Dominated by the sky-high summit of El Teide, Spain’s tallest peak, Tenerife evokes the whole lot that makes Spain’s sun-dappled Canary Islands such an endlessly attractive vacation spot.
Elegant historic cities, energetic ports and remoted mountain villages mingle amidst otherworldly volcanic landscapes, and the humanities shine within the cultured capital, Santa Cruz, residence of the nation’s most fantastic carnival. Peaceable strolling trails weave previous mist-shrouded hills and magma-molded calderas, and alongside the Atlantic shoreline, waves wash onto volcanic-pebble seashores and shimmering pure sea swimming pools.
You’ll want few days to really discover this deliciously numerous island. E-book all of the necessities, from mountain climbing permits to Michelin-star eating, properly forward – that is, in spite of everything, one in every of Europe’s favourite trip playgrounds. Right here’s the whole lot it’s essential to know for an unforgettable keep on Tenerife, the Canary Islands’ beloved grand dame.
Are available February for Carnaval, winter for sunny skies or spring for mountain climbing
Tenerife’s large competition blowout is its three-week Carnaval – a nonstop, sequin-clad, Caribbean-influenced celebration that takes over the buzzy capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife every February. Hailed as one in every of Spain’s biggest carnivals, it’s an unmissable present, however count on hovering lodging and flight costs. Make sure you ebook the whole lot properly forward!
The nice and cozy winter months from December to February are the excessive season for northern Europeans looking for sunshine, whereas the new summer season (June to September) is a well-liked time for Spanish vacationers, notably in August. The in-between months of October and November are often quieter and cooler – round 25°C (77°F) on the coast – with good offers on lodging, and there’s fantastic mountain climbing via fields of spring wildflowers from March to Might.
Reserving mountain climbing permits prematurely
Tenerife’s high pure thrill is the prospect to summit Spain’s tallest peak, 3718m (12,198ft) El Teide, positioned on the coronary heart of the lunar-like Parque Nacional del Teide. The important thing factor to concentrate on is that you just’ll want a pre-booked allow to hike as much as El Teide’s summit. Solely 200 permits are issued every day, and hikers snap them up months prematurely, so reserve as far forward as potential.
To assist with conservation efforts, two different standout hikes, the Barranco de Masca and the Barranco del Infierno (each following spectacular gorges in western Tenerife), additionally require permits. For those who don’t handle to get one, the island has many different rewarding walking trails, from lesser-known routes via the haunting great thing about Teide Nationwide Park to paths via lush cloud forests within the Anaga mountains of northeast Tenerife.
Select locations to remain close to the belongings you wish to see
Although it’s potential to discover the island in just a few days, choosing the proper place to remain in Tenerife is vital. The winding roads can unexpectedly tack hours onto driving occasions, so it’s value being primarily based near the can’t-miss sights and sights in your journey checklist.
The north coast is finest for getting away from all of it, with lodging principally in small cities dotted alongside the Atlantic shoreline. Elegant Garachico, for instance, has two scrumptious boutique lodges in restored Canarian mansions: Hotel San Roque and La Quinta Roja.
Hikers will love the distant, pastel-painted villages of the Anaga mountains within the northeast, with their eerily stunning cloud forests and impartial lodging. And anybody in search of a contact of city buzz ought to contemplate Santa Cruz, the place cultural delights embrace the boldly designed Tenerife Espacio de las Artes and Santiago Calatrava’s wave-shaped Auditorio de Tenerife. Alternatively, contemplate historic La Laguna, the place La Laguna Gran Hotel brings a classy contact to a centuries-old residence.
Sunny southwest Tenerife is the protect of top-end resorts bursting with services, lots of which have a powerful give attention to sustainability. Close to surfing-oriented El Médano, Casas Bioclimáticas ITER is a brilliant and modern assortment of carbon-free self-catering homes and villas, powered by photo voltaic and wind vitality and designed by Tenerife’s Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables.
