Tenerife in 7 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit
7 days is more than enough to enjoy most of the tourist destinations on the planet and Tenerife is no exception to this rule. I will explain how to enjoy this island during each of the days of your trip so you can make the most of your visit.
There are thousands of tourist and family entertainment options in the Canary Islands and a good part of these activities occur in Tenerife as it is the largest and most populated island in the archipelago. At the same time, the best things to see and do in Tenerife are scattered between the north and south of the island, which makes the logistical planning of an itinerary less of a benefit and more of a necessity.
With that in mind in this post I have compiled all kinds of plans and all kinds of places imaginable so you can go home saying that you have seen the most attractive and interesting places in Tenerife. Read on if you want to have a clearer and more concise idea about the kind of trip you can enjoy if you visit Tenerife for 7 continuous days.
Day 1: Start the trip in the north of the island
The northeast of Tenerife is one of the most populated areas of the whole island due to the fact that the capital is located there. At the same time it is characterized for being a section of the island with a very defined natural beauty, as the greenery of the Natural Park of Anaga together with the Enchanted Forest of La Ensillada create a contrasting panorama with the rocky coasts full of cliffs.
I advise you to start your trip in this part of the island knowing that it is worth your while to travel through it. Keep in mind that for this day and for the rest of the trip you will need a rental car to move from one point to another quickly and safely.
Walk the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the most populated city of all the Canary Islands and stands out for being a cosmopolitan community in which the historic atmosphere of its oldest neighborhoods mingle with new modern constructions. Such as the Auditorio Adan Martin or the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife.
The colonial church of the Immaculate Conception, the Palace of Carta and the Museum of Nature and Man are just some of the places you should visit when you have a brief stay in this beautiful city. The Plaza de España is another great must-see in the downtown area of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Continue the day visiting La Laguna
While in Santa Cruz de Tenerife it is totally advisable to visit the city of San Cristobal de La Laguna. It is a picturesque city that has to be toured on foot and therefore I advise you to leave the car in the parking lot of the historic center. This is so you can visit the cathedral that bears the same name of the city, as well as its surroundings and the famous Plaza del Adelantado.
The Plaza de la Concepción and the Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife are stops you also have to make on your short tour of the city.
Take the old road to the Pico del Inglés
From the center of La Laguna you can start driving towards the northern tip of the island to take the TF-12 road through the Anaga Rural Park. This road will take you to the last destination of the first day of the trip, but there is a small detour you can take to go to the Mirador del Pico del Inglés. Which is an opportunity you can't miss.
And it is a narrowing route that crosses a dense section of vegetation in the park creating a path that looks like a fairy tale. Because of this feature, over time it has become one of the most photographed places in Tenerife.
Drive to Las Teresitas for a beautiful sunset
If you continue driving for another hour or so you can spend the late afternoon and early evening at Las Teresitas Beach. This is a beautiful coastal community with almost two kilometers of uninterrupted white sands and is considered one of the best beach resorts on the entire island.
It is an excellent place to enjoy the first beach swim of the trip as well as to enjoy a delicious dinner from the catch of the day at some of the restaurants in the picturesque town of San Andres. The return to the city can be more comfortable and quicker, as you have the alternative of driving along the TF-11 highway.
Day 2: Visit Puerto de la Cruz and its surroundings
Puerto de la Cruz is another of the most important urban settlements in Tenerife and since the end of the 19th century it has presented itself to the world as one of the first Spanish cities oriented to tourism and entertainment.
Throughout this community you will find all kinds of plans, but a short walk through its historic center, a stroll along the fishing pier and dinner in one of the hundreds of restaurants in the city are things that can not miss on your visit.
Start the day at the Cruz De La Atalaya lookout point
On the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz, on the road to Candelaria near the village of Tamaide is a modest viewpoint that has one of the best views in the entire region.
This is the Mirador Cruz De La Atalaya and is an excellent place to start the second day, as it offers you the opportunity to see the first skies of the morning before driving along the TF-21 towards your next destination, which is also located in the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz.
