Tenerife – Descopera insula Tenerife, top 10 atractii turistice

Tenerife is one of the most beautiful exotic destinations in Europe, being an island with beautiful landscapes and summer temperatures all year round. The Atlantic Ocean, beaches with black and volcanic sand or fine yellow sand, the imposing volcano, tall palm trees, green cactuses or rich forests are what best define this wonderful island, so loved by tourists.

In this article you will find all the information you need to know before arriving in Tenerife, so that you can have the best holiday ever.  

About Tenerife

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, closer to Africa than to Europe, the island enjoys a continuous summer, with average temperatures starting from 22 degrees in the winter.

Tenerife is part of the Canary archipelago, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean belonging to Spain and which includes the following islands: Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro.

Playa de las Teresitas
Playa de las Teresitas

With a population of almost 900,000 inhabitants, Tenerife is the most populated island of the archipelago and of Spain. The island has an area of approximately 2000 km², with a length of 80 km and a width of 50 km.

The capital and seat of the island council is Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Tenerife is a volcanic island, being formed by submarine volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Today, a symbol of the island is the Teide volcano, being the highest point in Tenerife, with an altitude of 3717 meters.

Teide Volcano
Teide Volcano

What you need to know about Tenerife

Although it is not a large island, Tenerife has its own microclimate and contrasting landscapes: in the south you find beach areas, in the center of the island is Mount Teide, with much lower temperatures, and in the north dominates a Mediterranean climate, with more precipitation than in the south and with a greener nature. These contrasts are best observed in winter, when, for example, on the coast you have summer temperatures, and a few km away, on Teide, you can find snow.

Playa del Camison
Beach weather in Playa de las Americas in January
Teide Volcano
Snow on Mount Teide in January

Before you come to Tenerife, you must know what to expect from your holiday, so that you can organize your program as efficiently as possible: do you want a stay at the sea, do you want a holiday in which you can explore and visit the whole island, or maybe would you rather try different mountain trails through the high areas of the island? 

  • The south of the island is the most touristic area of the island, it is warmer and drier, and there are many very well developed and popular resorts, such as Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos.
  • The Teide volcano is the central and highest point of the island. You can quickly reach the natural park of the volcano from any point of the island.
Vulcanul Teide vazut din parcul Anaga
The Teide volcano seen from Anaga rural park
  • The north of the island is greener and more humid. If beaches with fine and yellow sand are more common on the southern coasts, here you will find beaches with black, volcanic sand, surrounded by high rocks. Also in the north you can visit other tourist attractions, such as towns and villages specific to Tenerife (Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Icod de los Vinos, the village of Masca) or the Anaga natural forest. You will find information about all these places below.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz

When to go to Tenerife

Tenerife is a perfect holiday destination all year round. It has a constant average temperature, between 20-23 degrees in the winter months, respectively 26-28 in the summer. But, if you are planning a future trip here, it is good to keep this in mind:

  • There are certain periods that are more crowded, such as around the winter holidays, New Year's Eve or during the summer months when accommodation or plane prices are higher.
  • Tenerife has its own microclimate and in the same day you can catch 3 different seasons on the island: the south is warmer, the north has more precipitation, and in the center, on the Teide volcano, it can snow. If you will travel in winter, expect low temperatures on the mountain and dress appropriately. For example, in January, up on the Teide volcano, we got temperatures of 0 degrees, while in the southern resorts it was 24 degrees.

My personal recommendation is to go to Tenerife in the months when the temperatures in Continental Europe are lower. Here you will find sun and beach weather in the months of December - February, when nowhere else on the continent you could enjoy such weather. During the summer, the high temperature here can be felt quite strongly, so then you could choose another destination, more thermally suitable.

How to get to Tenerife

Being an island in the middle of the ocean, the easiest way for tourists to get here is by plane. Tenerife has 2 airports, one in the north, near Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and one in the south, near the resorts. 

