Tenerife

Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, a cosmopolitan destination with extraordinary beauty. With great weather all year long, Tenerife is a top holiday destination! 

On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about your holidays: how to get there, what to see in Tenerife, the top attractions, beaches, food recommendations, and Tenerife ferry schedules. Compare prices and book ferry tickets to Tenerife online on Ferryhopper with no hidden fees!

Colorful buildings in Tenerife

The colorful town of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife

Holidays in Tenerife

Tenerife is an ideal destination for lovers of nature and sea, since it offers a mix of beaches, mountains and forests. Located in the west side of the Canary Islands group, the climate of Tenerife is mild, with warm temperatures throughout the year. No wonder why it’s often called “the island of eternal spring.”

Whether you want to go wine tasting on your honeymoon, to water parks and hiking with your family, or to party with friends, Tenerife truly has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Keep in mind that you need at least 1 week to experience the best of Tenerife, but we recommend you stay on the island for 10-14 days if you wish to truly relax and feel the local way of life.

The national park of Mount Teide

Hiking at the Teide National Park

How to get to Tenerife

You can travel to Tenerife by plane or ferry. There are regular flights and ferry routes year-round, as Tenerife is a popular destination both during the summer, as well as off-season. In fact, the island attracts over 6 million visitors per year!

There are 2 international airports in Tenerife. The largest one is Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur (or Aeropuerto Reina Sofia), which is located in the south and serves direct flights to/from major transport hubs in Europe, but not only. The northern airport (Tenerife North), on the other hand, primarily serves domestic flights to/from the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. 

If you want to experience a mini cruise in the Canary archipelago, you can also travel to Tenerife by ferry. Find all mainland Spain - Tenerife ferry schedules below.

What to do in Tenerife

Tenerife in the Canary Islands is all about unique beach experiences, nature exploration, outdoor activities, and fun nights out!

There are numerous beaches in Tenerife, where you can enjoy the warm sun and crystal-clear waters. If you’re a surfing or scuba-diving fan, then you’re in for a treat, as Tenerife is great for water sports, particularly during the winter months.

As for immersing yourself in the many natural marvels of Tenerife, there’s so much to see and do on the island! From the impressive trails of Mount Teide to the volcanic Cueva del Viento cave, Tenerife offers nature enthusiasts a plethora of unique sights!

Take your kids to Siam water park (the biggest water park in Europe), go whale watching and enjoy great nights out at Playa de las Américas. 

Plan the perfect trip with our travel guide for Tenerife below.

Hiking in Paisaje Lunar

Hiking trail above Vilaflor towards Paisaje Lunar in Tenerife

Beaches in Tenerife

Tenerife is popular for its black or red volcanic sand beaches. 

The south of Tenerife is generally more popular, featuring resorts, beach clubs and water sports facilities, while the north side is less developed with an untouched scenery. Most of the tourist beaches in Tenerife have disabled access, as the island is one of the best destinations in Spain for people with disabilities.

Here are 8 of the best beaches in Tenerife:

  1. Las Vistas: this long coast with thin golden sand is one of the most popular beaches in south Tenerife. You can find umbrellas, sunbeds, many restaurants, shops, and beach bars there. It can get quite busy, so make sure to arrive early for a good spot. 
  2. La Tejita: the sandy La Tejita beach is quiet and secluded, and it’s located close to the airport. It’s surrounded by red volcanic rocks, making it great for snorkeling as well as surfing. There’s also a clothing-optional part.
  3. El Medano: this is a sandy beach with impressive scenery and a great view of the Montaña Roja rock. It is great for kitesurfing or windsurfing. The Granadilla de Abona town side of the beach is family-friendly. 
  4. Puerto Santiago: it is a small beach with black sand, next to a picturesque fishing village in the south side of Tenerife. In June, the San Juan bonfire festival takes place here. 
  5. San Marcos: San Marcos is a wind-protected beach with black volcanic sand. It’s family-friendly and it can get busy during the summer. There are shops and restaurants nearby.
  6. Las Teresitas: the beach of the capital of Santa Cruz is long with golden sand and palm trees. The waters are calm and clear, and there are many amenities for a relaxing day at the beach. 
  7. Antequera: this is a remote and secluded beach, accessible by boat or through a long and slightly challenging hike. The beach has gray sand and it’s nude-friendly.
  8. El Duque: this is a popular beach with golden sand in Costa Adeje. There are sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, restaurants, as well as a supermarket nearby.

Tip: El Arenal in Tenerife is one of the best surf spots in the Canaries. Remember to be particularly careful (especially in remote beaches), as waves and tides can be strong.

