News Top 14 attractions and things to do in Tenerife

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Top 14 attractions and things to do in Tenerife

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.

Top 16 things to do in Tenerife in 2019

1. Mount Teide National Park

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

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 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 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
Tickets: Free
Address: Mount Teide, 38300, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

2. 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 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, and it certainly makes our list of the best things to do in Costa Adeje.

Alongside the water slides there is the Lost City, a children’s play area with dozens of different games, a Thai floating market, Siam Beach, a wave pool which offers surfing lessons and Thai restaurants.

Opening Hours: 10AM–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 which lends to a great variety of beaches, 17 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.

Beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Those with a keen interest in water sports will be aware 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.

4. Whale and Dolphin Watching

A whale's tale coming out of the sea

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, Minke 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 Puerto Colón, Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos and Las Galletas and take around 3 hours.
Tickets: Between €20-€55 per person, depending on the boat and length of the tour.

5. 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.

Opening Hours: 9AM–8PM
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

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 there.

Opening Hours: 9AM-4.30PM, Mon & Wed-Fr until 7PM
Tickets: €8.50 for a child, €20 for an adult
Address: c/ Los Piquetes 51. 38430 Icod de los Vinos. Tenerife. Islas Canarias.

7. 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 €12.50, however Easter Island, Poison Garden and the exhibitions at the park are not to be missed and a full ticket with access to these is €18.
Address: Calle Chacona, s/n, 38500 Güímar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

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 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

9. 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

10. 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
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

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 Tejita offering two different spots to ride the waves.

Tickets: Check out the kitesurfing schools for lessons. A 3-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. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnevale

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

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. The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 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
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 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

14. Discover colourful Garachico

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

Less than an hour’s drive from 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 cafés full of local charm.

There’s plenty of things to see and do in the north 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.

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 option 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 13 bars & lounges – including a juice bar!

*Updated June 26 2019. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

Stick around, we’ve got more insider tips on the best of Spain…

Be a traveller, not a tourist – check out how to holiday like a local when in Tenerife, as well as our guide to the top 10 restaurants on the island. Looking for cheap flights to Tenerife? Search now👇

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