24 Feb The Indispensable Tenerife Travel Guide
The beautiful island of Tenerife is one of the eight Canary Islands. This Spanish archipelago is situated in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the northwestern coast of Africa. Tenerife is very touristy, attracting more than 6 million visitors a year. Beaches, Mountains and Sun are the 3 main reason why people love it! Therefore, you have probably put Tenerife on your bucket list, and if it’s not there yet – you should definitely add it! To help you prepare your trip to this extraordinary island, have a look at this Tenerife travel guide!
I am answering all of the most frequent questions you might have about Tenerife: when to go there, how to reach the island, how long you should stay, what are the best things to do, where you should stay and much more! So, grab a cup of coffee (or tea if you are like me) and read everything about Tenerife in this Tenerife Travel Guide!
Tenerife is the most touristy island of the Canary Islands. It has many assets and people love to come here. Let me tell you in this Tenerife travel guide all the reasons why you should visit it!
First of all, you should visit Tenerife because it offers many beautiful and varied landscapes. Between stunning mountains and magical coastlines, you will be blown away! You will love exploring this island for sure!
Second of all, you should visit Tenerife because it features the most famous volcano of the Canary island, Mount Teide. This volcano is also the highest point in Spain and the third tallest volcanic structure in the world! It’s the most visited natural wonder in Spain. And the Natural Park surrounding it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Thirdly, you should visit Tenerife because it’s a highly picturesque island. It’s a paradise for photographers and it has many Instagrammable places!
Also, Tenerife is a budget friendly destination. So good news: you can travel here without getting ruined!
Last but not least, the weather in Tenerife is rather nice all year long!
So, what are you waiting for to book a trip to Tenerife?!
When is the best time to visit Tenerife?
One of the first questions that I should answer in this Tenerife travel guide is when is the best time to visit it. And at the same time, I will give you more info about the weather in Tenerife. Tenerife is one of those blessed sub-tropical places where the climate is pleasant all year long! In this island the sun is shining every day with few rainfalls. The winters are mild, and the summers are hot. Therefore, you can visit Tenerife all year long!
August is the hottest month of the year is with temperatures between 31 C and 22 C. And February is the coldest month of the year with with temperatures between 22 C and 15 C. January is the driest month is with no rainfall, whereas October is the wettest month (8 mm of rain over 1 day).
If you want to avoid the crowd and get better deals for your accommodation, it’s better to avoid summer as this is the most touristy period (especially July and August). You can come at any other time of the year! I travelled in Tenerife in January and I had a dry weather and mild pleasant temperatures (around 22 C degrees). It was perfect!
How to get to Tenerife?
Tenerife being an island, the best way to get there is by flight. There are two international airports on the island: Tenerife Norte (or Tenerife North) in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, and Tenerife Sur (or Tenerife South) in Granadilla de Abona.
Tenerife South–Reina Sofía Airport is the main and busiest international airport on Tenerife. In fact, this part of the island is the most touristy one. It’s located 60 km southwest of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (the capital). Once you are arrived in Tenerife South airport, there are several ways to move around. You can easily hire a car if you want to explore the island on your own. But you can also take a taxi, take a shuttle or the bus (5 different routes are available).
Tenerife North Airport is located 11 km west of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Once you are arrived in Tenerife North airport, there are several ways to move around. You can hire a car if you want to explore the island on your own. But you can also take a taxi, or the bus (4 different routes are available).
For your trip to Tenerife, I recommend you simply chose the airport close to your first destination in the island. I flew via Tenerife North airport because I decided to explore the north of the island first. If you need to go to the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, I recommend you choose Tenerife North as it’s only 11 min by car. But if you are in Tenerife to enjoy the beaches and the resorts you should probably arrive via Tenerife South. In addition, be aware that there is only 64km (around 1h10 by car) of distance between the two airports.
If you are coming from another islands in the Canary Islands you can also access Tenerife by boat.
How many days to stay in Tenerife?
One of the main questions you are probably asking yourself before booking your trip to Tenerife is how many days to stay. Although Tenerife is a small island (only 2 034 km²), there are many things to do here. So, the best recommendation I can give you in this Tenerife travel guide is to stay at least 1 week.
You can count 3 to 4 days to explore the North of the island and 3 to 4 days to explore the South.
If you do not have so much time you can skip some places and stay for 4/5 days. This can be an option especially if you want to visit other islands in the Canary Islands.
On the contrary, if you want to take your time, you can stay for 10 days. I can assure you that you won’t get bored as there are countless of interesting activities and places to see!
How to move around in Tenerife?
I highly recommend you rent a car to move around in Tenerife. It will allow you to explore the island at your convenience. There are many interesting places to visit all around the island. Therefore, Tenerife is a great place to do a road trip! And some of the best areas to visit are quite remote, or in the mountains, like Mount Teide or Masca Valley.
