Activities in Tenerife: the roof of Spain
Tenerife, the largest island of the archipelago of the Canary Islands, is located more than 300 km from the coast of the African continent and about 1000 km from Spain. This island together with La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro make up the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is one of the most visited destinations in the Canary Islands, as its perfect climate and the wide range of activities on offer make it a popular attraction for travellers.
Depending on where you are you can get to Tenerife by plane or by boat, whichever you prefer. Some cruise ships have a route that passes through the Canary Islands and could take you to Tenerife, but if you want to make your stay on this island the best way is to arrive by ferry from different points such as Huelva, Cadiz, Funchal or Malaga. But if you feel like flying we have good news for you, Tenerife doesn't have one airport... It has two: the north airport and the south airport, the south airport being the largest on the island. Tenerife is the island of a thousand sensations. From one point of the island to the other you will find not only paradisiacal beaches with golden sand, but also the highest peak in Spain, magical forests, natural pools, marine life, volcanic landscapes, gastronomy, entertainment, culture and history.
Paragliding over the Teide National Park, Canary Islands from the heights
We start our tour, head towards the centre of the island and arrive at the most visited park in Spain: the Teide National Park. This park is home to the highest peak in the country and not only that, it is also one of the three largest volcanoes in the world, taking third place with an altitude of 3,715 metres.
In this 190 km² park you can visit places like the famous Pico Viejo, the Alto de Guajara, the Roques de Garcia, the Montaña Blanca or the Teide Observatory where you can learn about astronomy and the universe. The park, named a World Heritage Site in 2007, offers a lunar landscape of dark earth but decorated with colourful flowering tajinastes which gives it an incredible contrast.
To get to know this park you have many options, one of them is the cable car, but if you are reading Manawa's blog what you are looking for is adrenaline and outdoor activities. That's why the best option to discover this marvel is paragliding over the Teide National Park.
You will start your adventure with a certified instructor who will give you all the necessary safety tips to ensure you have a unique experience. Then you will enjoy the amazing rocky landscapes of Tenerife, its extensive vegetation and the Teide volcano while your feet float on a cushion of clouds.
After landing and now that your feet are on the ground, we suggest you look for things to do in the Teide National Park in order to continue discovering the extraordinary heart of Tenerife.
Wind, black sand and surf in Puerto de la cruz
We continue our journey through Tenerife in a northerly direction and arrive in Puerto de la Cruz, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. Urban, but full of nature, Puerto de la Cruz offers entertainment, restaurants, beaches, or points of interest such as the old port, the artificial lake Martiánez, the Castillo de San Felipe or the Mirador de la Paz. Another spot known for its social life is the Plaza del Charco, which is visited not only by the locals but also by writers, politicians and other people of interest. This square is surrounded by bars, restaurants and other places to visit, but the curious thing is that in the centre of it there is a salt water puddle.
In Puerto de la Cruz you will find one of the most visited jewels of the island, the Botanical Garden. This is one of the most important gardens in Spain and here you can find different tropical species from the former colonies of America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Don't forget to stop by and be dazzled by the amazingly large trees.
The most popular beaches in the area are Playa Jardín and Playa Martiánez, both with their characteristic black volcanic sand, and Playa de San Telmo, with its natural pools caused by the low tide.
If you are a fan of waves and wind there is no better place than Puerto de la Cruz for surfing or bodyboarding. Both Playa Martiánez and Playa Jardín are among the most popular for surfers or those who want to try these activities. It doesn't matter if you've never been on a board before, the instructors will explain everything you need to know and help you identify the perfect waves for your level. Bodyboarding is perhaps easier to learn than surfing, as your body must be glued to the board, but it also allows you to perform many acrobatics and that is why it is very popular in Tenerife.
If surfing is not your thing or you are looking for more alternatives to get to know this area of the island, be sure to look for things to do in Puerto de la Cruz.
Kayak tour in Los Cristianos, owner of the most beautiful beaches.
We move south and arrive at Los Cristianos. Touristy and urban, full of terraces, restaurants, shops and beach services such as sunbeds, showers, umbrellas and more. Ideal for relaxing but also for having fun.
In this town you will also find the channel that separates Tenerife and La Gomera. This channel is located in the port of Los Cristianos where you can find dolphins, pilot whales and enjoy an incredible postcard view of the Teide volcano. Its beaches have characteristics that differentiate them and help to easily choose the perfect spot for our trip. For young people we recommend Playa de las Américas for its nightlife and for families Playa del Camisón, as its waters are calm and perfect for children to swim in.
If you want to enjoy this part of the island, we recommend you try a kayak trip around Los Cristianos to enjoy the view and the company of dolphins, whales and turtles. While paddling through the blue waters of Tenerife you will meet these marine animals, always respecting their habitat, and you will be able to access bays that are impossible to access by land. In these bays you can snorkel or swim in their waters with the most incredible marine fauna.
Don't forget that before the adventure you will have a training that will allow you to learn all the safety rules to have an amazing and safe experience. If after this kayak tour you want to continue discovering the surroundings, you can choose to take the ferry to La Gomera, La Palma or El Hierro or find out what else to do in Los Cristianos.
Windsurfing at El Médano, where the wind is the protagonist
Now we head, a few kilometres from Tenerife South Airport, to a small village called El Médano, where you will find one of the favourite beaches for the locals of Tenerife. This village is perfect for families and all those who are looking for just the right amenities such as flats, hotels, sun loungers, parasols and ramps for people with reduced mobility.