Tour the stately architecture of La Orotava
The famous town of La Orotava is known locally as the city of balconies. This has to do with its famous wooden balconies that belong to the old mansions that are built along the length and breadth of its cobblestone streets.
Among the remarkable sites of this town are the Victoria Gardens that are characterized by their stepped design full of fountains and flowers that create a very beautiful and peculiar atmosphere. La Casa de Los Balcones is another of the great attractions of the town and consists of a large and stately building in which today there is a museum accessible to the public to learn about the ins and outs of the world of craftsmanship in Europe and Latin America.
Spend the afternoon at Loro Parque
Loro Parque is a very famous family entertainment complex in Tenerife that functions as a kind of Zoo. It is a space that also combines activities and educational dynamics to interact with the animals that are protected there from the dangers of their natural environments.
There are penguins, gorillas, tigers, red pandas, pools with dolphins and lots of other impressive animals. There are exhibits that are set up in the style of a natural history museum and there are also some cafeterias where you could have lunch.
However, I advise you to preferably do it in one of the restaurants in the neighboring neighborhood of Punta Brava, so you can take the opportunity to walk around its picturesque streets.
Watch the sunset at Los Roques Beach
The sunsets in this part of Tenerife are worth admiring and if there is an appropriate place to enjoy them in the surroundings of Puerto de La Cruz would be the Playa de Los Roques. This is a practically virgin beach that is distinguished by its total absence of sand and the existence of several rocks that stand in front of the strong waves of the water, creating a quite captivating landscape.
You can not access the shore with your rental car, but you can leave it in the public parking and go down to the beach by a short path that is perfectly signposted and conditioned.
Day 3: Get to know the cliffs on the northwestern side
The northwestern tip of Tenerife is distinguished by having a rather uneven terrain that rudely bursts over the coast to create some of the most beautiful cliffs in the world.
Inland the region also has several natural attractions. For winding roads wind their way through the Teno Rural Park. Which has the most canyons and cliffs of the whole island because of the way the volcanic massif of the area is configured.
Go to Punta Teno Lighthouse
Punta de Teno is a tourist site in Tenerife due to the fact that it is the westernmost section of the whole island. It is an excellent idea to start your third day of your visit here because of the fact that you could enjoy an energizing swim at the beach that bears the same name of the area.
Entering the lighthouse to enjoy its panoramic views is something you can't miss. Although in the hypothetical case that you could not enter you also have the option of enjoying the perspective of the landscape offered by the Mirador Punta del Frailete or the Mirador Punto del Teno.
Touring the Teno Natural Park
If you take the TF-445 road and then head south on the TF-436 road, you will enjoy the privilege of driving through the villages that are located throughout the entire region of the Teno Natural Park.
El Palmar, Las Lagunetas and Masca with its famous viewpoint are just some of the communities that will be on your route and where you will have the opportunity to have a brief stop to walk through their narrow streets and to admire their handicraft stores. They are also ideal places to enjoy a typical Canarian breakfast if you have not had the opportunity to eat until that point of the day.
Admire the immensity of Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cliffs on the planet and are presented as one of the great natural attractions of Tenerife and all the Canary Islands. You have different alternatives to enjoy and admire their beauty and the choice of one will depend on your time and interests.
For example, you can perfectly sit down for lunch in some of the restaurants of Puerto de Los Gigantes, which are characterized by a direct and privileged visibility of these impressive geological formations. Enjoying a catamaran or sailboat ride that combines a closer exploration of Los Gigantes with a whale watching tour is also an excellent idea.
The most convenient part of the matter is that these types of sea tours usually depart from this same Puerto de Los Gigantes. The restaurants in Playa Puerto de Santiago are also a favorable option to eat after participating in these tours, especially for the fact that they bring you even closer to the next activity of your day.
