Tenerife is Spain’s largest Canary Island, home to Mt. Teide, Carnaval de Santa Cruz, Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas, and many resort communities and beaches. But this island offers far more than just all-inclusive resorts, amusement parks, and Irish pubs. Many of the interesting and unusual things to see and do in Tenerife are unique to the island.
Tenerife has much to offer any traveler, from excellent wine and tapas that surpass anything you’ll discover on the Spanish island to beautiful botanical gardens, amazing hiking paths, and mesmerizing art. And it just takes around three and a half hours to drive the full distance!
Tenerife is not only a fairly accessible island with a ton of things to do, but it is also located right off the coast of Africa, so it is typically warm and sunny all year round. Check out our list to discover where you should begin with things to do in Tenerife!
#1. Views all Around Mount Tiede
One of Tenerife’s coolest spots, Teide National Park, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The Canary Islands and Spain’s tallest mountain, Mount Teide, are its crown jewels. Climb Teide, either on foot or by using the cable car, to observe the area’s distinctive flora and landscape, including the tajines rojo, or Teide violet, which only blooms at elevations higher than 8,200 feet, and to experience the true magnificence of this mountain.
Teide National Park is a Natura 2000 Network member and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Teide, the highest mountain in both Spain and the Canaries, is the park’s crown jewel. Try hiking or taking the cable car up this peak to really appreciate its grandeur. At 7,730 feet above sea level, the cable car links to La Rambleta at an elevation of 11,665 feet. Join a Mount Teide trip for a cable car ticket and summit pass.
#2. The Stroll Atop Los Gigantes
The Los Gigantes Cliffs in Tenerife are a must-see sight. They are 1,970 feet above sea level and were revered by the local Guanches, who referred to them as the walls of hell. There are several routes that connect the cliffs to the sandy shore, and visitors can board a boat at the Masca jetty and travel to Los Gigantes. There are still ways to view the cliffs from the ocean, even though the pier is now blocked.
The seabed under Los Gigantes is also fascinating; it is around 100 feet deep and a popular destination for fishermen and scuba divers. Since many of the best trips leave from Los Gigantes, you can go on a Tenerife whale-watching tour if you don’t wish to dive. These cliffs are without a doubt one of Tenerife’s most magnificent sights, and the landscape around them is lovely. It’s worth staying the night here because Los Gigantes has some excellent apartments.
#3. Get Lost in Quirky ARTlandya
Over 600 dolls and teddy bears can be seen in the eccentric museum ARTlandya, which is close to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. With toys created by more than 50 different known artists from across the world, eccentric owner Georg has spent years accumulating his odd collection. In his eclectic, traditional Canarian home, where artists are at work all around you, he will share his colorful world with you over a cup of coffee.
#4. Aquatic Drills at Siam Park
This enormous water park, which bills itself as the “most spectacular water attraction in Europe,” has the largest concentration of structures with Thai themes outside of Thailand. This suburban theme park is undoubtedly a must-visit for thrill seekers due to its abundance of thrilling rides. The Thai Royal Family themselves have given their blessing to the stunning Thai architecture that serves as the backdrop to the towering, free-fall slides, river rapids, and flumes.
#5. Dining, Cave-man Syle at Restaurant La Cueva
This restaurant in the capital city of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, is unique because a portion of it is housed inside a cave, or Cueva. Make like a local and eat supper inside one of the stunning stone cave rooms, which are adorned with regional artifacts. Tourists typically choose to sit outside in the sun. The traditional papas arrugadas, a boiled potato dish from the Canary Islands paired with mojo rojo, a spicy garlic and pepper sauce, is a must-try.
#6. Take a Breather at Jardin Botanico
A 200-year-old fig tree can be found in the 18th-century botanical garden, which features a wide variety of exquisite subtropical and tropical flora. Step into this lovely garden to escape the busy streets of Puerto de la Cruz and enjoy the variety of plants and animals there, including large palm trees and pineapple plants. It’s the ideal location to take Instagram-worthy Christmas photos that will make your friends envious.
#7. Nerd Out Over Architecture in San Cristobal De La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna is undoubtedly one of Tenerife’s most interesting locations. The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canary Islands, offering unique Canarian dishes. La Laguna is a fantastic location to go sightseeing in Tenerife because of its colonial architecture and extensive history. The original design of the island’s first unwalled city has been preserved.
In addition to other remnants of the past include wooden-balconied castles, volcanic-stone churches, and La Carrera, the town’s original thoroughfare. You’ll also notice the ongoing fog, which the city’s high relative humidity causes. It further enhances the beauty and mystery of this little village. Take this free tour if you wish to see this location but don’t have much time. It will take you to La Laguna’s Plaza del Adelantado, San Cristóbal de La Laguna Cathedral, and other well-known sites.
#8. Open-Air Swimming at Lago Martianez
A network of open-air swimming pools with a total size of around 100,000 square meters is situated in the northern town of Puerto de la Cruz and is built around an artificial lake. The 5.50 Euro admission charge to Lago Martiánez is worth it for a day of relaxation and sunbathing away from the crowded beaches. Several magnificent sculptures by Tenerife artist César Manrique can be found there as well.
