Tenerife’s expansive, sandy beaches and lively entertainment scene, all watched over by the soaring peak of Mount Teide, are a major tourist draw for the largest Canary Island. Over 13 million people chose Tenerife for their holidays last year, proving that this volcanic isle off the west coast of Africa continues to deliver on its promise of sun, sea, and spectacular sands.
The island’s sub-tropical climate rarely drops below 20°C. So for those in search of a sun-soaked break won’t be disappointed - even through the ‘winter’ months. Opt for the quieter, family-focused resorts of Torviscas or Los Cristianos, go all out in lively Playa de las Americas, or stopover in the island’s capital Santa Cruz. Wherever you decide to visit in Tenerife you’re guaranteed plenty to see and do, as well as a generous replenishment of Vitamin D. It’s the ultimate beach break with a dash of culture, plenty of scenery, and only a four-hour flight from the UK.
Families: Tenerife is a steadfast family getaway. The island is brilliantly equipped for children of all ages – from lively water parks, zoos, evening entertainment, and of course, bountiful beaches.
Water Sports: An all-year-round sunny climate lends itself to water-based activities. Every one of the island’s resorts offers them, but El Médano is home to the annual Kite-surfing World Championships.
Winter Sun: There’s aren’t many places that can guarantee sunshine and temperatures upwards of 20°C, October through to March, without a long-haul flight. However, Tenerife is one of them!
Nightlife: Playa de las Americas leads the party pack for British tourists. But don’t underestimate resorts such as Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz for more toned down and tasteful evenings.
Currency: EUR: Euro
Language: Spanish, Canarian, English widely spoken
Approximate flight time from UK: 4 hours
Time zone: GMT +0 / +1
Mount Teide, the National Park & Cable Car
Towering Mount Teide is Spain’s highest volcano. Although still active, an eruption hasn’t happened since the early 1900s and the area is now one of Tenerife’s most visited natural attractions. The summit peaks at a staggering 24,600ft, with a cable car available to the top from which outstanding views can be enjoyed. This is also the starting point for a number of hiking trails, including further vantage points which afford views of the National Park and out across the island.
Address: Mt Teide, 38300, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Opening hours: The cable car open from 9am until 4pm daily, with the car park open from 7.30am to 6pm.
Cost: €27 for adults, €13,50 for children (return prices)
On the west side of the island, just outside of Santa Cruz, family-friendly Loro Parque continues to draw the crowds. The park is home to a huge collection of animals including gorillas, parrots and tigers. However, the real show-stoppers are the marine creatures. The ‘orca ocean’ continues to cause some controversy, but reviews of the dolphin and sea lion shows position it as a breath-taking day out to entertain the whole family.
Address: Av. Loro Parque, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Opening hours: Open from 8:30am to 6:45pm (last entry is 4pm)
Cost: Adults (12 years +) €33,00, children (6 - 11 years) €22,00
In an attempt to position itself as the ‘best water park in the world’, Siam Park boasts a record-breaking wave pool, over a dozen water rides, and the world’s largest Thai building outside of Asia. It’s also the first green water park of its kind. The park offers activities for all ages as well as plenty of eateries selling Thai specialities alongside the usual international favourites. There’s even a traditional Thai floating market to pick up any last minute souvenirs!
Address: TF-1, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Opening hours: May 1st till October 31st: 10am to 6pm. November 1st till April 30th:10am to 5pm.
Cost: Adults €34,00, children €23,00
Golf del Sur
The greens and fairways of Golf del Sur have played host to a number of international competitions since its formation in 1987. It’s the only 27-hole championship golf course in Tenerife, attracting professionals, locals and tourists to its challenging terrain. With some impressive facilities, including a golf academy, club house, and pro-shop, as well as pretty scenery, it’s surprisingly a hit with both golfers and non-golfers alike.
Address: Avenida Galván Bello, S/N, CASA CLUB. 38639 San Miguel de Abona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Opening hours: 7.30am to 7pm
Cost: Adults from €41,50, children from €27,00 (based on 9 holes – 18 holes and passes also available)
On the northern coast of the island, the picturesque city of Garachico used to be Tenerife’s capital before it moved to Santa Cruz. It’s had an unfortunate past, hit by a devastating landslide, volcanic eruptions and floods over the years, but nowadays is a popular day-trip from the more bustling resorts on the island. The city’s cobbled streets, quaint harbour and shaded plazas are the perfect spot to sit back and take in the atmosphere. There’s also a 16th century former convent, lava rock pools, and museum to visit.
Address: Garachico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Opening hours: Tourist office is open Monday to Friday, 11am-3pm. Shop and restaurant opening hours vary.
Cost: Free / attractions vary
Have you been to Tenerife recently? What are the must-do experiences that you'd suggest? Do you have tips on how to stretch that holiday budget a bit further or know of a hidden-gem that’s easy to miss?
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