Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands archipelago, with 908,555 inhabitants, belonging to Spain. The relief of the island is dominated by the volcano Teide with its 3,718m, the highest mountain in the country. In addition, Tenerife is also the most populated among the Spanish islands. The capital of the island province and Canary Islands (together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) is the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Another important city is San Cristóbal de La Laguna declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These two cities are joined together and are home to over 400,000 inhabitants. Tenerife is also the largest and most populous island in the Canary Islands group. The Teide National Park has been a World Heritage Site since 2007 and is the most visited in Spain and one of the most visited national parks in the world. For its part, the Anaga Mountains have been a Biosphere Reserve since 2015 and is the place with the highest number of endemic species in Europe.
Tenerife is the largest tourist destination of these islands and is among the three largest in Spain. The island has the largest economy in the Canary Islands, leading the GDP of the archipelago.
Tenerife has volcanic origins and the last of the three eruptions that created the island happened around 3.5 million years ago. The island is clearly divided into a very dry southern part and a very green and humid northern part.
10 Places to visit in Tenerife
1. El Teide Volcano
El Teide is the most touristic spot on the island. It is over 3,700 metres high (the highest peak in Spain) and is located in the centre of the island. You can get to the top of the mountain by car and then by cable car or on foot, although you will need a permit to get to the top. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.
2. Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife, so a tour of it could not be missing from the list of tourist attractions in Tenerife. Unlike other cities on the island, Santa Cruz is a trip to the future! This can be seen in the modernist architecture of the city, in buildings such as the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos; the Auditorio Adán Martín de Tenerife, among others. These constructions are due to the famous architect Santiago Calatrava.
3. Anaga Mountains
Another unmissable place in Tenerife is the Anaga Rural Park, an incredible set of mountains full of vegetation that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It's a place to do a lot of walking, with several breathtaking landscapes. The most famous of these landscapes is the Enchanted Forest, which is located in the El Pijaral reserve. To visit it, you need to get a permit (well in advance), and it is very worthwhile!
4. Lake Martianez, Puerto de la Cruz
Lake Martianez is one of the main tourist attractions of Tenerife. It is located on Martiánez Beach in Puerto de la Cruz (north of the island). The beach is also beautiful and worth a visit, as it offers an extensive sandy beach of volcanic origin and warm waters. However, the Lake is the big focus, where the salty sea water is filtered into lakes, waterfalls, gardens, restaurants and more.
5. Whale and Dolphin Watching
Observe the crystal clear waters of southern Tenerife in the Canary Islands aboard the boat to enjoy uninterrupted views of the local wildlife.
The area around the Canary Islands has petitioned to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the water with the dolphins and pilot whales playing, and above, for the birds.
6. Cueva del Viento
Cueva del Viento, a volcanic formation that you can enter and discover! The cave is formed by a large labyrinth of underground passages of 18 kilometres and available at three heights, to which it is possible to access and admire its formation. It is a unique tour! The Cueva del Viento is located in the north of Tenerife and the visit lasts approximately 2 hours.
7. Los Gigantes Cliffs
The Los Gigantes cliffs are located in the north-west of the island and are one of the most beautiful spots - and one that guarantees an even more beautiful view! The cliffs are more than 600 metres high (hence the name gigantes) and they are an imposing natural habitat for fauna, such as birds and marine species. To visit Los Gigantes it is possible to hire a guide and take an excursion or also from below, through a kayak tour
8. Punta de Teno
The Punta de Teno is the westernmost point of Tenerife and from there you can enjoy a very privileged view of the ocean. Getting to the Punta de Teno is also very nice, although it has many curves. Just make sure you check the condition of the road in advance, as it is often closed to traffic or private vehicles, however, there are public buses.
9. La Laguna
La Laguna is the other very touristic city worth visiting in Tenerife. In addition to being the former capital of the island, it is a place that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1999). Visiting its historic centre is a journey into the past and an immersion into the culture of the island. The houses and buildings are still preserved as they were in the 15th century.
10. Tenerife Beaches
All along the coast, there are beaches of all kinds, with very different characteristics and perfect for all its visitors. From the most touristy, with services and lots of people, to the most reserved, hidden and virgin. Another difference is the colour of the sand, as many of them have volcanic sand, which makes it darker. Some of the best beaches to visit in Tenerife are: Las Teresitas, El Duque, La Tejita, El Bollullo, Masca, Los Gigantes, Las Vistas and Playa Jardín.
How to get There?
Tenerife Norte: airport is about 15 minutes from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it is 10km. You can reach the town by taxi or by bus on regular lines around the clock.
Tenerife South: airport is about 60 kilometres from the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and there are regular daily lines and for €10 you can buy a pass for this journey which is valid for the whole day.
In fact, the bus line runs a good regular service on the island, with lines to various places and you can check everything on titsa.com ("tourist allowance" for €10 for a full day).