Nevertheless, the island is rather small (2 034 km²). So, you won’t lose too much time in transportation during your trip. Depending on the places you want to explore around the island, you can spend around 45 min/ 1h to drive from one to the other. I would suggest that you organize your road trip from North to South or vice-versa.
It’s quite easy to rent a car from both airports Tenerife South and Tenerife North. And this is also the most practical.
If you want to rent a car in Tenerife or on any of the other Canary Islands, I recommend the company Proarentacar. This company offers economical options for car rental in the Canary Islands or in the Balearics. You can use the code “PROA105” to get 5% discount.
Is Tenerife budget friendly?
This Tenerife travel guide will make you happy because yes Tenerife is budget friendly!
In terms of accommodations, you can find a great variety of prices in Tenerife that will match everyone’s need (from budget to luxury). Take a look at the paragraph about the Best Places to stay in Tenerife in this article.
Then, in terms of food, many restaurants have meals that are around 8 EUR/ 10 USD. The drinks are around 3 EUR/ 4 USD.
Renting a car was around 100 EUR / 122 USD for 6 days with 2 drivers for a VW Polo. And the fuel was super cheap. On average fuel in Spain costs less than in Europe and in the Canary Islands it is even more economical. It was around 30 EUR/ 37 USD to fill in the tank of the car when I was there in January 2021.
What are the Best Things to do in Tenerife?
Tenerife is an amazing island offering a lot of places to see and things to do. Let me give you a list of the best activities in this Tenerife travel guide!
You can start by hiking in Mount Teide National Park. Mount Teide is the most famous volcano of Tenerife and also the third tallest volcanic structure in the world. The National Park around also worth the visit as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you like hiking you should also have a look at Masca Valley. The unique village of Masca hidden in the Teno Massif is easily one of the most instagrammable places in Tenerife!
But Tenerife also features beautiful coastlines and beaches. Therefore, if you want to relax at the beach, you should head to Playa de Las Teresitas in the South. It’s the prettiest white sand beach in Tenerife. If you prefer dramatic black sand beaches, then choose Playa de Benijo in the North. You can also swim in one of the numerous charco (natural pools). One of the most scenic ones is named “Charco El Diablo”.
The giant cliffs of Acantilados de Los Gigantes located in the south west of the island are one of the best places to see in Tenerife!
Additionally, the cities and towns in Tenerife are charming. The best ones to visit are Puerto de la Cruz, Punta Brava, San Cristobal de la Laguna, Taganana, Garachico and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (the capital).
One of the last best things to do in Tenerife is to see dolphins and whales in Playa de Las Americas. A great activity for kids and for adults!
Where to stay in Tenerife?
The best places to stay in Tenerife depend on your budget and the part of the island you want to explore. In this Tenerife travel guide I will recommend you some hotels for your stay with options from luxury to budget.
Best places to stay in Tenerife – Luxury Options
Ritz Carlton Abama on the western coastline of Tenerife is one of the best places to stay in the island! This 5-star hotel is easily recognizable by its flamboyant terracotta color, its scenic staircases and its Moorish inspired style. It’s very photogenic! You can stay in one of the luxurious rooms or villas. There are many different pools, a spa and the largest Ritz Kids in Europe. You can enjoy no less than 9 restaurants and bars in the hotel, 2 of which are Michelin starred!
Address: Carretera General, TF-47, Km 9, 38687 Guía de Isora.
Book your stay: Ritz Carlton Abama
Royal River on the western coastline of Tenerife is also a fantastic option! This brand-new luxury boutique hotel that opened in December 2020 will amaze you! You can stay in one of the numerous stylish villas with private pools. The hotel also features an amazing rooftop infinity pool, a river pool connecting the private pools together, and a spa. There are 4 different restaurants with a beautiful distinctive decoration. All the hotel is instagrammable!
Address: Calle Alcojora, s/n, 38670 Costa Adeje.
Book your stay: Royal River Tenerife
Best places to stay in Tenerife – Mid-Range Options
Check out Hotel Taburiente if you are around Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This chic boutique hotel is located in the center of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city, next to the beautiful Parque García Sanabria. You can enjoy the rooftop pool offering views on the park and the Atlantic Ocean. There are also a gym and 2 restaurants inside the hotel.
Address: Calle Dr. Jose Naveiras, 24, 38001 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Book your stay: Hotel Taburiente
TRH Hotel Taoro Garden is a great hotel option in Puerto de la Cruz. This Adult-Only recommended boutique hotel offers a seasonal heated outdoor pool and every room feature a terrace. You can see Mount Teide from here! There are also a bar and a restaurant.
