The South of Tenerife
Amble along the sand, imported straight from the Saharan desert, and enjoy the spectacular beaches on offer at Los Cristianod, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje. Be sure to bring with you a high tolerance, or an unlikely passion for, big resort complexes, neon lights and a heady nightlife.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
There are lots of reasons to like the bustling port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: evocative, brightly painted buildings, sophisticated and quirky shops, interesting art galleries, an excellent museum and a tropical oasis of birdsong, fountains and greenery in the city park.
Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas & Costa Adeje
Don’t forget to wear your shades when you first hit Tenerife’s southwestern tip. You’ll need them, not just against the blinding sunshine, but also the accompanying dazzle of neon signs, shimmering sand and lobster-pink northern Europeans. Large multipool resorts with all-you-can-eat buffets have turned what was a sleepy fishing coast into a mega-moneymaking resort.
The Northeast of Tenerife
In the northeast of Tenerife, San Cristobal de la Laguna may not attract on first impressions but this Unesco World Heritage listed site has a youthful energy and a nightlife to boot. San Andrés and its surrounds are a worthwhile trip, if only for the excellent seafood in this region while Taganana and the Anaga Mountains offer a spectacular road trip.
This colonial town has the lot, it seems: cobblestone streets, flower-filled plazas and more Castilian mansions than the rest of the island put together. Along with La Laguna, La Orotava is one of the loveliest towns on Tenerife, and one of the most truly ‘Canarian’ places in the Canary Islands.
Parque Nacional del Teide
Standing sentry over Tenerife, formidable El Teide (Pico del Teide) is not just the highest mountain in the Canary Islands but, at a whopping 3718m, the highest in all of Spain and is, in every sense of the word, the highlight of a trip to Tenerife. The Parque Nacional del Teide, which covers 189.
The Northwest of Tenerife
In Terife's northwest, is one of the Canary Island's best examples of cliché come true. Quite easily mistaken for paradise on earth, the much visited Punta de Teno has not lost its wild charms despite its popularity with tourists who come to fish, dive and generally just swan around in this idyllic setting.
Los Gigantes & Puerto de Santiago
These two towns have merged into one, and a worrying number of cranes can only mean more building is under way, but for the moment at least the low-rise, and low-key, town that sprawls along the rocky, cove- infested coastline is a million miles from Las Américas and is certainly one of the more attractive resort towns in Tenerife.
Not yet squashed by steamroller development, El Médano is a world-class spot for windsurfers and kiteboarders. The laid-back atmosphere they bring with them gives the place a dab of bohemian character and it’s altogether a much more pleasant place to stay than nearby Las Américas.
Tiny Masca must be the most spectacular village in Tenerife. It literally teeters on the very brink of a knife-edge ridge and looks as if the merest hint of a puff of wind would blow the entire village off its precipitous perch and send it tumbling hundreds of metres to the valley floor. The Fiesta de la Consolación takes place in the first week of December.