Complete Guide to Tenerife – Insider Tips, Must-See Attractions, and Best Places to Explore

If you are planning a trip to Tenerife, you have made an excellent choice. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a gem of a destination that has something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a beach lover, a foodie, or a history buff, Tenerife has it all.

But with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan your trip. That’s where this Tenerife travel guide comes in. Consider it your travel bible, your touristic bible. This guide will help you book the best routes, discover hidden gems, and provide you with insider tips to make the most of your time on this breathtaking island.

One of the first things you should do when planning your trip to Tenerife is to get your hands on a good travel guidebook. Look for a guide that is specifically focused on Tenerife, such as the famous “Routard Tenerife Guide.” These guidebooks are filled with invaluable information about the island, from the best hiking trails to the tastiest local restaurants.

Explore the Vibrant Culture and History of Tenerife

When you travel to Tenerife, it’s not just about the natural beauty of the island, but also about the rich culture and history that can be found here. Tenerife is known for its vibrant and diverse cultural scene, which is influenced by its history as a melting pot of different civilizations.

The Guanches: The Indigenous People of Tenerife

Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 15th century, Tenerife was inhabited by the Guanches, the indigenous people of the island. The Guanches had a distinct culture and way of life, which can still be seen in the archaeological sites and museums dedicated to their history.

A visit to the Guanche Museum in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a must for anyone interested in learning about the island’s prehistoric past. Here, you can see ancient artifacts and learn about the lifestyle and beliefs of the Guanches.

Colonial Influences: Exploring Tenerife’s Colonial History

With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Tenerife became an important stopover on the trade route between Europe and the Americas. This colonial period left a lasting impact on the culture and architecture of the island, with many buildings and monuments reflecting the Spanish influence.

One of the best places to explore Tenerife’s colonial history is La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can wander through the charming streets lined with colonial-era buildings and visit the impressive Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Laguna.

Another must-visit is the historic city of La Orotava, known for its well-preserved colonial mansions and its picturesque old town. Take a leisurely stroll through its cobblestone streets and discover the rich history and culture of the region.

Festivals and Traditions: Immerse Yourself in Tenerife’s Vibrant Culture

Tenerife is famous for its lively and colorful festivals, which showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage. The most famous of these is the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is considered one of the largest carnivals in the world.

During the carnival, the streets of Santa Cruz come alive with parades, music, dancing, and elaborate costumes. It’s a truly immersive experience that allows you to witness the joy and vibrancy of Tenerife’s culture.

Another important tradition is the Romeria, a religious pilgrimage that takes place in various towns and villages across Tenerife. During the Romeria, locals dress in traditional costumes and carry offerings to the patron saint of their municipality.

Popular festivals in Tenerife
Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Romeria de San Roque
Romeria de San Benito
Romeria de San Marcos

No matter where you go in Tenerife, you’ll find a rich and vibrant culture that is deeply rooted in its history. Whether you’re exploring the ancient archaeology, admiring the colonial architecture, or participating in the lively festivals, Tenerife offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience for every culture enthusiast.

Indulge in the Spectacular Beaches and Outdoor Activities

When traveling to Tenerife, a popular destination among tourists and travel enthusiasts, indulging in the spectacular beaches and outdoor activities is a must. With its beautiful coastline and breathtaking landscapes, the island offers a wide range of options for beach lovers and adventure seekers.

Beach Paradise

The beaches in Tenerife are known for their golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and scenic beauty. Whether you prefer a lively and bustling beach or a peaceful and secluded cove, Tenerife has it all. From the popular Playa de Las Americas to the hidden gem of Playa de Benijo, each beach has its own unique charm.

With an ideal climate all year round, you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports throughout the year. Playa de Las Teresitas, with its palm-tree-lined promenade and calm waters, is perfect for families and relaxation. For those seeking more excitement, Playa del Medano offers excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Outdoor Adventure

Not only can you enjoy the beaches, but Tenerife also offers a range of thrilling outdoor activities. With its diverse terrain, including the volcanic landscape of Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain, there are endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring.

Hiking trails such as the Masca Gorge or the Anaga Rural Park offer stunning views and a chance to connect with nature. Daredevils can try paragliding or even cliff jumping in places like Los Gigantes. Additionally, the warm waters surrounding the island are excellent for snorkeling and diving, allowing you to encounter colorful marine life and explore underwater caves.

