Entry & Exit Formalities
- Citizens/residents of EU & Schengen countries No visa required.
- Citizens/residents of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, NZ & USA No visa required for tourist visits of up to 90 days.
- Other countries Check with a Spanish embassy or consulate.
- To work or study in Spain a special visa may be required – contact a Spanish embassy or consulate before travel.
Maps of Tenerife are readily available. Among the best are those by Editorial Everest. There are several good hiking guidebooks to Tenerife although, increasingly, companies are switching to online versions. Some of the best print hiking guides include Walk! Tenerife (3rd edition, 2017, with GPS tracking) and the accompanying Tenerife Hiking Map, both by David Brawn and published by Discovery Walking Guides; Walk this Way Tenerife, by Andrea and Jack Montgomery, a very useful and well-written resource; Tenerife Landscapes, by Noel Rochford and published by Sunflower (who also publish Southern Tenerife and La Gomera Landscapes); Tenerife Car Tours and Walks, also by Noel Rochford and published by Sunflower; and Rother Walking Guides’ Tenerife: The Finest Walks on the Coast and in the Mountains, by Klaus and Annette Wolfsperger, with GPS tracking. Tenerife & its Six Satellites, by Olivia M Stone, provides a fascinating glimpse of the island from a late-18th-century viewpoint.
Many shops are closed and many attractions operate with reduced hours on the following dates:
Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day) 1 January
Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) 6 January
Viernes Santo (Good Friday) March/April
Fiesta del Trabajo (Labour Day) 1 May
La Asunción de la Virgen (Feast of the Assumption) 15 August
Día de la Hispanidad (National Day) 12 October
Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day) 1 November
La Inmaculada Concepción (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) 8 December
Navidad (Christmas) 25 December
In addition, the regional government sets a further five holidays, while local councils allocate another two. Common holidays include the following:
Martes de Carnival (Carnival Tuesday) February/March
Día de San Juan (St John’s Day) 19 March
Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday) March/April
Día de las Islas Canarias (Canary Islands Day) 30 May
Corpus Christi (the Thursday after the eighth Sunday after Easter Sunday) June
Día de Santiago Apóstol (Feast of St James the Apostle, Spain’s patron saint) 25 July. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife the day also marks the commemoration of the defence of the city against British Admiral Nelson.
Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day) 6 December
Travel with Children
Tenerife is a favourite destination for families as there are plenty of sights and activities to keep the kiddies amused and entertained. The culture here also celebrates children, who will be made welcome just about everywhere, including restaurants and bars.
Unless your tot objects to sand between the toes, the beaches in the southern resorts (as well as Puerto de la Cruz) are superb, with sandcastle-friendly sand and shallow waters. Older children can also enjoy water sports ranging from surfing to diving; many surfing and dive schools have novice classes for kids and are experienced at looking after their young charges. Don't forget to take the kids to the high seas on an organised whale- or dolphin-watching excursion, an experience they may never forget. Older children will also find hiking on Mt Teide a unique and fascinating event, especially with the latent volcanic drama.
While there are plenty of attractions designed specifically with children in mind, including theme parks and zoos, public spaces – such as town and village plazas – also morph into informal playgrounds, with children kicking a ball around, riding bikes and playing while parents enjoy a drink and tapas at one of the surrounding bars. Local children also stay up late and at fiestas it’s commonplace to see even tiny ones toddling the streets at 2am.
Provided you are willing to share a bed with your tot, many hotels here do not impose a surcharge, although requesting a cot or extra bed will normally up the price slightly.
What to Bring
Although you may want to bring a small supply of items you are used to having back home (particularly baby products), Tenerife is likely to have everything you will need. Even in an emergency situation (ie running out of nappies!), there will always be one pharmacy nearby that remains open 24 hours, wherever you are staying on the island.
For further information about travelling with children, check out lonelyplanet.com/family-travel or www.familytravel.com.
- Parque Marítimo César Manrique A vast watery playground in Santa Cruz with several pools, including those with shallow depths for toddlers.
- Lago Martiánez A Manrique creation, geared towards families and splashing kids, in Puerto de la Cruz.
- Siam Park A huge watery wonderland with a Thai theme that's an adventure playground for tots.
- Observatorio del Teide Older children will get a kick out of having a chance to stargaze through a mammoth telescope in Parque Nacional del Teide.
- Roques de García The first stretch of the walk here in Parque Nacional del Teide from the car park to these extraordinary rock formations is suitable for strollers.
- Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre These exhibits in Santa Cruz of reptiles, birds and, in particular, bugs should fascinate children of all ages.
- Museo Militar de Almeyda In the capital; older bloodthirsty kids may like gazing at the cannon that blew off Admiral Nelson’s arm!
- Museo de la Historia de Tenerife Kids may want to bypass the main exhibits and head straight for the fairy-tale carriages out back.
- Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos Fascinating science museum in La Laguna with exhibits geared towards children of all ages.