In this post we want to share with you the most important things to do in Tenerife on a 4 or 5 day getaway. The last time we went by boat from Gran Canaria with the motorcycle and we stayed 3 nights. The truth is that it was a great trip because we dedicated ourselves to discovering the most authentic sites that we had pending. We will tell you everything below.
Things to do in Tenerife: 10 must-see places that you can’t miss
If you like to know the most authentic and characteristic of the destination on your trips, we think you will like this post about 10 things to do in Tenerife. Unique landscapes that are difficult to find elsewhere. We start with the 10 essentials!
1. Parque Rural de Anaga
If you have not yet been to the Anaga Rural Park, we recommend you to go hiking. In the Cruz del Carmen visitor center they can recommend a route according to your physical form and available time. However, we definitely recommend the path of the El Pijaral Natural Reserve. This is where you will find the greatest greenery in Tenerife thanks to its Laurisilva forest and giant ferns. It also has a viewpoint to Benijo Beach. You have to ask for a permit to do the trail here, since the capacity is limited (it is only in Spanish). Order it in advance, since it is usually very demanded. The hike took us about 2 hours at a good pace. They are a around 7 km.
Anyway, if there are no places, the entire area of the Anaga Rural Park is beautiful and green all year round. A car or motorcycle ride through the area is worth it and you can’t miss the mythical Instagram photo on the green moss walls of this enchanted forest.
It is a dead end street that you will find a few meters from the Pico del Inglés viewpoint. Therefore, if you introduce in your Waze or Google Maps “Mirador del Pico del Inglés you will have no loss. NOTE, parking is limited.
2. Punta de Teno, Teno Rural Park
Many say that it is the most beautiful area of the island and the truth that it could be. To get here you can do it by car or motorcycle before 10:00 and after 18:00. Then the road closes and only public bus access is possible, to leave there is no problem of schedules. Its road is spectacular, surrounded by cliffs with marks of waterfalls in its mountains. Once at Punta e Teno we find a small beach to enjoy the sea in a 100% volcanic landscape. It is a windy area.
We also have the Punta de Teno lighthouse and panoramic views of La Gomera and Los Gigantes cliffs. We went in the morning, but the sunset here must be spectacular.
After the expedition through the coastal area, we set out to get to know Teno Alto and visit the Naturteno artisan cheese factory, within the Teno Rural Park. On the way back, going south, go through the road that connects this area with Los Gigantes, passing through El Palmar and Masca. A must of Tenerife without a doubt. There is a tip to eat in the area at the end of the post!
3. Los Gigantes cliffs and Masca
Another of the essentials to see in Tenerife are the Los Gigantes cliffs and the Masca ravine. Some friends recommended us to kayak along the Los Gigantes coast to Masca and we did it. We hired a two-hour double kayak excursion to the Barranco de Masca and the return by boat. During the excursion we made several stops to bathe. If you want the name of the company with whom we did the activity, send us an email, we will put you in contact with them. Super recommended!
4. Discover the northern villages: Garachico, La Orotava and Puerto de La Cruz
One of the most beautiful landscapes in Tenerife is that of the north of Tenerife and El Teide. All green, surrounded by banana trees and with the blue sea in the background. You have to take a walk through the Puerto de La Cruz, even if it is touristy, it also has its local and authentic touch. Its pedestrian streets are curious and colorful. Here you also have the Lago Martiánez pools and Loro Parque park.
On the other hand, on this route along the north Tenerife coast, you cannot miss visiting La Orotava and Garachico. Two very authentic towns that have managed to maintain the local essence. These three towns are very close to each other, in a morning or afternoon you can visit them all. Do not miss the stop for lunch that we recommend you at the end of this article!
5. Benijo beach and Taganana village
If you decide to visit the Anaga Rural Park, you could take the opportunity to get to one of the most beautiful beaches of Tenerife: Benijo beach. On your wat to Benijo you can stop in Taganana. Look at all the drago trees along the road and discover the beaches of Benijo. Of course, the road is not recommended for those who do not support curves. Once in Benijo, as it is a virgin beach, do not expect many services and, to get to the beach, you have to go down some stairs. We leave you at the end of the post a tip for lunch in the area!
6. Teide National Park
This stop is mandatory on your visit to Tenerife, whether you are an adventurer or not. You have to at least go by car or motorcycle through this area and appreciate the volcanic and lunar landscape of the highest peak in Spain. The road is at 2000m altitude and the peak reaches 3178 meters. There is a cable car that takes you to the top. On the other hand, there is also a refuge where many hikers spend the night to ascend on foot to the top and watch the sunrise from El Teide. A unique experience. We leave you a tip to eat at the end of the post!
7. Las Teresitas beach and viewpoint
We can say that Tenerife is not characterized by its spectacular beaches, that is why they conditioned Las Teresitas. That is to say, they brought golden sand from another site and placed a kind of dike to calm its waters and that the sand remained in time. As it is an artificial beach, it is not a place in which we would not spend much time, however its viewpoint is spectacular. From here you can see El Teide and Gran Canaria also.
To get here you have to go from the town of San Andrés along the coast towards San Andrés de Igueste and you will find it on the road. Next to the road there is a small place to stop and see the views. There is a tip to eat around at the end of the post!
