Why Tenerife? Well, let’s say that the perfect climate throughout the whole year, with mild temperatures that can reach up to 23º in the coldest months, make the Canary Islands the best choice (if not the only) to escape winter in Europe.
Tenerife has everything you can imagine, from beautiful beaches to spectacular natural parks in the mountains, from forest to volcanic landscapes, from small local towns like El Medano to medium size cities like Santa Cruz.
People also say it is an island for everyone, if you are looking for an active holiday of hiking, water sports and exploring, this is the place. But also if you want a relaxed vacation, where to spend the whole day lying on golden (or black) sandy beaches with a Mojito on your hand, this is also the place.
This itinerary will give you a bit of everything, you’ll visit the most famous landmarks on the island but also discover some of the hidden gems just locals know about.
How to move around the island?
The best way to visit Tenerife is hiring a car. It gives you the flexibility you need if you count with just some days for the trip. It will also give you the opportunity to get to certain spots that by bus or with excursions you wouldn’t be able to reach.
For instance we used Autoreisen rental car for short trips, but also when we were living there we rented a car for some months, and after researching for a long time, we figured out that they are the ones with the best rates. They also don’t ask for a deposit or block any amount on your credit card. The easiest and best service was always with them.
Check out this link to get the best deals on car rental: Economy bookings
Certainly Exploring Tenerife by bus would be another option if you travel solo. But the connections are not the best and the service is not really reliable, buses are usually not on time and it can take you a long time to reach your destination due to the many stops they do.
What did we do? We wanted to live there for some time, eventually half a year but we had no idea which place could be the best to settle. Therefore we decided to rent a van in Airbnb for a week, to visit different parts of the island and see which one we would liked the most.
If you are an adventurous spirit, this last option is the one we would recommend the most. Freedom feeling at its most!
How much budget do I need?
These are some of the cost you might need to consider:
- Hostel bed: 15-20€ per night
- Double room in shared place: 30€ per night
- Double room in a hotel: 40-50€ per night
Prices might slightly change depending on the location and time of the year. If you are travelling by van, download the app Park4night to see the best spots to stop for the night.
Check also this link while traveling to get a very cool hostel at the best price: Hostelworld
- Car rental: 150€ for a week
- Bus: 50€ for 7 days travel card
- Van rental: 300€ for a week
- Eating out: 7-15€ per meal: Try out the Guachinches: local establishments where they produce wine and serve homemade traditional food.
- Cooking at home: 4-6€ per meal: Groceries are really cheap, Canary Islands have their own supermarket Hiperdino, but you can also find Lidl or Mercadona.
7 DAYS ROAD TRIP IN TENERIFE
DAY 1 – Playa de las Teresitas, Parque rural de Anaga, Taganana
This itinerary starts in the north of Tenerife, in the city of Santa Cruz.
The first day we planned to spend a relaxing morning on Teresitas beach, where to recharge ourselves with vitamin D after coming from the cold weather.
Teresitas is the most emblematic beach of Tenerife, the one that appears everywhere in the travel agencies. It is located not far from Santa Cruz, about 10min by car, in the town of San Andrés.
It might get a bit crowded in the afternoon but if you get there early you’ll have the real feeling of paradise. Blue crystal water, golden sand, palm trees and an impressive landscape around is what to expect from this beautiful corner of the island.
After a snack and a coffee in one of the kiosks, we get ready to visit Anaga Country Park. First stop will be Mirador de Jardina, where you will have epic views of La Laguna and Teide.
Heading up there is a small hike, maximum 1 hour long, but it’s really worth it. It starts in Mirador Cruz del Carmen and it ends in Mirador del Llano de los Loros. It’s name is Sendero de los Sentidos (Trail of the Senses). This path will bring you to an enchanted forest, that invites the walkers to experience the nature around them and arouse their senses: smell, sight and touch. A great experience that you shouldn’t miss!
Make sure to stop at Casa Santiago for a great homemade meal accompanied by a splendid view!
Time to get to the car again and explore a bit more direction Taganana. Drive slow and carefully, the roads are quite impressive (maybe even scary). Make sure to stop in Mirador “Risco Amogoje” for spectacular views of the northern coast. Keep driving down till you reach Playa Roque de Las Bodegas. This black sandy beach, at the foot of Anaga cliffs, is very easy to access and offers a beautiful sunset.
If you wish to get even further, promise you’ll not be disappointed, because you’ll get to Playa Almáciga and the famous Benijo Beach. Two stunning black sandy beaches placed in a unique landscape, with characteristic rocks formations coming out from the sea (Roques in Spanish) and steep cliffs that will be forever impressed in your mind.
DAY 2 – Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los vinos, Garachico
Second day! Wow, it will be difficult to beat yesterday… or maybe not?
