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Tenerife holidays: Discover the island of eternal spring

No matter which type of trip you're after - whether it's a winter sun trip to the Canary Islands or the perfect summer holiday in Spain - choosing Tenerife as your holiday destination is an excellent decision.

After all, Tenerife enjoys temperatures of 23 to 28°C all year long, earning it the nickname of 'the island of eternal spring'. There's also so much to do on the island, from relaxing on the beach to climbing the impressive Mount Teide volcano. And, no matter your budget, Tenerife offers a wide range of accommodation and package holidays that will suit just about everyone.

Discover more about the largest Canary Island below, from the top things to do to where you should base yourself in Tenerife. You can also find the very best Tenerife holiday deals right here.

The best things to do in Tenerife

The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is located off the coast of West Africa. While many people know the Spanish island for its year-round glorious weather, Tenerife also happens to be packed with a wide range of things to do, including plenty of holiday activities for couples, families and solo travellers.

Here are some of our favourite things to do in Tenerife.

Explore Mount Teide National Park

Mount Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the incredible Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain. You can hike up or take a cable car, enjoying stunning views of the surrounding area. If you choose to hike to the very top, be advised that you'll need to organise a permit in advance.

Thanks to the high altitude and low pollution levels, this area is considered to be one of the best in the world for stargazing; on a clear night, it’s rumoured that you can even spot the Rings of Saturn!

Check out Costa Adeje

The upmarket area of Costa Adeje in the south of Tenerife is an ideal base for exploring the island. Costa Adeje is home to plenty of 5-star hotels and resorts, beautiful beaches, waterparks and much more.

The area is also great for lots of outdoor activities, including jet skiing and windsurfing. But, if none of that takes your fancy, head over to Playa del Duque instead where you’ll find beaches with golden sand, crystal-clear water and an elegant promenade that’s home to bars, restaurants and high-end boutiques.

Splash about at Siam Park

Self-proclaimed as the 'most spectacular waterpark in Europe', Siam Park has amassed a range of accolades, including a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award 2019 in the 'Top 10 Amusement Parks & Water Parks - Spain' category.

Located in Costa Adeje, this Thai-themed waterpark features plenty of amazing rides and swimming areas; the most popular attractions here are the Vulcano, the Dragon, Naga Racer and the Giant (to name but a few). If you prefer a gentler pace, the park has one of the longest lazy rivers in the world.

Spend the day at the beach

Tenerife is famed as a great beach holiday destination and with good reason - the island's beaches are plentiful. What's more, Tenerife has 14 Blue Flag-accredited beaches to its name!

Aside from the beach at Playa del Duque, there are some lovely beaches in Playas de las Americas, such as Playa La Troya and Playa El Camisón. Another favourite is Playa Las Vistas, which is about a kilometre long and is home to a range of bars, cafes and restaurants.

Discover Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife - more commonly known just as Santa Cruz - is a port city located on the island's northeast coast.

We would recommend visiting the Auditorio De Tenerife, home to the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. With its floaty curved design, it’s certainly one of the most unique buildings on the island. The Old Town is also worth a visit; go for a wander among pastel-coloured buildings or stop by one of the city's many cafes.

Go on a whale and dolphin watching tour

The Canary Islands happens to be one of the best places to spot whales and dolphins, so why not hop on a boat tour to try and spot them yourself? The south western coast of Tenerife is the place to go for these tours, and you can find a range of providers in places like Los Cristianos, Puerto Colón and Los Gigantes.

With providers boasting a 90% chance of seeing dolphins with every tour, you're almost guaranteed to see these magnificent creatures up close.

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Where to go on holiday in Tenerife?

Finding a place to stay is probably one of the biggest challenges when organising a holiday getaway. Tenerife offers a variety of activities and your choice of accommodation depends on the kind of holiday you are looking for - and who you're travelling with.

Are you coming to party? Or are you looking for a quieter holiday while you explore the island with your family in tow? Here are some of our recommendations for where to stay during your Tenerife holiday.

