When you have lived all your life with long, freezing winters and one day you visit a warm land in the coldest month of the year, it is impossible not to like it. And if you also find great things to do, you start thinking about how to move there forever.
Or at least this is what happened when we landed in Tenerife in January and back home, we had -10 degrees Celsius. It was love at first sight!
For two weeks, we had time to explore the island from north to south and back, and now I can definitely say it has something for everyone.
Here are eight things to do in Tenerife that everybody should try.
Climb El Teide
The 3,718m volcano (Spain’s highest peak) is the symbol of the island.
Around the island, the vegetation is green and luxuriant, but once you start climbing the great volcano, the plants become smaller and trees almost disappear one by one. And up there (which you can get to by car) everything is red, rocky and rusty — kind of like on Mars.
If you want to reach the highest point where you can look inside the crater, you must drive or take the bus till Teleferico del Teide. After that, take the cable car and climb from the final point of the cable car to the crater, after you’ve got special permission.
Only 200 persons per day can do that, in order to preserve the environment. For the others, the Teide National Park has plenty of alternative routes.
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Hike in Anaga Rural Park
For those that prefer a greener landscape, Anaga Rural Park has some options for hiking.
One of my favorites was the Path of Senses, starting at Mirador Cruz del Carmen. It is more a walk in the forest, but this walk awakes all your senses, hence the name. Along the route, there are signs that show you how to feel the environment. For a more intense experience, close your eyes when you touch the moss or when you smell a certain plant.
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Surf at Playa de las Americas
The best place for surfing in Tenerife is Playa de las Americas. The waves are big enough to practice this sport, but not too big to scare you if you are a beginner. The weather is windy here and that creates the perfect conditions for waves.
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Visit an Old House in La Orotava
La Orotava, a small town built downhill, hosts some of the most beautiful buildings in Tenerife. Colorful and old, they reproduce the air of a colony, reminding us of the Spanish conquistadores.
A good place to see how people lived a hundred years ago in Las Canarias is Casa de los Balcones, a museum created to display the local traditions and the sewing technique used here. The rooms, the furniture, el patio, the objects, all remain intact from the time when it was inhabited. It seems like someone is still living there but they left for a moment!
After all the natural places we discovered on the island, visiting this house made us understand and enjoy more of Tenerife.
Relax on a Black Beach in Puerto de la Cruz
I am a beach person, so every time I have the opportunity, I like to feel the salty smell of the water and run barefoot across the sand. But usually, the sand is yellow, white or even with pink shades.
So, it was a strange sensation at the beginning when I stepped on the black sand in Puerto de la Cruz. The sand is soft, and it gets hotter because of its color, but what I liked the most was the contrast between the black beach and the white waves.
Tenerife has also golden sand beaches, but the natural ones are black because of the volcanic rock.
Explore Barranco del Infierno in Adeje
Another route that will raise your adrenaline level is Barranco del Infierno, starting in Adeje. This old pastoral trail starts in Calle de los Molinos and only 300 persons a day are allowed to access it for conservation reasons (a pre-reservation is needed).
The trail goes along the riverbed of a ravine and since there is a difference of altitude, the vegetation changes. After the three-hour walk, you will be rewarded with the view of a tall, beautiful waterfall. Sometimes, if the weather is rainy or windy, the access to the ravine is forbidden, for safety reasons.
Admire Los Gigantes
Another place in Tenerife that deserves a stop (if not a whole holiday near it!) is Los Gigantes resort. Named after the giant, steep rocks that form a block near the sea (Acantilados de Los Gigantes in Spanish), the resort is built on a slope.
A good place to admire the rocks of Los Gigantes is Playa Los Guios, a black sand beach near the port Los Gigantes. Another one is Mirador Archipenque that offers not only a great view of the cliffs but also of the village.
For the adventurers, the difficult trails crossing Los Gigantes can be another attraction in the area. They test not only your physical condition but also your fear of heights, rewarding you for that with breath-taking landscapes.
Take Some Pictures on Playa de los Roques
A less-known spot in Tenerife is Playa de los Roques. Fully underwater when the tide is high, the beach becomes great for photos when the tide is low, and the sea reveals the black sand.
The best part of this spot is the volcanic rock formation rising from the water. To get to the beach you must walk the so-called “Water Trail”, so the access here is not easy, protecting it from unwanted guests and crowds.
These are only some examples of things to do in Tenerife, but you must not limit yourself to the list. Tenerife, the island of eternal spring as it is called, has other natural places and old cities waiting to be discovered.
Whether you are a lazy beach person traveling with kids, a history lover, or an adventurer seeking new spots to increase your adrenaline, Tenerife will offer you something. And you only need one visit here to leave with the feeling that you must come back as soon as possible.
I totally understand the people who decided to move here after only one holiday!
Between the incredible food, culture, and variety of things to do, Spain is a country we've repeatedly traveled and lived in over the last 8 years.
Take a look at our detailed Spain Travel Guide where we share our insider's tips on the best things to see, do, and EAT in this incredible country.
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