Beach Activities
Playa de Las Americas Sunbathing, swimming, water sports
Playa de Benijo Surfing, photography, sunsets
Playa de Las Teresitas Sunbathing, swimming, family-friendly
Playa del Medano Windsurfing, kitesurfing, beach bars

Whether you are a beach lover or an adventure enthusiast, Tenerife has something to offer for everyone. So, make sure to indulge in the spectacular beaches and outdoor activities during your visit to this beautiful island.

Experience the Thrilling Water Sports and Diving Spots

When visiting Tenerife, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to engage in thrilling water sports and explore the island’s stunning diving spots. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, there is something for everyone.

Tenerife is known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Book a diving tour with a local guide to discover the hidden gems beneath the surface. From colorful coral reefs to unique underwater rock formations, Tenerife offers a truly unforgettable underwater experience.

If you prefer a more adventurous water sport, try surfing or windsurfing along the island’s coast. The strong winds and consistent waves make Tenerife a favorite destination for surfers of all levels. You can book a lesson with a local surf school or simply rent the equipment and hit the waves on your own.

In addition to diving and surfing, Tenerife offers a wide range of other water activities. You can go jet skiing, parasailing, or even try flyboarding – a thrilling water sport that allows you to hover above the water with the help of a water jetpack. These activities are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping and provide memorable experiences.

For those who prefer a more relaxing water activity, hop on a kayak or paddleboard and explore the coast at your own pace. You can discover hidden coves, secluded beaches, and breathtaking cliffs while enjoying the tranquility of the ocean.

Whether you are a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a first-time adventurer, Tenerife has something to offer. Don’t miss the chance to experience the island’s thrilling water sports and diving spots – book your excursion with a local tour guide and make the most of your Tenerife journey.

Unwind in the Tranquil Nature Parks and Gardens

If you’re a routard exploring the mesmerizing island of Tenerife, make sure to take some time to relax and rejuvenate in the tranquil nature parks and gardens scattered across the island. These serene green spaces offer the perfect escape from the bustling city life and provide a soothing experience amidst picturesque landscapes.

Teide National Park – A Natural Wonder

No visit to Tenerife is complete without exploring Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to the highest peak in Spain, Mount Teide, this park boasts breathtaking scenery and unique flora and fauna. Take a leisurely hike through the park’s well-marked trails, or if you’re feeling adventurous, challenge yourself to reach the summit of Mount Teide. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the island and beyond.

Loro Parque – A Paradise for Nature Lovers

For a more interactive nature experience, be sure to visit Loro Parque, a world-renowned zoo and botanical garden. Situated in Puerto de la Cruz, this park is home to a wide variety of animal species, including dolphins, parrots, penguins, and gorillas. Wander through the lush gardens and marvel at the colorful array of tropical plants. Don’t miss the incredible shows featuring the park’s resident animals, which are both entertaining and educational.

Whether you’re exploring the untamed beauty of Teide National Park or immersing yourself in the vibrant flora and fauna at Loro Parque, Tenerife’s nature parks and gardens provide the perfect opportunity to unwind and connect with the natural world. So don’t forget to include these tranquil oases in your travel itinerary when you book your Tenerife travel guide!

Taste the Authentic Canarian Cuisine and Local Delicacies

When visiting Tenerife, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the authentic Canarian cuisine and sample the delicious local delicacies. Whether you are a tourist, a travel enthusiast, or a routard, exploring the culinary traditions of Tenerife is a must-do experience.

Traditional Canarian Dishes

The Canarian cuisine is heavily influenced by the island’s history and geographical location. It combines Spanish, African, and Latin American flavors to create unique and delightful dishes. Here are some of the must-try traditional Canarian dishes:

  • Papas Arrugadas: These small, wrinkled potatoes are boiled in saltwater and served with a spicy red or green mojo sauce. This simple yet flavorful dish is a staple in Canarian cuisine.
  • Mojo Sauce: Mojo is a popular sauce in Tenerife, made from ingredients like garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices. It comes in two varieties: Mojo Rojo (red) and Mojo Verde (green). Both sauces add a burst of flavor to any meal.
  • Gofio: Gofio is a special type of toasted flour, made from roasted grains like wheat or corn. It is used in a variety of dishes, including bread, desserts, and even soups. It adds a unique taste and texture to the Canarian cuisine.
  • Sancocho: Sancocho is a traditional Canarian fish stew made with salted fish, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and spices. It is a hearty and delicious dish that reflects the island’s fishing heritage.

