Having long shaken off its brits abroad status, Tenerife is a tantalizing destination and one of the largest in the chain of Spain’s Canary Islands. While the beachfronts are lined with family-friendly all-inclusive resorts, the island offers plenty of life beyond the beach opportunities. Famed for its striking black volcanic sands, bright spring climate, and epic hiking trails –a holiday to Tenerife is all about subverting expectations.
There are no less than 15 blue flag beaches to sugarcoat this sunny island; take your pick from wide sandy stretches like Las Teresitas or cocoon yourself in a remote corner of the natural north. Active travelers will find leg-burning trails winding through the ancient canopies that weigh heavy in the Anaga Mountains or those who want the views without the walking shoes – take the cable car to dizzying new heights at the Teide National Park.
In-between the mountains and the sea, a holiday to Tenerife comes with a cut of luxury; from Michelin starred restaurants to cozy boutique hotels. Those seeking a culture heavy stay will also adore sipping wine at the local guachinches and soaking up glitzy carnival vibes in the capital of Santa Cruz. In short, Tenerife is full of surprises.
Celebrated as being the island of eternal spring, Tenerife is both a winter sun wonder and soft summer escape. The temperature rarely plummets below 17 degrees Celsius in the cooler months and even at the height of August, it stays mild but ripe for swimming at a solid 25 degrees. In the north of the island, you will find lush green rainforests and flora clad volcanic peaks, whereas the Saharan winds keep the south sunbaked and dry.
When to Visit
As many travelers head to Tenerife to escape colder climates, the islands’ high season takes place between November and March. The spring shoulder season is a great time to visit particularly before the summer holidays bring flocking families. With over three hundred days of sunshine a year, you can truly take your pick of when to head out on a holiday to Tenerife.
Attractions & Activities
Waterparks and Whales
Family fun runs rampant on the Canary Islands and Tenerife is no exception. For those wanting to get wet and wild then the Thai themed Siam Park invites epic sliding and splashing with its long lazy river, roaring wave pool, and 100-foot vertical slide that sends you swooshing through an aquarium. If you want a real-world aquarium experience then take a boat trip out to the surrounding seas where whales and dolphins skim the surface.
Mountains and Stars
Back on dry land and Tenerife is rife with majestic landscapes; the Los Gigantes cliffs are a must with their soaring vertical rocky walls and gin-clear waters. Outdoor lovers will also adore taking the cable car up Mount Teide especially after sunset when 83 of the 88 named constellations can be seen with sparkling clarity against the inky black sky.
Carnivals and Culture
The capital of Santa Cruz may be famed for its Rio style carnivals but throughout the year it makes for a charming destination. Dating back to the 15th century, you can wander ancient streets with artfully restored merchant houses and admire the architectural curves of the Auditorio designed by Calatrava. In the northern Puerto de la Cruz escape the heat by ducking into the lush 18th century botanical garden or linger by the beautiful sculptured pools of Largo Martianez.
How to Get There
North and South, each side of Tenerife have an airport. Budget airlines from Europe tend to touch down in Tenerife South which is closer to Los Cristianos whereas Tenerife North is nearer La Laguna. Carriers include EasyJet, Ryanair, and British Airways from the UK, and Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, and Condor among others from the rest of Europe.
Transfers from the South Airport to the South and Southwest Coast take less than thirty minutes whereas Puerto de la Cruz can take closer to an hour. Those flying into the North Airport can reach Puerto de la Cruz in half an hour. Metered taxis are available from outside the airport or you can book a shuttle to your accommodation. Tenerife has a great bus system operated by Titsa, although access to the wild west coast can be tricky to navigate by public transport.
If you want a fully immersive experience on your holiday to Tenerife then the freedom of four wheels can grant you unparalleled access to the islands best treasures. Car hire is easy and affordable and having a vehicle at your disposal will mean you can explore everything from the volcanic peaks to sleepy mountain villages, the sprawling coast, and the lunar-like landscapes. The airport boasts plenty of car hire options across the board covering everything from budget options like Goldcar to premium names like Hertz and Avis.