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10 Top things to do in Tenerife in January

Here are the best things to do in Tenerife in January, enjoy the new year!

Dreaming of a winter getaway without all the snow just like me, whenever the cold season rolls around the corner? 

Look no further than Tenerife! 

There are many things to do in Tenerife in January, making it the perfect destination to kick off the new year. 

In my little list, we want to take a look at the top ten things you have to experience, do, or go visit while you travel Tenerife

We’re talking about outdoor activities in water, on land, up the mountains, paired with scenic sights all of which you get to enjoy under the sun! 

Hey! Don’t forget to grab my free “Tenerife Beach Checklist” below!

landscape view of anaga rural park mountains with curving roads, a town, the sea and sky
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Where to stay in Tenerife in January

Here are recommendations on where to stay in Tenerife in January:

1. Witness the Cabalgata de Reyes

Roscon de reyes, kings' ring typical dessert eaten in Spain to celebrate Epiphany or Dia de Reyes Magos (Three Kings' Day). Spanish Christmas cake with fruits nut and icing on wooden background
Roscon de Reyes

In Spain, it’s all about fiestas and festivals, and you won’t want to miss the Three Kings Parade! 

It’s a religious celebration that includes lively processions to commemorate the journey of the Three Wise Men to visit the newborn Jesus. 

The streets come alive with music, dancing, and elaborate floats during Cabalgata de Reyes, with people in biblical or festive costumes fitting for the occasion. 

You’ll also be surprised to know that Three Kings is also when kids open their gifts, kind of like a second Christmas in Tenerife

Some of them still do so in December but, mostly, children wait until January 6 to open the presents they received over the holidays. 

If, like me, you’re looking to immerse yourself in the island’s culture completely, this is one of those things you have to see and experience while you’re in Tenerife in January. 

2. Embrace the Festive Atmosphere in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

visiting Tenerife in October, View of street with a row of single-level buildings on one side and a row of small green palm trees on the other with a large bell tower visible at the end under a blue sky with clouds

While Tenerife in winter means lots of activities, there are a few specific events that you’ll want to take note of. 

As the capital of the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the place to be when most of these take place! It is one of the best things to see in Tenerife by car.

On top of the list is the Carnaval: if you’re on the island and want to experience this in full force, join locals and tourists alike right at the heart of where the celebration is. 

If you’re visiting the island anyway, this is non-negotiable: go add it to your list of things to do in Tenerife in January.

The same goes for Cabalgata de Reyes; experiencing it here just hits different, with celebrations lasting for hours. 

Of course, some of these festivals and holidays are also held elsewhere but as the capital, everything feels so much more alive!

Check out more things to do in Santa Cruz, Tenerife right here so you can make the most out of your stay in the city!

3. Hike Mount Teide

visit mount teide, discover tenerife, hiking in tenerife, happy girl mount teide

Here’s what to do in Tenerife in January if you’re looking for more activities, do Mount Teide trips

It’s the highest peak in all of Spain and attracts more than 3 million visitors every year and one of the best things to do in Puerto de la Cruz

Not only is it scenic with flora and fauna unique to the island, Mount Teide is unique in the way it looks too thanks to its desert-like terrain and the lava flows, all millions of years old!

Book a Mount Teide Observatory Guided Tour!

If you’re planning to do hikes in Tenerife, this is one of your two options since it has multiple hiking trails to choose from. 

One day, I’ll be able to say that I’ve completed all these trails—until then, there are just too many!

Don’t forget to properly gear up when hiking because, even though the weather on the island is mild, it can get cold in the northern parts. 

That said, here’s what to pack for Tenerife in winter so you’ve got all your bases covered! 

If it’s your first time hiking at Teide National Park, you may want to take advantage of Mount Teide Trips so that you have an itinerary to follow and don’t miss key spots.

4. Attend the Traditional Romería de San Abad

a man in a hat weaving a basket with other baskets finished on his side

For more things to do in Tenerife in January, another must-see is Romería de San Abad

This comes as no surprise for religious festivals at this rate: part of the celebration for the patron saint of the island’s farmers, St. Benedict of Nursia, includes parades and processions. 

