Among all the Canary Islands, Tenerife is the one most attractive in terms of touristic potential.
Virtually every corner of it has something interesting to see and explore. Though to be blunt, most attractions have been created just to attract as many tourists as possible.
However, the island will satisfy even those looking for something authentic, local and exciting.
Tenerife offers entertainment for both those who enjoy the nightlife – especially the southern part of the island – as well as for families with children, for whom aqua parks and zoos were built here. Fans of nature and mountain trekking will also find something for themselves on the island, as hiking trails of various levels of difficulty await them here.
Almost 400 km of coastline and numerous beaches provide space for all kinds of water sports, giving every visitor an opportunity to try something on.
That’s why we should start our visit with the best tourist attractions:
Undeniably, the biggest attraction of Tenerife is its rich nature. In the very center of the island the highest mountain in Spain is located – Teide volcano (3718 m asl). It is part of Parque Nacional de Las Canadas del Teide National Park. There are several ways to get to the top of the volcano, including an aerial tramway that starts at the level of 2,356 meters and transports us to an altitude of 3,555 meters in 8 minutes, practically to the very top. However climbing higher requires a permission by the management of the national park.
Teide National Park
You can chose different paths from the topmost station of the aerial tramway. One of them leads, of course, to the very top (Telesforo Bravo), another leads to Mirador de la Fortaleza viewpoint, from where you can admire the valley of La Orotava and the mountains of Anaga.
Yet another will lead you to the viewpoint Mirador Pico Viejo from which you can admire the last volcanic activity of the massif. The national park itself has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007. There are trails for hiking, designated to let the hikers admire the lunar rocky wasteland and exceptionally large plants with red flowers – red bugloss. You can find more about the attractions of the Teide National Park on the official website of the park.
This is just the beginning of our guide.
Watch a video guide to the most interesting places in Tenerife:
The southern part of the island serves mainly as a hotel base and has attractions tailored specifically to tourists. There is no shortage of amusement parks, aqua parks and zoos, as well as natural wonders.
Aqua parks in Tenerife
Siam Park is the most famous aqua park of Tenerife and likely all of Canary Islands. Built to resemble famous parts of Thailand, it is the largest aqua park in Europe.
It was awarded by the TripAdvisor tourist portal as the best aqua park in the world.
There are plenty of attractions in it – slides, slowly flowing artificial rivers or pools with artificial waves. A delight for the whole family all day long. More about parks and gardens in Tenerife can be found here.
Near Siam Park there is another park with slides – Aqualand, which is smaller, but features dolphin training shows. If you want more contact with animals, Jungle Park is located nearby. There, you can watch wild crocodiles, lions and monkeys while walking on wooden and hanging bridges. Every day bird training shows take place here, and featured birds of prey include eagles, vultures and other predatory birds.
If you like monkeys in particular, you can visit the nearby Monkey Park, where animals are not kept in cages and you can feed them with special food you can purchase in the park.
There is also something for families with children.
Attractions for whole family in Tenerife
Loro Park near the capital of Tenerife Peuerto de la Cruz is probably the biggest attraction when it comes to families with children. The park is located on the area of 33 hectares and houses over 300 species of animals. The biggest attraction of this zoo is live animal shows – with dolphins, killer whales, sea lions and parrots. In addition, you can admire underwater life in aquariums, and a penguinarium with different species of these lovely birds, located in a separate building.
You can see more about this water park in this video:
Tenerife cliffs are another big attraction!
Los Gigantes cliffs
South of Tenerife also has natural wonders, one of them being Los Gigantes cliffs. Vertical rock walls raising straight from the ocean are a breath taking view. You can buy a shorter or longer cruise along the coast to admire the views and take a photo of dolphins in their natural environment if you are lucky. More about the cliffs can be found on the tourist site of Tenerife.
Another type of tourist attraction is the Infernal Gorge – Barranco del Infierno, located within nature reserve with the same name. The route begins on the outskirts of Adeje and has a length of over 6 km and leads to a 200 meter waterfall. Unfortunately, due to safety reasons, it is not available for children under 5 years of age and since 2015 you have to wear a helmet during the whole trip.
And if you go north…
The northern Tenerife is equally rich in tourist attractions. The climate is colder and definitely rainier here, and the vegetation is lush. There is no shortage of hotels, restaurants and various places to see.
It is here that the capital of Tenerife – Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located. It is not only the largest city on the island, but also an important maritime port, connecting Europe and Africa with both Americas.
This is where the huge touristic cruise ships stop as well.
In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Auditorio de Tenerife, a city concert hall somewhat resembling Sydney Opera House due to its unusual architecture, is worth visiting. You can go to the municipal park Parque Garcia Sanabiara, where the exotic vegetation is extremely well-groomed. When it comes to sightseeing, it is worth seeing the fortifications of Castillo de San Juan and the ruins of Torre de San Andres and Castillo de San Cristóbal.
Our guide to Tenerife also includes towns of course!
Picturesque towns and villages
A town we recommend to visit is La Orotava, one of the oldest and most interesting in terms of urban architecture in Tenerife. You can see here seventeenth-century buildings with characteristic wooden balconies, decorated with flowers, like Casa de los Balcones. During the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi the streets are transformed into floral carpets, intricately laid by the inhabitants. The Church of Iglesia de la Concepción with its characteristic dome stands out especially against the background of the city. This building has been on the list of national monuments since 1948.
Visit Icod de los Vinos to see the symbol of the island. This is where the botanical natural monument in Tenerife grows – the old dracena Drago Milenario. The tree is said to be 800 years old, and its juice is called dragon blood because it changes to red when it comes into contact with air. Around the garden in which the famous dragon tree grows there are vineyards, and nearby stores you can buy bottled local wine.
Watch the video covering some interesting places in Tenerife:
Lovers of nature and hiking will probably be interested in the Anaga Mountains. It is the oldest part of the island, dating 7-9 million years back. In the area of over 14,000 hectares, a landscape park was created, with the largest number of endemic plants per square meter in all of Europe. Climatic conditions have shaped vegetation reminiscent of Scandinavian forests rather than exotic landscapes.
Another interesting place is Masca village. It is located in the Teno mountains landscape park, between the ravines. A really winding road leads to it, but it’s worth coming here, even if only for the views. From there, the road leads to the beach, which is quite a popular hiking trail, almost five kilometers long. In the village you can see an example of probably the best preserved Canarian architecture, probably because the road to Masca was only built in the 1960s. Previously, you had to get here on foot. Currently, there are bars, restaurants, a souvenir shop, a chapel and a small ethnographic museum.
It’s also worth taking a look at the official Instagram profile of Tenerife tourism.
The best beaches in Tenerife
We couldn’t have forgotten to include the famous beaches of Tenerife in our guide. Below you will see a video showcasing the best ones:
Tourist map of Tenerife
With this map of Tenerife, you can plan your trip and vacation on this island. Mark all the interesting places and tourist attractions worth seeing:
We also invite you to add reviews, comments and reports from your stay in Tenerife. Thanks to this, you can facilitate each other’s successful holidays and holidays in Tenerife.
Tenerife can be visited all year round, both in in October-November and in February-March (see also where to go on vacation in January). It is one of those places where there is something to do the whole year round! We hope that our guide to Tenerife will help you to spend even better holidays on the island!