Address: Calle Dinamarca, 3, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz.
Book your stay: TRH Hotel Taoro Garden
Best places to stay in Tenerife – Budget Options
Adventure House Tenerife is a small cool hostel the south west of Tenerife. People appreciate it for its friendly staff, its great location and its cleanliness. And it offers a free new adventure activity for its visitors every day, like snorkeling with turtles, cliff jumping or swimming in volcanic rock pools! It’s ideal to explore the south of Tenerife.
Address: 11 Calle Baja Larga, 38686 Alcalá.
Book your stay: Adventure House Tenerife.
Patio hostel is a great hostel option not far from the airport of Tenerife North. This urban hostel is located in a colonial house in the charming town of San Cristobal de La Laguna. It’s ideal to explore the North of Tenerife! People love it also for its friendly staff, its great location and its cleanliness.
Address: Plaza del Cristo 6, San Cristobal de La Laguna.
Book your stay: Patio hostel
Is Tenerife safe?
As a female traveler I can understand why anyone would wonder if Tenerife is a safe destination. My Tenerife travel guide will reassure you! As a woman wandering in this island with another girl friend, I always felt very safe. I never felt in danger or had the feeling people were about to steal my belongings.
Nevertheless, you have to take into account that I traveled there in January 2021 during the pandemic. At this time there was a curfew from 11pm to 6am. Therefore, I was not going out late at night. Also, I am always very careful about my belongings. I recommend you do the same and never take any risks wherever the destination you travel to.
How to get a Phone SIM Card in Tenerife?
If you want to stay properly connected with the Internet during your trip to Tenerife, you must wonder how to get a SIM Card for your smartphone. So, I thought it would be great to give you my recommendations in this Tenerife travel guide!
I do not remember having seen a SIM Card shop at the Tenerife North airport but there is apparently a Lycamobile store in Tenerife South airport. Nevertheless don’t freak out: you can buy a SIM Card if any phone shop! You will find those phone shops in all the high streets and shopping malls.
I got recommended by a local to go to Movistar as it apparently offers the best coverage. I went to a big Al Campo shopping mall near Santa Cruz de Tenerife that I spotted on the way and found an Orange shop. There was also a Movistar shop, but they didn’t have the prepaid SIM card I needed without annual subscription. Therefore, I took the Orange SIM Card “Go Fly” package offering 20GB (+15GB extra for free, a total of 35GB) for 17,64 EUR (21 USD). I think in the end I paid something like 20 EUR. It was a pretty good deal!
I found the coverage quite good during my trip (except maybe when I was on the road in the mountains like Mount Teide or Masca Valley).
Orange also had cheaper packages:
- “Go Run” for 12GB (+15GB extra for free, a total of 27GB) for 13,22 EUR (16 USD)
- “Go Walk” for 6GB (+10GB extra for free, a total of 16GB) for 8,80 EUR (11 USD)
- “Navega” for 5GB (+10GB extra for free, a total of 15GB) for 7,91 EUR (10 USD)
What is it like to travel in Tenerife in the time of Covid 19?
I traveled in Tenerife during the Covid 19 pandemic in January 2021, so I can talk about my experience in this guide. I recommend you check the measures existing at the time of your trip to see if the below ones are still valid or not. You can find all the hygienic-sanitary measures on the website of Spanish Ministry of Health.
First of all, to access the Spanish territory and Tenerife at the beginning of 2021 you need to fill in the Health Control Form available on the Spain Travel Health portal from 48 hours before the flight. You will then obtain a QR Code, that you have to show at the control points upon arrival in Spain. I got mine quite quickly in the next hours after filling in the form online. Also be aware that you need to know your flight number and information, so fill in the form only once you have booked your flight.
Then the second thing you need to access the Spanish territory and Tenerife is a negative PCR Test from less than 72 hours.
Additionally, your temperature will be taken before boarding your flight and at the airport on arrival.
During your trip and your stay, please use a mask, maintain physical interpersonal distance of at least 1.5m with other, wash your hands frequently, and cover yourself if coughing or sneezing.
On top of the measures above you might have to respect a curfew. At the time I was travelling in Tenerife in January 2021, this area was in Tear 2. Therefore, the curfew was between 11pm and 6am. Also gathering was limited to 4 people (not from the same family).
I can only encourage you to respect all those measures so that we can all enjoy a better life in the future!
Tenerife is an amazing destination that you will love to discover! I did my best to cover all of the questions you might have before traveling there in this indispensable Tenerife travel guide. If there is anything else that you want to ask, please write your question in the comment or email me! It will be my pleasure to help you!
Do not miss any of the best photo spots in Tenerife by reading the Most Instagrammable Places in Tenerife!