The largest and most populous of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife is a tourist magnet that typically attracts more than six million visitors each year.
Its stunning beaches and warm climate have led to it being dubbed the Island of Eternal Spring and its unique topography includes majestic mountains, volcanic valleys, picturesque villages perched on plateaus, historic towns and pastel-coloured ports.
Take a look at these terrific things to do in Tenerife and we’re sure you’ll be tempted to visit ASAP.
Historical Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife (commonly shortened to ‘Santa Cruz’) is the islands capital and, with Las Palmas, the joint capital of the Canaries.
If you’re a history buff you’ll be in seventh heaven here, with amazing attractions like the Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz with its imposing façade peppered with Egyptian iconography, and the remnants of the Castle of San Cristobal, which houses the Tiger Cannon which shot the musketball that shattered Admiral Nelson’s right arm in the 1797 Battle of Santa Cruz.
However, the highlight might be the lovely Iglesia de la Concepcion, which is the only church in the Canaries to have five knaves and blends baroque and Tuscan architecture.
Hiking Mount Teide
The snow-capped Mount Teide might be Tenerife’s most famous natural attraction and this eye-popping 7500m peak is the world’s largest active volcano in any area outwith Hawaii. You can hop on a cable car to the top, but if you’re feeling fit and adventurous, why not tackle it on foot?
Participate in an organised hike with tour firm Volcano Teide and you can trek safely to the top under the watchful eye of an experienced local guide. You’ll pass the weird and wonderful Huevos del Teide (eggs of Teide) on the way up, an otherworldly field of large spheres of obsidian lava. Subsequently, grab a summit pass at the 3270m Altavista station building before continuing to the top where you’re greeted by sulphur-spouting fumaroles and an amazing view across the ocean to the other Canary Islands below.
Rollicking road trips
Tenerife is a great place to explore by car and if you’re a reasonably confident driver, getting behind the wheel means you can travel to your own timetable and pace.
Arrange online car hire with Enjoy Travel ahead of time and you can roll out for road trips like the TF436 from Santiago del Teide to Masca. At only 15 minutes, this serpentine road has more twists than you can shake a stick at and sheer cliffside drops isn’t for novices, but it’s extremely exciting for experienced drivers.
Alternatively, the TF-24 road from El Portillo to San Cristobal de la Laguna skirts the Teide mountains and takes you through lush pine forests before delivering you at the UNESCO-rated historical sites of La Laguna.
As you can see, Tenerife is easy on the eye and stirring for the soul ̶ you’re sure to leave a little piece of your heart behind when you leave!