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Tenerife

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Attracting over six million visitors per year, Tenerife is the island that most people relate to in the Canary Islands archipelago family. Blessed with year-round spring-like weather, Tenerife is especially popular with northern Europeans looking to escape the winter back home.

Most visitors to Tenerife congregate on the island’s southern beaches, where resorts and clubs cater to British holidaymakers. If, however, you are prepared to get out and explore, you will discover a diverse island with remote mountain villages and charming fishing ports.

Outdoor lovers will be in their element with sub-tropical forests and an often snow-capped volcano to explore. Try to arrive the week before Ash Wednesday when Tenerife holds its carnival, a spectacular affair second only to Rio de Janeiro.

Good to know before traveling to Tenerife

Capital: Madrid

Capital of the island: Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Currency: EUR

Power voltage and socket type(s): 230V, plug types F and C.

Official religion(s): 60% of the population is Roman Catholic, followed by atheist and agnostic citizens

Official language(s) and general knowledge of English: Spanish is the official language. English is semi-widely spoken.

Main tourist areas: Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos


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Most famous places in Tenerife

Pico del Teide

Pico del Teide has to be Tenerife’s number one attraction. An active volcano that last erupted in 1909, Pico del Teide is Spain’s highest mountain at 3,718 m (12,198 ft). While it is possible to hike to the summit, most people ride the cable car where at the top, they are rewarded with views of the islands of La Gomera, La Palma, and El Hierro. – Get tickets here

Los Gigantes Cliffs

Located on the island’s west coast, Los Gigantes Cliffs tower 800 meters (2,624 feet) above the sea. Take a boat trip at sunset for the most spectacular views. – Read more about Los Gigantes

Siam Park 

Covering 48 acres in Tenerife’s Costa Adeje, Siam Park is a Thailand themed water park with a great selection of slides and rides. Considered as being one of the best water parks in Europe, Siam Park is both family-friendly and full of fun. – Get skip-the-line tickets here

Museum of Nature and Man

Housed in a neoclassical building in the center of Santa Cruz, the Museum of nature and man is dedicated to the development of the island. Most of the exhibits in the Museum are archeological finds predating Spanish colonization.

Playa del Duque

For most people visiting Tenerife is all about chilling on the beach and partying at night. If there was anywhere you could pick to do this; it would have to be Playa del Duque on the Costa Adeje. – Read more about Tenerife’s best beaches

Accommodation in Tenerife

With Tenerife being a popular holiday destination, there is accommodation available to suit all budgets. Whether you need a bed for the night or a 5-star luxury resort, Tenerife has you covered.

Most people visiting Tenerife holiday at one of the resorts in the south of the island, but those looking for a more authentic flavor can rent an apartment in Santa Cruz on Airbnb.

Read: Where to stay in Tenerife

Budget 

If you are on a budget, you find that most of your money gets spent on a place to stay. In Tenerife, there are plenty of hostels and small hotels that cater to students and those on a shoestring budget. 

A great choice is the Los Amigos hostel close to the airport and beach. Rooms start from $30 a night with breakfast included. – Check hostels here

Mid-Range 

Many of the beach resorts in the south cater to families with kids clubs and nightly entertainment. Located 700 yards from Troya beach and a pleasant walk from the famous Playa de las Américas Apartmentos Oro Blanco offers fully equipped studios and apartments for up to eight people. Prices start from $65 per night. – Check AirBnBs in Tenerife here

Luxury

If you want to feel pampered while on vacation, book a suite at the Bahia del Duque *****, an exclusive resort on the island’s best beach. At the Bahia del Duque, you have the use of five different swimming pools, eight restaurants, and 13 bars and lounges. Prices at the 5-star resort start from $280 per night. – Check reviews here

Other Accommodation Options: 

As we mentioned earlier, renting an apartment or villa on Airbnb is an excellent option for families, groups of friends, or those just wanting to do their own thing. Alternatively, many resorts offer all-inclusive deals that allow you to relax and not worry about the money. – Check Airbnbs in Tenerife

Do I need a visa to travel to Tenerife?

Fast-Track: Get your Visa in advance

Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands and is a part of Spain. People holding a European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand passport do not need a visa.

Some other counties also do not require a visa, but to be sure, check with your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

Best time to visit Tenerife

Because of the Canary Islands year-round spring-like weather, there is never a wrong time of year to visit Tenerife. Prices in the winter tend to be more expensive so if you want to save some money, visit in May or September after the kids have gone back to school.

Transportation in Tenerife

While public transport is widely available in Tenerife and reaches all parts of the island, nothing beats having your own car. Tenerife has lots of things to see and explore, which makes renting a car your best option. – Check car rentals

Taxis are widely available and easily spotted due to their white color and illuminated sign on the roof. All taxis charge using a meter with additional charges on weekends, holidays, and at night. 

