- Canary Islands
- Where to stay
- Things To Do
- Best Tours
If this is your first time planning a holiday to Tenerife, you may find yourself asking if this destination is worth visiting or it's right for you and your family. We are declared fans of Tenerife and come over as often as we can, so in this article, we'll try to present the reasons why you should also come and visit Tenerife.
Tenerife is the most visited island in the Canary Islands archipelago and there's a good reason why millions of people come over each year: Tenerife is gorgeous and has an amazing climate, considered by some as the best climate in the world.
If you're looking to come to the Canary Islands for the first time, Tenerife might be the best choice for you, as the island is very diverse in terms of landscapes and activities, so every type of traveler can easily find a way to fill their time. In Tenerife, you have everything from tall mountains (Mount Teide - 3718m), lovely beaches, mystical forests in Anaga, charming villages like Masca and towns which preserve the local architecture, like Garachico and La Orotava.
Plus...did you know that Tenerife has one of the best carnivals in the world?
For us, it's not difficult to make a list of reasons why we love coming to Tenerife. The difficult part is to keep the list at a reasonable length since there are so many reasons why we keep on coming back to this beautiful island.
For us, Mount Teide is the symbol of Tenerife, as you can see it from almost any part of the island. You don't even have to be an avid hiker in order to enjoy the beauty of the National Park. If it's your first time coming to the island, just take a day tour which will show you the major sights like Roque Cinchado, a rock formation that used to appear on the one thousand peseta banknotes, with Teide in the background.
We have to be honest... gorgeous weather that Tenerife gets almost year-round is one of the major attractions to the island. And this is why we normally prefer to come here over the winter months, looking to escape the cold back home.
Tenerife is also known as the "island of eternal spring" since the temperatures rarely drop below 20°C during the day time in the south of the island, even in winter. We've spent several winters in the south of Tenerife and we usually only need a jacket at night in winter, when the temperature drops to around 15 - 17°C.
Most of the visitors to Tenerife only spend time on the beaches in the south of the island, which is a real shame since there are many more lovely beaches on the western coast and in the north of the island, although some of them might be more suitable for surfing than for swimming.
For sunbathing and swimming, our favorite beach in the south is Las Vistas in Los Cristianos and in the north, it's the gorgeous Playa Las Teresitas, close to Santa Cruz.
Did you know that the carnival in Tenerife is the second largest in the world, after the one in Brazil?
Celebrated each year, usually in February/March, the carnival draws big crowds to Santa Cruz, especially for the big parade celebrated on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (when the burial of the sardine takes place). But we also recommend coming to the city for one of the big street parties, like the Daytime Carnival, usually celebrated on a Saturday.
If you decide to come to Tenerife, we absolutely recommend that you try the Barraquito, the famous Canarian coffee with "vitamina" (aka Licor43). Another staple food are the wrinkled potatoes (papas arrugadas) with mojos (green and red sauce). But you can also try the gofio and of course, the fresh fish and seafood since you are on an island in the middle of the Atlantic after all.
Tenerife is a great destination for surfers and the best months are usually October, November and the other winter months. The coast of El Medano is very popular among kite surfers and for the more advanced, you cat catch great waves in Playa El Bollulo and other nearby beaches on the north coast.
Did you know that the open waters between Tenerife and La Gomera are ideal for seeing whales in their natural habitat (dolphins as well)? Also, seeing the coast of Tenerife from the boat will give you a different perspective on the beauty of this island.
Anaga is one of our all-time favourite places in Tenerife since we love hiking and exploring the island on foot. But even if you're not into hiking, you can still rent a car and drive through the park, stopping at the many viewpoints with breathtaking views.
Mirador Cruz del Carmen is a popular place to start your incursion through the Anaga forests, as here you will find 3 trails of different difficulties and lengths, all set-up to help you get a sense of what sort of views and vegetation you can expect to see if you decide to explore Anaga further.
Other places to see in Anaga are Tanaganana and Playa de Benijo, from where you can admire one of the best sunsets in Tenerife.
Did you know that the Canary Islands are among the best destinations in the world for stargazing?
We've been on a tour with Teide By Night and we were amazed by how amazing the sky in Tenerife looked at night inside Teide National Park, where there is almost no light pollution. It's a one of a kind experience, which we highly recommend.
Another of the natural symbols of Tenerife, besides Teide, are the cliffs in Los Gigantes, rising between 300 m and 600 m above sea level. First, you can stop at Mirador Archipenque for a view over the town with the cliffs in the background, then you can go down to Playa Los Guios, to see the cliffs from sea level and experience a beach with black sand, typical for a volcanic island like Tenerife.
In our opinion YES, and after your first visit, you'll probably want to return here over and over again.
Don't forget that Tenerife is much more than the popular resorts in the south like Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. Those are great places for relaxation and beach time and also good bases for exploring the island.
But there are far more things to do in Tenerife than lounging in the sun, which is why we keep coming back. And if you love the outdoors and the sunny warm weather, Tenerife is waiting for you with the perfect mix of beaches, theme parks, hiking trails and typical old villages, for an interesting mix of activities for the entire family.