Local Delicacies

In addition to the traditional dishes, Tenerife is also known for its local delicacies that are worth trying:

  • Barraquito: Barraquito is a popular coffee beverage from the Canary Islands. It is made with layers of condensed milk, espresso, frothy milk, cinnamon, and lemon peel. This sweet and aromatic drink is a perfect way to start your day on the island.
  • Almogrote: Almogrote is a unique spread made from cured cheese, olive oil, garlic, and peppers. It is typically served with bread and makes for a tasty snack or appetizer.
  • Escaldón: Escaldón is a traditional dish made with gofio and fish broth. It has a porridge-like consistency and is often served as a side dish or a main course.
  • Bienmesabe: Bienmesabe is a delicious dessert made from ground almonds, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest. It has a creamy texture and is often served with ice cream or fresh fruits.

Exploring the Canarian cuisine and trying these local delicacies will give you a true taste of Tenerife’s culture and culinary heritage. Whether you dine at local restaurants or visit food markets, make sure to indulge in the flavors of this vibrant island.

Discover the Charming Villages and Towns of Tenerife

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is not only known for its stunning beaches and natural beauty, but also for its charming villages and towns that offer a unique glimpse into the island’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re a book, a seasoned tourist, or a backpacking routard, exploring these quaint settlements is a must-do during your travels in Tenerife.

1. La Orotava

Located in the picturesque Orotava Valley, La Orotava is a town that is steeped in history and charm. Its well-preserved historic center, filled with beautiful colonial buildings and colorful flower-adorned balconies, is a delight to explore. Take a stroll through its narrow streets, visit the stunning Casa de los Balcones, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this charming town.

2. Garachico

Nestled on the northern coast of Tenerife, Garachico is a town that exudes old-world charm. Once an important port city, it was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 18th century. Today, it has been beautifully restored and showcases its rich history through its cobbled streets, beautifully restored buildings, and the charming natural rock pools of El Caletón.

While exploring Garachico, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Castillo de San Miguel, a fortress that offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding coastline.

As you travel through Tenerife, be sure to also explore other charming villages and towns such as Icod de los Vinos, known for its ancient dragon tree, and Puerto de la Cruz, a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches and vibrant atmosphere.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, Tenerife’s charming villages and towns offer something for everyone. So grab your travel guide and start planning your route to explore these hidden gems in the heart of Tenerife.

Shop for Unique Souvenirs and Local Handicrafts

When visiting Tenerife, no tourist should miss the opportunity to explore the local shops and markets, which are filled with unique souvenirs and local handicrafts. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast or a seasoned routard, Tenerife offers a wide range of shopping options to suit every taste and budget.

One of the best places to start your shopping adventure is in the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Here, you’ll find bustling markets such as Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, known for its vibrant atmosphere and variety of products. From traditional clothing and accessories to local artwork and artisanal goods, this market is a treasure trove of unique finds.

Another must-visit spot for souvenir shopping is the picturesque town of La Orotava. Its charming streets are lined with quaint shops selling everything from handmade pottery and ceramics to intricately woven textiles. Don’t forget to explore the local craft markets, where you can meet local artisans and watch them create their masterpieces right before your eyes.

If you’re looking for something truly authentic, head to the small village of Artesanía Viva, located in the heart of Tenerife’s countryside. Here, you can immerse yourself in the world of skilled artisans who specialize in traditional crafts such as woodcarving, lace-making, and embroidery. The workshops offer a unique opportunity to learn about the techniques and traditions that have been passed down through generations.

When shopping for souvenirs and local handicrafts in Tenerife, it’s important to support the local economy and the talented artisans who create these unique products. By purchasing directly from them, you not only take home a piece of Tenerife’s culture and heritage but also contribute to the preservation of traditional crafts.

Remember, shopping for souvenirs is not just about acquiring material goods, but also about discovering the stories and traditions behind them. So, take your time, explore the markets, and enjoy the experience of finding that perfect memento to remind you of your unforgettable journey in Tenerife.

