If you are looking for an island near Europe where the weather is always nice, you can’t get around the Canary Islands. These islands just before the coast of Africa have a warm and sunny subtropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year.
The Canary Islands consist of seven main islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro) and several smaller islands and islets. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, known for its beautiful beaches and volcanic landscapes.
With our Tenerife Travel Guide, you know where you need to go, how to get there, and everything else to make the most of your holiday. Although Tenerife is part of Spain, it has a lot of African influences. With its unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and history, Tenerife is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Canary Islands.
Where is Tenerife
Tenerife is a Spanish island situated off the northwest coast of Africa. It is the largest and most populous island in the Canary Islands and is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and unique natural attractions, including Mount Teide, which is the highest point in Spain at 3,718 meters.
Tenerife is a volcanic island with a unique landscape that includes rugged mountains, steep cliffs, and black sand beaches. It is a year-round destination. Average temperatures range from 17°C in winter to 25°C in summer, with little rainfall.
How to get there
Tenerife has two international airports; Tenerife North Airport (TFN) and Tenerife South Airport (TFS). Both have direct flights from major cities in Europe and other parts of the world. But you could also fly in from one of the other Canary Islands.
If you are traveling from one of the other Canary Islands you could take a ferry as well. The journey between Tenerife and Gran Canaria takes approximately 1 hour. The journey between Tenerife and Lanzarote, La Palma, or Fuerteventura takes approximately 3.5 hours.
How to get around the island
Once you arrive in Tenerife, there are various transportation options available to help you get around, including taxis, buses, rental cars, and bicycles. Tenerife also has a modern tram system called the Tenerife Tram, which connects the towns of Santa Cruz and La Laguna in the north of the island.
Driving on Tenerife can be challenging due to the island’s steep and winding roads, so it’s important to take care of and follow local driving laws.
Things to do
We spent almost two weeks in Tenerife because there is a lot to see and do. From a visit to the national park to finding the pyramids, from visiting the market to discovering the churches. People are very laid-back and friendly and the food is great.
If you want to learn scuba diving, Tenerife is well equipped to try it out with several diving schools on the island. It has some beautiful beaches too, including Playa de las Américas, Playa del Duque, and Los Cristianos.
Teide National Park
Teide is a national park that is home to Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain at 3,718 meters. The park covers an area of 18,990 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can take a cable car to the summit for stunning views of the island.
There are also a variety of hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes. Some of the most popular trails include the Roques de Garcia trail, the Las Cañadas trail, and the Montaña Blanca trail.
The Pyramids of Güímar
The pyramids of Güímar were only classified as pyramids in 1991 by the Norwegian anthropologist Dr. Thor Heyerdahl. Previously, they were seen as stone terraces made by local farmers using the stones they found in their fields. Dr. Thor Heyerdahl discovered that the pyramids are built of lava rocks and that the pyramids were placed in a special astronomical position.
This arrangement ensures that you can see a double sunset from the largest pyramid during the solstice (on June 21, the longest day of the year). The sun then descends behind the highest mountain peak, passes it, and becomes visible again until it disappears behind the next mountain peak.
There are six pyramids to see, there used to be nine. Unlike the pyramids in Egypt, these are more of a cascading pyramid type. The first mentions of these pyramids date back to 1881, which would mean that they date from the 19th century.
Santa Cruz is located at Tenerife’s northernmost tip, on the east side. It has more than 223,000 inhabitants and looks like a typical Spanish town. Santa Cruz was founded in 1493 by order of the Spanish king and owes its name to the cross that the Spaniards first erected.
There are few remnants of that long-gone era. Now it is quiet, not too touristy, and the weather is always nice. Just north of the city, you’ll find Playa de Las Teresitas. A sheltered beach constructed with sand from the Sahara. North of the city there is a large nature park that offers everything; from hiking to extreme sports.
Mercado De Nuestra Senora de Africa
Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa, also known as the African Market, is a nice, cozy, medium-sized market with all kinds of stalls and a lot of different merchandise.
The market features a mix of indoor and outdoor stalls selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meat, fish, and cheese. You’ll also find an abundance of spices, herbs, and exotic fruits, as well as handmade crafts and souvenirs.
There are several bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a drink.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España is a large square located in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The square is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. At the center of the square is a large artificial lake, which is home to several water fountains and sculptures.
One of the most distinctive features of Plaza de España is Monumento a Los Caídos, a large monument to the fallen of the Spanish Civil War. The monument features a bronze statue of a woman holding a laurel wreath, surrounded by a series of columns and arches.
Iglesia de la Concepción
Iglesia de la Concepción is a historic church located in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The church was built in the 16th century and is considered one of the most important religious buildings on the island.
One of the most notable features is the statue of the Virgen de la Concepción, which dates back to the 16th century and is considered one of the most revered religious icons in the Canary Islands.
Iglesia de la Concepción has undergone several renovations and restorations but has managed to retain much of its original character and charm.
Auditorio de Tenerife
Auditorio de Tenerife is the concert hall of Santa Cruz. It is one of the most important buildings in Spanish architecture. Construction started in 1997 and was completed in 2003.
At the back of this building, you will find a breakwater that has been protecting the Auditorio against the sea for years. There are faces drawn on a lot of the stones. These faces are of famous artists, composers, and a few actors. We saw Beethoven, Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, and many more.
Where to stay
Tenerife offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and apartments. Whether you’re looking for a beachfront resort, a charming boutique hotel, or a budget-friendly apartment, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and budget on this beautiful island.
Casa Regina is located in Tamaimo, 2.8 km from Barranco Seco Beach.
NH Tenerife is a stylish hotel in central Santa Cruz, near the harbor.
Hotel Ecolife is located near Golf del Sur and has an outdoor swimming pool.
Use our Tenerife Travel Guide to plan your trip
Although Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, we still found hidden gems and secluded villages. The national park is by itself reason enough to visit. But the beaches and historic buildings make it an all-around experience.
Use this Tenerife Travel Guide to plan your trip and don’t miss anything. Check our map for cute restaurants and cafes to complete the Tenerife experience.
Please share your favorite places in Tenerife below this article so we can add them to the map! This way our Tenerife Travel Guide will grow and reflect the best of what Tenerife has to offer!
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