News Top 14 attractions and things to do in Tenerife

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Top 14 attractions and things to do in Tenerife

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure – whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

Great news: travel to Tenerife is open to all fully vaccinated tourists, and British tourists can travel there without requiring COVID tests or quarantine (though you will need to fill out a pre-travel declaration form). But unfortunately, Spain didn’t make the UK’s green list on the 10 June announcement. It’s currently on the UK’s amber travel list, which means that the government advises against leisure travel there. If you do go, you’ll have to quarantine for 10 days when you get back. Testing and quarantine guidelines on your return to the UK can vary depending on whether you’re returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Note: this article was last updated on 17 June 2021, and was correct at the time of writing. For the most up-to-date information, check our travel restrictions page which is updated three times weekly, as well as the latest FCDO travel advice.

We’ve found 14 of the top attractions and things to do on your trip to Tenerife. The only question is, which will you do first?

1. Visit Mount Teide National Park

Mount Teide, the top tourist attraction in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Mount Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Teide, a volcano and the highest mountain peak in Spain, at 3,718m above sea level. You can hike or take a cable car to the base of the final cone summit, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking 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 the world’s largest solar observatory and is on Mount Teide, at an altitude of 2,400m above sea level. There aren’t many better locations for observing the sun or gazing at the night sky. Guided tours of the observatory are available, but must be organised in advance.

Opening Hours: 24 hours
Tickets: 21 Euros (observatory)
Address: Mount Teide, 38300, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

2. Splash about at Siam Park

Siam Park is a Thai-themed water park in Tenerife’s Costa Adeje, covering 48 acres with the largest collection of Thai buildings outside of Thailand. It boasts a great selection of water slides and rides, both family-friendly and adrenaline-filled, and is considered to be one of the best water parks in Europe.

Adrenaline junkies will love whizzing down the Mekong Rapids on an inflatable rubber boat or reaching speeds of up to 80km/h on the Tower of Power slide. But there are more relaxing activities on offer too, like relaxing on the Mai Thai River or shopping for souvenirs at the Floating Market.

Children can let off some steam at Lost City, a play area with dozens of different gamed. And don’t miss Siam Beach, a wave pool that offers surfing lessons.

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Tickets: €26 for a child, €38 for an adult, but packages are usually available.
Address: Av. Siam, s/n, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

3. Head to the beaches

Beach surrounded by mountains in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife has over 400km of coastline packed with a great variety of beaches, 17 of which have been awarded Blue Flag status for safety, cleanliness, amenities and commitment to environmental standards. Playa de las Teresitas in Santa Cruz is a sheltered, man-made beach made with sand imported from the Sahara Desert. Its calm waters and excellent amenities ensure that it’s a popular family spot for tourists, but locals enjoy chilling out here too.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path there are a number of secluded beaches away from the main tourist resorts worth checking out, including Playa Bollullo, Playa del Pozo and Playa El Puertito.

Beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Anyone with an interest in water sports might already know of the windy El Medano beach on the south coast of Tenerife. It is considered to be one of the world’s best beaches for windsurfing and kitesurfing, having hosted regular windsurfing competitions. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful beaches in southern Tenerife.

4. Go whale and dolphin watching

A whale's tale coming out of the sea

A whale watching tour off the coast of southwest 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, Minke Whale and the Striped Dolphin occasionally migrating into the waters. You may also see turtles, sharks, osprey and kestrels.

You can book onto a sustainable whale watching tour with Whale Wise Eco Tours and rest assured that your tour won’t negatively impact the environment, as the company is committed to conservation.

Opening Hours: Tours take around three hours. Some are only available during high season, but the Be Whale Wise Tour (€75) is available all year round.
Tickets: Between €50-€75 per person, depending on the tour.

5. Visit distant galaxies at the Museum of Science and the Cosmos

Space

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.

Right now you can only visit the museum on a guided tour. Tours are free but ticketed, and last around 45 minutes. Currently, they run Monday to Thursday at 12.15pm and 1.15pm then every hour between 3pm and 6pm, Friday at 12.15pm and 1.15pm then every 30 minutes between 3pm to 6pm, and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays every 30 minutes from 10.15am to 1.15pm, and from 3pm to 4pm.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 2pm to 7pm and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 10am to 5pm
Tickets: €5
Address: Av. de los Menceyes, 70, 38205 San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

6. Go caving in Cueva del Viento

Tenerife’s caves are formed from volcanic rock, just like many other Canary Islands’ caves – including this one in Lanzarote

Cueva del Viento is a set of caves created by lava from the eruption of the Pico Viejo volcano. There are 18km of lava tubes which you can explore with the help of 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 that live in there.

Make sure you wear long trousers and hiking boots or comfortable trainers, as the terrain in the caves can be uneven. You’ll need to book a tour either in advance on the website, or at the Visitor Centre, though we’d recommend booking online before you arrive to avoid any disappointment. Tours last around three hours, and you’ll need to bring and wear a mask throughout. You’ll also be provided with a helmet fitted with a headlamp, as there’s no artificial lighting in the cave.

Note: The caves are not suitable for children under five years of age, anybody with mobility problems or anyone who experiences claustrophobia.

Opening Hours: Tour times vary, generally starting around 9am, with the last tour around 3pm.
Tickets: €8.50 for a child, €20 for an adult.
Address: c/ Los Piquetes 51. 38430 Icod de los Vinos. Tenerife. Islas Canarias.