Cut back your carbon footprint by tapping into Tenerife’s public transport community
The Canary Islands comprise a singular and fragile pure setting, however the roads are sometimes congested, and automobile rental is expensive due to restricted availability, particularly within the peak season. With just a little planning, you possibly can rein in your carbon footprint by tapping into environment friendly guagua (bus) providers throughout the island or renting an electrical automobile.
The Titsa Ten+Movil app has a variety of bus passes for straightforward island journey, and it’s also possible to purchase single-journey tickets on the app. In any other case, you’ll want money for many buses. You do not have to make use of a motorcar – exploring by biking, mountain climbing and kayaking is a delight (and excellent for viewing the dramatic Los Gigantes cliffs) and the capital can also be finest loved on foot.
E-book forward for Tenerife’s finest eating places
Tenerife is making fairly a reputation for itself on Spain’s gastronomic scene. Tempting choices swing from fuss-free seafood shacks on the seashore and vegan cafes full of native produce to eating places serving avant-garde tasting-menus, hidden away in romantic lodges. Reserve a desk just a few weeks prematurely on the fanciest spots, akin to Michelin-starred El Rincón de Juan Carlos in Caleta, run by the tinerfeño Padrón brothers, or Martín Berasategui’s M.B. on the Ritz-Carlton Abama, boasting two Michelin stars and headed by revered chef Erlantz Gorostiza.
Develop your horizons to neighboring Canary Islands
With its two worldwide airports and glorious ferry hyperlinks, Tenerife is the principle gateway to the three smaller, less-touristed western Canary Islands – bohemian La Gomera, lush La Palma and rustic El Hierro. Every of those makes a rewarding, slow-moving distinction to Tenerife and could be simply added on as a facet journey.
From Los Cristianos in southwest Tenerife, common ferries run to Santa Cruz de la Palma (3½ hours), El Hierro’s Puerto de la Estaca (2¾ hours) and San Sebastián de la Gomera (1 hour). It’s additionally potential to day-trip to La Gomera by ferry, although you’ll inevitably find yourself wishing you possibly can keep longer.
Gown nevertheless you want, however respect native attitudes
With regards to gown, something goes on this soulful, sun-drenched island, however pack sunscreen, a hat and different safety from the sturdy rays. Loads of folks go topless on the seashore, and plenty of nudist strands are dotted across the island. That stated, it’s respectful to cowl up just a little if you head away from the sand – so no naked chests within the city middle!
Gown modestly when visiting spiritual buildings, akin to church buildings or chapels. It’s additionally rude to go to church buildings for tourism throughout spiritual providers. For buildings which can be solely open for mass, cease in earlier than the service begins.
Make advance reservations to style Tenerife’s volcanic wines
One in all Tenerife’s nice joys is discovering the cultural wonderland past the Atlantic-washed coast, a sprawl of pastel-walled villages clinging to lush slopes lined in banana-palm plantations. E-book a winery tour to be taught all in regards to the island’s wine-making scene, which revolves round native pre-phylloxera grape varieties and the massively different microclimates in these wealthy, volcanic mountainscapes. Most tinerfeño wine is consumed immediately on the island, so pattern freely whilst you’re right here and present your help for native winemakers by taking residence a bottle or three!
Near Granadilla de Abona in southwest Tenerife, Bodega Frontos is a sustainably centered, family-run operation with greater than 50 years of natural wine-making expertise. Grapes are grown as much as 1700m (5577ft), making this Europe’s most elevated vineyard.
Assist native producers and craftworkers whereas in Tenerife
From herb-infused cosmetics to volcanic wines, Tenerife’s most impressed souvenirs revolve round one-of-a-kind items that help small-scale producers, impartial outlets and native island artisans. Begin in energetic Santa Cruz, the place the fabulous TEA gift shop is a superb spot to select up inventive items akin to notebooks, prints and artwork books with a neighborhood twist.