#9. Tour Reveron Vineyard’s World of Wine
One of the best wineries in Tenerife Tenerife is home to a large number of world-class wineries because of its volcanic soil and subtropical environment. Sure, Reverón has excellent wines, but it also offers one of the greatest wine-tasting experiences on the island. It’s perfect for truly indulging in a little (or a lot) of vino because it offers tours of the vineyard’s historic cellars and vines as well as four of its wines.
#10. Take in Some History at Casa De Los Balcones
This ancient home and museum, which was built in 1632, is incredibly remarkable because of its five elaborately carved balconies. On the north side of the island, the Casa de los Balcones is a masterpiece of architecture. This is more than just a gorgeous face. You’ll find a Canarian patio inside, surrounded by examples of native Tenerife handicrafts. Here, you can discover everything there is to know about the island’s previous few hundred years of culture.
#11. Hike in Anaga Rural Park
lush mountains with sharp peaks and wide ravines. Anaga, a protected region in the northeast of Tenerife, was created by a volcanic explosion between seven and nine million years ago. It is notable for its rocky mountains, constricting ravines, and cave-like trees. If you wish to escape to a frightening, fantastical wilderness that is bound by lush vegetation and provides beautiful island panoramas, it is an absolute requirement.
#12. Casablanca Gin Bar, by George and Gina
Gin is incredibly popular on the Spanish mainland, particularly in Barcelona, and due to this odd little pub managed by a kind couple, it has now made its way to Tenerife. If you picture drinking in Tenerife, you might picture the vivid blue or green drinks of the all-inclusive hotels, but this classy place offers over 50 different gins to try. Cheers! George and Gina are fairly good at choosing the right tonic for their drinks.
#13. Play Volcanologist in the Cueva De Viento
One of the biggest lava tubes in the world, the Cueva del Viento, is located at Icod de los Vinos. Due to its enormous size, you will only be able to go a little distance down the tube during your visit, but it is an amazing experience. Tenerife is home to thousands of years of rock formations and fossil remnants. The term “Cueva del Viento” refers to the powerful air currents inside the tube.
Icod de los Vinos is home to the Cueva del Viento, one of the largest lava tubes in the world. You can only go a little way down the tube during your visit due to its immense size, but it is an incredible experience. Tenerife is home to thousands of years-old granite formations and petrified remains. The name “Cueva del Viento” translates as “cave of the wind,” alluding to the strong air currents inside the tube.
#14. Follow the Mysteries of the Pyramid of Guima
Six enigmatic pyramids from the 19th century are hidden in the Gümar Valley in eastern Tenerife. These lava-built, Mayan-style pyramids have an unknown origin. Experts can only conclude that they haven’t been around for as long as they appear to have. Although this is debatable because some conspiracy theorists contend that they were created by prehistoric peoples as part of summer solstice worship or perhaps as part of a hidden Freemasonry ceremony,
#15. Go Whale-watching
It goes without saying that one of my favorite activities in Tenerife is viewing whales and dolphins. I’m always taken aback whenever I come into one of these wild creatures, and I have no doubt that you will like this meeting. We did this trip the first time we went whale watching here, and I strongly suggest it. Excursion to most cetacean sightings by catamaran from Puerto Colón. Additionally, the boat features a glass bottom so that you can gaze at the seafloor while cruising.
Whales and dolphins in the wild are difficult to follow and forecast, but tour companies have years of experience providing the best chance to view them. During a cruise in Tenerife, tourists can observe a variety of cetaceans, including dolphins and pilot whales. There are up to 21 kinds of cetaceans in these coastal waters, so it is important to read our guide to the finest whale excursions in Tenerife for additional details and advice.
#16. Dine Like a Local at Restaurante Regulo
A three-story atmospheric restaurant housed in a classic Canarian home is so well-liked that reservations should be made in advance. This restaurant, which offers traditional fare and is well-known for its seafood, is a favorite of both visitors and knowledgeable residents. Select a fish plate with the day’s best catches as well as the ravishing mushrooms packed with prawns and garlic butter. Enjoy a drink of one of the many locally made wines on sale here to go with your meal.
#17. More Star Gazing in Maska
Masca is one of Tenerife’s tallest communities, and the cliff behind it gives the community a “mini-Macchu Picchu” appearance. The journey from the town to the bay can take up to five hours. This ravine trek offers fantastic photo possibilities as well as a variety of vistas, plants, and animals. Although it is a steady climb, you should wear walking shoes, bring snacks, and drink lots of water. The experience is enhanced by the fact that you must take a water taxi to go back to Los Gigantes.
What Part of Tenerife is Most Popular?
The majority of the island’s tourist attractions are located in the south, where the subtropical climate is most favorable and the weather is pleasant year-round. Therefore, one of the resorts in Tenerife South would be the best option for you if you’re wanting to unwind, tan, and swim most of the day.
What is Unique About Tenerife?
Mount Teide is renowned for casting the greatest sea shadow in the world because of its enormous size. The largest water park in Europe and one of the steepest waterslides in the world can be found at the island’s well-known Siam Park, which features a Thai motif. Seven world records are presently held by Siam Park.
What Attracts People to Tenerife?
Tenerife is the largest Canary Island, boasting 12 Blue Flag beaches, fine weather, and natural beauty, drawing over 3 million tourists annually.