Tenerife Travel Guide: Discover Paradise on Earth

It is the largest and perhaps the most visited of the Canary Islands. It is well-known for its black beaches, beautiful volcano Teide. The island has 12 climatic zones - tropical forests and volcanic semideserts, mountain canyons and dunes, beaches with black and white sand. You will not be bored!
Best view of Teide
Best view of Teide

We will find out when it is better to fly by plane, which beach to choose, where there are white sand beaches and where – with black sand, how to get from the airport, compare the main car rental offices. We live in Tenerife, so all the information is first-hand.

What to Do in Tenerife?

  1. Drive along the road through the center of the island, climb Volcano Teide by cable car, take a photo with La Tarta Rock.
  2. Visit Anaga Park, sunbathe naked on Benijo Beach, or go hiking
  3. Sunbathe on black volcanic sand at La Arena or in Puerto de la Cruz
  4. See the orcas at Loro Parque
  5. See whales and dolphins on a boat trip
  6. Hike the volcanoes of Chinyero
  7. Swim at Terricitas beach (can be combined with Anaga)
  8. Go for a little trek and see the best view of Teide Volcano.
  9. Try the rabbit stew, Canarian potatoes and Canarian sauces
  10. Swim in a natural volcanic pool, such as at Los Gigantes or Bajamar

How to get to Tenerife

You can get to the island by ferry or by plane. Flying from Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Porto, London, and Milan is the cheapest way to go to Tenerife. Use a low-fares calendar to find cheap ticket combinations.

Where would be the best place to stay in Tenerife?

Where to live in Tenerife
Where to live in Tenerife

Staying in Costa Adeje is a suitable option for families traveling with kids. It has excellent infrastructure and some of the best beaches with breakwaters. For romantics, Los Gigantes with gorgeous cliff views and the black sand beach of La Arena or the botanical garden city of Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island. The best spots for surfers are at El Medano and Las Americas. In addition, it is best to settle in the modern cliff-top town of Radazul for a few days, especially for trips to the north of the island and to Anaga Park.

What is the cost of lodging in hotels and apartments in Tenerife?

The average price of an apartment for a company of 2 to 4 people is 70-160. It’s more convenient to book through Booking.com, apply the filter “apartments” when searching. Good apartments are usually booked 2 to 6 months in advance. I highly recommend booking in advance.

Good hotels can cost between €150 and €240 per night for two people, with breakfast and dinner options costing around €240 per night. Hotels in Costa Adeje, Las Americas, are the most expensive. There are also inexpensive options in small hotels.

Mobile internet in Tenerife

Mobile internet in Tenerife
Mobile internet in Tenerife

I am using eSim for this purpose. You need to download the app, buy a virtual phone number, and start using the internet on your phone right away. They work in many countries. The internet prices are also very good.

📱 You can find Airalo eSim catalog here.

If your phone doesn’t support eSim, buy a prepaid sim card (prepago) from this store at Tenerife South Airport:

SIM card sales at the South Airport.
SIM card sales at the South Airport.

What is there in Tenerife that you can’t find elsewhere?

It is divided into 12 climatic zones, including tropical forests and volcanic semideserts, mountain gorges and dunes, as well as beaches with black and white sand. You won’t be bored! This is the only place in the European Union where you can swim in winter.

Do I require a visa or insurance?

The Canary Islands are a territory of Spain. You probably won’t need a Schengen visa.

For travel insurance, I usually purchase it through the website visitorscoverage.com.

What is the best currency to bring on the island?

Only euros are accepted on the islands. Banks do not exchange dollars or pounds without first opening a bank account. Exchangers at the airport or in Indian stores offer inflated exchange rates. So bring euros or use a credit card everywhere.

How to get from Tenerife Airport?

There are two airports in Tenerife:

  1. Tenerife South Airport (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur, TFS)
  2. Airport Tenerife Norte (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte, TFN).

Most international flights arrive at the southern airport. The northern airport is primarily used for connecting with Spain and the other Canary Islands.