Expect people to be in traditional dress, with plenty of dancing in the mix. 

As a farmer’s celebration, expect to see livestock and agricultural displays, including unique Canarian crafts, which is an even deeper way to know more about Tenerife’s culture. 

The winter season is honestly some of the best months to visit Tenerife because of how many events and festivals take place. 

For me, joining the locals and getting first-hand experience of their traditions is as immersive as it gets.

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5. Explore the Anaga Rural Park

View of rolling hills and mountains leading towards the wide open sea with green grassy area in the foreground all under a bright blue sky with wispy clouds

If you’re still deciding what things to do in North Tenerife, hiking and sightseeing at Parque Rural De Anaga is mandatory at this point! 

Not only does it offer a fantastic preview of the island’s different flora and fauna, the hiking trails in the park go around small towns, leading to wild hidden beaches or cliffsides with the Atlantic on the horizon. 

Tenerife in January weather is the perfect type of cold, and I enjoyed my time hiking here under the mild winter sun. 

Just like Teide National Park, there are many trails to choose from for the beginner or the veteran hiker, so there’s definitely something here for you! 

If you’d rather enjoy Anaga Rural Park during the transition from autumn to winter, though, consider visiting Tenerife in October

One of the park’s highlights is the Enchanted Forest, also known as El Pijaral, best known for its laurel trees. But why is this a big deal, you ask? 

The Enchanted Forest is a type of subtropical forest called Laurisilva, made up mainly of laurel trees, and is a remnant of the Tertiary Period. 

Being in El Pijaral is literally a trip back in time—I promise, applying for that permit to get access to this area of Anaga is more than worth it because, yes, you’ll need one. 

Imagine standing in the middle of a forest that’s millions of years old: no wonder it’s called an enchanted forest. It’s really magical! 

6. Discover Tenerife’s Underwater World

Upwards underwater view of the silhouettes of two people in scuba diving gear swimming past slowly overhead with the light from the sun behind them

From whales to manta rays, green turtles, dolphins, and barracudas, you’ll have to include underwater activities in your list of things to do in Tenerife in January! 

Aside from the thriving marine life, which you can watch from a boat or underwater submarine, the rock formations make the island’s underwater world so interesting. 

There are many snorkeling and diving options to choose from but some of the most popular spots, which are the ones I’ve tried, are located in Costa Adeje, Punta de Teno, and Los Cristianos. 

As a volcanic island, many of these formations are from lava and the seismic activity that comes with volcanic eruptions. 

As a result, the sights you’ll see not just on the island itself but while you’re in the water are all one of a kind. 

Take the gigantic and impressive Acantilados de Los Gigantes as an example: these rock cliffs rise up to 800 meters and make quite a fantastic sight! 

The first time I saw the cliffs, I was in awe not just because of their sheer size but because of how breathtakingly beautiful a rock face it was. 

It’s literally looking at a piece of the island’s history! 

If you plan to see the cliffs yourself, here are other things to do in Los Gigantes, Tenerife

Want to get a headstart on island activities while there aren’t many tourists yet? Try visiting Tenerife in November.

Interested? Book an Eco-friendly Dolphin and Whale watching tour

7. Enjoy Playa de las Teresitas

Amazing things to do in Tenerife, aerial view of beachy coast on a sunny day with mountains and a hillside village in the distance
Las Teresitas Beach, in Tenerife, Spain

Here’s what to do in Tenerife in winter: visit the artificial white sand beach of Playa de las Teresitas! 

What I love about this place is how touristy it is! I’m all for the outdoors and adventure activities but it’s nice to stroll around with other vacationers, too! 

If you’re on the island with kids or have safety concerns, Playa de las Teresitas is perfect for swimming because it has an artificial lagoon. 

The breakwater is designed to keep strong currents away, which means the water is cool and calm—it’s like being in a pool!

Let’s not forget the view, of course: you can see the Anaga Mountains from the beach. I’m telling you, it’s all postcard-worthy if you’re the type to take lots of pictures.  

Stalls for food and drinks are also available from early morning until sunset, so you can stay the entire day, and you’re all good! 

