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10 best activities in Tenerife

Discover everything that awaits you on your trip to Tenerife with these great plans full of adrenaline and excitement, with which you will get to know the most beautiful places on the island in a very special way

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

9 min read

10 best activities in Tenerife

Stargazing from El Teide | ©Antonio López

Tenerife is made to be felt with all five senses; to be eaten in bites; to travel all over it by sea, land and air; to get lost and find yourself; to fix your eyes on the horizon and move forward until the sun goes down.

I think this is the only way I can describe everything that awaits you on a trip to this wonderful island of the Canary Islands, although perhaps the best way is to let the amazing experiences that you will live there speak for themselves: here is the list of the 10 best activities to enjoy your trip to Tenerife.

1. Catamaran trip to the natural habitat of whales and dolphins.

Watch whales and dolphins from your catamaran | ©Tony Hisgett
Watch whales and dolphins from your catamaran | ©Tony Hisgett

The first experience on the list is to do on the first days of your trip, to leave all the stress behind and disconnect: you will have beautiful views of Tenerife rising towards the summit of Mount Teide, you will feel the sea breeze and the sun shine on your body. Nothing says 'vacation' like this catamaran trip along the Costa Adeje where you can lie on a sofa with a drink and relax.

But as if that were not enough, part of the tour will take you to the natural habitat of the many and varied marine animals that inhabit Tenerife. You will be able to see whales and dolphins around the catamaran, and snorkel to see turtles and all kinds of fish.

Compare the best whale watching tours.

2. Paragliding flight across Tenerife

Discover the beautiful landscapes of the island by paragliding | ©Flying Naturist
Discover the beautiful landscapes of the island by paragliding | ©Flying Naturist

The island of Tenerife is one of the most impressive places in the world in which to paraglide. For its great weather and gentle wind currents, which also makes these experiences something totally safe.

You can do a paragliding flight over Costa Adeje, perfect if it is your first time, since its duration is somewhat reduced and you will avoid the probability of getting dizzy or tired, but you will still enjoy incredible views and an adrenaline-filled experience touring the entire southwest coast of the island from the air.

But if you dare with the main course, the premium paragliding flight from Teide to Puerto de la Cruz will take you over 2,000 meters high before launching you into the void to glide through the air currents for about 40 minutes. Seeing Teide from a bird's eye view is one of the most magical experiences you can have on the island, with the sea stretching towards the horizon and the wonderful landscapes of Tenerife at your feet.

Explore paragliding flights in Tenerife

3. Race in the waves on a jet ski

Surf the waves on your jet ski | ©RealKina
Surf the waves on your jet ski | ©RealKina

If paragliding over Tenerife was experiencing the feeling of freedom of a bird, cutting through the waves on a jet ski is the closest thing to being a dolphin. Speed and adrenaline go hand in hand in a tour where you will see cliffs, sea caves and the splendid island of Tenerife rising in front of you.

In this 2 hours jet ski tour you will live an adventure along the coast discovering the secret places hidden between the cliffs in the company of a guide, while you feel the speed at the wheel of the bike.

If you want to add a snorkeling experience to your adventure at sea, this jet ski safari from the port of Las Galletas will take you at full speed to the high seas where you can dive into the water and discover the impressive marine fauna that inhabits the depths of Tenerife.

And if you just want to ride a jet ski and race with your friends, this jet ski experience will put you behind the wheel of the motorcycle on a full speed route to the beaches of Las Americas and La Caleta, splitting the sea in two as you go.

4. Jeep excursion to Teide and Masca

Discover the secrets of the island by jeep | ©-JvL-
Discover the secrets of the island by jeep | ©-JvL-

Another experience full of adventure and strong emotions, this time by land. In this excursion by Jeep to Teide and Masca you will go from your hotel to the summit of the volcano crossing roads, forests and impressive volcanic landscapes.

Once there, you will explore the Teide National Park stopping to admire its whimsical rock formations, its fauna and flora, and the views of the rest of the island.

Crossing the park you will reach the village of Masca, hidden in the mountains and full of treasures, although only figuratively as this place used to be a pirate hideout several centuries ago. You will taste the typical coffee of the islands, the barraquito, and have lunch in a restaurant of pure Canarian gastronomy, before heading back through the ravines.

Compare the best excursions in Tenerife.

5. Day trip to La Gomera from Tenerife

Views from the viewpoint of Degollada de Peraza | ©Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
Views from the viewpoint of Degollada de Peraza | ©Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble

La Gomera is Tenerife's little sister and one of those places whose beauty overwhelms you without remedy. The lush vegetation that extends as far as the eye can see just makes you want to explore and get lost, and for that I recommend a couple of excursions from Tenerife:

On this day trip to La Gomera from Tenerife you'll take the ferry to the island and set course for Garajonay National Park, one of the treasures of the Canary Islands. Think of a jungle lost in time (literally, as only laurel forests remain here), a peak from which to observe the whole island, and a volcanic earth that looks alien, and you'll be imagining this wonderful place.

Within the National Park itself there are a number of viewpoints from which to look out over breathtaking views. The mirador de la Degollada de Peraza is perhaps the most famous, from which you can see the majesty of the Barranco de la Laja.

