Here are some interesting facts about Tenerife that will surely surprise you!
When you hear about Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, the first things that come to mind include the year-round mild weather and its beautiful beaches.
But the island is so much more than these things, and here are interesting facts about Tenerife to prove it!
From breathtaking volcanic landscapes to vibrant cultural celebrations, as well as a variety of outdoor activities in and out of the water, there are particular reasons why Tenerife is one of the top choices when it comes to vacation destinations in Europe.
So, if you’re getting ready to plan your next getaway, take a moment to read on and discover the amazing things that the island has to offer as you travel Tenerife!
Hey! Don’t forget to grab my free “Tenerife Beach Checklist” below!
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Psssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of Tenerife? Have a look at my other posts:
- Best Things to do in Tenerife in Winter
- Amazing Hotels in Tenerife on the Beach
- Unique Places To Stay In Wisconsin In Winter
Table of Contents
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Fact 1: A Volcanic Wonderland
Tenerife was formed due to volcanic eruptions over millions of years, giving the island a unique charm in the form of dramatic landscapes you won’t see anywhere else.
This is most obvious in the terrain of Teide National Park: hiking there felt like walking on the surface of another planet!
Then there’s Mount Teide itself, which is a gigantic geological wonder all on its own.
If I had just one week in Tenerife, you bet visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site would be on my itinerary!
From the otherworld rock formations and the resulting multi climates present on the island because of the resulting topography, the richness of Tenerife’s history is not just steeped in the tradition and culture of its people.
It’s also notable in other places on the island, shaped by time itself, which include the popular hiking trail Masca Valley and the impressive Los Gigantes.
There’s also the Cave of the Winds, Tenerife’s lava tube system and the largest one in Europe.
These three other places are also on my list of Tenerife recommendations!
Fact 2: Unique Microclimates
Though well-known for having a mild climate all year round, the truth is that weather can vary across the island depending on where you are.
You could be exploring the best beaches in Tenerife under the glorious sun today, clad in your swimwear, only to find yourself wearing layers of clothes up north, where it’s much colder.
But this isn’t a bad thing! The diversity in climate helps because it allows the island to support various types of ecosystems.
So what does this mean? An equally diverse and thriving flora and fauna, of course!
As a result, the island has an abundance of plants and wildlife you won’t see in any other part of the world—just another one of the many facts about Tenerife that make it worth visiting.
Looking for ideal locations around the island? I know that this can be tough sometimes, especially during peak season.
To make it easier for you, here’s a guide to help you decide the best place to stay Tenerife!
Fact 3: Home to Spain’s Highest Peak
Home to the third largest volcano in the world, Spain’s highest peak is a must-see as you plan things to do in Tenerife!
Attracting at least 3.5 million visitors annually, it’s a national treasure home to different plant and animal species you can only find on the island.
Here are some quick facts about Tenerife volcano, Mount Teide:
- The last time it erupted was relatively recent: November 18, 1909.
- Its rich volcanic soil allows 168 species of plants to thrive on its slopes!
- Over 1,400 animal species call Mount Teide home.
- Teide National Park is the most popular park in Spain.
- It has one of the best night sky views in the Canary Islands, perhaps even the world!
- As large as it is, Mount Teide is accessible through different routes with multiple hiking trails.
- Though currently dormant, experts believe that one day, Mount Teide can erupt again.
Consider Mount Teide trips when you visit the island—it’s something you don’t want to miss during your stay in Tenerife.
Fact 4: Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Ready to party in Tenerife like a local?
You totally can during the Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the second most famous carnival in the world, second to Rio de Janeiro’s own Carnivale!
It’s a time for parades, street parties, costumes, and disguises (including the traditional costume of Tenerife), among other things, to celebrate the rich culture and tradition of Tenerife.
A few must-see highlights during this major island event include my personal favorite, the Carnival Queen selection, and the Burial of the Sardine.
If you’re planning to stay during the Carnaval, you’ll need a guide to Tenerife resorts to know the best places to stay in!
The best areas when looking for accommodations are Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz and Los Cristianos—based on my experience, this is where the celebrations last the longest.
So if you’re looking to experience how festive the Carnaval is and don’t mind partying for hours, keep these key areas in mind!
Fact 5: Star-Gazing Paradise
Here’s just one more in a long list of facts about Tenerife: it’s a prime spot for stargazing!
Named a “Starlight Destination,” Mount Teide is the place to be if you want to spend a night marveling at the night sky.
You also have the option to visit the observatory found on the park grounds and use the telescopes for a closer look at the constellations!
In fact, 83 constellations can be seen from Mount Teide, so make sure you book a night tour if you can!
Stargazing at Teide National Park was an unforgettable, magical experience that will convince you that it’s probably a good idea to move to Tenerife.
Fact 6: Whales and Dolphins Galore
Since many areas of the Tenerife coast are considered conservation areas, marine life around the island has been allowed to thrive, meaning there’s an abundance of various species in the water.
From angel sharks, green turtles, the common stingray, and whales and dolphins, you won’t want to miss the chance to watch these animals in their natural habitat.
