Tenerife may just be the most popular of the seven Canary Islands for a visit. One of the most easily accessible islands from mainland Europe, Tenerife has it all. Whether you love the beach, volcanic wine, hiking, surfing, or exploring, Tenerife is appropriate for all types of travelers. This itinerary will include a little bit of everything, and you can mix and match it to best suit your travel preferences.
One of the calls of Tenerife is its year-round springish weather. Expect sunshine and warm temps all year long with very little rain. It is worth noting that the south of the island typically boosts more sunshine and less rain than the north. The island is often windy, so expect a breeze.
This seven-day itinerary can be added on to virtually any other European adventure. A variety of airlines fly from many European hubs to Tenerife, which is home to two different airports (TFN and TFS). If you’d prefer to work with a Winetraveler agent to secure and book this itinerary for you instead of planning it yourself, click here.
To best enjoy the island’s many treasures, car rental is essential. It’s easy and affordable to rent at either airport or many of Tenerife’s hotels. The island is part of Spain and uses the euro, so have some of the currency on hand. Keep in mind that although the island is part of Europe, it’s closer to Africa. This means the sun burns strong, so make sure to pack sunblock and a hat.
Where to Stay
Tenerife’s hotels range from all-inclusive Spanish resorts like H10, Riu, or Barcelo to more intimate boutique spots. There are also two Marriott properties on the island: The Ritz-Carlton Abama and the Sheraton La Caleta. If you’d prefer something apt for a group or family, consider a villa or apartment rental, many of which feature amenities like pools, barbecue grills, bikes, and more. You can also browse a variety of hotel options right here.
7-Day Itinerary For Exploring the Island of Tenerife
Day 1: Explore Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital
This is an especially ideal way to start your trip if you land at Tenerife Norte Aiport. Settle into your hotel and check out the historical town center of the island’s capital, Santa Cruz. Stroll down La Rambla and check out the Plaza España. Historical buffs can visit the Natural History Museum to understand more about Los Guanches, the indigenous people of the Canary Islands.
If it happens to be sunny up north, head to the most famous white sand beach on the island, Las Teresitas. If the weather isn’t beach-appropriate, shop at the Nuestra Señora de África Market instead.
Day 2: Hike in Anaga Natural Park and eat at a guachinche
Deemed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Anaga is a laurel forest part of a unique microclimate. While much of Tenerife is dry with volcanic rock, this misty forest feels like you’re in an entirely different world. Hikes vary in length and difficulty, and you may stumble upon some gorgeous beaches or natural swimming holes along the way.
After a rewarding hike, head to one of the many guachinches around the northern part of the island. These no-frills restaurants offer typical Canarian food and locally produced wine. In fact, if you want to stop right in the park for lunch, consider Guachinche Bibi y Mana, where you can sample the island’s traditional potatoes with mojo picon sauce, beef stews, and goat cheese produced on the island.
Day 3: Explore the Teide volcano and sample volcanic wine
Mt. Teide is Spain’s highest peak. The volcano has a cable car and numerous hiking trails. Or, you can simply drive around through the area and snap some epic shots of the massive peak. Note if you want to hike to the very top, you’ll need to request a permit. It’s best to buy cable car tickets online, and make sure to check the weather conditions there the day of your trip. Sometimes the cable car and peak closes during inclement weather, even when it’s perfectly sunny down below at sea level.
After a morning at high altitude, come back down to sea level and explore some of Tenerife’s volcanic vineyards.
Winetraveler Tip: Favorite vineyards and wineries include Bodegas Vidueño, Bodegas Monje, (with an epic sea view terrace) and Bodegas Lomo. Make sure to contact these wineries in advance to reserve tours and tastings.
Day 4: Beach day
Whether it’s exotic black sand or more traditional golden coastline, Tenerife has plenty of beaches. Those wanting a more unique experience should head to the hidden Montaña Pelada, a black sand cove peppered with lava rocks. For those just wanting to kick back on soft white sand with all the amenities nearby, the popular Playa de las Vistas is an alternative.
Day 5: Learn to surf (or take the kids to a water park)
Tenerife’s winds are apt for all kinds of surfing: wind, kite, and regular. The place to go for your surf lessons is El Médano, a particularly breezy beach spot with a number of surf schools and options for board rentals.
If surfing isn’t your thing, you can hit the nearby Playa Tejita. Its windswept sands are mostly frequented by locals, and the beach seems more exotic and far-flung than many other more touristy beaches in the south of the island.
Families should head to either Siam Park, one of the most popular water parks in Europe, or Loro Park, an animal and plant reserve.
Day 6: Visit Los Gigantes and catch the sunset
Los Gigantes is Tenerife’s most iconic cliffs, a set of enormous, rocky seaside precipices that you can explore by hiking or view via boat rides. You can also drive to viewpoints to get some incredible photos of the cliffs. The resort towns below feature many outdoor terraces where you can admire the cliffs and also enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine in hand. If you’d like to stay in a hotel with views of the cliffs, the Barcelo Santiago’s suites have many balconies facing these massive rocky structures.
Day 7: Icod de los Vinos
This unique region in northern Tenerife has a number of interesting attractions. One is the Drago Milenario, a special tree that’s rumored to be 1,000 years old. There’s also the Cueva del Viento, a cave with many distinct types of flora inside. Don’t forget about the Drago Butterfly Park, which features more than 800 different butterfly species. Wine lovers shouldn’t miss the Museo de Malvasia, where you can learn about different styles of Canarian wine.