Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is a firm favourite with Irish holidaymakers, due no doubt to its almost year-round sunshine, numerous resorts and fabulous beaches, which makes it ideal for families, couples and friends looking for a relaxing break. There’s plenty to see and do in Tenerife. Here are our 8 top picks.
VISIT SIAM PARK WATERPARK
If you’re looking for some family fun, Siam Park in Costa Adeje is Europe’s biggest waterpark. There is a huge range of water slides inspired by Thai architecture, including the very intimidating Tower of Power, an almost vertical slide which plunges through an aquarium at the bottom.
SPEND A DAY AT PLAYA JARDIN BEACH COMPLEX
The Playa Jardín Beach Complex, located in Puerto de la Cruz, which consists of Playa Jardín, Playa Chica and Punta Brava, are some of Tenerife’s most popular beaches, owed to their memorable black sands, calm waters, and nearby facilities. Designed by the artist César Manrique, these beaches blend seamlessly into a beautiful environment filled with gardens boasting lush local plant life, waterfalls, and rocky caves.
A DAY AT LORO PARQUE
Situated in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island, Loro Parque is one of Tenerife’s leading attractions. Set within a Jurassic Park environment of dense tropical palm groves, winding pathways will entice you into an exciting world where you can explore Katandra Treetops, the Thai Village and a magical kingdom in a relaxing environment. Dolphins perform their shows in the largest dolphin pool in Europe. There are plenty of other great shows and sights for the whole family to enjoy – Sea Lions, Parrots, Pelicans, Gorillas, Chimps, Tigers, and even Sharks. A really great day out for the whole family.
VISIT TEIDE NATIONAL PARK
The real heart of the island lies further inland away from the coast. The highest peak in all of Spain, Mount Teide is some staggering 12,200 feet tall and is the main attraction of the UNESCO protected Teide National Park. The easiest way to reach the top is by cable car, and the ride offers spectacular views over the island. Beside the mountain, the park also boasts some out of this world scenery. Its strange rock formations give the area a unique lunar landscape, so your friends and family will think you’ve travelled much further than you have.
SHOPPING IN COSTA ADEJE
If you fancy a spot of retail therapy head over to the Plaza del Duque, one of the best places for shopping in Costa Adeje. It’s a high-end shopping mall filled with over 60 shops and restaurants. In addition to some big-name brands, you’ll find a range of more budget-friendly shops, where the quality is great, but the prices are cheaper! If you love to stroll around markets, the Costa Adeje Market takes place every Thursday and Saturday opposite the Plaza del Duque. Here you’ll find Canarian crafts and local arts, alongside bargain-priced clothing, bags, shoes, leather goods, and jewellery.
GO ON A MASCA VALLEY HIKE
Tenerife is a walker’s paradise with numerous trails located all over the island. One of the best hikes is the Masca Valley trail. This rewarding walk starts at the tiny village of Masca that’s nestled in the valley in north western Tenerife and ends five miles later at the beach below. Confident hikers can walk this trail by themselves, or you can opt to take a tour with a local company.
VISIT THE TOWN OF LA LAGUNA
Tenerife’s vibrant and colourful town of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage site, however it’s largely unknown amongst many tourists. Situated in the heart of the countryside, La Laguna showcases its colonial architecture and packs in lively bars, restaurants, and architectural monuments into its narrow streets. This picturesque town can be easily reached from Santa Cruz and makes for a relaxed and rewarding day trip from the capital.
A NIGHT OF STARGAZING
Tenerife is recognised on an international level for the exceptional conditions in which to observe the stars. Inside the Teide National Park in you will find an extraordinary natural platform from where you can contemplate the skies. At over 2,700 metres above sea level, on clear moonless nights there is a spectacular star display at any time of the year. If you are there in August you shouldn’t miss the shooting meteor showers of the Perseids and at nightfall towards the north-east you can see the shining star of Vega, the main star of the Lyra constellation. Be warned, bring a jumper, it can get chilly up there!