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Tenerife

 

Transportation and Accommodations

Getting there

  • Tenerife has two airports, one in the north, Tenerife North Airport (TFN) and one in the south, Tenerife South Airport (TFS) with TFS being the main international airport.
  • Depending on where you’re flying in from, it’ll likely be easiest to travel to Tenerife from mainland Europe. Tenerife and Gran Canaria (the largest 2 of the 7 Canary islands) are the only islands, I believe, with consistent direct flights to the island. We flew Eurowings down to the island and took RyanAir back.
  • The flight is fairly lengthy as the Canary Islands are off the cost of Western Sahara in Africa. From Frankfurt, Germany to Tenerife, the flight time was about 5 hours.

Getting Around

  • There are a bunch of different options on ways to get around the options and it largely depends on what you want to do and where you are staying. I’d recommend doing an assortment of the options.
  • Rent a vehicle
      • In order to do some activities, it’ll be helpful to rent some type of vehicle (car, moped, ATV). We mainly saw cars and mopeds on the roads, and closer to the volcano is where we saw people on ATVs or in dune buggys. They usually were in organized groups, not on their own with these vehicles.
      • Renting a scooter or car should be fairly easy and cheap as there are spots all across the island. If you require automatic transmission for cars, there’s a chance they’ll have limited options so you may want to look into it in advance or just be willing to pay for a larger vehicle than you require
      • We rented a scooter for 2 people for about $40/day and gas is cheap, only a few euros to fill it up.
      • Car rentals were closer to $50 – $100 depending on the vehicle
  • Taxis
      • Cabs are easy to come by on the island and reasonably priced, but not cheap. We used cabs to get to and from the airport and home from a day trip. For a ~30 min ride, we paid about 30 euros (doable but don’t want to depend on taxis to make all your trips)
  • Foot
      • Depending on where you pick to stay, there will likely be places walkable for meals and other necessities
  • Public Bus (Titsa)
      • These green and white buses go all around the island and can help you get between towns or areas. However, they don’t travel quickly and make a lot of stops. If you anticipate having some extra time, it’s a good option for some trips, but you will need to budget some extra time for transportation
      • You can pay directly on the bus by simply telling the driver your destination as price varies by distance

Accommodations

  • Tenerife is a fairly diverse island, with different terrain, climate and overall aspects to consider before choosing where to stay
    • Southwest portion
      • The southwest portion of the island is the driest part of the island with the most sunshine and warmer weather. This tends to be the more touristy area where people tend to visit. A few of the main spots in the southern part of the island include Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos, and Playa de Las Americas.
        • Hotel Jardin Tropical – located in Costa Adeje, this is a beautiful hotel right near the ocean. It has numerous restaurants, breakfast included with options to do all-inclusive if one desires. There’s a few pools, an outdoor gym, spa, among other amenities. I would highly recommend this spot and would definitely book again. The location was great as we could access restaurants and some nightlife, with the best weather. We could also access other parts of the island that we wanted to see fairly easily.
    • Western portion
      • The Western side of the island is also a nice spot, with the main areas including Playa de las Areans. Playa San Juan, and Los Gigantes. We drove through Playa de las Arenas and Playa San Juan, and both appeared to be fairly busier locations with restaurants and shops around. We spent the afternoon in Los Gigantes, a quaint town. The town was much quieter than where we opted to stay in the South.
    • Northeast Portion
      • The northeast is mainly composed of the current capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz. La Laguna, the old capital, is also located in the NE, but it is a small town. This area tends to be a bit cooler than the south and forecast often calls for more clouds due to the terrain around it as the area is more lush and less dry than in the south.
    • North Portion
      • The north portion of the island is lush and green (windward) and generally a bit cooler. Other areas to look into for places to stay in the North include Garachico and Puerto de la Cruz

Things to do and see

 