El Médano has all the comforts that we can look for as travellers while preserving its calm atmosphere that conserves a natural beauty of sand, sea and that village spirit. This town offers beaches for all tastes. For families there is Playa El Medano and for adults there are golden sandy beaches such as La Tejita. Entering the town you can visit Playa Chica, in front of the main square Playa Grande or for sport lovers Playa Leocadio Machado with its black sandy coves or in front of Montaña Roja Playa sur or Los Balos.
El Médano is the venue for World Windsurfing Championships, as thanks to its winds it is a paradise for windsurfing, surfing, body and kitesurfing. The sand and waters of La Playa Cabezo y Salado or the aforementioned beach of Leocadio Machado are adorned with the colours of the wings and kites of these water sports practised by fans of adrenaline and wind.
Perfect you have decided to go windsurfing in El Medano or kitesurfing. On this occasion your instructor will give you all the necessary information and teach you all the techniques so that you can enjoy this adventure. After practising on the beach you will put into action the skills you have learned and enjoy the water and the wind. Once you get out of the water and perhaps enjoy a picnic on the beach you can discover this wonderful town and find out what to do in El Medano.
Boat trip in Los Gigantes, home to cliffs and marine life
To the west of Tenerife lies a landscape of blue waters and volcanic rock walls: the Cliffs of Los Gigantes. And it is no coincidence that it is called Los Gigantes de Tenerife, as its walls are between 300 and more than 600 metres high.
The Tenerife Cliffs extend from the port of Los Gigantes to the Teno Rural Park where Punta de Teno and its characteristic lighthouse are located. During the pre-Hispanic period these cliffs were known as "Muralla del Infierno" or "Muralla del Diablo" by the original people of Tenerife, the Guanches, as they believed that this was the end of the world. However, on the seabed the Cliffs of the Giants merge with the sea at a depth of 30 metres, harbouring a marine universe full of a very rich biological diversity.
What species are part of the marine universe of the Giants? Here you can see algae, fish of all colours and shapes, manta rays, sponges, turtles and black corals. But that's not all, in the Giants you will find orcas, dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales and fin whales. That's why there is nothing better than a boat trip with whale watching in Los Gigantes to enjoy this area of Tenerife.
Embark on an adventure that will take you not only to meet the cetaceans living off the coast of Tenerife, but also to see the cliffs of Los Gigantes from the boat! You will start this excursion enjoying the scenery, you will sail through the crystal clear waters of this island towards open waters where you will meet these marine animals that usually visit this area of the island all year round due to its orography and the coves that are difficult to access on foot.
Depending on the tour you choose you can snorkel or swim in the waters and then when you get hungry you can enjoy a snack provided by the crew. When you get back to the mainland you may want to continue enjoying other activities and you can see what to do in Los Gigantes.
Snorkelling in Costa Adeje, the marine world
Home to one of the most popular tourist spots in the south of Tenerife, Costa Adeje offers luxury accommodation, comfort, and entertainment for the whole family or group of friends. Home to a Mediterranean climate with temperatures in the high 20's and two of the best beaches on the island, Playa de Duque and Playa Fañabé. Costa Adeje is also close to another of the most beautiful beaches of the archipelago, Playa las Américas and La Caleta, a small fishing town without much sand, but full of good gastronomic offers, turquoise waters and more calm than the busiest spots of Costa Adeje.
With a tourist offer for every traveller and a nature offer for anyone looking for more than just a beach holiday, Costa Adeje is also home to mammals and sea turtles. To get to know this marine world we suggest snorkelling activities in Costa Adeje.
Get on the boat and sail through the waters of Costa Adeje until you reach the place where we will snorkel. Once you arrive at the place the instructor will give you the necessary equipment and all the information you need to know to live an unforgettable and safe experience. You already have your equipment on, you know the instructions by heart and you are eager to discover... Flash! It's time to dive in!
Under this blue universe you will be able to observe sea turtles, schools of anchovies, seahorses, rays, dolphins and even blue whales. Depending on the type of excursion you choose, when you get out of the water, there will be a biologist explaining everything about each species you have encountered.
This activity is perfect for groups of friends, couples or families, as the minimum age ranges from 5 or 10 years old (depending on the instructor) and if you want to look for more activities after getting out of the water while eating a plate of seafood just see what to do in Costa Adeje.
Discover Santa Cruz de Tenerife by Jet Ski
We arrive in the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, located in the northeast of the island. A city of carnivals, theatres, squares such as Plaza de España and Plaza de la Candelaria, parks such as Parque García Sanabria and pedestrian streets full of shops decorated by a blue sky characteristic of Tenerife. After enjoying the entertainment, gastronomy and everything that the capital of Tenerife has to offer, it's time to go to the beach because you need a bit of water and nature. Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers beaches such as Playa de Las Teresitas, with golden sand and calm waves; Playa las Gaviotas, with darker sand; the small Playa de la Pinta, quiet but with all the services and Playa de Roque de las Bodegas, urban and with intense waves, among others. Capital cities are always difficult to get to know in their entirety due to their great extension and entertainment offer. But there is nothing better than enjoying a ride on a jet ski in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and then enjoying its gastronomy, entertainment and nightlife. After listening carefully to the instructor's instructions, you'll get on the jet ski and experience an aquatic adventure as you get to know the coastline of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Often, after an activity like this, you'll work up an appetite and what better place than the capital to enjoy the island's culinary offerings without forgetting that you can keep looking for things to do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to continue the adventure.
You have reached the end of your tour of this island, but don't be sad, perhaps your journey through the Canary Islands is not over and you still have a lot to discover in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura.