Best Outdoor Activities in Tenerife
(Photo by Tenerife Tourism)
For those who travel to Tenerife and expect laying on the beach all day long is the only thing to do: you couldn’t be more wrong! Although Tenerife, one of the most visited islands of the Canarian archipelago, is often limited to a destination for its holiday packages, it got a very broad range of fun options for those who are seeking a more active way to spend their holiday on the Canarian island.
Of course you can spend 7 days (and more!) a week testing Tenerife’s lovely beaches, but you’d miss out a whole paradise for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. After living on the island for several months, I can’t wait to share with you my favourite outdoor activities in Tenerife.
During the last years, Tenerife has incredibly broadened its offer for those who can’t spend every day by relaxing at the beach or the pool. The island, especially the North, is not only gaining fame for being an excellent hiking destination, but it is also developing its leisure options when it comes to stargazing, wine & foodie culture and protected natural areas.
You’re curious now? So let’s leave the pool for 1 day and discover Tenerife’s most fun outdoor activities!
This guide is supposed to give you handy tips on which outdoor activity to choose in function of where you stay in Tenerife for your holiday. The selection is based upon my 5 month-stay in Tenerife and my professional experience in the Spanish tourism sector. I only recommend activities that I already did or would love to do.
Activity places are categorized location-wise and budget-wise.
This post contains some affiliate links. They help me running this site and come without any extra cost for you.
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What about the Eco Touch?
The recommended activities have been carefully chosen according to their low environmental and ecological impact. Thus no jeep safaris or flyboarding here.
1. Best Time to Visit Tenerife
You may wonder what is the best time to visit Tenerife? Well, it’s one of the few European destinations that have good weather all year round and offers fun activities throughout the year.
I have visited Tenerife during the winter, summer and autumn months. During the winter, temperatures are mild – around 20 °C. The sea might be cold at that time of the year, but even then I saw several swimmers. During the summer months from May to September, temperatures can get really hot.
The good thing about Tenerife is that there’s always a slight refreshing wind blowing. Temperatures can remain quite high also in autumn, ranging from 20-26°.
In case you want uninterrupted party and beach time, visit from June – September. Best time for hiking holidays is from October – March when temperatures are mild and nature is blossoming.
Don’t miss out Tenerife during the epic Carnival festivities in February.
2. Where To Stay in Tenerife
Before you head to Tenerife and book your accommodation, you’d need to make a choice.
Decide if you want party holidays, quieter locations, amazing hiking trails, nature, city life or remote beaches. You’ll have the choice between the green Northern part of Tenerife with its stunning nature, mountains, lower temperatures and adventurous hiking trails or the South, famous for its beaches, sun and parties.
Both areas are separated by Spain’s highest mountain, the volcano Mount Teide.
Read here my in-depth guide on where to stay in Tenerife.
3. Things To Do in Costa Adeje – Los Cristianos
The area around Costa Adeje and Playa Las Americas is Tenerife’s tourist hotspot in the south. It is well known for its hotel and resort complexes, its party options and shopping malls.
You’ll get used quickly to this accumulation of tourist shops, international restaurants and huge clubs. You will be spoiled with choice from classy restaurants, to live music, to the best beach clubs on the entire island like Monkey Beach Bar, Achaman DiscoPub or Bahia Beach. The popularity of Costa Adeje is also due to its proximity to the airport.
In case you decide to stay in Costa Adeje, you’ll be spoiled by choice with activities to do as many tour operators have their base in the area.
Costa Adeje and Playa Las Americas are also the perfect locations for family holidays since all activities, beaches and sights are within walking distance. The choice of fun activities for kids is also broader than in many other areas of Tenerife.
A huge convenience of Costa Adeje is its proximity to the South Tenerife airport and to the “most spectacular water attraction in Europe”: legendary Siam Park.
Traditional activity Tenerife: Canarian Wrestle
Best Outdoor Activities in Costa Adeje – Los Cristianos
4. Activities in Los Gigantes
The area of Los Gigantes , including the villages of Puerto Santiago and Alcalá, in the western part of Tenerife is the perfect place to stay for those who are seeking grandiose natural landscapes, a calmer form of tourism and traces of an authentic Canarian daily grind.
Indeed towns like Puerto Santiago or Playa San Juan are still not spoiled by mass tourism and Canarian traditions are cherished and kept alive. This means that you’ll do your grocery shopping with the local population, watch solemn processions walking through the streets in August, assist traditional Canarian dance performances and much more.
Outdoor activities in Los Gigantes area are mostly related to its spectacular outdoors. Indeed, the giant canyons, who gave origin to the name of the area in Tenerife’s far west, are a unique natural setting. Some of these canyons are among the highest in Europe.
As the sea and beaches along the cliffs of Los Gigantes are protected, it became a more ideal refuge für dolphins and whales. That’s why Los Gigantes are well known all over the Canarian archipelago for its whale and dolphin watching activities.
In case you’d opt for a whale watching excursion, please inform yourself about the provider if they are treating the animal’s rights with respect.
The impressive cliffs of Los Gigantes (Photo by Tenerife Tourism)
Best Outdoor Activities in Los Gigantes
Activities for Action Lovers
Road Cycling Tenerife – Los Gigantes Route
Day Trips – Los Gigantes
La Gomera Full-Day Hiking Tour
5. Activities in Masca
The village of Masca comes probably recommended in every Tenerife guide on the market. And that’s no surprise at all!
