A guide to things to do in Tenerife

The largest of the seven Canaries, Tenerife has the highest population out of all the Spanish islands – and it’s the most popular with tourists too. It’s no surprise that this sun-soaked haven offers year-round attractions for all of types of travellers, whether you’re a beach bum, intrepid explorer or nature enthusiast – there’s something for everyone on holidays in Tenerife.

Teide National Park

No, you haven’t crash-landed on the moon. This barren, lunar-like landscape is one of Spain’s favourite national parks, dotted with magnificent pine trees and graced with the country’s highest peak, Mount Teide. This 3,718-metre inactive volcano is the third highest in the world and rewards those brave enough to tackle the climb with spectacular sunrise views. A quick tip from us – if you’re not feeling up to the trek, you could just take the cable car.

Siam Park

The largest waterpark in Europe is inspired by the beautiful country of Thailand. The park is complete with replica temples, native plants and one hair-raising 28 metre-high water slide. Exhilarate yourself on one of the many rides and slides, or float away in the huge artificial wave pool with its very own golden stretch of sandy beach. Bring the kids – or don’t! This award-winning water resort is fun for all ages.

The lost village of Masca

Masca is the village that time forgot. Nestled high up in the northwestern mountains of the island, this small town can only be reached by a winding country road that is not for the faint of heart! Nervous drivers should consider taking a tour or hiring a taxi to reach this isolated gem, but the views afforded along the way are simply breath-taking.

The gigantic cliffs of Los Gigantes

Just when vertigo-sufferers thought it was safe to come out from behind the couch… don’t worry, these imposing curtains of rock are best viewed from below. Boat trips can take you around the base of these 500-metre tall natural wonders – or, alternatively, you can kick back with an icy cold beer at the many quayside bars and really soak in the view.

The quaintness of Orotava

This picturesque town will transport you back in time to a romantic scenario of balconies and fair maidens. The charming streets are painted with the colour of local artists and flowers bloom around every corner. Meanwhile, a selection of laid-back cafes and restaurants provide the perfect place to sit back and watch the world go by.

Watching whales

Tenerife’s southern coast offers some of the best whale-watching opportunities throughout Europe. With up to 26 different species found a short distance from the coastline, you’ve every chance of sighting a dolphin, baleen whale, pilot whale or even the elusive killer whale. For lovers of nature and aquatic animal life, the waters between Tenerife and neighbouring La Gomera are a must-visit location.

Be a beach bum

Do you like your beaches like you like your coffee – hot, long and, err… black? Well, a Tenerife holiday might just be for you. Don’t be alarmed, Tenerife’s famous black sands are every bit as picturesque as you might imagine, but perhaps not quite as comfortable as their gilded counterparts. Luckily, there are enough golden ones to go about as well… check out the remote Playa de la Tejita for a hidden gem.