Tenerife

Top five things to do in Tenerife

If you’ve got a holiday booked to Tenerife and you’re wondering what there’ll be for you to do there, you need look no further. Tenerife is packed full with attractions for young and old.

See the animals

Tenerife is renowned for its marine life. Almost every coastal resort on the island will offer you boat trips out to sea in which you’re bound to see whales and dolphins. But if you tend to suffer from sea-sickness or would just prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of wildlife attractions to keep you occupied. Try the Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park near Los Cristianos to wile away the day watching monkeys play, or head over to Loro Parque to interact with parrots or see a dolphin show.

Take a trip in a helicopter

If you’ve got a bit of money to spend and you want to do something a little bit out of the ordinary, a helicopter ride is a great way to see all the sights of the island in one go. These trips generally tend to include a stop at a restaurant serving traditional food for lunch.

Visit the volcano

Mount Teide and its surrounding peaks have been a National Park since 1954, and a holiday in Tenerife wouldn’t be complete without visiting it. If you’ve hired a car, you can drive yourself up there, or book yourself onto a coach trip which will guide you up the mountain in luxury.

Spend the evening in a castle

Castillo San Miguel, located in the south of the island, is an impressive authentic-looking medieval castle decorated in amour and swords. Take an evening off to watch the spectacular tournament of knights jousting one another on horses while being served a traditional medieval banquet. It’s fun for all the family!

Take in some of the local culture

Not quite as impressive as the Egyptian ones, the Pyramids of Guimar still hold their own mystery. Locals debate over their existence, some claiming they were constructed by the indigenous people of Tenerife, others that they are just farmer’s rubble. No matter how they came to be, they are an impressive sight to behold.

Take the family to Tenerife

Choosing a resort to keep your whole family entertained for a holiday can sometimes seem like a big task to undertake. Sitting around the pool or lazing on the beach all day long is not really an option when you have young kids with short attention spans. So it’s a good idea to make sure you pick a destination with plenty to keep everyone busy all day long.

Tenerife has a variety of attractions to keep every member of the family in your good books. If you’re travelling with older kids, they’re probably likely to be wanting some more fun of the thrilling variety. Tenerife also has an answer to this: Siam Park. A Thai themed waterpark covering 46 hectares, it has a good range of thrill rides and pools. The braver ones have to take a spin on the Tower of Power, which is just as terrifying as it sounds – a near-vertical 28 metre drop that takes you through a tube in an underwater aquarium. The younger kids will have fun in the Lost City, a water fortress filled with gentle baby slides. And for the mums and dads who don’t dare try out the slides? There’s even something for you in the Floating Market which is a ridiculously convincing recreation of an authentic Thai market.

Save money by booking Loro Parque, owned by the same people as Siam Park, at the same time. One of the world’s most famous bird parks, it has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, but it’s definitely not getting old. There aren’t just parrots and birds to see though – you’ll be able to see dolphin and seal shows, as well as wander through the park watching white tigers, meerkats, jaguars and the ever popular monkeys and gorillas.

To see dolphins in a little more relaxing way, hop on board one of the boats that jet off from many of the resorts to see whales and dolphins up close. It’s something that all children, big and small, are bound to enjoy, and it guarantees you a more peaceful day out than trawling round theme parks.

Guide to the beaches of Tenerife

Due to the past volcanic activity of Teide on Tenerife, the island has very few natural beaches, and those it does have border the island with its characteristic golden and black sands. As a result of the demand from tourists, Tenerife now also has several artificial beaches made up of clean white sand.

With temperatures averaging a comfortable 23C in August and 16C over the winter season and warm waters perfect for swimming, Tenerife is a place where you can spend all year long on the beach. The north of the island, however, sees more rainfall than the sunnier south, meaning that the most popular tourist destinations are located there. Playa de los Americas and Los Cristianos with their long stretches of golden sand are both situated on the south coast. Los Cristianos is the more interesting of the two to visit with the lovely atmosphere of a delightful fishing village alongside a variety of shops, bars and restaurants.

For a quieter and more up-market resort, head down to the beaches of Costa Adeje. It is not far from Playa de los Americas, but offers a more tranquil stretch of sand for tourists to sunbathe with a little more peace and quiet.

If you’re heading to the north of the island around Santa de Cruz de Tenerife, a beach with a difference is Playa Jardin, a stunning spectacle surrounded by beautiful gardens and palm trees. It is child-friendly and definitely a place for the family to take a look around.

For something off the beaten track, a local would tell you to seek out the beautiful black sands of La Orotava. The only way to access these beaches is by a single track road or a hike through the banana plantations, so perhaps something only for the most adventurous of travellers! However once there you’ll find three stunning beaches hidden amongst the cliffs.

Tenerife by night

Often cited as the most popular of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is not just a perfect holiday destination by day, in fact night time is when it really comes alive. Despite its unfortunate reputation as a ‘lad’s night out’ resort, there are plenty of different night time scenes for every party-goer.

In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, at the northern end of the island, the party starts at midnight and continues until 6am when the clubs close. As the capital city of Tenerife, it has a huge selection of everything from clubs and bars to concerts and performing arts.

If you asked a local where the best place to party in Tenerife was, they’d tell you to head to La Laguna. This city was once the capital of Tenerife and is now still a popular place, albeit for students of the university. The most lively clubs are situated at El Cuadilatero with over a hundred of them tightly packed into one area.

For a more typical night out, whether you’re on a stag night or just visiting the island with friends, head to either Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos. Both are filled to the brim with all the clubs, bars and fast food takeaways you could ever want.

But if you’ve been out every other night of your holiday, and you’re looking for something a little more peaceful for a night or two, check out Puerto de la Cruz. Still a popular place, it has several quieter bars and some lovely restaurants selling traditional local food. This place draws the locals, so you’re likely to hear Latino beats here on a more down-low level than the other resorts.