How to get around in Tenerife

To travel in Tenerife, you have several options:

  • Rented car: the most convenient way to visit the island is by renting a car. You can find cars at affordable prices, with which you can reach all the sights on the island. The distance between the locations is not great (for example, from the north of the island to the south is up to 80km), and the roads are very good. Parking in the city is free, except for the private parking lots, where you have to pay. However, be careful not to park illegally, fines are often given to those who leave their cars in unauthorized places. If you choose to stay in a resort in the south of the island, you won't need a car here, because you can manage very well only with public transport. The best-known and recommended rental company in Tenerife is Cicar, and renting here is very simple: you book online from the website https://www.cicar.com/, without having to leave your card details, and then you show up after the car, without any other deposits or additional fees.
  • With public transport: Tenerife has a fairly well-organized public transport system, with buses that run quite frequently, both within a city or resort, and between different locations. I recommend here downloading the application Titsa. You can pay the price of a travel ticket directly to the bus driver, cash or card. The price differs depending on the distance traveled, so you have to tell the driver what is your final destination.
  • By taxi: you can choose to travel by taxi, although I advise you to use this type of transport only for shorter distances, because the price can increase quite a lot. For example, for a trip from the South Airport to Los Cristianos, approximately 15 km, we paid 25 euros. In Tenerife you can order taxis from the SIXT application.
  • With electric scooters: one way to travel in the resorts from the south of the island or in the bigger cities is with an electric scooter. For example, in Los Cristianos you can download the application Superpedestrian, and the price paid will depend on the duration of the trip (1 minute = 0.20 euro cents).

Where to stay in Tenerife

  • If you want a stay at the beach, it is best to stay in one of the resorts in the south of the island. The most popular resorts are Playa de las America, very popular and well-knowm for its active nightlife and youthful atmosphere, and Los Cristianos, a very lively resort, suitable for all ages. Costa Adeje is also a beautiful resort, considered quieter.
  • If you want to fully experience Tenerife, to focus more visiting and discovering the island and less on staying at the beach, other tourist areas suitable for accommodation are the surroundings of the cities of Puerto de la Cruz or Santa Cruz de Tenerife. These can be starting points for exploring the areas from the north of the island: the Teide natural park, the Anaga natural forest, the northern coast and the volcanic beaches, the tourist towns of Icod de los Vinos or La Orotava.

As a type of accommodation, on the island you can find houses for rent, Airbnb apartments, or hotels with breakfast or All Inclusive.

Our accommodation was this, an apartment in a residential complex in Los Cristianos, which also had a heated pool: Margherita’s Apartments.

What to eat in Tenerife

In Tenerife you can find food for all tastes. Being a very touristic destination, you will find many international restaurants, such as Italian, Mexican, Indian etc. At the same time, you can also try Spanish cuisine, such as Paella or Sangria.

The prices are not very high, about the same as the prices in mainland Spain.

Los Cristianos

What to do in Tenerife - Tourist attractions

1. The resorts in the south of the island

When you think of a holiday on the beach in Tenerife, your first thought will surely fly to the beautiful and lively resorts in the south of the island, such as Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje. They are open and visited by tourists throughout the year, thanks to the summer temperatures they experience. Beaches with fine yellow sand, cliffs full of palm trees and a turquoise ocean is what awaits you here. In addition to these, the resorts are very elegant and clean, and you will definitely enjoy your stay here. 

If you want to find out more about what you can do in these three resorts from the south of the (Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje), I invite you to read this article: South of Tenerife Island - Top 3 Resorts With the Most Beautiful Beaches.

Playa de las Americas

Los Cristianos

Costa Adeje

2. Teide Volcano

Teide Volcano is the symbol of the island, with a height of 3718 meters. If you arrive in Tenerife, Teide is one of the sights you should not miss.


You can climb Mount Teide by cable car up to an altitude of 3555 meters. The cable car operates until 4 p.m., and a return ticket costs 38 euros. You can buy tickets online here: https://www.volcanoteide.com/en/volcano_teide/teide_cable_car/teide_cable_car

There is also the possibility to reach the top of the mountain on foot, at the maximum altitude, but for that you need a special permit. This is free, but only 200 permits are offered daily, so if you want this experience, you must apply in advance on the website https://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es. Just be careful that in winter it is quite likely that the climb to the top will be prohibited, due to the snow on the mountain.

There are other tours to visit the Teide volcano that you can choose from, including guided tours to the top, jeep safari through the Teide natural park, climbing the volcano at sunset or during the night: Mount Teide activities.

3. The Masca village

Masca is a small village in the mountains, located at an altitude of 700 meters in the Teno mountains. The village of Masca is a location known to tourists due to the beautiful landscapes and the spectacular road to this point. 


Located 5 km from the main road, from Santiago del Teide, Masca is an isolated village, accessed by a narrow road with many curves. But the view is wonderful, and once you arrive in the village, you will definitely be fascinated by the tranquility and the panorama that this location offers: the picturesque alleys, the high ridges and the ocean in the distance will give you a special feeling.

4. Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is a city located on the northern coast of the island and is one of the top destinations in Tenerife. It is a wonderful city, with a charming old center, dominated by the architecture typical to the Canary Islands. It is one of the most beautiful locations in Tenerife, and it is definitely worth visiting. Also here you can go to Loro Park, the famous zoo on the island.

5. Drago Milenario Tree - Icod de los Vinos

One of the most representative images of Tenerife is that of the thousand-year-old tree in the village of Icod de los Vinos, an image that you will see printed on most souvenirs from the island.

Drago Milenario
Drago Milenario - Thousand-year-old dragon tree

Drago Milenarioor El Drago, is the oldest tree of its kind, and is said to be almost a thousand years old. It was also declared a national monument in 1917.

You can pass by the tree in the Drago park, and a ticket costs 5 euros. It is possible to see the tree from outside the park, without paying the entrance ticket, but the park is also a tourist attraction itself, and my recommendation is not to miss it, if you have time.

Next to the park is the Mariposario del Drago, a butterfly museum where you can find an exhibition of live butterflies. The price of a ticket is 8 euros.

You can find all this in the town of Icod de los Vinos, located in the northwestern part of the island.

Icod de los Vinos

6. Theme parks – Siam Park, Loro Park

Tenerife is a place that any child, young or old, would love. It has many places to spend time and do various activities, and the most famous are the water parks or zoos, such as Siam Park or Loro Park. These are perfect places for families with children, but also for adults who still have the pleasure of enjoying such things. 

I recommend you to read this article if you want to know more details about the theme parks in Tenerife: Theme Parks In Tenerife - Top 5 Water Parks And Zoos.

7. Santa Cruz de Tenerife

If you arrive in Tenerife, I recommend that you also visit the capital of this island. If on the rest of the island you will always feel a relaxed, vacation-like atmosphere, where things move slowly, here the landscape is completely different. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a bustling, cosmopolitan, modern city, a capital in the truest sense of the word. A walk through the old center, through the port and along the seafront to the auditorium will definitely please you.

8. Playa de las Teresitas

Located 10 km from the capital Santa Cruz, Playa de las Teresitas is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It is approximately 1.5 km long and has a very fine and yellow sand, brought directly from Africa. The long beach, the blue ocean, the coast and the palm trees on the edge will give you the impression of a truly exotic place.

Playa de las Teresitas

9. Anaga Rural Park

Anaga Park is a protected natural area in the north of the island, a mountainous area full of high peaks, rich forests and steep and deep gorges, with an altitude of up to 1000m. The landscape is gorgeous, and a walk through this park will surely enchant you. You will feel nature at the highest level, and you will enjoy wonderful landscapes and superb panoramas over the island and the ocean. I mention here some panoramic points that you should not miss: Mirador de Jardina, Mirador Cruz del Carmen, Mirador Pico del Ingles.

Also here is a perfect area to do various hikes, of different difficulties. A starting point for these hikes can be Cruz del Carmen, where you will find a tourist information center and maps with all the routes in Anaga.

10. Los Gigantes

Another impressive place in Tenerife is Los Gigantes, the resort town on the west coast of the island, known for the rock formations that surround the town. Emblematic is the image of the beach with black sand and the high rocks that seem to rise directly from the beach and the ocean.

Los Gigantes

If you want to find out how we organized our one-week trip to Tenerife and how we divided the visit of all these attractions into days, I invite you to read this article:
7 Days In Tenerife – What To Do, Tourist Attractions, Daily Schedule.

Tips & Tricks

  • Decide what you expect from your holiday and choose accommodation according to this (if you want a stay at the sea, a trip to visit, explore or go hiking, etc.).
  • Rent a car if you want to visit the whole island. Use public transport if you are staying in the southern resorts.
  • Buy your entrance tickets to the tourist attractions online, in advance (example: for Mount Teide cable car).
  • Tipping is not mandatory, but if you liked the service or the food, you can leave between 5-10% at the end.
  • The taxi between the South Airport and Los Cristianos, the nearest resort in the south, cost around 25-30 euros. To take the taxi from the airport, you need to know that there is a waiting place where a waiting line is formed to catch the taxi. Even if the number of people waiting may scare you at first, know that this line moves quite quickly, and you won't have to wait more than a few minutes to get into a car.

And last but not least, enjoy, smile and take advantage of the good energy of this place. Tenerife is wonderful and offers all the prerequisites for an amazing and unforgettable holiday.