Take bus 40 to Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje from the south airport. Buses depart every 20–30 minutes. During the night, there is a 711 bus. On Google Maps, you can find the schedule and route to your hotel.

To take a taxi, you need to leave the airport building. Follow the taxi directions to get to the right exit. Take the first taxi that is waiting in line. The trip to Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje costs about €40-45. Use the TaxiClick or Uber apps.

You can save money by pre-booking a transfer via GetTransfer. The cost of a ride to Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje is between €30 and €35. It’s cheaper than a taxi.

Public transportation in Tenerife

Tenerife Bus
Tenerife Bus

The Titsa bus network is well-developed on the island. It is most convenient to build the routes using Google Maps. There is also a schedule there. You can pay for your trip with cash or a bank card, but it’s better to buy a Ten+ card at Titsa kiosks or vending machines. You can use one card to pay for many people. The card costs €2, but you have to top it up at vending machines, bus station ticket offices, or on the website. Download a map of transportation routes here. For bus schedules and prices, please visit titisa.com

Tenerife travel passes
Tenerife travel passes

Buy a Travelcard if you want to use the buses every day. There are two types of cards: 1-day cards cost 10 and 7-day cards 50. You can buy your pass through the Ten+ Movil app.

Titsa map of public transportation in Tenerife
Titsa map of public transportation in Tenerife

I recommend that you rent a car instead of waiting for buses.

What is the best place to rent a car in Tenerife?

Rent a car in Tenerife
Rent a car in Tenerife

The cost of renting a car with basic insurance ranges from €20-50 per day, while the cost of renting a car with full insurance ranges from €40-70. To get car at a good price, you need to order it online at least 1–2 months before you go on the trip. At the airport, the prices are almost twice as high.

I recommend Thrifty, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, Budget and Avis. These companies have new cars in excellent condition. Avoid Goldcar and Pluscar. If you want to travel by car on an inter-island ferry, choose Cicar with full insurance.

Use the Discovercars search engine to find car rental options. Full coverage insurance costs €15-30 per day at car rental agencies.

How to rent a car in Tenerife without a credit card
How to rent a car in Tenerife without a credit card

If you don’t have a Visa/Mastercard credit card, you can check localrent for deals with cash or debit card payment. It’s a reliable search engine for local rental companies.

Driving routes in Tenerife

Driving routes in Tenerife

The roads in Tenerife are of exceptional quality. Dirt roads are almost non-existent. On-street parking is free throughout the island, except on some streets in Los Gigantes and Santa Cruz.

I recommend 3 main routes:

  1. Route through the center of the island to see Teide
  2. Route around the island by highway with stops in Candelaria, Santa Cruz, La Laguna and Puerto de la Cruz.
  3. Drive to the north of Tenerife to Parque Anaga and visit the viewpoints along the way.

Hiking routes in Tenerife

Прогулка вокруг вулкана Чиньеро
A walk around the Chinyero volcano

Tenerife is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. I’ve counted at least 80 official routes. All routes are well-marked. Along the way you’ll find information boards with maps, signposts and simple markings on rocks.

Start with these three routes:

  1. The route around the Chinyero volcano
  2. Anaga Park. Descend from the village of Chamorga to Bermejo beach
  3. Climb the Roque del Conde mountain.

What are the best activities to take on in Tenerife?

Наблюдение за китами на Тенерифе
Whale watching in Tenerife

If you don’t have a car, book a bus tour to Teide Volcano.

Or go on an afternoon boat trip and see whales with dolphins.

Take a day trip to the neighboring island of La Gomera. The price of the tour already includes a ferry ticket, bus, lunch and a guide.

Climb with a professional guide to the Teide Volcano. Or with a guide visit the observatories.

Fun-Filled Family Activities on Tenerife: Keeping the Kids Entertained!

For children, the island offers everything you need. There are many playgrounds, excellent beaches and interesting entertainment.

In Loro Parque you can see orcas, dolphins, harbor seals and parrots. If you don’t have a car, you can buy a ticket for the park and a shuttle here.

