An island of natural beauty, amazing sea life and great gastronomy, Tenerife – the largest of the Canary Islands – is jam-packed with activities to satisfy any traveller. It’s no wonder that it’s popular with lots of holidaymakers, including families, nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Top six things to do in Tenerife
1. Visit Teide National Park
This UNESCO-listed national park is home to one of the world’s highest volcanos, Mount Teide. At 3,718m above sea level, it can even be seen from many of the other Canary Islands. If you want to see the volcano up close, you can take a cable car up its slopes and admire the views over Tenerife and its neighbouring islands. Join a guided walking tour and discover hiking trails through the park’s otherworldly landscapes. Or choose a sunset tour and toast the sun going down before getting to know the night sky with some stargazing.
2. Spend the day at Siam Park or Loro Parque
Thai-themed Siam Park is an ideal day out for families and thrill-seekers alike. It regularly features on lists of the world’s top waterparks, thanks to its huge selection of slides, rides and rapids.
Loro Parque is one of the best ways to discover the secrets of the animal kingdom, thanks to specially adapted areas for each of the species that live there. A journey through the Animal Embassy gets you close to the action – there’s a huge parrot reserve with species from across the globe. Plus, you’ve got a range of shows, too – exotic birds, sea lions, dolphins and orcas are all in the line-up. This place is all about education, too, so you’re likely to learn a thing or two about wildlife and conservation during your unforgettable day out.
3. Try wild whale and dolphin watching
The waters surrounding Tenerife are home to many species of whales and dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales can be spotted year-round, while more than 20 other species make seasonal visits to a protected zone off the island’s southwest coast. Book one of the daily boat excursions departing from the south of the island for your chance to catch a glimpse of these creatures in their natural habitat.
4. Get out on the water
If watersports are your thing, then Tenerife is the place for you. Here, you can try out surfing, jet-skiing, body-boarding, paddle-boarding and kayaking, to name but a few. And thanks to the island’s rich marine life, the diving and snorkelling scene is top-notch – turtles, rays and octopuses are regularly spotted around the shores.
5. Discover Tenerife’s foodie scene
You can dive into the culinary culture of Tenerife with a gastronomic tour. From cheese tasting to vineyard visits, there are experiences to suit all tastes. Of course, you’ll find traditional Spanish food on offer, but there are also a few dishes unique to the Canaries that are worth trying, too. Keep an eye out for papas arrugadas con mojo – translating as wrinkled potatoes with spicy sauce, these potatoes are cooked in heavily salted water, causing them to shrink and giving them their unusual name. Mojo sauce has got a kick to it – so tread carefully if you’re not a fan of spice.
6. Make a stop in colonial old towns
Dotted throughout the island, you’ll find history-steeped villages, towns and cities that deserve a detour. The capital, Santa Cruz, blends a mazy old town with a modern seafront scene. Nearby La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – thanks to its well-preserved colonial architecture – while La Orotava lines up pretty pastel-coloured townhouses. Speaking of easy-on-the-eye spots, Garachico’s whitewashed homes stand out against its black volcanic coastline, and tiny Masca is perched on a ridge overlooking a deep valley.