  • Mount Teide – volcano on the island, located in
    the center. On a clear day, you can see the top from the base of the island
    • Cable car
      • You can drive to the base station to take a cable car up to the upper station for views. Do note that the cable car is often closed due to wind and thus, we were not able to visit. I would recommend trying to do the cable car the first opportunity you get, or to at least check and see if the cable car is open so you can visit if it’s open during your visit.
      • Open from about 9 am to 4 pm (but times change based on the season) and the ride to the top is 8 min.
      • Lower station has parking area and upper station is the top of the cable car. There are hikes you can research at the top of the upper station if you wish to travel higher
      • Getting there – from the south of the island
        • Address: Teide Cable Car
        • Ctra. TF-21, Km. 40,2 – Parque Nacional Del
          Teide 38002 La Orotava
        • Take the TF-21 highway from Vilaflor to Teide
          National Park, access road for tourist resorts of Playa de Las Américas and Los
          Cristianos.
        • Take the TF-38 highway from Boca de Tauce to
          Chío, which links up with the TF-21. (Guagua) Bus Line 342 Playa de Las
          Américas – Las Cañadas del Teide (www.titsa.com).
          Departure time: 09:15 h from Las Américas, stopping at Los Cristianos (09:30
          h), Teide Cable Car and Montaña Blanca (for ascent to Altavista Refuge).Return
          from Teide Cable Car at 15:30 h.
  • Los Gigantes – large cliffs on the West side of
    the island that drop off straight into the ocean. There are view points from
    above that are worth checking out as well as heading to sea level.
  • Playa Los Guios – black sand beach with
    beautiful view of Los Gigantes cliffs
  • Rent a scooter
    • We rented a scooter and just drove around
      different parts of the island exploring. First we started in the southwest area
      where we stayed, but quickly made our way inland.
    • We drove through a series of small towns, and
      found an authentic spot for lunch in Valle de San Lorenzo. The food was
      excellent and it was clearly a local spot.
    • We had some gorgeous views, driving up through
      San Miguel de Abona and Granadilla de Abona as we continued to gain elevation.
      Our turnaround point was Villaflor, which is simply a town where two of the
      larger roads up to the volcano meet. Our scooter couldn’t handle going too much
      higher and it was getting a lot colder as we climbed. The views along the way
      and open roads were well worth the rental.
    • We drove down a the other side, going through
      Arona with more needlepoint turns and different views. On this portion we
      passed a few vineyards where we could’ve stopped for a tasting, but opted to
      try to jet get down a get out on the water.
    • The scooter we had got up to about 70 km per
      hour and I’d highly recommend renting a scooter or other vehicle as a way to
      aimlessly explore. We just went where the road took us and stopped when views
      were nice or something looked interesting.
  • Jet Skiing
    • We did a small group, 1-hour jet ski trip from
      Puerto Colon (60 euros/jet ski). We couldn’t simply rent the jet skis, but were
      able to travel in a group of 6 out to some beautiful spots on the water with
      views of beaches and different cliff drops. It was cool to get out on the water
      for a different perspective
  • Sunset down in Los Cristianos/Costa Adeje
    • The sun sets right over the water in the south
      of the island making for some beautiful nights. Great spot to get a drink and
      enjoy the sunset
  • Beaches
    • Playa de Las Teresitas – located near Santa Cruz
      (NE)
    • El Bolullo – black sand beach (NE)
    • Playa del Duque – ‘the Caribbean of Tenerife’
      (SW)
    • Playa de la Tejita – view of Montana Roja – red
      mountain (SE – can see this from the airport if you fly into TFS)
    • Playa de Troya – near Playa de las Americas area
      (SW)
    • Playa de Torviscas
    • Playa de la Arena – black sand beach near las
      Gigantes (W)
    • Playa de Abama – tiny/off the beaten path (W)
    • Playa de la Enramada
    • Playa de Antequera (NE)
  • Santa Cruz – capital city
    • Playa de Las Teresitas – well known, larger
      beach
    • Calle del Castillo – main pedestrian street
    • Parque Garcia Sanabria – largest public park in
      the Canary Islands
  • Smaller Towns to check out
    • Garachico – located in the NW with natural lava
      pools
    • La Laguna – located in the NE and is a quaint
      town that used to be the capital of Tenerife
    • Masca – drive here is known for being a bit
      nerve-wracking but containing beautiful views
    • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Paragliding
    • A lot of different companies offer a few
      different paragliding experiences. Most provide a basic flight, an extended
      flight, and 3rd option that is their highest and longest flight. We
      did not paraglide, but did some research into it and saw paragliders up in the
      sky, often landing down on the southern beaches
  • Day trip to La Gomera
    • 40 minute ferry from Los Cristianos to La Gomera
      (1 of the 7 Canary islands and the one you can see from the south areas in
      Tenerife). There are two main options for ferries from Los Cristianos de
      Tenerife to San Sebastian de La Gomera.
      • Benchijigua Express – 40 minutes
      • Naviera Armas – 70 minutes
    • Mirador de Abrante (viewpoint – northern cliff
      of the island, about 1 hour from cruise port)
    • Wine tasting
    • Valle Gran Rey
    • Black Sand beaches
  • Star Gazing at night
    • Mount Teide National Park is one of the best
      places in the world to stargaze
  • Wineries – Brumas de Ayosa vineyard
  • Anaga Mountains
  • Cueva del Viento – underground lava tunnel
    running for 11 miles
  • Siam Park

