If you’re off to Tenerife on your holidays, you may be wondering which currency to get. As the Canary Islands are part of Spain, it’s the Euro (EUR) which replaced the peseta in 2002. Other options include traveller’s cheques and you’ll be able to use cash machines with your debit card as you do at home, although some may carry charges or limits.
Debit and credit cards can be used in many restaurants and bars across the island where you can use chip and pin, though some remote areas may not have this facility, so make sure you carry some cash if you’re planning to go off the beaten track.
Dining out in Tenerife
In Tenerife you can expect traditional Spanish fare with a Canarian twist. Simple dishes or grilled fish or meat are accompanied with fresh salads, vegetables or papas arrugadas, small potatoes boiled in sea water and served with spicy mojo picon sauce. Meals can vary in price, so you’ll find something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Canarian stew is a traditional and hearty meal worth trying, and usually includes chunks of meat, chorizo and vegetables such as French beans, cabbage and carrots. If you’re going for cheap and cheerful, you’ll find meals from around £8, with mid-range restaurant meals from £33-£40 per person.
Tenerife also serves up some tantalising tapas dishes, expect to pay £3-4 per plate, such as pimientos de Padrón, peppers fried in olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt. Churros de pescado – battered fish goujons served with aioli – is another favourite. You’ll find tapas restaurants everywhere on Tenerife, although the largest and most diverse selection is found in Puerto de la Cruz. If you’re a cheese aficionado, there are lots of Canarian-produced corkers so ask for a table de quesos cheese board and enjoy with a glass of the local red.
If you’re after a sweet treat, there are lots of options to enjoy. Frangollo, a light dessert made from cornflour, lemon, eggs, sugar, milk, butter, cinnamon and almonds, is a Tenerife favourite. Galletas gomeras, which originate from Tenerife’s neighbouring island of La Gomera, are delicious biscuits made from butter, flour, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and aniseed. Expect to pay an average £2-£3 for biscuits and pastries, with a cappuccino costing around £1.30.
The price of drinks
If you’re after a beer, go for Dorada – it’s brewed on the island and comes in three strengths, you’ll also find it’s cheaper than it’s imported counterparts, so ideal if you’re watching the pennies. Generally speaking, restaurants and bars will charge around £1.30 for local beer, and £1.70 for imported. Tenerife also does a pretty decent bottle of vino with five major wine-growing regions on the island. Those after non-alcoholic drinks can expect to pay around 80p for a £0.33 litre bottle of water and £1.20 for a bottle of Coke.
If you’re self-catering, you can stock up on 1-litre cartons of wine for around 90p or a mid-range bottle from around £3.60. A glass of wine in a restaurant will cost you around £2.70.
Tenerife tipples include Ron miel (honey rum), which is usually served neat and chilled, often as a freebie with your bill at the end of a meal. It’s also a popular bottle to take home for friends and relatives as a gift for around £9.
Out and about
Most of the action in Tenerife takes place around the beach, with the clear waters offering the perfect conditions for snorkelling and diving. If you’re up for some scuba, a single dive costs between £26-£51.
No trip is complete without a day at Teide National Park. Mount Teide is the highest point in Spain and the surrounding lunar-like landscapes are famous worldwide. Most visitors reach the peak via cable car, with the average price per person from around £24. If you’re travelling with the kids, check out Loro Parque, famous for its parrot shows, dolphins and sealions. Admission for adults is £29, children (6-11) £23, with children under 6 admitted for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
How much spending money should I take to Tenerife?
How much you’ll spend in Tenerife will depend on your plans and your accommodation choice. If you’re staying All-Inclusive you’ll have already covered the cost of meals, but if you’re budgeting on meals, day-trips and maybe some watersports and club nights out, then £40-£50 per day should give you ample, bearing in mind that you can pop the ATM if funds are running low.
Tipping in Tenerife
Like with everything else on the island, Tenerife has a relaxed attitude to tipping and have a mas o menos (‘more or less’) philosophy that resonates across the archipelago, and it’s by no means expected like, say, in the USA. However, in restaurants you’ll probably want to tip serving staff somewhere in the region of 10%. Go with your instincts and round up rather than round down. Use the same method when it comes to tipping taxi drivers, but you won’t be expected to tip big in bars, where a 50 cent gratuity at the end of the night will be just fine.
If you’re staying in a hotel it’s good manners to tip staff, especially if they help you carry luggage to your rooms or go the extra mile to help you have a pleasant stay. Hotel staff will happily accept a tip of one or two euros at the end of your stay.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.