The crowded El Duque beach in Tenerife

The popular El Duque beach with golden sand

Sightseeing in Tenerife

The island of Tenerife is one of the most developed in the Canary Islands. Tenerife’s nature allows visitors to enjoy many outdoor activities all year long. At the same time, apart from a unique natural beauty, Tenerife also has an active cultural life

Here’s what to see in Tenerife:

  • Auditorio de Tenerife, to attend a music performance and more cultural and business events
  • Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, housing the municipal library of Santa Cruz as well as important paintings, photos and sculptures
  • Casa de los Balcones, home to the local crafts center
  • Basilica of Candelaria, a place of worship for many locals and travelers who visit to admire the Black Madonna
  • Teide National Park
  • Barranco del Infierno, which translates as “ravine of hell”
  • Orotava Valley
  • Paisaje Lunar
  • Anaga Rural Park, an amazing UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Teno Rural Park
  • Cueva del Viento

The "house of balconies" in Tenerife

The beautiful Casa de los Balcones in La Orotava

Nightlife in Tenerife

Beyond its amazing natural landscapes, exotic beaches and picturesque villages, Tenerife is also a party destination with a vivid nightlife. The best place for partying is the south of the island. 

The clubs, bars and pubs in Playa de Las Américas, Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos attract many travelers who are after endless hours of fiesta! The port of Los Cristianos is also the starting point of many party cruises. In the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as in the town of Puerto de la Cruz in the northwest of the island, you can find many bars, bistros and clubs too.

Tip: if you want to experience the vibrant side of the island, visit the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival, the second biggest carnival after the one in Rio de Janeiro. It lasts for at least 2 weeks with themed parties, parades, street music, impressive costumes and, of course, the Carnival Queen coronation! Find out more about the Tenerife Carnival!

Food in Tenerife

The Canary Islands cuisine has been influenced by both Europe and the Americas. As a result, the food culture is very rich and includes a variety of dishes and culinary approaches. 

Also, the volcanic soil and warm climate contribute to the growth of plants and vegetables of rich taste and exceptional quality! 

When in Tenerife, we recommend that you try some of the following local delicacies:   

  • papas arrugadas con mojo rojo (boiled potatoes with chili and garlic sauce)
  • almogrote (sauce made with cured cheese, peppers and garlic)
  • conejo en salmorejo (rabbit stew, but also made with chicken or tuna)
  • ropa vieja (chickpeas and meat soup)
  • bananas (as well as banana jam or banana wine and vinegar!)
  • local wine 
  • honey
  • fresh fish
  • papayas
  • barraquito (milk, coffee, coffee liqueur, and lemon drink)
  • quesillo (flan aka crème caramel)
  • frangollo (almonds and milk pudding)

Tip: visit the food market of Mercado Nuestra Señora de Africa in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Apart from the impressive building, you can try amazing seafood and tapas on the spot or buy local fresh ingredients. It usually opens daily from 08:00 to 14:30.

Towns and villages in Tenerife

Which side of Tenerife is the best? Well, both sides of Tenerife are pretty amazing! The south of Tenerife is warmer than the north year-round and there are also more resorts, clubs and traveler amenities. If you’re keen to experience the local lifestyle, then the northern part of the island is perfect as it has quaint towns, dreamy landscapes and a more laid-back atmosphere.

If you want to experience the local atmosphere, a great option is to stay in the capital. For the top ocean views on the island, find a place in Los Gigantes.

Have a look at some of the major towns and villages in Tenerife below.

  • Masca
  • Taganana
  • Costa Adeje
  • Las Américas
  • Vilaflor
  • Alcalá
  • Los Gigantes
  • San Miguel de Abona
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Candelaria
  • Icor
  • Garachico

Rocks in Los Gigantes

Awe-inspiring rock formations in Los Gigantes

Tips

Here are more tips about Tenerife to feel like a local: 

  • Tenerife is great for holidays all year long. You can visit the island for your Christmas vacation, during the Easter break, as well as for a winter or spring break getaway.
  • The most affordable time of the year to visit Tenerife is during spring or fall. The island is also less busy during these months.
  • For authentic dining and local wine, don’t miss out on the guachinches of Tenerife, the wine farms serving delicious wines and affordable finger-licking treats. 
  • Despite the warm weather in Tenerife, don’t forget to pack a jacket even during the summer. It can get quite chilly if you’re staying at one of the mountain villages or heading there for a night hike!

Sunset over the streets of Playa de las Américas

Lively street in Playa de las Américas

Useful information about Tenerife

Tenerife combines unspoiled experiences and virgin nature with high-end traveler services. 

In terms of accommodation, Tenerife offers many options for different budgets. The most popular resorts are Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Puerto de la Cruz. 

If you're into beach fun and partying, the south of Tenerife is the place for you. If you are visiting Tenerife to surf, then the best location to stay is in El Medano, while if you are on a hiking trip, then it’s best to choose San Cristóbal de la Laguna or Santiago del Teide. 