Swim in the Natural Swimming Pool Acantilado de Los Gigantes
If you like the natural pools that are created by the conditions of the rocky coasts then you can't miss a sunset swim in the Natural Pool Acantilado de Los Gigantes.
It is also known as the Charco de Isla Cangrejo and the truth is that it is a free and completely safe space where you can enjoy a good sunset. That while you bathe in a saltwater pool in the best Canary Islands style.
Day 4: Have a tour of beaches
By the fourth day of your trip you will most likely have a significant interest in wanting to enjoy some of Tenerife's most famous beaches to the fullest. That's why this day's itinerary focuses exclusively on exploring the beauty of the island's southern shores.
Walk the Golden Mile
Before you start swimming in the Atlantic waters that reach the beaches of the island, you will probably want to take advantage of a short shopping session in one of the most famous shopping streets of the island. This is the Golden Mile and is basically a well-known avenue on which are built some of the most famous hotels in Playa de Las Americas. There are also several restaurants such as Hard Rock Café or shopping malls.
Spend the morning in Los Cristianos Beach
The next thing you should do in order to start experiencing the beach atmosphere of the south coast of Tenerife is to hang out at the neighboring Playa de Los Cristianos, one of the best known and most favorable for swimming.
If this section of the coast doesn't suit you you still have the alternative of spending the morning at Playa de las Vistas or simply walking along the promenade of Playa de los Tarajales. Keep in mind that this is one of those activities to see or do with children in Tenerife, as they are all beaches with little waves and a coast guard.
Visit the beach of Costa Adeje
A couple of kilometers to the north is the tourist area of Costa Adeje. It is noted for the large concentration of hotel and commercial complexes creating one of the most significant industries on the entire island. Along the area there are also several beaches that you might find interesting such as Playa de El Bobo, Playa de Troya or the extensive Playa de Fañabé.
Keep in mind that from this point depart some of the excursions for whale watching in Tenerife. So it can be a great entertainment alternative if you did not have the opportunity to enjoy the boat ride during the visit to the cliffs of Los Gigantes.
Have a jet skiing session in Puerto Colón
Right in the center of Costa Adeje is a place known as Puerto Colon. Basically, it's the area's marina where most of the jetties for luxury yachts, sailboats, catamarans and all kinds of boats are located.
Its proximity to the beautiful Playa de La Pinta is somewhat convenient if none of the other sections of the coast have captivated you so far.
Besides, the best thing about the whole thing is that from this coastal locality some jet ski excursions are organized. Which can be the dose of adrenaline you've been looking for to close your beach exploration of the most touristic area of Tenerife.
Day 5: Focus your day on the wonders of Mount Teide
Teide is a volcano more than 3,700 meters above sea level that is located right in the center of the island and represents a site of utmost geological and touristic importance for all of Spain.
First for the fact that it is the highest peak in the whole country and second for the factor that it is a volcanic formation that is not located on the continental shelf but on an island in an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
The area is full of plans and activities that could keep you very entertained throughout the day. That is why it is a good idea to fully dedicate yourself to enjoying this beautiful corner of the Canary Islands during the fifth day of your trip.
Visit the island's astronomical observatory
Starting the day and the tour of the surroundings of Teide at the observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is an excellent decision. This complex is a world reference when it comes to monitoring cosmological phenomena and studies related to outer space.
This particular site is the largest solar observatory on the planet and you have the alternative of enjoying a guided tour as well as admiring its structure from the outside.
Go up to Teide in the beautiful cable car
If you drive from the observatory along the TF-21 road you will arrive directly at the base of the Teide cable car. Riding this fun transportation system is something you can't miss to get to the top of the highest mountain in all of Spain.
When you get to the top you have the alternative of taking some of the hiking trails that take you to other more distant viewpoints or you can also enjoy the perspective offered by the same viewpoint of the cable car station. At the cable car base station you can also eat if you wish, as there is a restaurant for the hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit the summit of Teide annually.
