You’ll have heard time and again that when you’re visiting Tenerife, the absolute must-see is a trip to Mount Teide, and rightly so. Towering above us at a height of 3,718 m, its magnitude and completely unique landscape will leave you spellbound. That’s not all Tenerife has to offer, however; far from it. Here are 10 other experiences that are truly unmissable if you really want to make the most out of your holiday in Tenerife:
Explore the Atlantic Ocean
To fully enjoy a holiday in the Canaries at the very least you need to take a dip in the ocean. If, on the other hand, you decide to go one step further by diving, we guarantee that you’ll live an experience that you’ll still be talking about months – if not years – later. There are diving centres located in both the north and the south of the island, so you can discover the seabed under the expert guidance of professional instructors who not only teach you how to dive correctly and safely if you’re not sure, but also provide fascinating information on the underwater landscapes you’ll explore. Tenerife’s blessed geographical position means that aside from spectacular scenery, you may also encounter stingrays, black corals, sea turtles and even shipwrecks.
Sample some genuine Canarian food
For an authentic Canarian experience and to taste the local cuisine in its purest state, head to the north of the island in search of a guachinche. Don’t be put off or fooled by the rustic style, underwhelming decor and paper tablecloths: you’ll sample the tastiest chick peas, mojo sauces and meat dishes on the island! More than a simple meal, you’ll also gain a real insight into the loud and lively Canarian lifestyle. Portion sizes are very generous, and the main reasons guachinches exist is to sell their home-grown wine, so allow yourselves a good window of time to enjoy the experience at a leisurely pace. Due to the wine-selling motive, they tend to open from November to April, coinciding with the harvest season.
Discover the captivating charm of Masca
One of the most spectacular areas of the island can be found on the western side, where among other highlights is the charming hamlet of Masca. From the Mirador de Cherfe (lookout point) located on the road that connects Masca to Santiago del Teide, there’s the opportunity to take in a truly breathtaking view of the hamlet itself and the incredible surrounding scenery. The more energetic among you can walk down the famous Masca gorge, a trail that takes you on a winding scenic route through the lush vegetation and magnificent rock formations until you reach the virgin beach below some 3 hours later. There you can hop on a boat for a short trip to Los Gigantes (prior reservation necessary). To get your strength up before starting the hike, nothing beats a glass of the traditional cactus lemonade or a sweet potato pastry.
Cool down in one of the island’s many natural pools
Thanks to its geology, there are several natural pools all around Tenerife’s coastline that are a fabulous result of irregular rock formations. The eruption of the Trevejo volcano in 1706, for example, created some of the best and most popular of all the island’s natural pools, the ones known collectively as El Caletón in Garachico. This is the perfect spot to freshen off on a hot, sticky day. Staying in the north, there’s also el Charco de la Mareta in Icod de los Vinos. It’s a little tricky to get to, so you need to take care, but is still one of the most incredible pools you’ll ever find. If you’ve ever seen the Wrath of the Titans film, the scenery may be somewhat familiar…If you want to enjoy a dip in the south of the island head to Alcalá or Puerto Santiago, where you can enjoy lovely views across to La Gomera from a tranquil, picturesque pool.
Contemplate the majestic cliffs at Los Gigantes from a kayak
A far more original way to visit one of the most beautiful spots on the island is aboard a kayak. Navigating your way to the base of these spectacular cliffs will be an unforgettable experience in itself, even more so if you happen to encounter a whale or dolphin on your route. There are several companies that offer excursions leaving from the marina in Los Gigantes, which aside from including a guided tour to and from the cliffs, will also provide you with interesting and lesser-known facts about the scenery and landscapes you pass.
Sample limpets, squid and fresh fish in Tajao
Apart from succulent meats, in Tenerife you can savour some of the freshest fish and seafood imaginable. All accompanied, of course, with the quintessential papas arrugadas and green and red mojo sauces. Can you think of a better plan for lunch? The tiny fishing village of Tajao is well known for its fish restaurants, which offer a selection of seafood that arrives daily, straight from the sea. A closer option is Los Abrigos, a quaint coastal village that has a pleasant promenade you can walk along as you pass by several bars and restaurants. Nearly all have one thing in common: top-quality fish dishes.
Let your imagination run wild as you watch the sunset
If, to the already stunning and varied landscapes of Tenerife, you add the warm, rich tones of sunset, you’ll end up with an image that is stored in your mind (or your camera) forever. The island boasts various places to capture the perfect sunset, and sometimes you can even observe one, two, three or four of the other islands at the same time. The beautiful shades of red, yellow, pink and orange merge to say goodbye to a wonderful sunny day and hello to a magical, starry night sky. The best way to take in this natural phenomenon? With a good mojito, of course! Try the friendly beach bar Coqueluche in La Caleta.
Visit Europe’s largest lava tube
Kayaking, diving, hiking and even potholing! In Icod de los Vinos you’ll find la Cueva del Viento (“Wind Cave”) – the fifth largest lava tube in the world after the 4 located in Hawaii. Inside, you’ll find a multitude of underground passages that you can explore with a guide, who’ll tell you all about the cave’s fascinating history, the many different lava formations and its fauna. If this has caught your attention and you want to know more about one of Tenerife’s most original excursions, we can tell you that a volcanic or lava tube is formed during lava flows when a volcano erupts.
Marvel at the wonders of the Canarian skies
One of the best places for stargazing in the entire world is in Teide National Park, where you can witness things as incredible as Saturn’s rings, the craters on the moon or infinite galaxies far, far away. Thanks to its wonderful climate and the clear, unpolluted skies overhead, there are several places in Tenerife specially designed for contemplating the stars. To really make the most out of what is a unique experience, get your hands on some binoculars or, better still, join an organised excursion with a professional guide. Not only will they explain exactly what you’re looking at, some even offer the chance to look at other planets and constellations through large telescopes, giving you a never-before glimpse at our universe.
An afternoon in the westernmost point of the island
If what you’re looking for is to completely disconnect and enjoy a pleasant afternoon surrounded by nature at Tenerife’s westernmost point, head to Teno in Buenavista del Norte. Enjoy a dip in the ocean from the black sand pebble beach or check out the Punta de Teno lighthouse, where can enjoy some unique and magnificent views. The more daring can descend down some steps on the rocks into the ocean. The beach is completely unspoilt, which means you need to take provisions with you – don’t expect a beach bar or selection of cafés to pick up something to eat and drink. If you can, stay for sunset; the crystal-clear blues of the water combined with the gorgeous tones of the sky as the sun goes down turns this spot into something straight out of a dream.
Adventure and fun are guaranteed with these 10 experiences, although there are so many more we haven’t mentioned. Get your camera ready, grab your sunglasses and a towel and get out and about exploring some of what makes Tenerife such a magical island.