As for hospitals, there are both public and private health centers to choose from should you require medical attention, such as Hospital de Sur de Tenerife, Hospital del Norte de Tenerife and Hospital Universitario de Canarias.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Tenerife

Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Tenerife: 

  • Tourist information services (Santa Cruz): +34922032230 / +34922892903
  • Santa Cruz Port Authority: +34922605426
  • Tenerife North - Ciudad de la Laguna Airport: +34902404704
  • Tenerife South - Reina Sofía Airport: +34913211000
  • Hospital del Sur de Tenerife: +34922174756
  • Hospital del Norte de Tenerife: +34922923107
  • Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria: +34922602000
  • TITSA buses: +34922479500
  • Taxi services (Santa Cruz): +34644260785
  • Police: 091
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Tenerife

In order to flexibly get around the island, we recommend that you rent a car and explore as many areas as you can. 

The cheapest way to travel around Tenerife is by bus. The public bus company is called TITSA and it has green and white buses that serve routes from Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the airports to many coastal towns and villages across the island. 

If you are going to regularly use the Tenerife bus services, consider purchasing a Tenmas (Ten+) card at discount fares. 

There is also the option of using taxis, but it is more costly, as the distances can be quite long. In the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, you can also use the tram, which is fast and affordable.

Ports in Tenerife

The island of Tenerife has 2 main ports

  • Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: it’s located on the northeast side of the island and it mostly serves ferry routes to Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Huelva, Cádiz, and Lanzarote. The port of Santa Cruz is approximately 1 hour from the city center on foot and 15 minutes by car or taxi.
  • Port of Los Cristianos: this port is on the southern coast of the island and it mostly serves ferry routes to La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, as well as more routes within the island group. The port is easily accessible on foot from the town, and it is smaller than the major port of the island capital.

There are gas stations, parking lots, grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels at both ports.

Los Cristianos Port in Tenerife

The port town of Los Cristianos, Tenerife

Island hopping from Tenerife 

Due to its location in the middle of the Canary archipelago, you can easily organize an island-hopping trip from Tenerife to the neighboring islands and get to see the best of the Canaries!

Here are the most popular ferry routes from Tenerife: 

  • Ferry Tenerife - Gran Canaria: there are up to 15 daily ferries from Tenerife to Gran Canaria. Ferries from Santa Cruz de Tenerife travel both to the port of Agaete and the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. The trip duration ranges from 1 hr 20 minutes to 2 hr 45 minutes
  • Ferry Tenerife - La Gomera: the ferry trip to La Gomera from Tenerife is available around 6 times per day. You can normally catch a ferry to La Gomera both from Santa Cruz and Los Cristianos. The average crossing duration is around 1 hour.
  • Ferry Tenerife - El Hierro: normally, there are 6 weekly ferry routes from Tenerife to El Hierro. Traveling by ferry from Tenerife to El Hierro takes around 2.5 hours.
  • Ferry Tenerife - La Palma: from the port of Los Cristianos in Tenerife you can catch a ferry to the port of Santa Cruz in La Palma at least 2-3 times per day. The Tenerife - La Palma ferry trip lasts from 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the ferry operator. 
  • Ferry Tenerife - Fuerteventura: the ferry connection between Tenerife and Fuerteventura is regular and serves both ports of Fuerteventura: Puerto del Rosario and Morro Jable. The Tenerife - Fuerteventura ferry trip can last from 4 to 8 hours depending on the port of arrival and any stopover time.
  • Ferry Tenerife - Lanzarote: the ferry route connects the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with the port of Arrecife in Lanzarote. The duration of the ferry trip from Tenerife to Lanzarote varies from 8 to 22 hours, depending on the ferry operator, while the frequency of the route changes according to season. 

Ferry approaching Los Cristianos Port

Ferry from La Gomera approaching the port of Los Cristianos

Tenerife ferry: schedules and tickets

Catching a ferry to Tenerife from mainland Spain may not be the most popular transport option, but it certainly is the most exciting, with amazing ocean views and enhanced ferry amenities.

Ferry travel from the south of Spain to Tenerife is also a great option if you want to transfer your vehicle or camper van to Tenerife or if you are planning a road trip in the Canary Islands!

The ferry companies serving ferry routes to Tenerife from mainland Spain are Naviera Armas, Fred. Olsen Express and Trasmediterránea.

Here are all Tenerife ferries from Huelva and Cádiz

Where to book ferry tickets online to Tenerife?

Can’t wait to explore the marvels of Tenerife and discover the best beaches, sights and experiences on the island? Book cheap ferry tickets to Tenerife in just a few clicks on Ferryhopper! On our Map of ferries, you can find all available ferry connections from/to Tenerife and the Canary Islands, to plan your island-hopping holidays with confidence!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Tenerife has direct ferry connections with 9 ports :

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