Ride the water slides at the world’s best water park, Siam Park. Buy tickets in advance here.

Ride a drakar ship with the Vikings.

Or dive underwater in a yellow submarine. The kids will love it.

When is the best time to visit Tenerife?

Teresitas Beach
Teresitas Beach

In Tenerife, you can relax all year round. The water temperature is always between 19 °C and 24 °C. The air temperature is between 20 °C and 26 °C in winter and between 23 °C and 29 °C in summer. However, these are average values. Due to the geographical position and the relief of the island, the weather conditions vary greatly depending on the location. For example, in the north of the island, in the forest of La Esperanza, it is usually 10 degrees colder – about 12 degrees Celsius during the day.

In the south of the island, it is always a few degrees warmer, and it rarely rains. For a beach vacation, choose Las Americas, Costa Adeje or my favorite, Los Gigantes, where the water is even warmer. September or October is the best time for swimming. In winter, you can also swim, but the water is cool, about 20 °C, but you can sunbathe without trouble.

The best months for a vacation are September and October, the coldest months are February and March.

Discover Your Perfect Climate: Explore Tenerife’s 28 Zones!

Teide Volcano in snow in March
Teide Volcano in snow in March

The mountains divide the island into two main climatic zones: the humid north and the dry south. The north is characterized by its rich vegetation and rather cool winter nights. The south is characterized by a sunnier and drier climate with slight daily and seasonal temperature variations.

If you travel the island, you can be surprised by heavy rain in the north. Swim in the warm sea under the bright rays of the sun in the south and see the snow-capped peak of the Teide volcano in the center of the island.

Besides the great climatic differences between the north and the south, there are more than two dozen microclimatic zones on the island. That is why Tenerife has so many landscapes: tropical forests and volcanic semideserts, mountain canyons and dunes, black and white sand beaches.

How to visit Tenerife neighboring islands.

The most accessible island is La Gomera. It is located very close to Tenerife. It can be reached by ferry Fred Olsen or Armas. Or you can simply buy a tour to La Gomera. The tour costs the same as a ferry ticket, but includes a guided tour, bus transfers and lunch.

The islands of La Gomera, La Palma and Gran Canaria can only be reached by car via ferry. Car rental agencies usually prohibit driving between the islands. You must rent a car when you arrive at another island.

I prefer to travel by plane between the islands. Binter and CanaryFly fly between the islands. The flights cost between €25 and €80. The flight to each island takes only 30–60 minutes. At the airport, I simply rent a car. The current prices for flights between the islands can be found here.

Be careful. If the airlines choose between tickets for locals and non-locals, buy a ticket for non-locals. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to fly!

Tenerife beaches

Beach near Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Terisitas Beach

It is important to note that all beaches on the island are completely free. The whitest and most visited beach is Playa de Las Teresitas. It is located not far from the capital. The beach is quite unusual: its snow-white sand is brought from the Sahara Desert. But the water in this area is colder and there are no hotels nearby.

Playa Jardin Puerto de la Cruz
Hardin Beach in Puerto de la Cruz.

Most of the island’s beaches are covered with black volcanic sand. This sand is good for human health. Numerous black beaches are located in the city of Puerto de la Cruz. If you prefer golden sand, you should go to the beach Playa de la Vista in the resort of Los Cristianos.

Moreover, for a comfortable vacation, choose places Las Americas, Costa Adeje or Los Gigantes.

Tenerife resorts

Tenerife beaches
Tenerife beaches

Almost all resorts are located in the southern part of the island, where the weather is great all year round. In the northern part there is only 1 normal resort – Puerto de la Cruz.

Let’s pick a place to stay:

  • Playa de las Americas.
  • Costa Adeje.
  • Los Gigantes, Puerto de Santiago and La Arena
  • Los Cristianos.
  • Puerto de la Cruz.
  • Playa Paraiso.
  • El Medano.