7. Take the kids to Loro Parque Animal Embassy

Where on earth can you see gorillas, lions, tigers, hippos, red pandas, flamingos, penguins, iguanas, tortoises and alligators all at once? That’s what awaits for kids big and small at Loro Parque, which has just re-opened after lockdown.

You’ll need to wear a mask during your visit and stick to 2m social distancing rules, and visitor capacity is limited, so book your ticket in advance online. According to Trip Advisor, this is Europe’s best zoo, with its latest attraction, Katandra Treetops (a free-flight aviary) home to emus, cockatoos, kookaburras and many more birds. Don’t miss the aquarium, where you can see over 100 aquatic species, or the penguins, who’ve made their home on one of the biggest icebergs outside the polar regions.

Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
Tickets: Single tickets are €38 for adults, €26 for children, and children under 5 years old go free.
Address: Avenida Loro Parque, s/n 38400, Puerto de la Cruz.

8. Meet the locals in the ‘lost’ Masca Village

Masca, one of the highest villages and best attractions in Tenerife

Masca is one of the highest villages in 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 three and five hours, depending on how many photo breaks you work into the walk. This is a ravine hike, full of viewpoints, flora and fauna, and epic photo opportunities. This is a steady hike but make sure you wear walking shoes and pack snacks 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 1.30pm, 3.30pm, and 4.30pm.
Tickets: It’s recommended that you go with a guide, unless you’re an experienced hiker. This costs between €40 to €50 per person.
Address: Masca, 38489, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

9. Go wreck diving at the Tabaiba Shipwreck

In the central north of Tenerife, you’ll find Tabaiba. This is an amazing place for scuba diving and is a moderately difficult dive designed for those with some previous wreck diving experience. The wreck, known as El Peñon, 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 as well as trumpet fish, large moray eels, and amberjack.

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 as well as training courses, as do Tenerife Scuba.
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 and you’ll find Tenerife Scuba on Costa del Silencio, Santa Cruz de Tenerife 38630

10. Cool off in the Bajamar Natural Pools

These natural salt water pools on Tenerife’s northeast coast 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 two larger pools and a small one for children, set alongside a sheltered golden sandy beach. With plenty of shops and restaurants nearby and showers and bathrooms for changing, it’s an excellent spot for a family-friendly day out. Access to the pools has been adapted for the elderly and those with reduced mobility, too.

Opening Hours: 24 hours
Tickets: Free
Address: Av. del Sol, 33, 38250 Bajamar, Tenerife, Spain

11. Go kitesurfing on El Médano beach

La Tejita beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife

Though the golden sands of Médano are ideal for posing and sunbathing, it’s all about the kitesurfing here. This is a great, safe spot to surf for experienced riders, with Médano and Tejita offering two different spots to ride the waves.

Tickets: Check out the kitesurfing schools for lessons. A three-day group course will cost around €290, and for equipment rental, expect to pay €45 per hour.
Address: Tenerife Kitesurf, Paseo Ntra. Sra. de las Mercedes de Roja, 58, 38612 El Médano

12. Party at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnevale

Two kids at the Tenerife Carnival - one of the top things to do in Tenerife

Rio might have the biggest carnival in South America, but the Canary Islands are the place to be for carnevale in Europe. Over the course of a week, festivals, processions and parties flood the streets of Santa Cruz with colour, feathers and glitter. The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is a fun event to attend with a group or with the family. You’ve never seen anything like it this side of the Atlantic.

It’s always best to double check that the carnival will be happening due to current restrictions. Hopefully it will go ahead as planned in 2022.

Opening Hours: Occurs in the last week of February annually, but check current guidelines and restrictions
Tickets: Free!
Address: Santa Cruz de Tenerife

13. Roam San Cristóbal de la Laguna

The view from the la Laguna Cathedral, one of the best things to do in Tenerife, Spain

If the pretty streets of Paris or tiled floors of Lisbon do it for you, make your way up to San Cristóbal de la Laguna. 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. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay in a hotel here for a few nights to explore gorgeous buildings like the Palacio de Nava, go shopping on Calle Carrera and feast in local tavernas.

Address: 38202 San Cristóbal de la Laguna

14. Discover colourful Garachico

Aerial view of the popular town of Garachico, Tenerife, Spain

Less than an hour’s drive from the capital Santa Cruz, in north Tenerife, lies the historic town of Garachico. Garachico’s main attractions include the natural pools carved in the rugged volcanic landscape, the elegant Plaza de la Libertad, the 16th-century Castillo de San Miguel and the ex-convent of San Francisco. But a quiet stroll through its cobbled streets will also reveal a selection of colonial gems, old churches, restaurants and cafes full of local charm.

There’s plenty to see and do on the northern coast of Tenerife, so we recommend hiring a car. This way you can combine your visit here with stops in San Cristóbal, Masca and Los Gigantes, the popular resort town surrounded by dramatic rock formations. 

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 17 UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow.

Make sure you double check which airports are currently running direct flights, as schedules may have changed due to the pandemic.

Where to stay in Tenerife:

If you’re looking for a family-friendly hotel:

Costa Adeje Gran Hotel is a perfect option for families, with panoramic views of the Atlantic and rooms from £149 per night.

If you’re looking for luxury:

Book at suite at the Bahia del Duque, from £415 per night. There are five different pools, eight restaurants and 13 bars & lounges, including a juice bar. Rooms are available from £252 per night.

*Updated 17 June 2021. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

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