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What to see and do in Tenerife – a guide to the Tenerife’s most popular attractions and must-see landmarks

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Tenerife’s location off the west coast of Africa affords it an enviable climate making it a fantastic destination for outdoor pursuits. The majority of the cultural attractions, including historic towns brimming with architecture and tropical gardens, are for the most part located on the north of the island, whereas adventure parks and aquatic activities are found in the south. Venture into the center of the island and the impressive Teide National Park awaits your exploration. 

Joe Cawley

My Destination local expert on


Teide National Park


There is a lot more to Tenerife than luxury resorts and family fun, the island is also home to areas of outstanding natural beauty including an astounding world of volcanoes. The Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which contains a 10-mile-wide volcanic crater, dominating the Island’s center. At its highest point the volcano reaches 3,718m above sea level, making it the highest peak in Spain and the third largest volcano in the world. Park visitors can take a cable car over the crater floor and admire breathtaking views of the Canarian archipelago. The park also offers miles and miles of quiet trails for hikers who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a day in nature.


Cueva del Viento


Tenerife is also home to Cueva del Viento; the fourth largest volcanic tube in the world and the largest within the European Union. Guided tours are offered in English allowing visitors to explore the three-tiered maze of tunnels, terraces, chasms and lava formations. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable footwear and long trousers. Visits last approximately two hours and it is worth booking at least one day in advance.


Spot dolphins and whales


The warm waters encircling Tenerife are not just known for exhilarating water sports, they are also home to about 28 species of resident and migratory whales and dolphins, making it a fantastic place for excursions to see these creatures in their natural habitat. Daily trips with guaranteed sightings run out of Puerto Colón, Los Cristianos harbor and Los Gigantes marina.


Scuba dive and swim with turtles


For those who want to see more of the aquatic creatures found in Tenerife the warm waters are perfect for diving all-year-round. The most popular diving destinations are Puerto de la Cruz, Los Gigantes, Las Galletas and Los Cristianos. Another treasure on offer in Tenerife is the resident turtles. Ocean Sostainable operate out of the El Puertito in Costa Adeje and offer underwater turtle encounters with knowledgeable staff to a limited number of visitors each day – no diving experience is necessary. The money Ocean Sostainable makes is put back into conservation work.




Tenerife’s sub-tropical climate makes it a golfer’s paradise. The island is home to several world class golf resorts, many in self-contained towns with an array of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. One of the most popular spots for golfers is Costa Adeje where visitors have the chance to tackle a challenging, championship 27-hole course. Other resorts for golf enthusiasts to check out are Golf del Sur and Amarilla Golf.


Adventure parks


To keep children occupied visit Siam Park in Costa Adeje, an aquatic playground with a Thai theme, or Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife’s most popular theme park, which is also a zoo and aquarium featuring a collection of wildlife, set within a tropical palm grove.




The southern and western resorts target British and other European holidaymakers. The main hub for nightlife here are the Veronicas and Starco centers in Playa de las Americas where you will find a variety of bars and clubs. For more authentic nightlife, Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz are bursting with vibrant salsa bars playing Latino music into the early hours. Santa Cruz is also a great spot for those who fancy visiting the theatre, a cinema or seeing the renowned Tenerife Symphony Orchestra.


The Tenerife Carnaval


Carnaval is celebrated in streets across the whole of Tenerife, in every city, town and village. The largest, loudest, most vibrant and most colourful celebrations are however, in the Island’s capital Santa Cruz. When it comes to dressing for Carnaval the bigger the better! It’s all about vibrant colours and plenty of textures. During Carnaval men are partial to dressing in drag and nobody is too young (or too old). It is not unusual to see even the smallest baby dressed to the nines in an elaborate and colourful costume.