Try to hug the big pine tree on the way down the mountain
If you continue driving along the TF-21 there will be a point where you will start to descend from the mountain crossing sectors such as the Zona Recreativa Las Lajas.
At the same time, just before reaching the picturesque village of Vilaflor there is a famous tourist destination that is traditionally a basic stop on the descent of the excursions to the Teide and it is the Pino Gordo and the Pino de las dos Pernadas.
The first is a large Canary Island pine with a trunk so thick that it has attracted the attention of the local tourist offices to the point of creating a parking lot nearby. The second is a curious pine tree with a trunk that splits in two at the top of its structure.
Enjoy a peculiar dinner at the Castle of San Miguel
If you continue the descent along the TF-21 and when you reach the TF-28 you start driving in a westerly direction you will reach the town of San Miguel. From there you can drive south on the TF-25 and after about 15 minutes you will be at the entrance of the Castillo de San Miguel.
It is a castle inspired by medieval architecture and when you visit it at night you will have the opportunity to enjoy a themed dinner. In this experience you will see a medieval show with knights in armor and all kinds of theatrical ambience.
It is a good entertainment activity for the whole family and can also be the ideal break after a day of driving around the length and breadth of Teide.
Day 6: Get to know Güímar and surroundings
At this point of the trip the southwestern section of Tenerife is the only part of the island that you have not been able to visit. Precisely the beautiful town of Güímar together with its neighboring towns are the perfect opportunity for you to return home claiming that you have enjoyed Tenerife in most of its extension.
Visit the pyramids of Güímar
The Pyramids of Güímar are structures built in volcanic rock that belong to an ethnographic museum that is combined with a botanical garden.
This site offers tourists a close-up view of the pre-Columbian past of the Canary Islands. As well as all kinds of information about the nature of the island as a special biosphere reserve of the Canary Islands.
Have a hiking tour in the Malpaís de Güímar
After you have participated in all the activities available at the Pirámides de Güímar museum it is a good idea to start a hiking route through the Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve.
This is a very important terrain for the island, as it is an area of about 290 hectares with a completely volcanic soil and vegetation. The reserve has a mountain that is quite easy to climb and there are those who bet on walking to the coast to observe the collision of the waves with the rock formed by volcanic lava flows 5 thousand years ago.
Traveling through La Candelaria and Punta Larga
Heading north along the TF-21 road you can reach the community of La Candelaria. It is a coastal and fishing village with a basilica that has been a point of pilgrimage for the Canarian community for a couple of decades.
The neighboring town of Punta Larga is also a place worth visiting and between the two places you have different alternatives to have lunch and also to enjoy a walk along the black sand beaches of volcanic origin.
Day 7: Leave the island for a short excursion
For the last day of your week in Tenerife you can go for the idea of having an excursion to some of the nearest islands.
Therefore I will tell you about the two most common alternatives that will allow you to get to know a new destination and then return in time in the afternoon or evening of the same day. This knowing that the next thing in your logistics will be the flight or ferry back home.
Go to La Gomera from Tenerife just like Colon did
La Gomera is the closest island to the south of Tenerife and is a destination with a myriad of tourist attractions such as the Garajonay National Park or its picturesque capital, San Sebastian.
You have to know that this type of daily excursions to La Gomera from Tenerife usually depart from Los Cristianos or Puerto de La Cruz early in the morning and the return is usually set around 5 or 6 pm. The logistics of transportation and the tourist route to La Gomera are usually determined by the type of excursion you choose.
Choose to visit the smallest island of the Canary Islands
El Hierro is the smallest island of all the territories that are populated in the Canary Islands and at the same time it is one of the most peculiar and beautiful. The excursions that take you to this point of the archipelago also usually depart from Puerto de La Cruz or from any other port in the southeast of Tenerife.
In this type of day trips from Tenerife to El Hierro you will visit places like the Mirador de Jinama or the Natural Park of Laurisilva along with a short visit to places like the Hotel Punta Grande or the Roques de Salmor.