Insider Tips for Tenerife Travellers
The difficulty with traveling to a destination for the first time is knowing where all the hidden gems are and where the locals go.
Using tips from locals, this guide to Tenerife inspires visitors to try new things, explaining local cuisine and highlighting Tenerife’s best kept secrets from authentic, local restaurants to the most beautiful, secluded beaches. Here are a few things we recommend when planning a Tenerife holiday:
Sand, Sea & Surf
The volcanic nature of the island means there are few white, natural beaches. Those that do exist are characterized by black sand created from the island’s volcanic rocks and are widely known for their beauty.
- For sand & surfing – El Médano Beach is the longest, natural sandy beach in Tenerife and there are lots of good fish restaurants here due to the village’s fishing heritage. Good winds and calm waters make the beach ideal for windsurfing novices.
- Perfect for privacy – Playa de Los Gigantes, or ‘The Cliffs of the Giants’, is located on the western coast of Tenerife and is home to a busy yacht marina. Nearby there is a very small sandy beach that doesn’t get too crowded and is perfect if you want some privacy.
Canary Island cuisine mixes traditional Spanish cooking with African and Latin American influences. The usual international dishes are available, but to experience real local cuisine opt for the following dishes:
- Cazuela de Pescado – Fresh fish casserole with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers
- Truchas de batata – Puff pastry filled with sweet yams, almonds and cinnamon
- Pulpo Gallego – Octopus boiled and sprinkled with paprika served hot, or served cold with an onion and pepper salad
The Loro Parque is a Spanish zoo located on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz and is a perfect day out for the whole family. With more than 300 species of parrot it has the largest, most diverse collection in the world. You can also see the gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, jaguars, flamingos, alligators and tortoises. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the aquarium with shark tunnel and the world’s largest penguinarium that mimics the Antarctic climate with 12 tons of (real) snow falling a day! Tickets can be purchased at the gate for €32 for adults and €12 for children. Tip: Buy tickets in advance online and save €5 off each ticket.
Viva la Fiesta
From music and food festivals to carnivals and religious celebrations there are plenty of events to enjoy if you’re visiting Tenerife. Two examples of spectacular events this year are the Carnival of Santa Cruz and the Fiesta of San Andres.
- Every February is the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Tenerife’s carnival is considered the best after Rio de Janeiro and all the islanders take part in fiesta revelry. The port area of Santa Cruz is where most of the action is, bursting with salsa dancing, music and carnival processions for a crazy 27 days. Tip: Plan ahead and get tickets early as this event is very popular and will sell out.
- On November 30th is the Fiesta of San Andrés (Festival of St Andrews in Puerto de la Cruz, which marks the day when all the wine cellars throw open their doors for a tasting of the new produce. This is a must for wine enthusiasts.
There are many budget airlines that fly from Barcelona to Tenerife. You can also take the ferry via Cadiz.