Spring: A popular time to visit as temperatures are warm, yet comfortable enough to wander about in.
Summer: The hottest time of the year with temperatures reaching up to 30˚C in July and August.
Autumn: Don’t put your shorts away just yet as the weather is still warm and extremely pleasant until the beginning of November.
Winter: The island retains a tropical feel and although this is the coolest time to visit, it’s still mild with plenty of sunshine.
Image: Sunshine, by disparkys on Flickr
Tenerife is renowned for the number of excellent beaches on the island that offer golden sands and warm seas. Holidays here are not restricted to the beach though. If you’d like to leave the coastline behind for a day or two, there are a range of things to see and do that are guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained.
Loro Parque: Home to a wide variety of animal species including a sealife section, gorillas, tigers and 350 species of parrot
Siam Park: One of the world’s best water parks, this Thai-themed attraction is full of slides as well as a huge wave pool
Teide National Park: The largest national park in Spain centred around Mount Teide and offering amazing views
Masca: A picturesque village on the north-west of the island that has retained its historic charm
Pyramids of Güímar: Dating back to the 19th century, six rectangular pyramid-shaped structures made out of stone are located here
Botanical Gardens: Home to over 3,000 varieties of unusual plants, trees and flowers
Anaga Mountains: The most breathtaking scenery on the island can be found here with rugged mountains and forests
Monkey Park: With a huge collection of monkeys of all shapes and sizes, visitors are able to walk through their cages and feed them
Tenerife offers a varied night scene suitable for every type of traveller and has a reputation for being one of the most exciting parts of the Canary Islands when the sun goes down. A variety of laidback bars are available to chill out in, as well as live music venues that create a buzzing atmosphere, while there are a number of lively clubs that are perfect for holidaymakers looking to dance the night away.
Playa de las Américas: The most vibrant resort in Tenerife with numerous bars and clubs in commercial centres such as Starco’s and Veronicas
La Laguna: As a university city, there is a vibrant night scene here, plus excellent tapas bars
Santa Cruz: The capital of the island is home to an array of bars, restaurants and live music
Puerto de la Cruz: Trendy bars and dynamic nightlife that is more geared towards the locals
El Médano: A stylish area with Bohemian bars playing laidback tunes to relax in
Activities in Tenerife:
Tenerife caters for every type of holidaymaker so whatever you like doing, there’s sure to be something suitable for you and the rest of the family. The island is home to some of the best beaches in Europe meaning there are plenty of activities for thrill-seekers, while there is also a wide selection of more relaxed activities for those who simply want to sit back and unwind.
Water sports: From surfing and jet skiing to snorkelling and sailing, the crystal clear waters and fantastic weather make Tenerife the perfect destination for water sports.
Golf: With a range of golf courses dotted around the entire island, many of which can be found along the coastline, there’s no better place to have a round of golf at any time of year.
Walking: The breathtaking scenery makes Tenerife a great destination for tourists who want to explore. A range of hiking trails and coastal walks can be enjoyed in places such as the Anaga Mountains.
Go Karting: Two venues in Tenerife are available for anyone wanting to try their hand at go karting; Karting Club Tenerife nearby Los Cristianos and Karting Las Americas, five minutes from Las Americas
Whale Watching: Large colonies of pilot whales can be found on the south-west coast of Tenerife meaning there is a great chance of seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.
Images: Teide National Park by Sanderovski & Linda on Flickr / Pyramids of Guimar by Flickr user patorjk / Irish Bar in Santa Cruz by Mike Fernwood / Windsurfing by Alastair Campbell
Tenerife is a superb shopping destination so if you’re looking to treat yourself on holiday or bring a few presents back home, there’s no better place to be. Huge shopping centres featuring an extensive selection of well known brands can be found in the main resorts on the island, while there are also countless markets on any day of the week that are great for soaking up the atmosphere and picking up a bargain or two.
