Zoo is located in Puerto de la Cruz and one of the most visited attractions in the Canary Islands. Initially dedicated to parrots the park has now expanded and is home to a diverse range of animals, birds and plants which include whales, sea lions, tigers, chimpanzees and alligators.
Other attractions in Loro Parque include an aquarium, a jungle area, children’s play area and a Thai village.
If you’re planning to go to both Loro Parque and Siam Park you can purchase a joint ticket for the two attractions.
Opening Hours: 8:30AM–6:45PM
Tickets: €34 for a child, €58 for an adult
Address: Av. Loro Parque, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Aqualand is another one of Tenerife’s waterparks, located in Costa Adeje. As well as exciting water slides and rides there are River Rapids, themed wave pools, a Dophinarium, a dolphin museum and kids play areas.
Opening Hours: 10AM–5PM
Tickets: €17.50 for a child, €25 for an adult (discounts if you book online)
Address: Av. Austria, 15, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
7. Museum of Science and the Cosmos
Museums in Tenerife can often be overlooked but The Museum of Science and the Cosmos (MCC) in La Laguna is one of the most important in Spain and worth a visit. The museum delves into the world of science and astronomy combining traditional museum exhibitions with interactive displays, demonstrations, astronomy evenings, a planetarium and fun activities for all ages.
Opening Hours: 9AM–8PM
Address: Av. de los Menceyes, 70, 38205 San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
8. Go caving in Cueva del Viento
Cueva del Viento is a set of caves which were created by lava from the eruption of the Pico Viejo volcano. There are 18km of lava tubes which you will explore with a tour guide, walking through the maze of underground tunnels you will discover fossils, lava stalactites, lava lakes and at least 190 species of insects which live in the tunnels.
Opening Hours: 9AM-4PM
Tickets: €20 for an adult
Address: c/ Los Piquetes 51. 38430 Icod de los Vinos. Tenerife. Islas Canarias.
9. Pirámides de Güímar Ethnographic Park
The Pirámides de Güímar Ethnographic Park is home to a mysterious group of stone pyramids which were first discovered in the 1990s with various theories surrounding their origin. The Casa Chacona Museum at the park explores the potential theories, the other pyramids and step structures from around the world, and the scientific and archaeological investigations which have taken place at Guimar.
Opening Hours: 9.30AM-6PM
Tickets: A basic ticket is €7.75, however Easter Island, Poisdon Gardens and the exhibitions at the park are not to be missed and a full ticket with access to these is €14.75.
Address: Calle Chacona, s/n, 38500 Güímar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
10. Meet the locals in the ‘lost’ Masca Village
Masca is one of the highest villages on Tenerife, and the rock behind it almost lends a ‘mini Macchu Picchu’ look to the village. The hike from the village to the bay will take between 3 and 5 hours, depending on how many photo breaks you work into the walk. This is a ravine hike, full of view points, flora and fauna and epic photo opportunities. This is a steady hike – bring walking shoes and plenty of water. You’ll need to catch a water taxi back to Los Gigantes, which adds to the experience.
Opening Hours: Water taxis leave from Masca Bay at 13:30, 15:30, and 16:30.
Tickets: It’s recommended that you go with a guide, unless you’re an experienced hiker. This costs around €50 per person.
Address: Masca, 38489, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
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11. Scuba on Tabaiba Shipwreck
In the central north of Tenerife, you’ll find Tabaiba. This is an amazing place for scuba diving. The wreck was sunk deliberately in 2006 to build the marine life here, and attract more divers to the area. On a dive here you’ll find octopus, large schools of mackerel and barracudas.
Opening Hours: Typically a daytime dive
Tickets: You’ll need your Open Water for this dive, but you can also get your Padi at the schools around Tenerife. Teide Divers run dives to Tabaiba and training courses.
Address: Teide Divers are located on Calle La Corbeta s/n, Edificio Los Organos, Local 1, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
12. Cool off in the Bajamar Natural Pools
These natural salt water pools are plenty of fun to cool off in – particularly if you’re coming down from one of the mountain hikes or golf courses nearby. There are also showers and bathrooms to get changed in too.
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Address: Av. del Sol, 33, 38250 Bajamar, Tenerife, Spain
13. Go kitesurfing on El Médano beach
Whilst the golden sands of Médano are ideal for posing and sunbathing with the best of them, you should really try your hand at kitesurfing here. This is a great, safe spot to surf for experienced riders, with Médano and Tajita offering two different spots to ride the waves.
Tickets: Check out the kitesurfing schools for lessons. A course will cost around €150, and for equipment rental, expect to pay €45 per hour.
Address: Kitecenter Playa Sur Tenerifa, El Medano, Calle La Gaviota s/n
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14. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnevale
Whilst Rio may have the biggest carnevale in South America, the Canary Islands are the place to be for it in Europe. Over the course of a week, festivals, processions and parties flood the streets of Santa Cruz with colour, feathers and glitter. This is a fun event to attend with a group, or with the family – you’ll never see anything quite like it.
Opening Hours: Occurs in the last week of February annually
Address: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
15. Roam San Cristóbal de la Laguna
If the pretty streets of Paris or tiled floors of Lisbon usually catch your eye, make your way up to San Cristóbal. This town was built in the 16th and 18th centuries, meaning that many of the public and private buildings have a charming colonial style to them. Stay in a hotel here for a few nights to explore Laguna Cathedral, the Iglesia de la Concepción and feast in local tavernas.
Address: 38202 San Cristóbal de la Laguna
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How to get to Tenerife:
There are two airports in Tenerife: Tenerife North, and Tenerife South. Tenerife South is the busiest airport, as it’s close to many of the main resorts. There are direct flights from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow.
Where to stay in Tenerife
If you’re looking for a hostel:
Los Amigos is close to the Red Mountain and La Tejita beach. There are 8 guest rooms, as well as dorms for those on a budget.
If you’re looking for a hotel:
Costa Adeje Gran Hotel is a perfect options for families with panoramic views of the Atlantic.
If you’re looking for luxury:
Book at suite at the Bahia. There are 5 different pools, 8 restaurants and 7 bars – including a juice bar!
Be a traveller, not a tourist – check out how to holiday like a local when in Tenerife. Looking for cheap flights to Tenerife? Search now👇