You can also visit San Andrés, a fishing village near the beach and right at the foot of the mountains if you want to mingle with the locals. 

Looking for easy access to this beach? Santa Cruz is the best place to stay in Tenerife in January since it’s nearby. 

8. Visit the Pyramids of Güímar

Scenic view of the Pyramids of Guimar in Chacona on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

If you’re still asking yourself what to do in Tenerife in winter but are looking for something quite different… you’ll love the Pyramids of Güímar

I know, I know—a lot of people who only know about Mount Teide, the coast, or the beaches are really surprised to know that there are pyramids on the island. 

You have to add this to your list of things to do in Tenerife in January just because the very existence of these pyramids can be a great conversation starter. 

Until today, no one’s really sure what these structures are for, and the question remains: does it have an agricultural origin? Was it necessary for an ancient culture that never made it to books? 

Perhaps it has something to do with astronomy and the solstice! There are a lot of theories, and they’re all fascinating. 

In Pirámides de Güímar, I did not only enjoy the view of the pyramids themselves—it was also fun exploring the rest of the ethnographic park that it’s housed in. 

Other things to see within the park include a botanical garden, the museum, and a few exhibits (Polynesian and Poison Garden). 

You can book a guided audio tour to learn more about everything in the park as you go along. 

Of course, don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking. 

9. Attend the Festivity of San Sebastián

Costa Adeje things to do, view of Costa Adeje from the water with mountain in background

So you already know what to do in Tenerife in December—that is, attend lots of festivals and fiestas and the like. 

But here’s another one for January: a celebration in honor of St. Sebastián, the patron saint of Adeje. As always, parades, music, folk songs, and traditional costumes are everywhere! 

But here’s what I found truly unique about this celebration: the procession of St. Sebastián to the sea, followed by the locals, specifically people on horseback. 

As part of a ritual, the riders then lead the horses to the water while the people watch—this is meant to be a symbol of cleansing. 

Based on my experience while living on the island, you’ll never run out of these types of celebrations wherever you are. 

There are always things to do in Tenerife in winter, no matter the month!

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10. Indulge in Local Cuisine

Puchero a canarian dish, with beef, corn, carrots, and green leaf vegetable

Like always, don’t forget about the food! Easting is definitely one of the many things to do in Tenerife in January—or any other month, for that matter! 

The great thing about a culture that thrives on fiestas is how much of the cuisine you can try because, as you know, festivals equal food. 

You have your Canarian staples like seafood, papas arrugadas with mojo, and goat cheese, but other dishes are less mentioned that are equally good! 

Make sure to try huevos al estampido (fried eggs on fries and chorizo) and puchero (a stew containing meat—beef, chicken, pork, or even bacon and chorizo—and vegetables), which is perfect for cold nights!

Where to eat highly depends on where you are, but it’s always best to ask the locals if you’re looking for a truly authentic version of these dishes. 

My final thoughts on Tenerife in January

Best beaches in Puerto de la Cruz, View of sandy beach with many pairs of sun loungers and some standalone palm trees with colourful flowers in the foreground and the wide open sea behing all under a blue sky full of white fluffy clouds

I can go on and on when discussing things to do in Tenerife in January. There are just too many! 

Hopefully, you get to narrow down your island to-do’s with the help of my list so you can make the most out of your winter escape. 

Have you been to Tenerife in January? What other events or experiences specific to this month have you participated in? 

Share it with everyone in the comments, and let’s have fun in Tenerife together!

FAQ about Tenerife in January

Can you swim in Tenerife in January?

You definitely can! Tenerife in winter is mild and, depending on where you are on the island, some areas are warmer than others, especially during the day.

Is Tenerife good in January?

You bet! With the New Year ahead, there are actually less tourists in Tenerife by the time January rolls around since most people have to go back to work or school.

This isn’t to say there are absolutely no tourists—there still are!

Is Tenerife hot in January?

Just like the rest of the winter months, January in Tenerife isn’t as warm as any other season but it’s not too cold, either. 

As the land of eternal spring, it has its moments and can be perfect for outdoor activities and swimming.