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Top 15 things to do in Tenerife

Masca Hiking Route

A view of Masca, Tenerife, Canary Islands.

What to do in Tenerife ? As you might imagine, Tenerife is a touristic island that has plenty of things to do. This is why here in Atlantik Surf we’d like to write about the Top 15 things to do in Tenerife. Activities will vary from outdoor to indoor. I’d like to say that I’m from Tenerife and have been living here since I was born, 33 years ago. This is the author’s opinion and has nothing to do with, or represent, the views of Atlantik Surf:

  1. Visit Teide: Teide is the highest volcano and peak in Spain but the truth is that it doesn’t impress you because of its altitude, although it might, it rather impresses you by the amount of things you are able to do up there, from a visit to the crater to see the 7 islands to unforgettable hiking routes. Tenerife has been rewarded with several prizes for its hiking routes. Not in many places you can climb down from 3.718 meters to the beach in only 60 minutes. I’d recommend going to walk the “Paisaje Lunar” during the day and then visit Teide during the night to experience real mysticism. Choose a night were there is no moon to see the Stars correctly, as here in Tenerife we have very good views of the firmament. You’ll know what silence really means up there at night, have you got what it takes to go to Teide at night?
  2. Masca: The Masca Ravine is one of the most famous in Spain as it is a 2 to 3 hour hike down a marvelous ravine which is very near the cliffs of Los Gigantes in the west of Tenerife. There is no real risk but it’s a tough walk as it is completely natural and protected, I mean it’s not a promenade and you will find big rocks to jump down from (Rock climbing material isn’t required). The best thing to do is to drive to Los Gigantes, grab a taxi and tell the driver to take you to Masca and book a boat to pick you up on the beach of Masca (boats to and from Masca to Los Gigantes come and go every two hours or so). If you don’t trust taxi drivers (;-), then go to a travel agency just there in Los Gigantes, there are more than 10.) I’m sure you will never forget this ravine.
  3. Playa de Benijos-Taganana: This is one of the best hidden treasures of the island. The Benijos beach is so beautiful that even when you have to drive for an hour to get there through endless curves around cliffs, on weekends it can be very difficult to park because it is amazing. I’d recommend to go very early in the morning so you can find a good parking space just above the Benijos beach. Remembeer in order to go to Benijos I prefer the way from Las Teresitas beach in Santa Cruz, the capital. This is because if you take the long route from the mounts of Anaga in La Laguna, you will take 90 minutes to get there and you might get lost ! So go to Santa Cruz, then remain on the Avenida de Anaga (parallel to the Sea) until you reach the beach of Las Teresitas. Just before getting to Las Teresitas you will see a sign that says San Andrés – Taganana – Benijos- Almáciga. You have to go up the mountains following the Taganana signs and once you get down there get to the end of the road where you’ll find the beach of Benijos to your left. The bars won’t let you park inside if you are going to the beach. They only want customers for their bar or restaurant, they really don’t give a damn if you see the beach or not. So as I told you before, go early and find a good parking spot elsewhere. If you can’t find parking easily, just after the last bar turn left and follow that road up until you see a sand entrance to a cliff. It seems dangerous but only 20 meters later you’ll find a parking lot to the right. You can leave the car there, in the middle of the cliff ! Yes, this part of the islands is amazing… Go to the beach of Benijos whatever it takes !

