Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is a firm favourite with holidaymakers. With almost year-round sunshine, numerous resorts and fabulous beaches, it’s ideal for anyone looking for a relaxing break with the option to immerse themselves in all of the great sightseeing and activities the island offers. Here are eight things to do on holiday in Tenerife – all you have to do is get packing!
VISIT SIAM PARK WATERPARK
If you’re looking for some family fun, Siam Park in Costa Adeje is Europe’s biggest waterpark. There’s a huge range of water slides inspired by Thai architecture, including the Tower of Power, an almost vertical slide which plunges through an aquarium at the bottom.
SPEND A DAY AT PLAYA JARDIN BEACH COMPLEX
The Playa Jardín Beach Complex, located in Puerto de la Cruz, consists of Playa Jardín, Playa Chica and Punta Brava. Volcanic black sand make these beaches iconic and a popular favourite with holidaymakers. Designed by the artist César Manrique, these beaches blend seamlessly into a beautiful environment filled with gardens boasting lush local plant life, waterfalls and rocky caves.
A DAY AT LORO PARQUE
Situated in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island, Loro Parque is one of Tenerife’s leading attractions. Set within a Jurassic Park environment of dense tropical palm groves, winding pathways will entice you into an exciting world where you can explore Katandra Treetops, the Thai Village and a magical kingdom in a relaxing environment. Dolphins perform their shows in the largest dolphin pool in Europe. There are plenty of other great shows and sights for the whole family to enjoy – Sea Lions, Parrots, Pelicans, Gorillas, Chimps, Tigers, and even Sharks.
VISIT TEIDE NATIONAL PARK
The real heart of the island lies further inland away from the coast. The highest peak in all of Spain, Mount Teide is some staggering 12,200 feet tall and is the main attraction of the UNESCO protected Teide National Park. The easiest way to reach the top is by cable car, and the ride offers spectacular views over the island. Beside the mountain, the park also boasts some out of this world scenery. Its strange rock formations give the area a unique lunar landscape, so your friends and family will think you’ve travelled much further than you have.
SHOPPING IN COSTA ADEJE
If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, then head over to the Plaza del Duque which is one of the best places for shopping in Costa Adeje. It’s a high-end shopping mall filled with over 60 shops and restaurants. In addition to some big name brands, you’ll find a range of more affordable shops too. If you love to stroll around markets, the Costa Adeje Market takes place every Thursday and Saturday opposite the Plaza del Duque. Here you’ll find traditional Canarian crafts and local art, alongside bargain clothing, accessories and leather goods.
GO ON A MASCA VALLEY HIKE
Tenerife is a walker’s paradise, with numerous trails and hiking routes located all over the island. One of the best hikes is the Masca Valley trail. This rewarding walk starts at the tiny village of Masca that’s nestled in the valley in northwestern Tenerife and ends five miles later at the beach below. Confident hikers can walk this trail by themselves, or you can opt to take a tour with a local company.
VISIT THE TOWN OF LA LAGUNA
The vibrant and colourful town of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, however it’s largely unknown among tourists. Situated in the heart of the countryside, La Laguna showcases its colonial architecture and packs in lively bars, restaurants and architectural monuments into its narrow streets. This picturesque town can be easily reached from Santa Cruz and makes for a relaxed and rewarding day trip from the capital.
A NIGHT OF STARGAZING
Tenerife is recognised on an international level for the exceptional conditions in which to observe the stars. Inside the Teide National Park you will find an extraordinary natural platform from where you can contemplate the skies. At over 2, 700 m above sea level, on clear moonless nights there is a spectacular star display at any time of the year. If you are here in August, catch the shooting meteor showers of the Perseids and at nightfall towards the northeast you can see the shining star of Vega, the main star of the Lyra constellation. It’s worth noting it can get chilly up there!