Tenerife in detail


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.

Further Information

  • 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.


ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Money changers are located at airports and in the major resorts.

Public Holidays

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.

If watery pursuits begin to pall, the southern resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas equal theme-park heaven. Try Siam Park.

For Free

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.

Children's Highlights


  • 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.


Water Sports

  • Neptuno Dolphin-spotting in Los Cristianos usually goes down well with kids.
  • Travelin’ Lady This Los Cristianos outfit organises longer boat trips with whale-watching (and food).
  • Club de Buceo An excellent Los Cristianos diving company offering courses for kids.