Exploring Tenerife Activities! Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and it’s a haven for travelers seeking an exquisite blend of history, nature, and vibrant culture. This captivating island, located in the Atlantic Ocean, offers visitors a diverse range of experiences. Let’s dive into the island’s intriguing history, transportation options, and the best things to see and do. We’ll also suggest where to stay and savor the delectable flavors of Tenerife.
Tenerife Island History
Tenerife has a rich and captivating history, shaped by indigenous Guanche people, European explorers, and cultural influences from across the world. Before the Spanish conquest in the late 15th century, the Guanches inhabited the island. Their legacy is still visible in the archaeological sites and the unique whistling language, Silbo Gomero, that has survived to this day. Tenerife’s history is a mosaic of diverse cultures and traditions, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs.
Tenerife is easily accessible with two main airports: Tenerife North Airport (Los Rodeos) and Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia). Both airports offer various international and domestic flights. Tenerife North is closer to the capital, Santa Cruz, while Tenerife South serves popular tourist areas like Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos. Rental cars are readily available at both airports, making it convenient to explore the island at your own pace. It is roughly a one hour drive between the two airports, so you can choose to buy plane tickets that meet your budget.
Tenerife’s small size, coupled with a well-maintained road network, makes it a breeze to navigate. Renting a car is the most convenient option, allowing you to explore the island’s nooks and crannies, from charming coastal villages to dramatic landscapes. However, public transportation, including buses, is also available for those who prefer not to drive. Most of the buses stop along the main highway or road around the island and you would then need to walk to your location from there.
Tenerife Activities Land
Mount Teide: Drive up to Teide Volcano, Spain’s highest peak. The national park surrounding it offers hiking trails, breathtaking vistas, and the chance to stargaze at the Teide Observatory. To be honest, I even thing the journey from the beaches up to the volcano is just as spectacular as being at the volcano itself. You go from the beaches winding up into the hills and then into the pine forest, ending up in the volcanic rock. It feels as if a road was just floating on top of the lava rock. There are many photo opportunities along the way, so take your time and enjoy.
Puerto de la Cruz: Explore the picturesque streets, visit the beautiful Loro Parque with its exotic wildlife, and don’t miss a visit to the Martianez Pools for a refreshing dip.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Discover the island’s capital, where you can admire the iconic Auditorio de Tenerife, stroll through the historic La Noria district, and indulge in local cuisine at the bustling markets. I flew into the north airport, but was staying near the south. My arrival day I spent in the capital, before driving to the south.
Iglesia de la Concepción: Located in La Laguna, this historic church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers insight into Tenerife’s colonial past.
Los Gigantes: Witness the awe-inspiring cliffs that give this coastal town its name. Take a boat tour for an up-close view or explore the quaint harbor. I enjoyed driving to the mirador viewpoint and enjoyed a coffee at the café on the cliff. Stunning views all around and then continued down towards the beach area.
Masca Village: Nestled in the Teno Mountains, Masca is a charming village surrounded by rugged terrain. Explore its narrow streets and embark on a hiking adventure through the Masca Gorge.
Natural Pools: The volcanic coastline of Tenerife has created natural swimming pools. The most famous are El Caletón on the Norther coast, or Piscinas Naturales Los Abrigos on the southern coast., where you can relax in crystal-clear waters surrounded by lava formations. I went to the natural pools in Los Abrigos and it was something out of a picture postcard. You do need to do a bit of navigation along the cliffs and rocks, but it is stunning.
Tenerife Activities Land
Obviously Tenerife is an island, so remember you will be able to experience a wide range of water sports activities for adventure enthusiasts.
Water Sports in Playa de las Américas: Head to the vibrant beach town of Playa de las Américas to indulge in thrilling water sports such as windsurfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding. The local water sports centers offer equipment rentals and lessons for all skill levels. This is one of the main tourist areas, so you will find plenty to do and English is spoken widely. There are also several night clubs in this area.
Scuba Diving in El Puertito: Explore the underwater world of Tenerife by going scuba diving in El Puertito. The clear waters around the island make it an excellent spot for divers of all levels. Discover colorful marine life, including sea turtles and tropical fish.
Surfing at El Médano: El Médano is a renowned destination for surfers. Its consistent wind conditions make it a top spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. If you’re new to these sports, you’ll find plenty of schools offering lessons. When I stopped by this point at the southern tip of the island, I witnessed a see of kite surfers. It was incredible!
Whale and Dolphin Watching: Tenerife is famous for its year-round whale and dolphin sightings. Take a boat tour from various ports, such as Los Cristianos or Puerto Colón, to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Kayaking in Los Cristianos: Rent a kayak and paddle along the beautiful coastline of Los Cristianos. Explore sea caves, hidden coves, and even take a guided kayaking tour to discover the marine life and cliffs from a different perspective.
With these added water sports activities, Tenerife offers even more reasons for adventure seekers and water enthusiasts to visit and enjoy the stunning waters surrounding the island. Whether you’re into adrenaline-pumping sports or tranquil activities like kayaking, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this Spanish paradise.
Tenerife offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s preference. You can choose from luxurious beachfront hotels, cozy guest houses in historic towns, or self-catering apartments. Some popular areas for accommodations include Playa de las Américas, Puerto de la Cruz, and Santa Cruz. I also recommend getting off of the beaten path and experiencing a guest house. This will give you an opportunity to interact with like minded travelers and also save on the budget. I stayed at the guest house WIFI TENERIFE SUR GUEST HOUSE and had a wonderful experience.
Culinary Delights and a Show
Tenerife’s cuisine is a reflection of its diverse heritage. Be sure to try local specialties such as “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes), “mojo” sauce, and fresh seafood. For a memorable dining experience, visit La Laguna or Santa Cruz, where you’ll find a variety of restaurants serving Canarian and international cuisine.
If you want an off the beaten path dinner and a show, I highly recommend the Pantomime drag dinner show. Pantomime is a type of musical comedy stage production designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is performed throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and in other English-speaking countries, It is a good meal, loads of laughs and very entertaining to say the least. I attended the Musical Hall Tavern show in the south.
Tenerife is a traveler’s paradise, offering a wealth of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. With its accessibility, diverse attractions, and ample accommodation options, it’s an ideal destination for all types of travelers. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and explore the wonders of Tenerife, the jewel of the Canary Islands.