As Masca had no paved road access until the late 60’s, it could maintain its original and unspoiled character. It is set in a breathtaking natural setting, nestled between the spectacular cliffs of Los Gigantes. It is not only a popular destination for day trips from Costa Adeje but it also has the most famous hiking trail on Tenerife.
The Masca hiking trail leads you during ~3h through the canyon with its pirates’ caves, unique flora and microclimate until you reach Masca Beach.
Masca Beach can only be accessed by foot or by boat, so please make sure to book your boat trip back to the marina of Los Gigantes. Unless you want to hike the entire canyon up again.
Must-do’s in Masca: Have a Cactus Fruit Lemonade and taste the cuisine of the Canarian aborigines in “Alte Schule” restaurant.
Best Outdoor Activities in Masca
Activities with kids & those Young at Heart
Half Day Hike to Masca and Boat Tour
Activities at the sea
Masca and Whale Watching Cruise
Activities for Action Lovers
Teide and Masca Jeep Safari
6. Activities To Do near Mount Teide
Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, is a paradise for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. The choice of outdoor activities in this moon-landscape seems to be almost infinite!
Due to its unique natural setting and climate, Mount Teide offers leisure options for hikers, hobby astrologists, extreme athletes, couples and foodies alike.
Boasting some of the best stargazing conditions in Europe, Mount Teide and its observatory attract astrologists from all over the world.
Sports enthusiasts and proficient hikers will enjoy the hike up to Spain’s highest peak and spend a night in Teide’s Mountain hut. For those that don’t claim to be experienced trekkers, there’s still the cable car which brings you up to 3718 m. The view is simply mesmerizing.
Couples will enjoy a romantic sunset with a view on La Gomera island while enjoying some of the finest Spanish cava. And foodies will have a blast with lunch or dinner at one of Spain’s best hotel chains: Hotel Parador Las Canadas. The views on Mount Teide from its dining room are overwhelming.
The town of La Orotava is the perfect place to stay in case you’d plan an extensive discovery and visit of the Natural Park of Mount Teide. It was one of my favorite towns of Tenerife with its intricate, colorful buildings, narrow streets, lush parks and its intriguing cultural heritage.
Best Outdoor Activities near Mount Teide
7. Activities in Anaga, Northern Tenerife
Anaga Rural Park, in the north of Tenerife, is paradise for hikers and trekkers!
This area is mostly unspoiled by tourism and its imposing mountainous landscape make it the perfect destination for outdoor activity lovers. Anaga also holds some of the most remote and spectacular beaches like Playa Benijo or Playa Santiago. Its peculiar micro-climate created a unique flora, like the laurel forest which attracts visitors from all over the world..
But not only hikers and botanists will fall in love with Anaga region. Some of Tenerife’s finest wines are being produced in this area as well. Did you know that Tenerife’s produces 5 wines that are wearing the prestigious denomincación de origen label?
Anaga is also home to the legendary guachinches, where locally made wine is served accompanied by traditional homemade food. Nowadays guachinches are well known among the locals for serving the tastiest food (especially meat) at unbeatable prices.
A visit of Anaga Rural Park isn’t complete without visiting the town of La Laguna.
It’s home to Tenerife’s only university and the town has a certain hip and creative vibe. Allegedly La Laguna‘s old city center inspired the schematic urban design of Latin American cities. That’s why at certain moments, when strolling through La Laguna’s colourful streets, you’ll think that you’re somewhere in Cuba or Peru.
Anaga: A Paradise for Hikers – By Tourism Tenerife
Best Outdoor Activities in Anaga, Northern Tenerife
Activities for Action Lovers
Hike & Boat to Antequera Beach Anaga
8. Things To Do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is probably the only real town on the island.
The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife figures among the best carnivals on the planet right after Rio de Janeiro and the Caribbean. Whereas Santa Cruz gets very crowded during February, when carnival madness takes over the streets, the capital is always well worth a visit throughout the year. I especially liked the local fashion shops.
The colorful house fronts of Santa Cruz and its colonial heritage invite to stroll in its historic center. It also has some lovely shopping options and urban architecture lovers will be appreciated Calatrava’s breathtaking creation Auditorio de Tenerife and García Sanabria Park.
Best Outdoor Activities in Santa Cruz
Panorama View on Benijo Beach
9. Luxury Activities in Tenerife
Tenerife’s is also becoming more and more popular among luxury travelers and honeymooners. No wonder with these mesmerizing sunsets behind La Gomera island, virgin beaches, calm retreats, and the best seafood.
For luxury travelers and honeymooners, the area near Abama Beach and Alcalá are the best places to stay as they are home to Tenerife’s most exclusive hotels: the Ritz-Carlton Abama ***** and Red Level at Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora (Adults Only)*****.
In case you’re seeking to give your stay in Tenerife a more exclusive and unique touch, these activities are just perfect for you.
Best Luxury Outdoor Activities in Tenerife
I hope this article helps to find your perfect activity to make your stay on Tenerife unforgettable.
Are you missing any activity? Please do not hesitate to write me in the comment form. Just remember that Tenerife’s got it all!
What are your favorite activities on Tenerife? I would love to hear about them.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. In case you purchase one of the items, I’ll receive a small commission which helps me running this site at no extra cost for you.