Enjoy the Vibrant Nightlife and Entertainment Scene

When it comes to nightlife and entertainment in Tenerife, you won’t be disappointed. The island offers a wide range of options to cater to every traveler’s taste, whether you’re a party animal or prefer a more relaxed evening.

Dance the Night Away

If you’re looking to dance the night away, head to the lively areas of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. These two towns are known for their vibrant club scene, with numerous bars and clubs offering a variety of music genres, from EDM to reggae. The party starts late, usually around midnight, so be prepared for a long night of dancing and fun.

Live Music and Entertainment

If you’re more into live music and entertainment, Tenerife has plenty to offer. You can find a range of venues showcasing local bands, jazz ensembles, and even international acts. The Auditorio de Tenerife, in the capital city of Santa Cruz, is a must-visit for music lovers. This stunning concert hall hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from classical concerts to contemporary music shows.

For a taste of local culture, don’t miss out on the traditional Canarian music and dance performances. These can often be found in smaller venues, such as taverns and cultural centers. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of the timple, a traditional Canarian string instrument, and experience the passion and energy of the local performers.

For those looking for a more relaxed evening, there are plenty of options as well. Enjoy a sunset cruise along the coast of Tenerife, sipping cocktails and taking in the breathtaking views. Take a stroll along the promenades of Playa de las Americas or Puerto de la Cruz, where you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants with live music and a laid-back atmosphere.

No matter what your preferences, Tenerife has something to offer every traveler. From energetic nightlife to live music and cultural performances, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. So book your trip, grab your guidebook, and get ready to explore the vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene in Tenerife.

Visit the Impressive Historical Landmarks and Museums

Tenerife is not only known for its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes, but also for its rich history and cultural heritage. If you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking to explore the island’s past, there are several impressive historical landmarks and museums that you must visit during your stay in Tenerife.

1. Historic Landmark: The Pyramids of Güímar

The Pyramids of Güímar are a unique archaeological site that will transport you back in time. These stepped structures, similar to those found in Egypt, have long been a subject of debate among historians and archaeologists. Take a guided tour to learn more about their origins and significance. You can also explore the Ethnographic Park surrounding the pyramids, which showcases the island’s history and culture.

2. Museum: Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

The Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (Museum of Nature and Man) is a must-visit for anyone interested in Tenerife’s natural and cultural heritage. Located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this museum houses extensive collections related to the island’s flora, fauna, archaeology, and anthropology. From impressive fossils to ancient Guanche mummies, you’ll find a wealth of information and artifacts that will help you understand the island’s history and evolution.

Remember to check the opening hours and any entry requirements before visiting these landmarks and museums. These sites are popular among tourists, so it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance to ensure availability. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Tenerife’s past, exploring these impressive landmarks and museums will enrich your travel experience.

Embark on Exciting Hiking and Adventure Trails

If you’re an adventurous traveler looking to explore the natural beauty of Tenerife, you’re in luck! The island is home to an array of hiking and adventure trails that offer breathtaking views, unique experiences, and an adrenaline rush like no other.

1. Mount Teide

One of the most popular hiking destinations in Tenerife is Mount Teide. As the highest peak in Spain, this UNESCO World Heritage site will not disappoint. You can book a guided tour or choose to explore it on your own. The trails vary in difficulty, so whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s a route for everyone.

2. Anaga Rural Park

If you’re a nature lover, then a visit to Anaga Rural Park is a must. This ancient laurel forest is a true hidden gem. The park is filled with numerous hiking trails that take you through lush greenery, breathtaking viewpoints, and secluded beaches. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture every moment of this picturesque landscape.

3. Masca Gorge

For those seeking a thrilling adventure, the Masca Gorge trail is perfect. As one of the most challenging hikes in Tenerife, this trail will test your stamina and reward you with stunning views. The route takes you through narrow pathways, steep descents, and rocky terrain. It’s highly recommended to book a guide for this hike due to its difficulty level.

These are just a few of the many hiking and adventure trails that await you in Tenerife. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice traveler, there’s something for everyone. So grab your backpack, prepare your routard guide, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in the natural wonders of Tenerife!