Today we planned to visit spots along the north coast of the island. Starting in Puerto de la Cruz, a city with fishing village feeling but also surf and holiday vibes. Get lost on its streets, walk along the promenade, see the waves crashing the rocks at the natural pools and then have a look at its two main beaches: Playa de Martiánez and Playa Jardín. If you would like to have a relaxing morning at the pool there is also a perfect place for it: Lago Martiánez, a small complex with a salty water lagoon and bars and restaurants where to enjoy a morning coffee or a fresh beer.
We will follow the coastline to the west part of the island. Stopping at Mirador de San Pedro is a must. The views are just mind-blowing. You’ll see the protected landscape of Rambla de Castro, with its palm trees and banana plantations.
Icod de los Vinos is a small town but has something very special. The famous Drago Millenario. Around 800 years old, this 16 meter high tree is one of the most natural, cultural and historical symbols of the Canary Islands. Just for this it’s worth to stop by!
Only 15min drive from Icod, you’ll enter the village of Garachico. Colorful streets, historical buildings and natural swimming pools like El Caletón is what define this beautiful fishing town. Take time to explore it, look at the spectacular sea, have an ice cream and feel the friendly local vibes.
DAY 3 – Masca Valley, Los Gigantes
Today is going to be a day full of… WOOWs!
We are going to visit two of the most impressive places on the west coast, Masca and Los Gigantes.
Masca, the Machu Picchu of Canarias is simply unique. After a scenic (but winding) road you’ll reach the top of the valley, that looks out of this world. The views of this little village located between spectacular mountains are breathtaking. You can walk down the cobbled streets, being delighted by the flowered trees, enjoy the scenery and have lunch in one of their restaurants.
Going south you might want to make a short stop at Santiago del Teide, where if you go in January and February, you can be part of the event which locals are so proud of, Almendros en flor, you can do a small hike to see the trees in their full bloom.
Los Gigantes (Giants) are called this way for a reason. When you get there and see those huge cliffs, from the many viewpoints on the area or, if you want to get a bit closer, from Playa de los Guíos. Perfect place to watch the sunset.
DAY 4 – Teide National Park
Time to leave the coast and dive into the volcanic landscape of Teide National Park. It seems so surprising that this island has so many different environments, in this one you’ll feel in Mars. Teide is the highest mountain of Spain, 3.718m above the sea. It is definitely a must-see in your visit to Tenerife.
Make sure you take a jacket with you cause temperatures might differ a lot from the coast to the center of the island. This national park of craters, volcanoes and petrified lava will leave you speechless.
You can visit La Ruleta viewpoint and Roque Cinchado, or do one of the many hiking routes this park offers.
In any case, if you would like to get to the summit, you need to ask for a special free permit to access to the peak. The easiest way to get to the start of this route is by cable car (you can purchase the tickets online), if not you’ll need to walk up about 4h. Check also beforehand the weather and the status of this service, in winter might not be available.
If you are not able to get the permit you can still go up and hike the other two alternative routes: Pico Viejo and Mirador de la fortaleza, with spectacular views.
Locals used to visit Teide in winter, where is snowy some of the winter weeks, and right after drive down to the beach to enjoy the rest of the day at the best, swimming and sunbathing.
DAY 5 – Las Américas (Surfing) Los Cristianos (Kayaking)
Las Americas and Los Cristianos are the most touristic areas in Tenerife. Personally we prefer to visit places a bit more local, but this area has still many other things to offer. If you’re looking for a day full of activities, this is the place.
From surfing the waves to kayaking and seeing dolphins and sea turtles. Experiences you’ll never forget!
DAY 6 – Montaña amarilla, La Tejita, El Médano
Today is beach day! And we will visit not just one, but three beaches!
We will start in Playa Montaña Amarilla, with its unusual landscape. Wavy yellow cliffs that end in turquoise crystal waters, great to snorkel and discover the ocean wonders.
Driving 20min east you’ll find La Tejita beach, with the view of Montaña Roja on the background, this golden sandy beach is incredibly peaceful. Walk along the coast, sunbathe, jump into the water and do not miss a stop in Chiringuito el Pirata.
After that, it’s time to head to El Médano. This small town stole our hearts and we ended up living there for about 5 months. El Médano is known as the kite-surfers paradise. Whether you are looking for water sports, a nice walk along the promenade, chilling on the beach, have a nice lunch in one of the many restaurants, or just to feel the laid-back surfers vibe, this is the place to be.
DAY 7 – Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Last day… Oh no!
We planned a short visit to the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. City vibes, plenty of shops and restaurants, and nice walks around the streets and… we feel NOT READY to leave this paradise.
This was just a little bit of that Tenerife has to offer… because there is much more to discover.
But better to leave something for next time, right?
Thank you so much for reading, hope you liked it and that it will help you planning your upcoming trip! ❤️