Tenerife Guide – Everything you need to know about Tenerife
Our Guide about Tenerife aims to tell you everything about this beautiful island in the next few columns.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands which lie in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of North Africa. The Canary Islands have very pleasant weather all year round, which makes them a great year-round tourist destination.
Tenerife has a population of approximately 900,000 and approximately five million tourists visit the island each year. Most of the inhabitants live in larger cities in the north of the island, while the south of the island serves mainly as a tourist destination and a second home to expats who come to Tenerife for pleasant weather, which is difficult to find anywhere else.
Our task is to provide you with as much information as possible about the island. We will tell you everything you need to know about Tenerife. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, feel free to contact us directly. We live on the island and we will be happy to help with whatever you need.
Where is Tenerife?
Tenerife is part of Spain, although it is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. It lies about 28 ° north of the equator, in the same latitude as the Sahara.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands. The official language is Spanish, but you will hear English almost everywhere in the tourist resorts. The currency is the euro, and you can pay by card almost everywhere, even very small amounts, for example in a bakery or when buying ice cream. The waters around Tenerife are home to a vast array of marine life, including Pilot Whales and Dolphins which can be observed by booking one of the from one of many boat trips on offer. The beaches are mostly smaller, and many have black sand because this mountainous island is of volcanic origin.
Climate and Weather in Tenerife
Tenerife has one of the best climates in the world. The average temperature in winter is 18°C and in summer 25°C. Temperatures rarely exceed 30°C, and with a few exceptions it is pleasant all year round. The sea temperature rarely drops below 18°C in the winter and it reaches 24°C during the hot summer months.
Where to stay in Tenerife
Tenerife offers a wide range of accommodation from private self-catering apartments to 5-star luxury hotels. Many people choose the freedom of self-catering apartments, while others like All Inclusive hotels to take care of everything, including entertainment and food.
Carnival in Tenerife
Every year the capital of Tenerife Santa Cruz holds the second largest carnival in the world (the first being the famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro). Every February, the carnival in Santa Cruz is visited by approximately a million visitors. The party starts in the streets on the Friday before Carnival with a spectacular opening parade, where thousands of people in fancy dresses dance until the early hours of the morning. The party continues night after night until Ash Wednesday.
Nightlife in Tenerife
If you are looking for great nightlife, you should head to the holiday resorts of Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos. There are literally hundreds of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and outdoor restaurants to choose from.
Amusement Parks in Tenerife
There is a large selection of amusement parks in Tenerife, the most popular being Loro Park, Siam Park, Aqualand, Jungle Park, Camel Park and Monkey Park. Loro Park is a small zoo where, in addition to the usual animal enclosures, you will also see unique performances with dolphins, orcas, seals and parrots. Siam Park is a large water park that you should definitely visit if you like adrenaline water slides and artificial waves. Another water park on the island is Aqualand, where you will find a dolphinarium and many different water attractions. Jungle Park is a zoological and botanical garden near Los Cristianos, measuring about 75,000 m2 with a small jungle with various paths connected with tunnels and suspension bridges. In addition to animal enclosures, you can also enjoy shows with birds and seals. Camel Park is ideal for a family trip. It is a camel farm where you can ride a camel. Monkey Park is a great place to spend a day with monkeys and guinea pigs. You will be able to enter their enclosures and feed them. Make sure you come early in the morning when they are full of life and hungry. In the afternoon the monkeys tend to lose their interest in food. You can bring your own grapes to feed them, or you can buy food for them in the Monkey Park.
Beaches in Tenerife
The beaches of Tenerife are clean and tidy. There are eight Blue Flag beaches in Tenerife, the most famous of which are Playa del Duque, Las Teresitas, Troya and Playa de la Arena. Most of the sandy beaches are located in the south and west of the island, where you will find beaches with golden or black volcanic sand. These are located mainly in the main tourist resorts. Most have good access and meet stringent European standards of cleanliness, and have shower facilities, sun beds, and sunshades. Most tourist resorts also offer various water sport activities, including diving, water skiing and windsurfing, as well as exciting dolphin and whale boat trips.