    Playa de Benijos Tenerife Beach

    Benijos Beach next to Taganana

  4. Sendero del Bosque Encantado: The Enchanted Forest hiking route, that’s what it means. The hiking route is in the mounts of Anaga (very near the capital and the old town of La Laguna). You will see the typical Laurisilva, a must-see in the island. It’s the best green area you will find in the Canary islands. It’s a humid subtropical forest that is really worth to see. Look for the hiking route on the internet and give it a try, you won’t get bored I’m certain.
  5. Cueva del Viento: The name means the Cave of the Wind, it’s in Icod de los Vinos and it’s another amazing thing to do in Tenerife. You need to book your trip at the website, ask if you need to take some flashlights with you and start walking in a super cave of some miles. No danger, just an amazing cave in one of the oldest parts of Tenerife, where the Guanches, the locals before the conquerors used to live.
  6. Peregrinación a Candelaria (Pilgrimage to Candelaria from La Orotava): During the night of the 14th of July, plenty of religious people from the island and plenty of sports men and women gather in La Orotava and in many other places of the north of the island with the intention of climbing all the mountain until Izaña (very near Teide at 3000 meters) and then walk down all the way to the Church of Candelaria. The path is done to go on a pilgrimage. Everybody does the effort to pray for something: the good health of family and friends, to make your wishes come true, etc. I’m afraid to say it’s not very easy or short. It’s a pilgrimage path ! It takes at least 9 hours of walking !!! I did it myself and it’s amazing, especially the mountain area until walking down. I myself think that the way up to Izaña is great and honestly, don’t get lost, stay with your friends and don’t try to be the man ! If you get lost in a pine forest you won’t find your way back. Uhhhhhh (scary).
  7. Watching big wave Surfing in Puerto de la Cruz: I know, it only happens once or twice a year and it’s normally in Winter, or from September to February. When huge waves come, some crazy big wave surfers get ready and surf them. You can take a look at what I mean here, in the Biggest waves in Tenerife post. Even if you don’t like surfing, it’s just amazing to watch nature in it’s essence.
  8. Learn to surf with Atlantik Surf: Perhaps this is the best experience you might want to enjoy in Tenerife. Honestly, I know this is Atlantik’s Surf Blog, but you just have to take a look at our Facebook page and check out the comments and the pictures of the customers. We might even take you to one of the mentioned beaches as well, and in one week you will be ready to surf anywhere, apart from having met plenty of other learners, with which you will network for the rest of your life. Go to our Surf School Tenerife page for more info or check out the prices.
  9. Loro Parque: I know plenty of ecologists and ‘greens’ want to close down this animal park, but why so much pressure against Loro Parque and not onto other parks and zoos? Is it because it has earned millions of euros?  I dare you to find a park that treats animals in a better way, with such extensive areas for gorillas, white tigers, sharks, birds, etc. Ok this is an opinion, I’ve been to many zoos around the world and I’ve seen horrible things.  I reassure you that even the staff from International Circuses treat animals much worse than in Loro Parque. And if this wasn’t enough, Loro Parque has breeding as well for many species. In Trip Advisor, it is the number 1 thing to do in Puerto de la Cruz.  So many people think like me.
  10. Siam Park: Both Loro Parque and Siam Park belong to the same family, the Kiesling. The son of the multimillionaire from Loro Parque, Cristoph, told his father that with his help he’d be able to create the most amazing water park in the world. Well, after some years, it’s the best park in Europe according to Trip Advisor. I myself am proud of such an amazing park. Did you know that you can rent the wave pool for you and your friends from 6 o’clock onwards ? I think an hour costs 600€ max 10 people. I did it and it was worth it. Big waves without tube but very strong.
  11. Playa de Los Patos: The beach of Los Patos is in La Orotava. It has always been a beach quite difficult to access. In fact right now you aren’t able to go down because the Town Hall hasn’t (allegedly) done anything to properly repair the broken stairs (everybody in the north of Tenerife has heard about the famous broken stairs of Los Patos – Escaleras Rotas de los Patos). People gave them this name because they have always been broken (the vast majority of time). They have never repaired them completely, perhaps their excuse is that there are constant rock falls. Every time there is a rock fall (quite often) they just go down and fix the stairs as effortlessly as they can. So less than a year later, the stairs break down again. It seems the town hall doesn’t want to repair them completely and only they know the reason. Last thing I know is that a hippie created a whole new way down in an incredible effort, putting a rope all the way down the path to give you some extra security and, Rumour has it, that the police broke the hippie path because they thought it was too dangerous, but then they didn’t do anything to repair the normal way down, so what is it with these nanny governments ? You might want to rent some jetskis and go from Puerto de la Cruz to Los Patos in 5 minutes.
  12. Paragliding over Puerto de la Cruz: I myself haven’t done this yet because I might suffer a heart attack but the people who have experienced it say it was incredible and unforgettable. Normally people jump with the help of several professionals of different companies from La Corona in Los Realejos. Jumping over the north of Tenerife is much better than over the south as the latter is a desert and the north is just green and beautiful.
  13. A stroll in the old part of La Laguna: La Laguna is one of the oldest towns in the island and it has the typical Spanish architecture with cobblestone everywhere. In 2017, La Laguna is a mixture between the old and the new, modernity has arisen in the town and it’s really amazing to take a walk through the city to understand the beauty of the island. La Laguna was the capital of the island before Santa Cruz. Nowadays, you can’t see the difference between one city and another as they are absolutely joined by buildings, hospitals and civilization. The vast majority of population is gathered between the capital and La Laguna, the universitary city. La Laguna is World Heritage City by UNESCO.
  14. Have a good and fresh fish in Garachico: Garachico is a special town in Tenerife, far from civilization and the capital. There is no highway to reach there, you have to go the old way, but it is worth it. From natural and sea water pools to fresh fish and marvelous food everywhere, I’d recommend going on a stroll to Garachico. You’ll see a huge rock in the water. That rock allegedly fell from the cliff ages ago and now it is home for fishes, birds and a religious chapel and cross.
  15. Punta de Teno: Punta de Teno is on the west side of the island and the road there is just amazing. As happens in other parts of the island, town halls don’t work that well and whenever there is a catastrophee they take years to mend it. The road is an experience itself. Once there, have a swim in the ocean were the south and north currents mingle and take a look at the amazing cliffs that are the highest in Europe. They are the same cliffs you saw in Los Gigantes but from another side.

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