-Why should you have to choose between beaches and mountains when one destination has the answer to all your questions in one place? Throw in a bit of adventure, culture, and a laidback island filled with so many microclimates you would think you were on mainland Europe. 

Tenerife is often known for being a sunny escape for British as well as other European visitors should be 100 percent on American’s radar now that we have direct flights between Newark and Tenerife giving you a chance to experience everything and more than Hawaii offers with only a 5-hour flight thanks to United. 

The volcanic island of Tenerife creates a unique landscape that is perfect for those looking for adventure. Whether you want to go cycling where their professionals train in Teide national park, or you want to try your hand at learning new sports such as surfing or diving there is something for everyone here.

Read more: Tenerife, Spain The Hawaii of the East Coast: Perfect for Solo and Adventure Travelers

*This trip was hosted by Visit Tenerife, United, and ATTA. All views are my honest opinion. If you find affiliate links in this article they help me with a small commission however they don’t add extra cost to you. This helps me continue bringing you quality content to help plan your next adventure.

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Here are some of the top things to do in Tenerife

Swim in natural pools

Sarah Fay adventuring to Tenerife Spain's natural pools .
Sarah Fay at Natural Pools in the south of Tenerife.

As soon as I arrived at Tenerife South Airport and saw the rays of sunshine, I knew it was time I find a body of water to jump in. I ended up heading to a digital nomad hostel located close to some natural swimming pools. 

From there we headed to dinner where we ate at Bombay restaurant. I didn’t know until I arrived that Tenerife was one of the main hubs of the Indian diaspora in Spain. (Explains the amazing Indian food options) 

However, the beautiful natural pools are experiences that don’t cost a lot but are often some of the brightest memories of a trip. I spoke with like-minded souls traveling slowly through the world and enjoying beautiful places like Tenerife. Not just for a sun holiday, but for those looking to learn a new language, challenge themselves with new adventures, and other solo travelers wanting to travel deeper. 

Hike and Cycle in Teide National Park

Sarah Fay standing in front of Volcano In Tenerife Spain hiking in Teide National Park.
Teide National Park

There are many things to do in Teide National Park, but by far one of the most beautiful ways of experiencing it is hiking it. 

Teide national park is the largest and oldest of four national parks in the Canary Islands. It is named after Mount Teide a volcano and the tallest peak in Spain. 

Cycle like a professional above the clouds whizzing by the ever-changing landscape that makes you feel as if you are on another planet due to the volcanic nature of the island. There are a variety of geological elements that make this one of the most unique cycling rides in Europe. 

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The Best Stargazing In Europe

the Milky Way above volcano Teide at the Island od Tenerife

One of the top places in the world to stargaze is Tenerife, Spain. Teide National park is located 2390 meters above sea level, making it one of three of the best spots in the world to observe the sky. Come here to tour the world’s largest solar observatory At the Teide Observatory.

Whale watch with White Tenerife Catamaran 

When I learned I could see whales in Tenerife, I knew I had to get out on the water. There are an array of water activities in Tenerife and one that needs to be on your itinerary is whale watching. White Tenerife catamaran offers tours that are both fun and informative to see whales, and marine wildlife by snorkeling, and also swimming breaks near cool beaches. What more could you want? 

Kayaking with dolphins and sea turtles at Playas De Americas is famous and for a good reason not only will the beach beckon your name, but some outfitters offer kayaking. We kayaked towards dolphins, and sea caves, and even saw a sea turtle while we were out on our 2hr tour. This was a moderate activity as paddling can be tough in the water with big waves. 

Tour and eat at a vineyard from the 1750s

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Nothing feels better to support a family-owned business, especially when it has been around since the 1750s. I was astounded to learn that Monje Vineyard had been in the same family for 5 generations in Tenerife. 

The scenery is one out of a movie, the sea, rolling hills, and mountains in the distance with the vineyard stretching before your eyes. Monje Vineyard offers tours, which I was able to take, and a restaurant upstairs where I had the most sumptuous roasted pork, and potatoes with mojo sauce we made ourselves. 

Explore Canarian Architecture Of Garachico and La Orotava 

The most poignant, quaint historic towns await you for a day trip or an overnight escape to experience the rich Canarian architecture. Garachico is filled to the brim with activity, culture, and some of the best-designed boutique hotels on the island. 

If you are looking for somewhere quiet, and romantic, as well as easy access to natural swimming pools, a stay at Boutique Hotel San Roque is for you. The beautiful hotel has amazing suites, a pool, and a great restaurant.  

Another cute town that needs to be on your Tenerife itinerary, is a town that feels like a dream with colorful buildings, Canarian architecture, and hillsides and banana plantations sprawling from the town to the sea. The most notable building in town is the House of Balconies built in 1632 and also has a museum. 

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Visit San Cristobal de La Laguna

Since 1999 San Cristobal de La Laguna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first city established in the Gran Canary Islands. This city will make you feel like you are in Cartagena, Colombia, but actually they originated the style of buildings and were the model of quite a few South American cities. Some things to see and do in San Cristóbal de La Laguna include the Cathedral, explore the streets full of Canadian Architecture, and also visit the History and Anthropology museum of Tenerife.

City street view with church tower in La Laguna town on Tenerife island

Anaga Rural Park 

Coast with Roque de las Animas, Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife is rich with outdoor adventure, natural beauty, and an ancient mountain range in Anaga Rural Park. It earned a UNESCO designation due to it being home to the largest Laurel forest on the island as well as being the oldest part of the island formed by volcanic explosions 7-9 million years ago. 

The cool thing is there are no entrance fees, and while there are many amazing hikes you can check out on the Alltrails app, you can take the mountain road for some amazing views. The road connects La Laguna with Chamorga and follows the main ridge of Anaga Massif. 

Best time to go to Tenerife 

The best time to go to Tenerife is anytime. They don’t call it the land of eternal spring for nothing. The best time to visit Tenerife is between June and September. However, you could truly visit any time of year. Many events occur on the island including one of the largest Carnival celebrations in the world. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife occurs each year and this year it occurs from Jan 20, 2023 – Feb 26, 2023. If you go during high season there is also a direct flight with Untied from Newark, New Jersey to Tenerife, which gets you to paradise in just over 5 hours.

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Where to eat in Tenerife 

Regulo Restaurant in Puerto de la Cruz- a family-owned and operated restaurant located in the home of her grandmother. Regulo offers a unique dining experience and atmosphere in a traditional Canarian architecture-styled home. 

Bodegas Monje – While I don’t usually frequent vineyards I decided to head here and had an amazing time taking in the history of this 5th-generation vineyard and eating amazing traditional Canarian food with a view of the vineyards to the sea. 

Bombay Bambu Indian Tandoori Restaurant – I was surprised to learn there is a significant population of people from India in the Canary Islands. 

El Rincon Del Marinero is located in Playa de las Americas and had incredibly fresh fish, and local cuisine, and was perfect after kayaking with sea turtles and dolphins. 

Restaurante Pancho is located in Playa de la Arena and offers fresh takes on seafood in a beautiful location with a view of the ocean. It is a five-star experience in my book and I was glad to experience the fresh ingredients from the starters to the desert it was a great dining experience. 

Where to stay in Tenerife Spain 

Hotel Villaba for a Mountain escape close to Teide National Park with a beautiful spa. 

Mynd Hotel Adeje is a fun hotel experience with sustainability and adventure in mind. They have a cycling shop, basketball court, and an amazing rooftop pool and bar with entertainment daily. 

Hotel Riu Garoe is a peaceful resort with amazing waterfront views, spacious rooms, a great buffet, entertainment, and large pools. 

Hotel San Roque is a boutique family-owned luxury hotel offering Avante garde designs, a pool, a patio, and a small hotel experience. This hotel is located right off the main square of Garachico. 

Laguna Gran Hotel is located in the center of a very popular UNESCO World Heritage town La Laguna. The hotel marries old and new with its emblematic Canarian Design on the outside, with a very modern interior. The rooftop pool, awesome common areas in the climate-controlled courtyard, as well as modern comfortable rooms makes for the perfect stay in San Cristobal de la Laguna.

Hotel Bahía del Duque is a 5-star family-owned resort that transports you into a fairytale. This was by far a resort that will make your jaw drop. The design of the villas makes you feel like you are in a castle, and the resort begins revealing itself as you move from the main lobby to the ocean. The gastronomic scene is not lacking at the hotel with great restaurants and chefs. It was by far a night to remember having dinner here and even catching part of the evening entertainment. 

Budget Friendly Los Amigos Hostel and check out Hostelworld for other accommodations on the island for budget travelers to Tenerife. 

Tenerife A Piece Of Heaven For Adventure Enthusiasts Of All Levels 

There are so many places to visit in the Gran Canary Islands and Tenerife is one of the largest islands with many activities for both those looking for a sun holiday or those looking for an adventuring adrenaline-pumping journey. Maybe pair it with a trip to Island Hopping in the Canary Islands. Something I hope to go back to do.  

However, one thing is for certain this destination is perfect for a wide variety of travelers, whether you are traveling solo, celebrating a honeymoon, or just wanting to get your adventure travel fix. Hope this solo travel guide to Tenerife helps in planning your next adventure to Tenerife, Spain. 

Want to explore other island getaways in Europe? Check out my time island hopping in Greece.

Want to explore what I pack for beach holidays check out my Amazon Storefront!

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Ultimate travel guide to Tenerife Spain for solo and adventure travelers.

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