Beyond the park you can visit, on the same excursion, the villages of Las Rosas and Agulo where you will see how life is lived in this remote place, and how the silbo gomero is still used as a form of communication. You will also pass through some key places in the life of Christopher Columbus, who stopped in La Gomera before setting sail for the Americas.

Another option to visit this beautiful island from Tenerife is to take a excursion by Jeep to La Gomera from Tenerife, with a somewhat different route but in which you will also explore the Garajonay National Park and its laurel forest, and the beautiful Hermigua Valley with volcanic rock formations that hold curious stories.

Compare the best excursions to La Gomera.

6. Excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife

Admire the beautiful landscapes of the coast of El Hierro | ©Julen Iturbe-Ormaetxe
Admire the beautiful landscapes of the coast of El Hierro | ©Julen Iturbe-Ormaetxe

El Hierro is an island of lookout points with dizzying views, pristine beaches, and landscapes so dramatically eroded by lava that it makes sense that, before Christopher Columbus discovered America, this place was considered the end of the world.

On a full-day excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife you can explore its beautiful trails, part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which will take you through viewpoints from which you will see wild and unspoiled beaches and the tropical landscapes of the interior, passing through charming aloe vera farmlands, forests of intense green of juniper and laurel and remote cliffs where you will find hermitages, tiny houses and caves.

Find your excursion to El Hierro

7. Kayaking and snorkeling at Los Gigantes cliffs

Practice snorkeling and discover the seabed of the island | ©Mari Martin
Practice snorkeling and discover the seabed of the island | ©Mari Martin

A must in this top 10 of activities in Tenerife. The cliffs of Los Gigantes are the perfect place for this experience, which you can combine with snorkeling to discover what is hidden in the vast underwater world of the island.

Besides doing a very fun activity with family or friends, in a experiencia en kayak con delfines y ballenas you will be able to see the many cetaceans that live in the depths of this beautiful corner of the Atlantic. While you navigate, the guide will tell you the history of the cliffs and Pico Anaga, which were the first places on the island to emerge to the surface at the dawn of time.

Compare Kayaking Activities in Tenerife

8. The starry sky on Teide, seen from the telescope

Wonder at the stars from Mount Teide © ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video
Wonder at the stars from Mount Teide © ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

Few experiences reach the level of watching the sunset from Teide with a glass of champagne and then admiring the night sky and all its constellations. If this sounds good to you, this excursion to Teide by night with an expert astronomy guide is the perfect plan to include in your trip to Tenerife, especially as a couple.

The experience begins with a pick up at your hotel from where you will go to the Teide National Park. There, you will make a short route before sunset, at which time you will sit at a viewpoint to watch the sky turn pink and orange and slowly fade into night.

At that moment, you will head to a high place that will serve as an observatory and then a whole show will begin in front of your eyes. Thanks to the very low light pollution of the island, it is possible to see up to 83 different constellations from Teide, for which your guide will tell you how to find them and the history behind each one.

Compare Teide excursions

9. The complete tour of Tenerife

Millennial Dragon of Icod de los Vinos ©Miguel Ángel García
Millennial Dragon of Icod de los Vinos ©Miguel Ángel García

Whether you are going to be in Tenerife for a few days or one or two weeks and want to explore the island in depth, I recommend this complete tour of the island of Tenerife that will take you to Teide, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico and Masca, some of the most beautiful corners of the jewel of the Canary Islands.

Starting from Vilaflor, from where you have an amazing panoramic view of the island, you will head to the Teide National Park, where you will climb the volcano by a route full of the volcanic landscapes that make this place so beautiful. Once you reach the top, you will understand why it is one of the most visited protected areas in Spain: you will have the feeling of having risen above the Earth.

Then you will visit Icod de los Vinos, famous for its sweet malvasia wines and for being the place where the Millennial Dragon Tree, an ancestral tree and symbol of the island, is preserved. You will continue the route to Garachico, a village that was reborn from its ashes after being completely covered in lava in the Trevejos eruption in 1706, known as "the Pompeii of the Canary Islands". Today, the village is a charming place with a beautiful church.

To finish the excursion, you will visit Masca, a village at the top of a ravine where you will feel like you have gone back in time. This place, originally a pirate hideout, became over the centuries a tiny village where you can easily imagine the times of looting, pillaging and rum.

10. The ascent to Anaga Peak

Anaga Natural Park | ©Around Tenerife
Anaga Natural Park | ©Around Tenerife

Anaga is a beautiful rural park located in the northwest of Tenerife. Crowned by the peak of the same name, through it there are several mountain or coastal trails that will take you to know an area forgotten by most tourists.

Therefore, I do not want to finish this list without recommending a excursion to Anaga peak, in which you will start the day visiting San Cristobal de la Laguna and its local market, visit the Mercedes laurel forest and feel its intense aroma and color, and cross the Anaga Natural Park to the beach of Roque de las Bodegas, at the northern tip of the island and one of my favorite places in Tenerife to take pictures.

From there, you will retrace your steps and visit the beach of Las Teresitas, whose golden sand was transported from the Sahara desert, and stop at some other points of the island on the way back to your hotel, such as Candelaria, whose basilica is a place of pilgrimage to see a black carving of the Virgin.