Here are some of my quick Tenerife travel tips related to water activities: if you’re considering joining whale and dolphin watching excursions, join eco-tours!
These types of tours have the well-being of marine life in mind, so in a way, you’re also doing your part in actively protecting the environment.
Some popular places for whale and dolphin watching include Puerto Colon in Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos, Las Galletas, and Los Gigantes.
While you’re at it, since you’re already close to the water, here’s a list of the best beaches in South Tenerife that you can visit!
Meanwhile, if you want a change of scenery, consider checking out a few water parks in Tenerife.
Fact 7: Pyramids of Güímar
Are you a fan of theories? If your answer is yes, one of the outdoor activities in Tenerife that you may want to consider is this: visiting the Güímar pyramids!
Yes, there are pyramids on the island. It’s just another one of those facts about Tenerife that not a lot of people may know!
Until now, the origins of these six rectangular pyramid-shaped lava stone structures are a subject of debate.
Some theories suggest there’s a connection to ancient cultures, while others claim a more recent agricultural origin. Or it could also be related to astronomy and the solstice, among other things.
No one’s really sure—and I’m not either—but this unsolved mystery makes a visit to the pyramids more inviting!
Make sure you visit the rest of the ethnographic park where these structures are located, specifically the Poison Garden, an exhibit that showcases over seventy poisonous plant species worldwide.
Your visit to Güímar is definitely what to bring from Tenerife back home or your next destination as a riveting story: island destination with pyramids and a poison garden?
That’s both wild and interesting!
Fact 8: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
With such a remarkable cultural and natural heritage, it is no surprise here that Tenerife has received recognition from UNESCO.
Among the many things to know about Tenerife are the places on the island considered as world heritage sites.
Get a feel of how life would have been like in the historical town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, well-preserved with architecture that dates back to the 15th century when it was founded.
Of course, Teide National Park is also a UNESCO-listed treasure for having “one of the richest and most diverse assemblages of volcanic landscapes and spectacular natural values in the whole world.”
By protecting and preserving these places, Tenerife can maintain the traditions, values, and identity that set the island apart and make it worth visiting even more!
Fact 9: Anaga Rural Park
Whether you’re an avid hiker or a nature enthusiast who simply wants to be blown away by amazing sights, here’s another one of my Tenerife tips:
Don’t miss out on Anaga Rural Park up north!
Many hiking trails crisscross this 35,500 acre park—it’s truly a hiker’s paradise!— ranging from easy to challenging, leading to various beautiful places.
We’re talking quaint mountain villages, dense forests, hidden beaches, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean!
Aside from the trails, one of the interesting facts about Tenerife related to Parque Rural De Anaga is that it houses one of the last prehistoric gems from the Tertiary period, a time long gone: a laurel forest that is almost extinct today.
If you’re looking for a rough guide to Tenerife—the main places to consider visiting—make sure to add this one to your list!
Would you rather stay where it’s a little warmer? Then there are some things to do in South Tenerife instead.
Speaking of the southern part of the island, you must visit Barranco del Infierno, Tenerife—a very popular ravine in Adeje.
However, note that only 300 people are allowed to enter per day to preserve the environment and keep the disruption to the flora and fauna at a minimum.
Fact 10: Canarian Gastronomy
One of the things that make my trips even more impressive than they already are? The variety of food I get to try!
Tenerife is no exception, and, among the dishes and culinary delights I’ve enjoyed, I recommend a few.
This is a given, but try the fresh seafood, which is readily available all over the island.
For more local specialties, let’s start with a simple but popular Canarian dish: papas arrugadas or wrinkled potatoes topped with mojo.
Though not readily available everywhere, you may also want to try the conejo en salmorejo, rabbit in salmorejo sauce, which goes well with papas arrugadas.
Goat meat is also available and, on top of that, goat cheese which is exceptionally good!
My final thoughts on cool facts about Tenerife
There’s so much to see, discover, and experience in Tenerife outside of this list—this isn’t the end all, be all, and I continue discovering more of the island with every return trip I make.
Based on experience, the locals have always been extremely helpful in pointing out roads less taken, so make sure you ask! You’ll never know what they’re going to recommend.
What other facts about Tenerife do you know that should have been mentioned here?
Share it with everyone because it might be something others haven’t heard of!
FAQs about Tenerife
Is it safe to travel to Tenerife?
Yes, the island is a safe destination in general. Of course, make sure to still practice basic safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your valuables unattended.
Is Tenerife worth visiting?
It is! There are so many places to visit and activities to do. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something you won’t enjoy.
My trip felt short just because there wasn’t enough time to do everything so it’s definitely worth going back more than once.
What is Tenerife famous for?
Tenerife is famous for a lot of different things, but among the most well-known include: Mild temperatures all year round, a lot of beaches to choose from, Mount Teide and its unique landscape, and outdoor activities on land and by sea.
You can read our article on: What is Tenerife famous for? 10 Useful Facts!
Hola! I am Paulina, a fervent travelette who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by Boat HitchHiking. On my blog, I help you to make the most of your holiday. Get ready to enjoy outdoor and sustainable travel like hiking, cycling or sailing. Let’s hit the road!