8. San Cristóbal de La Laguna
A walk through the historic center of La Laguna is also something you cannot miss on your trip to Tenerife. In an around one hour you can walk through its pedestrian streets and visit the points of greatest interest. It is an area with a lot of life, since it has many restaurants, bars and shops. In addition, its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
9. Whale watching, Adeje coast
We did this activity in a group of friends at a bachelorette party on another getaway to Tenerife. Spending the day on a sailboat with whale watching is 100% recommended. Seeing dolphins and whales in their habitat will give you goosebumps. Of course, this plan is not economic at all and, much less, if you go by private boat.
It can be said that this activity is worthwhile in the south of Tenerife, despite being a tourist area. The views of La Gomera are beautiful.
10. El Médano
This area in the south of Tenerife is also worth visiting if you have time. In El Médano there is a good local atmosphere. In addition, the beaches are great to spend the day or practice sports such as surfing, especially if you avoid the tourist spots like us.
As you may have read there are many things to see in Tenerife. We hope that this post has been helpful to discover the island on your own. In the following lines we turn to another important topic and for which Tenerife is very famous: its local food.
Restaurants in Tenerife
If Tenerife is known for anything, it is for its variety of restaurants, genre quality and good prices. You could perfectly go to the island to do gastronomic tourism. From the most hidden and genuine guachinches to the Michelin star restaurants, which are not few. We are going to tell you a little about everything, there is a lot to choose from!
Arepas in Tenerife
As there is a large Venezuelan community living in Tenerife, there are various areperas throughout the island. We have been to the Los Girasoles arepera in the town of Tamaimo. We also know two in La Laguna (Bolívar and Punto Criollo). The one we like the most is Bolívar, with a great variety of flavors and natural juices, but it is in a residential area and not touristy.
Fish restaurants in Tenerife
- El Puntero restaurant, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is a classic to eat cherne fish, shrimp, octopus, squids, etc. in the capital city. They also have some potatoes with mojo that you die for. The service is very familiar, the food is 10 and, in addition, it is super cheap. It is all decorated with posters of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival.
- Cofradía de pescadores “La Punta”, Punta del Hidalgo, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Here you can not miss the fried parrot fish, the octopus, the limpets, the shrimp, the squids … Basically all the typical Canarian food of the sea.
Restaurants with ribs, corn and potatoes in Tenerife
The two best restaurants for tasting the typical Canarian ribs, corn and potatoes in Tenerife are Casa Tomás and El Nervioso. Both spectacular and super cheap. We prefer the El Nervioso. Green mojo is pure butter!
Some other good restaurants in Tenerife
- Restaurant El Calderito de La Abuela, Santa Úrsula. This site is also famous for its good cuisine and views of the banana trees and the coast of Santa Úrsula. Spectacular, although perhaps a little high in price.
- Restaurante El Campestre, La Esperanza. If you like good grilled meat, El Campestre restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Tenerife. It is a great stop on the way to Teide National Park from La Laguna or vice versa.
- Restaurante El Patamero, El Palmar, Buenavista del Norte. If you are sightseeing in this area, a mandatory stop is El Patamero. We ordered a delicious grilled Iberian pork and some spectacular sweet potato with cod montaditos. They also have the famous artisan goat cheese from Naturteno, good Canarian wines, etc.
-Casa Paca, Benijo beach. It is a very mythical site and known by locals. They have fish (limpets, octopus, sardines …) and meat (rabbit, carne fiesta …), as well as spoon dishes (chickpeas, stew, etc.). Soft or white cheese is also delicious. It is a place with family and economic service, it is worth it.
Michelín restaurants Tenerife
In Tenerife there are various restaurants with a Michelin star. We have only been to the Kazan and we can say that it is brutal. Their dishes are an explosion of flavors. We list below the 5 Michelin-starred restaurants in Tenerife.
-Kazán, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (one Michelín star)
-Kabuki Abama, Hotel Abama (one Michelín star)
-Nub, La Laguna Gran Hotel (one Michelín star)
-El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Guía de Isora (one Michelín star)
-M.B., Martín Berasategui, Hotel Abama (two Michelín star)
Guachinches in Tenerife
In this web you can check all the guachinches in Tenerife. What is a Guachinche? In the Canary dialect we name guachinche or bochinche to a popular establishment where local food and wine is served. There are no fancy places, with paper table clothes and usually crowded of locals, but really cheap and yummy.
Hotels in Tenerife
On our last trip what we did was sleep one night on each part of the Tenerife. One night in Los Silos, another in Los Gigantes and another in La Laguna. In all three options we opted for an apartment taken by Booking, since we went in the summer of COVID19 and the hotels were still closed. Of the places we stayed, we recommend all three: Los Silos for its value for money just 15 minutes drive from Punta de Teno. The one in Los Gigantes because we were just 5 minutes walk from the sports pier, where we did the kayak activity, we also rested super well. And finally, we stayed in a house in the heart of La Laguna with a private room. The owners also live there, super charming. They gave us avocados from their farm and invited us a coffee!
Anyway, you can check the availability of hotels in Tenerife below.
We hope that all this information has been helpful to you in planning your trip. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below!