How to get to Tenerife

Flight: You can fly direct to Tenerife from most airports in Europe. If you are flying from North America or Asia, you will need to change planes in Madrid. – Check flights here

Train: It is not possible to get to Tenerife by train.

Car: While it is possible to bring your vehicle to Tenerife from mainland Spain it is quite expensive and not worth the effort. – Check car rentals here

How to get around in Tenerife

Car: – Renting a car is the best way to get out and explore Tenerife. A car also allows you to travel at your own pace and see places you would not be able to get to using public transport. – Check car rentals here

Public Transport:  TITSA is the bus company in Tenerife, operating a modern, bright green bus fleet. You can pay for each journey or by a bus pass for 15€ or 25€ and save around 50% on the fare.

Best Food in Tenerife

Food in the Canary Islands tends to be simple and rustic, with the islanders having for centuries needed to get buy on what they could grow themselves.

This doesn’t mean that you will not find some delicious local dishes, though! Besides Canarian food, international restaurants can be found in all the main resorts where you can get everything from a full English breakfast to a Sunday roast.

Typical food in Tenerife:

Papas arrugadas

Perhaps the best-known food in the Canary Islands, papas arrugadas, are small locally grown potatoes boiled in salty water until their skin becomes wrinkled. The potatoes are served with either a red or green sauce called mojo.

Cherne

As you would expect, seafood plays a significant role in Canary Island food, with Cherne ( wreckfish) being a firm favorite. A deep water white-fleshy fish Cherne is similar to cod and served grilled on the planche in many ways. It’s also not that expensive, which also adds to its popularity.

Ropa vieja

In the Canary Islands, people love their soups with Ropa vieja (old clothes) being a firm favorite. Ropa vieja is made using leftover meat cooked in a stock with local island vegetables and chickpeas.

Adobo de cerdo

Marinated in a mixture of paprika, oregano, garlic, salt, and sherry vinegar, Adobo de cerdo is a slow-cooked shoulder of pork that is so tender it falls off the bone.

Conejo al salmorejo

Not to be confused with the cold soup found in Andalucia, Conejo al salmorejo is rabbit stew seasoned with cumin, oregano, paprika, thyme, and cooked in wine. If you do not like rabbit, you can order the same dish but with chicken.

Best Things to do in Tenerife for Outdoor travelers

With a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometers (785.48 sq mi), Tenerife is the largest of the seven main Canary Islands. Lovers of the great outdoors will have no problem finding plenty of things to do while visiting Tenerife.

Mount Teide National Park

Home to the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide at 3718m (12,198) above sea level, is an active volcano that last erupted in 1909. While most people ride the cable car part the way up, it is possible to climb to the summit if you plan correctly.

Generally, if you want to climb to the Mount Teide summit, you must first obtain a permit, but if you stay at the refuge below the summit overnight, you can reach the summit early morning and witness the sunrise without the need for a permit, providing you are back at the cable car station before 09:00. – Get tickets here

Siam Park 

Ideal for families and water lovers, the Thai themed Siam Water Park on the Costa Adeje is one of Europe’s best water parks. With its many slides, adrenaline-fueled rides, and plenty of food and drink options, Siam Park is a great place to camp out for the day. – Get skip-the-line tickets here

Masca Village

Resembling a mini Machu Picchu, the Tenerife village of Masca is one of the highest inhabited places on the island. Once there, you can hike down a beautiful ravine to the sea. The hike should take between three and five hours, depending on how often you stop to take photographs. Adding to the walk is once you reach the bay, you have to take a water taxi back to Los Gigantes.

Tip: Bring plenty of drinking water and wear proper hiking shoes. – Check hiking tours here

Kitesurfing 

If you have never been kitesurfing but always wanted to learn how Médano and Tejita’s beaches have excellent kitesurfing schools. A three-day group course should cost you around 300€ and is well worth it. – Check activities here

Diving 

Near the town of Tabaiba is the wreck of the El Penon, a tugboat that was deliberately sunk in 2006. The boat now serves as an artificial reef and is easily accessible from the shore. Divers can expect to see plenty of marine life, including schools of mackerel and barracuda. The dive is not for novices as it is at a depth of 30 meters (98 feet). – Check tours here

Whale and Dolphin watching

Tenerife’s south coast is an excellent place for whale and dolphin watching with Pilot whales and Bottlenose dolphins swimming in Tenerife’s waters year-round. If you visit the island between November and February, you can spot other whale and dolphin species as they pass by Tenerife on their annual migration. – Check all tours here

Cueva del Viento

Created during the eruption of Pico Viejo thousands of years ago, the caves of the winds are a series of 18 kilometers (11 miles) long lava tubes. To explore the cave system, you need to be escorted by a guide who will point out the cave’s main features. – Check hiking tours here


Avoid tourist traps with the “Tenerife Like a Local” itinerary:

tenerife travel plannerMake the most of your time with the fully customizable Tenerife travel itinerary for 9,99€ only! – Get it here


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