- El Corte Inglés: Famous brands from around the world can be found in this huge shopping centre in Santa Cruz - perfect for treating yourself to a new holiday outfit
- Gran Sur: With a variety of shops, restaurants and other attractions such as a cinema, this is one of the most popular meeting places in the south of Tenerife
- Safari Centre: A stylish open air shopping centre in Playa de las Americas, home to an array of designer stores and top class restaurants
- Costa Adeje Market: One of the biggest markets in the south of the island selling everything from clothes and jewellery to antiques and books
- Los Cristionos Market: The biggest and busiest market in the south with a range of goods available to buy every Sunday morning
- Santa Cruz Rastro: The island’s biggest market with hundreds of stalls selling anything and everything imaginable
- Los Abrigos: The only regular market on the island that takes place in an evening
- La Laguna: The most spectacular food market in Tenerife with the smell of spices, fish and cakes wafting around the stalls
Image: El Corte Inglés by Metro Centric
Because of the Canary Islands’ location, traditional food in Tenerife has a diverse mix of Spanish, African and Latin American influences. Typical Canarian cuisine includes meaty stews, gofio (flour made from toasted cereals) and papas arrugadas, also known as Canarian potatoes and often served with a spicy sauce. Seafood is incredibly popular in Tenerife with some fantastic fish restaurants in Costa Adeje and Golf del Sur in particular, serving everything from sea bream and lobster to crab and mussels. Anyone who loves their home comforts will be able to choose from a range of English and Irish bars serving Sunday roasts and traditional English breakfasts.
Popular Tenerife Hotspots:
Los Cristianos: Home to a variety of seafood restaurants alongside international and English fare
Costa Adeje: A variety of chic and classy places representing cuisine from numerous nationalities
Puerto de la Cruz: With over 300 restaurants there’s something to suit everyone here, especially in the old fishing quarter known as ‘La Ranilla’
Las Americas: Caters for an eclectic mix of tastes from delicious Italian dishes to takeaway pizzas
Santa Cruz: Offers both authentic local cuisine and more touristy places
La Laguna: Affordable restaurants can be found here serving traditional tapas as well Indian, Asian and Mexican cuisine
Image: Canarian Potatoes by Ben Sutherland
Tenerife is made up of a variety of different cultures that have moved here over the years, although inhabitants of the island have managed to hold on to many of their Spanish roots. Spanish influences can be seen throughout the island from its quaint little villages to the traditional food, and it’s always a good idea to discover some of its history or learn a few useful phrases before visiting.
Agua con gas - Sparkling mineral water
Agua sin gas - Still water
Muchos gracias - Thank you very much
La cuenta, por favour - The bill, please?
Dos and Don’ts
DO carry small change around with you for tipping and using public toilets
DON’T pack too many warm clothes as the sizzling Tenerife climate means they’ll end up being left in your suitcase for the duration of your holiday
DO not smoke tobacco inside public places such as hotels and restaurants as this is now illegal
DON’T drink too much alcohol to avoid spending a night in hospital
DO learn a few Spanish phrases and make the effort to speak the language
A service charge is almost always included by restaurants in the price of the meal, but it’s customary to give 5-10% gratuity for good service. Tipping hotel staff, taxi drivers and luggage handlers is at your discretion, however giving a few Euros is always appreciated.
Image: Euros by Wfabry on Flickr
The excellent public transport system in Tenerife means you don’t just have to spend the duration of your holiday sitting by the hotel swimming pool. Using the bus services on the island or the tram system in Santa Cruz is a great way to get out and explore more of Tenerife, while taxis are also a quick and reliable way of getting from A to B.
- Taxis: Various taxi companies operate around the island many of which are metered. It’s always a good idea to ask the driver how much they expect the journey to be before setting off though.
Image: Tram in Tenerife by Jose Mesa
Tenerife Bloggers: Top Tips
Tenerife Forum - Juba
"Because Tenerife is an island, visitors can explore a new location everyday if they choose because all the sites are relatively short distances apart. Those visiting would do well to get out of the tourist resorts and explore the real island. You could opt to do this through a company offering excursions, use the local TITSA bus service which is inexpensive, or even hire a car and see things at your leisure. Must see places are Mount Teide, Masca, Los Gigantes, Vilaflor, Candelaria/LaLaguna and Santa Cruz. For a fun day out there is Loro Parque or Siam Park."
IWant2Go2CanaryIslands - Emma Healey
"Tenerife is a haven for UK travellers and offers lots of great value hotels as well as plenty to do for the family. Because of its year round sunshine it’s an ideal place to move to and there are lots of established expat communities in Tenerife meaning there’s also a wide choice of English pubs, cafes and food. Although it’s tempting to ‘go with what you know’ food wise, the traditional Canarian and Tenerife food is one not to miss! Try some Papas Arrugadas (potatoes - usually served with a spicy mojo sauce), Gofio (cereal), Paella (rice with fish/meat) or some Puchero Canario (slow cooked stew) and for those with a sweet tooth don’t miss Churros (deep fried sweet pastry) dipped in chocolate. Then of course wash it all down with a bottle of the locally brewed Dorada beer."
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