Costa Adeje

Costa Adeje beaches
Costa Adeje beaches

How to get to Costa Adeje from the southern airport of Tenerife, see here. This is the best place for a family vacation. There are plenty of beaches, plenty of space and a great choice of apartments!

10 Best Beaches in Costa Adeje on Tenerife

Here are my top 10 favorite beaches in Costa Adeje.

  1. Playa del Duque
  2. Playa Diego Hernández
  3. Playa La Caleta
  4. Playa de Fañabé
  5. Playa El Beril
  6. Playa de El Bobo
  7. Playas de Troya
  8. Playa de la Enramada
  9. Playa de los Morteros
  10. Playa de la Pinta

Free parking lots in Costa Adeje

  • Parking near Hotel Riu Palace Tenerife – convenient parking nearby to Playa del Duque beach. Coordinates.
  • Parking in a dusty vacant lot or on an adjacent street near Hotel Best Jacaranda. Close to Playa de Fañabé and Playa del Duque beaches. Coordinates.
  • The parking lot at the Fañabe Market site is open except Wednesday and Saturday. Next to Playa de Fañabé and Playa del Duque beaches. Coordinates.
  • Good parking behind the highway, but only a 10-minute walk to Playa de El Bobo, Playas de Troya, Playa La Pinta beaches. Coordinates.

Specialty coffee roasters coffee and pastry shops in Costa Adeje

  • Blend coffee & food – The café serves good coffee, certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Order the delicious carrot cake, and fresh entrées.
  • Pastelería Nubes – Try desserts made with natural ingredients like honeydew, pavlova, or Bird’s Milk Cake.
  • Daria’s Bakery & Bistro – try the avocado toast with salmon and egg for a unique breakfast experience. Do not miss out on their waffles. Venture to try their beetroot hummus and matcha latte.
  • Cocco Pastelería – start your day by enjoying a croissant and coffee at this bakery while taking in the view of the main street of Adeje. Try the pistachio dessert and honey tart if available, they are highly recommended. If you’re a coffee lover, try their Italian Lavazza coffee.

What to see in Tenerife?

Teide Volcano National Park

Teide National Park
Teide National Park

One of the highlights of the island of Tenerife is the Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide). The volcano Teide (3719 m) is the highest point of the Canary Islands and all of Spain. Its name translates as “snow-covered mountain”. Many directors have used the backdrop of the volcano in their films. Star Wars, for example, was filmed here.

  • Take the cable car up to the top of Teide,
  • Get permission in advance to visit the crater
  • Stay overnight in a hotel Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.
  • Find the rare Tahinaste flowers that bloom in May

Loro Parque

Loro Parque
Loro Parque

Loro Park (Loro Parque) is one of the most favorite attractions of all tourists. The park is a huge entertainment complex, including a giant aquarium, zoo, botanical garden. Here you will see with your own eyes clumsy penguins, colorful exotic parrots, bloodthirsty orcas, friendly dolphins, handsome lions and many other animals. Kids will love it!

Jungle Park

Jungle Park
Jungle Park in Tenerife

Jungle Park is another interesting place. More than 500 species of wild animals cavort in the park’s 75,000 square meters. The demonstration of trained birds of prey is a special “highlight” of the park. I liked it very much, I recommend a visit!

Is Tenerife Safe?

Yes, you can safely walk around at night, you will not be robbed. But, unfortunately, there are many thieves and pickpockets on the island. Do not leave valuables on the beach or in the car.

A Gastronomic Journey: Must-Try Restaurants in Tenerife!

Seafood Restaurants in Tenerife:

I have prepared for you a list of the best restaurants, in my opinion, where you can try the freshest local fish or seafood:

  • Almar Tenerife – order sashimi, ceviche, tartar.
  • Restaurante El Mirador de los Abrigos
  • Agua y Sal
  • Casa Juan
  • Mero pancho
  • Delicias del Mar

Delicious Breakfast Spots on the Southern Coast of Tenerife

Елена Шварц
Елена Шварц
Articles: 37

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