Simply throughout the street, the mid-Twentieth-century Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África is a fresh-food wonderland full of Canarian cheeses, North African spices, artisanal olive oils, palm honey and different native favorites. A number of streets away, you’ll discover extra connoisseur cheeses with a Canarian focus at Queso Project. In the identical neighborhood, La Createca celebrates tinerfeño artisans with ceramics, glassware, jewellery and extra.
Do your analysis on moral whale-watching in Tenerife
Sprawling throughout 2000 sq km of Atlantic Ocean, Europe’s first Whale Heritage Site was established in 2021 off the coasts of Tenerife and its sister island La Gomera, highlighting how the Canary Islands are prioritizing accountable whale-watching. The islands’ well-known underwater residents embrace bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales.
Earlier than you come, learn up on how to be a responsible wildlife tourist, and ebook your whale-watching journeys forward with a low-impact tour firm that has a sustainable ethos and a give attention to animal welfare. Led by a switched-on workforce of marine biologists, Biosean runs small-group expeditions that contribute vital analysis on the native whale populations.
Don’t construct stone towers on the seashore
Lately, legions of pebble or stone towers have popped up on seashores round Tenerife, notably on Adeje’s Playa El Beril and Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz, with folks speeding to share photos of the curious buildings on social media. Native environmentalists are actually campaigning for a ban on these artifical cairns as a result of they disrupt pure coastal ecosystems and could be deadly to native wildlife akin to bugs, crops, reptiles and birds in a area already below stress from tourism. Do your half by becoming a member of seashore clean-ups and by leaving the rocks the place they lie.
Pack for the countless array of Canarian microclimates
The Canary Islands are well-known for his or her splendidly different microclimates, and nowhere channels this extra spectacularly than Tenerife. You could be basking within the solar on a seashore on the southwest coast after which an hour later be reaching for a jacket up within the misty mountains.
Pack for a variety of temperatures and circumstances, and issue within the climate when planning out of doors excursions, notably high-altitude mountain hikes. Altitude illness is a possible danger for anybody mountain climbing above 2500m (8200ft), which incorporates El Teide; the overwhelming majority of holiday makers haven’t any issues, however take it slowly.
Pay attention to pure risks on the island
The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the neighboring island of La Palma, which lasted 85 days in 2021, drew international consideration to a number of the pure challenges confronted by the Canary Islands. In addition to volcanic exercise, restricted rainfall can typically result in forest fires throughout the summer season months. Within the unlikely occasion of an emergency, comply with recommendation from native authorities together with the Cabildo de Tenerife. There’s a single telephone quantity for all emergencies, 112.
Be careful for rip tides when swimming on Tenerife’s seashores and in its pure swimming pools. The Atlantic can have critically sturdy currents, so it’s vital to heed native recommendation; a purple flag means it’s unsafe to enter the water. For the pure sea swimming pools, it’s finest to go to at low tide as a result of excessive tides and turbulent climate could make them harmful.
Maintain valuables secure and verify your medical insurance
Most journeys to Tenerife are totally hassle-free, although like anyplace, petty theft can occur, notably in larger cities. Control your belongings in tourist-heavy places akin to markets and bus stations and by no means depart valuables unattended on the seashore.
The free European Well being Insurance coverage Card (EHIC) entitles all EU residents to healthcare at native price (which frequently means no price) in different EU nations, together with Spain. For those who’re from a non-EU nation, discover out whether or not there’s any reciprocal medical care settlement with Spain; if not, guarantee you’ve appropriate medical insurance or journey insurance coverage cowl.
Are you able to drink the faucet water in Tenerife?
Folks within the Canary Islands have a tendency to purchase bottled water as a result of a lot of the faucet water right here is desalinated sea water – it is secure to drink however not notably nice taste-wise. Some lodges and eating places present their very own massive water containers so you possibly can refill reusable bottles, and Tenerife’s airports even have consuming fountains. As of April 2022, all bars and eating places in Spain (together with the Canaries) are legally required to supply free agua de grifo (faucet water) for consuming.