First Time in Tenerife? 10 Best Things to Do and See

About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most of any of the Canary Islands. From spectacular scenery and volcanic landscapes to picturesque villages and beautiful beaches, Tenerife is a destination ideal for couples and families. The island has so many things to do and see that it’s wise to stay for at least one week. If you’re lucky enough to get to visit the Tenerife island then make sure you include the following in your itinerary:

1. Visit Teide National Park – An absolutely highlight and therefore also a must for every visitor of Tenerife is a visit to the national park of the Teide. Parque Nacional del Teide is centered around the Teide – Pico Viejo volcanoes. At 3,718 m, Mount Teide is the highest peak in all Spain, and the world’s third largest volcano. The park’s spectacular environment, made up of diverse geological, botanical, and wildlife specie, offers visitors a wondrous visual to behold from almost anywhere on Tenerife. A visit to the national park of the Teide is always a one day excursion, even if one does not do any hiking.

Teide National Park, Tenerife

Teide and the rock formation called Cinchado (“Gods finger”). Photo by Diego Delso

2. Go to the beach – Tenerife beaches are really amazing, clean, good looking and peaceful. There are 8 Blue Flag beaches in Tenerife. Golden sandy beaches and wonderful shorelines are best in the south of the island ranging from the busy beach of Playa de las Américas, charming Los Cristianos to peaceful Las Galletas. Don’t miss Playa de Las Teresitas, one of the most popular beaches of the Canary Islands, and one of the few on Tenerife that do not have the black, volcanic sand. This beach was rejuvenated at a point with sand from the Sahara, making it all the more white than others.
And for those looking for an all over tan, the most popular naturist beaches are Playa de la Tejita at El Medano, Playa de los Patos at La Orotava and Playa de las Gaviotas is Santa Cruz.

Playa de Las Teresitas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Playa de Las Teresitas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Photo by Sergio Martín González

3. Meet the wildlife at Loro Parque – No visit to Tenerife is complete without a trip to Loro Parque. Originally a Parrot Park, it has now grown into one of Tenerife’s main attractions. In an area of 13,000 hectares, you are able to experience some of the most exotic animals and species in the world. These include penguins, dolphins, sea lions, parrots, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, jaguars, sharks, coral reefs, tropical fishes, Canarian fishes, flamingos, tortoises, and many more. Regardless of age you will be fascinated and enthralled with everything you see.

4. See the cliffs of Los Gigantes – The Los Gigantes Cliffs are a natural landmark. They attract many visitors every year. The cliffs have sheer faces that run vertically almost 1,600 feet up from the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can take a boat ride into the ocean to see the cliffs up close. It is also possible to see them from a number of oceanfront restaurants and bars in the nearby town.

Los Gigantes, Tenerife

Los Gigantes. Photo by Diego Delso

5. Try whale and dolphin spotting – As one of the top three whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, Tenerife is the best place in Europe to see our magnificent nature at its very best. With resident species all year around including 500 pilot whales, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and up to 27 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year, it is a veritable natural paradise.

6. Visit the picturesque village of Masca – Setting eyes on Masca for the first time is like discovering a lost world. There’s something quasi-prehistoric about its location, tucked away in the creases of Tenerife’s ancient Teno Mountains. This beautiful little village may be somewhat difficult to reach but it is well worth the journey, which takes you through deep ravines interlaced with lush green flora and winding roads with hairpin bends. Its beauty makes Masca a tourist hotspot, so arrive late in the day to experience the hamlet at its best.

Village of Masca in Tenerife

The picturesque village of Masca in Tenerife. Photo by MOdmate

7. Visit the world class Botanical Gardens – In the upmarket district of La Paz, the beautiful Botanical Gardens (Jardin Botanico) is home to over 5,000 exotic tree and plant species from all across the globe. The gardens are a tranquil leafy oasis with all sorts of unusual plants to discover. Look out for the sausage and drunken trees and the 200 year old fig tree, said to swallow tourists who are accidentally locked in.

8. Experience the rural beauty of the Parque Rural de Anaga – Fantastic place to go hiking. There are some routes that you can do. In Cruz del Carmen you can find the visitor’s center where you can get information about the park. Don’t forget go to the Pico del Inglés viewpoint where you can see a beautiful view of the island (if the weather is good).

9. Try scuba diving – Tenerife is a favoured destination for scuba divers, with numerous dive operations of all qualities and nationalities. The waters round the island are diveable throughout the year, with the temperature varying between 18 degrees in January to around 25-26 degrees in August. Go around the harbour wall in Puerto de la Cruz for fantastic volcanic rock formations, or feed the stringrays at Las Galletas for something a bit different.

10. Soak up the nightlife of Playa de las Americas – Well known for its lively nightlife and often what attracts the younger crowd particularly to Playa de las Americas, whether you’re in search of family or adult entertainment from cabaret to nightclubs Tenerife has it all.

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