With long sandy beaches, magnificent mountains, and year-round sunshine, the largest of the Canary Islands offers something to all travellers. Whether it's sunbathing and shopping or hiking and exploring, Tenerife is a favourite with families on holiday.
The south of the island is the place to go if you love sunbathing, shopping, and partying. If tropical gardens, historical towns, and colonial architecture sound more up your street then the north of the island is the place for you. For calmer and lazier beach vibes, resorts like Playa de la Arena in the west of the island are perfect.
The 785 square mile island is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plus some impressive mountains, volcanoes, and lush tropical forests.
As with all of the Canary Islands, Tenerife’s weather is gorgeous all year round, making it perfect for hot summer holidays and sunny winter escapes. Visit between June and August for 30°C temperatures, and when the cold comes knocking back at home, jet off to Tenerife where the weather stays around 20°C even in the depths of winter! Visit in February for the colourful and musical Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife - one of the world’s largest carnivals.
Playa de las Americas
The best resort for party-goers, sun-worshippers and shopaholics. Playa de las Americas is scattered with high-rise hotels, air-conditioned shopping centres, and delicious tapas restaurants. The town even has its own waterpark.
Calmer than Playa de las Americas, but only a short walk away. Los Cristianos is the main port town on Tenerife’s south coast. The picturesque seafront is lined with a long promenade bursting with authentic restaurants and lively bars where you can treat yourself to a sangria or two. The historic town centre is nestled behind the prom, and it’s car-free so perfect for an afternoon stroll.
This is for those who like a bit of luxury. Beautiful five-star hotels, sophisticated nightclubs, and designer shops make Costa Adeje worth visiting, even if it’s only to admire. With long, manicured beaches, Costa Adeje is both close enough to and far enough from the busy Playa de las Americas.
Volcanoes and mountains make up a large part of Tenerife, so if you’re into your hiking then you are in for a treat. Parque Nacional del Teide is a UNESCO World Heritage site and covers just under 190 square kilometres. Pico del Teide at the centre of the park is the highest mountain not only in Tenerife but across the whole of Spain, standing at a majestic 3718m. It’s a five-hour hike to the top, which isn’t for the faint-hearted. Although we were happy to find out that a cable car trip means you can still appreciate the views.
The beaches in southern Tenerife are never-ending, with one beach running seamlessly into the next. Playa de Los Cristianos is the main beach in the south. It’s family-friendly and kitted out with sunbeds, volleyball nets, and an ice cream kiosk. Playa de las Vistas is great for swimming, and Playa de la Encaramada is a popular spot for hang-gliding if you’re an adrenaline junkie! Playa del Duque is one of the most upmarket beaches, with striped changing huts and stylish cafes and restaurants. Into surfing? The beaches in the north of the island are ideal!
There are loads of amusement parks to choose from on the island, suitable for children and grown-ups alike! Siam Park, a Thai-themed water park, is the biggest. Loro Parque has the world’s largest collection of parrots. Jungle Park is the most popular, with nearly 500 animals to spot, including two rare white tigers. Aqualand, as you might guess from the name, is a huge waterpark full of slides and pools, plus there are dolphins!
Whale and dolphin-watching
Tenerife is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so whales and dolphins swim past the island on their migratory trips. There are daily excursions from Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes to go out to sea and spot some of these beautiful animals. We really love the diving here, the endless sun and clear waters make it an experience you won’t ever forget.
Canary Island cuisine
As it’s an island, expect top notch seafood, often fresh from the waters that day. A typical meal is grilled fish with baked potatoes and vegetables or salad, however, Tenerife’s Spanish influence can be seen in the increased popularity of tapas bars.
Tenerife produces a wide range of tasty honeys, and a lot of fresh fruit is grown here including figs, mangoes, papayas and bananas. Some of the other Canary Islands produce their own goat’s cheese, so for a really authentic ‘Canarian’ experience, why not try some delicious goat’s cheese drizzled with honey and served with fresh fig?
Fancy a romantic meal in a waterfront restaurant? No problem! A laid back restaurant you can take your children? Absolutely! Tenerife has hundreds of eateries to choose from, no matter where you are on the island. Order a bottle of wine, fresh seafood and some crusty bread and you’re ready to sit back and soak up the atmosphere. For beautiful sunset views, head to the promenade in Los Cristianos, or if you really want to push the boat out, be sure to make a reservation at one of Costa Adeje’s stylish restaurants.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing, adventurous, or party-filled holiday, Tenerife is a stunning island with something for everyone. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive deal or a self-catered stay, our range of holidays, flights and hotels mean your ideal Tenerife holiday is just a click away.
Is Tenerife not sounding like your dream destination? Have a read of our other Canary Island destination guides for further inspiration and temptation!