Marvel at the Stunning Teide National Park and Volcano

As you explore the park, you will be treated to a variety of unique landscapes, from moon-like volcanic formations to lush pine forests. The star of the show, of course, is Mount Teide, which stands at 3,718 meters (12,198 feet) and is the highest peak in Spain.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Teide National Park, it’s recommended to take the cable car up to the summit of Mount Teide. The ride itself is an unforgettable experience, providing you with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding volcanic landscape.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible sight – a vast crater with its rugged, golden-colored rocks. The views from here are simply awe-inspiring, allowing you to see as far as the neighboring islands on a clear day.

For those who love hiking, there are several trails that traverse the park, taking you through its diverse ecosystems. The most popular route is the Teide crater trail, which offers a close-up look at the volcano and its surroundings. Just make sure to book your permit in advance, as access to certain areas is limited.

Whether you choose to explore the park by foot or by cable car, a visit to Teide National Park is sure to be a highlight of your Tenerife adventure. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to capture every moment of this incredible natural wonder.

Find the Best Accommodation Options for Your Stay

When planning your visit to Tenerife, finding the right accommodation is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Luckily, the island offers a wide range of options to suit every tourist’s needs and preferences.

Whether you are a budget-conscious backpacker or a luxury traveler, Tenerife has something for everyone. For the thrifty adventurer, there are plenty of hostels and guesthouses to choose from. These accommodations cater to the needs of the “routard” traveler, providing basic amenities such as shared dormitories, communal kitchens, and common areas to meet fellow globetrotters.

If you prefer a more upscale experience, Tenerife boasts an array of high-end resorts and boutique hotels. These establishments offer plush accommodations, excellent service, and a range of amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and gourmet restaurants. Stay in style and indulge in the luxurious side of Tenerife.

For those seeking a more authentic and immersive experience, there are also various options for holiday rentals and apartments. Renting a villa or apartment allows you to have a home away from home, giving you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. These self-catering accommodations are perfect for families or groups of friends looking to spend quality time together.

With so many accommodation options available, it is advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Check out travel websites and guidebooks for recommendations and reviews from fellow travelers. Make sure to read about the locations, amenities, and prices to find the best fit for your stay on the beautiful island of Tenerife.

Remember, finding the right accommodation is the key to a successful and enjoyable trip. Whether you are a tourist or a “routard,” Tenerife has everything you need to make your stay unforgettable.


What are the best routes to explore in Tenerife?

There are several amazing routes to explore in Tenerife. One of the most popular routes is the Anaga Rural Park, known for its stunning hiking trails and breathtaking views. Another great route is the Teide National Park, where you can hike up Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. You can also explore the charming towns of La Orotava and Garachico, which offer a glimpse into the island’s colonial past. If you’re interested in coastal views, the Masca Valley is a must-visit, with its rugged cliffs and picturesque village.

How can I get around in Tenerife?

You have several options for getting around in Tenerife. The island has a well-connected public transportation system, including buses that can take you to different parts of the island. You can also rent a car, which gives you more flexibility and allows you to explore at your own pace. Additionally, there are taxi services available, as well as organized tours that can take you to popular attractions.

What is the best time of year to visit Tenerife?

The best time to visit Tenerife depends on your preferences. The island enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, with temperatures rarely dropping below 15 degrees Celsius. If you prefer warm weather and want to enjoy the beaches, the summer months of June to September are ideal. However, if you want to avoid large crowds and get better deals on accommodations, consider visiting in the spring or fall. Tenerife also offers a pleasant climate during the winter months, making it a popular destination for those looking to escape colder temperatures.

What are the must-visit places in Tenerife?

Tenerife has many must-visit places. Some of the top attractions include Teide National Park, Siam Park, Loro Parque, Masca Valley, and the beaches of Costa Adeje. These places offer breathtaking natural beauty, exciting water activities, and opportunities for wildlife encounters.

How can I get to Tenerife?

Tenerife can be reached by air or sea. The main airport, Tenerife South Airport, receives international flights from various destinations. There are also ferry services that connect Tenerife to other Canary Islands and mainland Spain.

What is the best time to visit Tenerife?

Tenerife can be visited year-round due to its pleasant climate. However, the best time to visit is generally during the spring and autumn months when the weather is warm and the tourist crowds are smaller. Winter is also a popular time to visit for those seeking warmer temperatures than in other parts of Europe.

What outdoor activities can I do in Tenerife?

Tenerife offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Some popular activities include hiking in Teide National Park, whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, surfing, paragliding, and exploring the island’s beautiful beaches. There are also opportunities for golfing, horseback riding, and cycling.