For partygoers

If you and your friends are coming to Tenerife to soak up the nightlife, then you're in luck. While there are excellent nightlife venues dotted around the island, the most popular nightlife areas have to be Playa de Las Americas and Costa Adeje.

Considered the party capital of Tenerife, Playa de Las Americas is home to Veronicas Strip, also referred to as the Strip. Full of bright lights, this is where you'll find a wide range of bars, clubs and live music venues. You'll also find accommodation conveniently located in the vicinity of Veronicas Strip.

Although a tad quieter, Costa Adeje is another nightlife haven. There's plenty of accommodation here and, better yet, you can take the party right to the beach with the area's beachside bars.

For families and couples

If you're looking for a quieter holiday with your family or your partner that features some seriously beautiful beaches, Puerto Santiago is the ideal location! Puerto Santiago is an idyllic alternative to the crowded areas in the south of the island. Its narrow streets are lined with small shops and cafes, and the area's relaxed atmosphere will put you at ease as soon as you arrive.

Located nearby, the stunning black-sand beach of Playa de la Arena provides visitors with sun loungers, showers and a range of restaurants. Keep in mind that the currents can be strong here so always watch out for the red flags, especially when travelling with children. The beach is a year-round treasure with breath-taking sunsets.

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When is the best time to travel to Tenerife?

Tenerife is alive all year long so it’s really up to you when you want to visit the island. That said, Tenerife offers so many diverse activities throughout the year that you can create your own custom holiday experience, catering to your own interests and preferences.

🏄 Surfing - from September to April: For surfing enthusiasts, the best time to catch amazing Atlantic waves is from September to April. The northern parts of Tenerife is where you'll want to be, and El Socorro is a well-known spot for competitions. This volcanic beach, with its black sand, is a stunning backdrop to an afternoon of catching waves.

Windsurfers and kitesurfers should visit from May to September, as this is when the wind conditions are just right.

🐳 Whale watching - December to May: Whale and dolphin watching could be the absolute highlight of your stay in Puerto Santiago. Book a boat trip and spend a few hours looking out for these beautiful creatures. These months are the busiest time for boat tours, so book your trip as soon as possible.

🍷 Wine tasting - July to October: Wine connoisseurs should visit Tenerife between July and October. This is when the wineries are harvesting fresh grapes, so you can join in on the festivities. There will be wine tastings and opportunities to see the wine harvest in action.

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Travelling off-season

If you are looking to make your cash stretch that much further, the most budget-friendly times to visit Tenerife are from October to November and between March and May. But that doesn't mean you're missing out.

Tenerife's weather stays amazing all year long - and the rest of the island retains its magic too. Most of the island's main attractions and restaurants will be open, no matter when you decide to visit. As always, you should plan ahead if you want to get the best deals for your Tenerife holiday.

🏴‍☠️ Pirate tip: Around February, Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife takes place and prices tend to increase. Bookings during the weeks around Easter can also get busy and expensive.

How to get around in Tenerife

Although you have a few different options for getting around Tenerife, car rental is the easiest and most flexible way to explore the island. This is especially the case if you're planning to go hiking or have a wide range of places you'd like to visit all over the island. Thankfully, car rental is easy and affordable in Tenerife, making it our favourite mode of transport for discovering the beauty of this Canary Island.

However, if you'd prefer to use public transport, Tenerife has a bus system that is both comfortable and affordable. This is an ideal choice for travellers who have more time to work with, as you may have to change buses a few times before reaching your final destination. If you're having trouble finding the bus, they're called 'Guaguas' (pronounced 'wa-was'); by using this term, a local will definitely be able to help you find one.

Tips for Tenerife holidays

  • Plan for at least five days: If you can, book an extended weekend break as this gives you more time to take in the full picture of what Tenerife has to offer.

  • Learn a few Spanish phrases: 'Cuanto cuesta una cerveza?' means 'How much is a beer?' - an undoubtedly helpful phrase on a Spanish island.

  • Take some sunscreen: The days are known to last long in Tenerife and you can expect approximately nine hours of sunshine every day during summer.

  • Bring along an adapter: If you need to do a bit of work on your holiday or can’t put your phone down, remember to bring an adapter.