Getting around the Island
Car rentals are cheap and you can easily book a car from the comfort of your home, Autoraizen rental has proved very useful to us and we can highly recommend it. Another trusted car rental company is Cicar, which we did not use but which comes highly recommended by people who frequently rent a car on the island. Bus transport is even cheaper and for a few euros you can get almost everywhere. Taxis are highly regulated by the local authorities, the prices are relatively low and the taxi drivers are generally respectable men that can be trusted.
What to see on Tenerife
Those who are more active will certainly enjoy the many hiking trails and admire the rugged terrain of the volcanic island. Definitely worth a visit is National Park El Teide. You can use the cable car (Teleférico del Teide) to reach the summit of mount Teide where you get a fantastic view of the other islands. The capital of the island is Santa Cruz, where you can walk in the shade of large trees in its streets and sit in one of the many outdoor restaurants. Puerto de la Cruz is a charming town in the north of the island which has a beautiful main beach with black volcanic sand and spectacular views of the nearby mountains. El Médano is a small town in the south of the island with a beautiful natural beach ideal for long morning walks along the beach. The town of Los Gigantes has a small black sand beach with impressive cliffs above it and a wonderful natural tidepool nearby. On the north coast you will find the picturesque town of Icod de los Vinos and its 1000-year-old tree Drago. There are many wonderful small towns with long history and picturesque streets with old buildings with carved wooden balconies throughout the island.
Water Sports in Tenerife
As you would expect, the island of Tenerife has a lot to offer in this regard. The crystal-clear waters make it ideal place for diving and snorkelling, whilst beaches with large waves are a favourite with surfers, windsurfers, and kite boarders from around the world. Sailing around the Islands is a great way to see the islands from the sea. Many yachts and motorboats can be rented in the local ports.
South of Tenerife
Most tourists come to the south of Tenerife, because this is where most of the tourist resorts are located and the weather is sunny and warm all year round. Tenerife Sur Airport is located in the south of the island, and that is where most international flights land. There are several public bus lines that stop at the airport, which make it easy to get wherever you need to go. Busses are cheap and they run relatively frequently, but you will have to download and charge an app or buy a charging chip card for the bus, because Covid has brought one ground-breaking innovation – you cannot pay in cash on the bus. Other transport options from the airport are taxis or a rental car. In this case, the journey is fast and convenient because the airport is located a short distance from the highway that connects the north and south of the island, so wherever you plan to stay, you can get there quickly.
What is the south of the island like?
Above all, it hardly rains and the sun shines almost every day. So, you can be almost sure you will have nice and sunny weather on your holiday. Since it almost never rains, the surrounding nature is an arid semi-desert and the plants in towns survive only because of irrigation.
Who lives in the south of Tenerife
People who live in the south of the island are a good mixture of native Canarians and immigrants from all over the world – from mainland Spain, Europe, Russia and Latin America.
Descriptions of individual places on the island
Below you will find links to individual places in Tenerife that are definitely worth a visit. Each destination also has its own photo gallery.
North of Tenerife
Most of the tourists who come to Tenerife stay somewhere near the beaches in the south of the island and then they make several trips to the north of the island. They have a good reason for this – if you come to the Canary Islands to enjoy the sea and sunny weather, it is good to come to the sunny south where most of the beaches are.
Colder but greener north
The north of the island is colder than the south and it rains more often. It is therefore much greener. In the north you will find several large cities, which are less cosmopolitan than in the south and are inhabited mainly by native Canarians.
Beautiful ancient cities with a rich history
These cities are definitely worth a visit, because they are beautiful, the streets have beautiful old houses with wooden balconies and are full of large bushy trees, which provide enough shade for afternoon walks and sitting in the lively squares.
The sea in the north is wilder and colder
The coastal waters of the north of the island are wild and dangerous, so there are fewer beaches, where lifeguards often put up red flags. People usually bathe in tidal pools which are much saver and more comfortable for swimmers.
Descriptions of individual places on the island
Below you will find links to individual places in the northern Tenerife, which are definitely worth a visit. Most places also have a photogallery.