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Top 10 things to do in Tenerife

Top 10 things to do in Tenerife
Tenerife is often - unfairly - stereotyped as the Canarian playground for the youth, yet there’s much more appeal to be found here, with sumptuous tranquil resorts, and a plethora of uniquely adult activities. We invite you to get below the surface of the island.

1. Ride a cable car to Teide Volcano

The snow-topped Mount Veide may seem at odds with the Canarian sunshine you’ve come to expect from Tenerife, but it’s a wonderful place to explore. While permits are required to hike, we suggest the easier option - an eight-minute cable car that takes you far enough up the peak for spellbinding views over this otherworldly national park. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and a jacket as it can get chilly at this height!
Image of a cable car over Mount Teide in Tenerife for top 10 things to do in Tenerife

2. Spend a night at the opera

Seemingly looming out from the waters in its seafront location, the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín always has an exciting evening of musical and dance performances for you. But it also has an annual programme of prestigious operatic productions that celebrate classical opera from the likes of Giuseppe Verde, Wagner, and Benjamin Britten to more contemporary offerings.
an image of the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín for opera in Tenerife

3. Cool off in botanical gardens

Along the north coast lies the former fishing village of Puerto de la Cruz. After you’ve finished ogling the dramatic dark volcanic-sand beaches or delved into the historic centre for a bite of Canarian food, you can step into the pretty botanical gardens and get some respite in the shade of the trees. If you’re still feeling the heat, cool off in Lago Martianez, the town’s public saltwater pool by the old harbour.
Image of the coastline at Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife

4. Visit a house of balconies

In the beautiful Old Town of La Orotava in northern Tenerife is an unusual but utterly charming historic treasure. The Casa de los Balcones is a 17th century manor house that’s riddled with intricately carved wooden balconies. Aside from being delightfully quaint, inside is a typically Canarian patio that showcases many of the Canary Islands' handmade traditions, including weaving, wicker work, and winemaking. Right next door is a carpet museum that celebrates the local alfombras de arena (highly decorative sand carpets) during the springtime Corpus Christi festival.
Image of a building in the beautiful Old Town of La Orotave in Tenerife

5. Explore the unluckiest town

Also along the north coast lies one of Tenerife’s oldest and prettiest villages, Garachico. Founded first in the 15th century, it was a decadent place, with one street allegedly made entirely from marble. Disastrously, it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 17th century and had to be rebuilt from scratch. Not long after, Garachico suffered biblical-style plagues, fires, and floods. The good news is that today it’s utterly charming. There's a little port where local fishermen bring in fresh seafood, a small islet called El Roque de Garachico that juts out right in front of the harbour, and popular swimming pools that were naturally formed by the lava from years gone by.
Image of the road and sea on the north coast of Tenerife and the village of Garachico

6. Witness the Dragon Tree

Again, in the north of Tenerife, lies a small town that’s been shaped by its agrarian roots, Icod de los Vinos. Best known for its red wines, back in the 16th century it housed a major sugar mill. As you wander around, you’ll eventually come across its leading attraction, the Dragon Tree. Taking the shape of a somewhat top-heavy hourglass, this remarkable plant species is native to the Canary Islands and can be found everywhere - just not normally in such a giant size! The age of this particular tree is up for much debate, but some locals say it could be over 1,000 years old. If you were to cut the bark or leaves, you'd find that they secrete a red resin, and legend has it that it’s the dried blood of dragons and has healing properties. For years this resin was used industrially, but now the species is understandably protected.
Image of the Dragon Tree in the town of Icod de los Vinos in Tenerife

7. Hike the Masca Canyon

As you drive through the winding roads along the northwestern coast of Tenerife, you’ll inevitably find yourself looking over the great Masca Canyon. Rich in green vegetation, the canyon is filled with deep ravines and exhilarating formations that were forged by volcanoes many millions of years ago. It’s also Tenerife’s favourite hiking spot. You can head off on any number of remote trails from the tiny mountain hamlet of Masca. Believe it or not, it was only in the 1960s that this village became accessible by anything other than donkey or foot! Some of the hundred-odd residents run craft shops, local restaurants, and even bars, which are ideal resting places for a relaxing drink and hearty meal after your walk. After the sun sets, be sure to look up to the stars and enjoy some stargazing.
Image of Masca Canyon along the northwestern coast of Tenerife

8. Go whale watching

Take to the high seas! Along the south coast from Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes and Los Cristianos, you can witness the spectacle of watching wild whales, dolphins, and turtles in their natural habitat. Whether you choose to go by luxury yacht, sailboat, or catamaran, some offer glass bottoms so you can enjoy an underwater view too. Trained naturalists tend to know the best spots and use sonar equipment to help you get closer to the pods. You can enhance your experience with champagne, nibbles, or even with a picnic lunch and swim stop in a pretty bay!
Image of the coastline of Costa Adeje on the south coast of Tenerife

9. Delve into Canarian life

Get a real taste for the Canarian lifestyle with a visit to San Cristobal de La Laguna, located on the northern coast near the island capital of Santa Cruz. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers an Old Town teeming with 16th century architecture, and local eateries known as guachinches which serve up typical Canarian cuisine. For a real dive into Tenerife’s cultural heritage, head to the Casa Lercaro, an interesting museum devoted to the island’s history and anthropology.
Image of coloured buildings in the village of La Laguna in Santa Cruz in Tenerife

10. Venture into laurel forests

Do you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale? Less than an hour’s drive from La Laguna or Santa Cruz in the coastal north is a natural wonderland. Anaga Rural Park is home to craggy mountains, ragged ravines, as well as evergreen forests of laurel trees. The entire area is dotted with historic, sleepy hamlets. To reach the forest, take the pathway from the tiny village of Taganana.
Image of some craggy mountains in Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife

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