 

Food and Drink Recommendations

  • Costa Adeje/Los Cristianos/Playa de Las Americas
    • Las Rocas – Seafood
      • Part of Hotel Jardin Tropical and right on the water with beautiful views out over the ocean. We had an excellent meal here with a great local bottle of red wine. There are wineries across Tenerife that produce wine, but most are not transported out of the country and thus it’s a great place to have local wine
    • La Casita de Taby – Spanish Tapas
      • A spot along the strip in Playa de Las Americas owned by a husband and wife. The spot doesn’t look like much and is surrounded by lots of very touristy restaurants that look rather unappealing (between the eh live music, pictures of food outside the restaurant, rundown fronts, and restaurants employees trying to call you in). We were looking for a spot that wasn’t a tourist trap.
      • For what was around, this was one of the better options and the food was tasty. We got some small plates and sangria to share and overall was pretty cheap compared to what some of the other spots nearby likely would’ve charged
    • La Terrazza del Mare
      • Another spot along the Playa de Las Americas boardwalk. It was upstairs and the menu included a variety of options. The steak and pasta all’abriatta were both very good, along with the chocolate cake dessert and fried calamari appetizer
    • Los Gigantes are
      • Restaurante Pizzeria Mamma Lucia
        • Italian spot near one of the upper viewpoints for Los Gigantes
      • The Wine Bar and Terrace
    • Meson Era Las Mozas – authentic restaurant in Valle de San Lorenzo with a large menu, larger portions, and tastes delicious. We stumbled upon this spot and it’s unlikely you’ll find it unless you make a special trip for it.
    • Nightlife – the strip on Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos is the best known for nightlife. It was rather quiet while we visited and a heavy British influence with bar and club owners/promoters constantly trying to call you in with a drink deal. A few spots include:
      • Papagayo Beach Club – this was our favorite and the one we thought had the most potential. It still was not very busy but can see how it is busier and a good time when the island is busier
      • Lava – spot just off the strip of main bars that call you in with a nice outdoor area to grab a drink

Other Notes

  • Tenerife is a great spot to check out. It’s much further south than people often realize, and thus, it is warm year-round. We spent 3 nights in Tenerife, achieving about 2.5 days on the island. I would recommend no less than 3 nights as it may feel rushed. We got to do a lot, including just relaxing by the pool, and there’s more we easily could’ve done. The island offers a large variety of options on activities to do
  • The island is affordable, not exceptionally cheap or expensive.
  • It’s a common vacation location for the Brits so you’ll run into a lot of Brits and notice that there are bars and restaurants tailored to this clientele.