Whenever I come back to someplace new I’m super excited and can’t help but share everything about the beautiful places I have seen, things I have learned and people I have met. My husband always sais I’m very easy to please and impress when it comes to travel destinations, but that was just not the case after we spent one week in Tenerife in the middle of June.
Don’t get me wrong, the island is nice and there are plenty of things to do in one week or even more, there is scenery changing from one side to the other, one can visit it year-round, but somehow we didn’t click. And I try telling myself that’s even normal, one cannot love every place and people are different, have different expectations and views.
Some facts worth knowing before planning one week in Tenerife
- The island is not that small and if you want to truly live it to the fullest it is worth renting a car. The roads are good, cars are cheap. and this way we had the flexibility of going wherever we felt like going and stopping whenever. AutoReisen has some great prices (we paid 63 EUR for one week).
- One downside of having a car is that it can get really challenging to find a parking space (especially in Purto de La Cruz where we staid). Choosing a paid parking space would double the cost of the car for the week.
- Depending on where you are traveling from, the flight can take longer than expected (we traveled from Romania and flew for 6 hours)
- There are two airports on the island: Reina Sofia Airport in the South of the island and Los Rodeos in the North of the island
- Put some extra climbing shoes in the luggage if you are planning to go hiking – the island has lots of areas where that can be done and nature can be observed
When is the best time to visit Tenerife
Since the average temperature in Tenerife throughout the year fluctuating between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius, you can imagine why the largest of the Canary Islands is a top destination no matter the time of the year.
Of course, people mostly choose to go there from October to March or April, when the weather in the rest of Europe is not so warm and friendly, but I can say that June was as well pretty crowded.
With differences between the South and the North of the island, both in the scenery and in temperatures, you will have to bring both Summer clothes, but also something thicker that can be worn if temperatures drop (a jacket and some jeans would do just fine).
Where to stay in Tenerife
When booking our stay I need to be honest and admit I did not look where the town was located or if there was anything to do in the area, but after seeing a large part of the island, I must admit I was happy with our choice and the views we had.
We stayed in Puerto de La Cruz which was pretty nice and booked our whole week in Tenerife at Sol Costa Atlantis Hotel.
For us, Puerto de La Cruz was perfect because I really loved the vegetation in the Northern part of the island, and enjoyed seeing both Teide top from the room and the sun going down into the ocean at the black volcanic beach right next to the hotel.
Also, the town has a small and lively old town with terraces with live music spread on the ocean shore, making it perfect for an evening stroll just after dinner and before stopping by for a glass of sangria.
What did we do in one week in Tenerife?
Day 1 – El Drago, Garachico and the natural pools, Faro de Teno and Los Gigantes
Or at least that was the plan, but not all things happen as you plan them, right?
After taking the car, we drove West towards Icod de los Vinos not knowing that Il Drago Mileniario – the mighty tree I saw in many pictures – was actually in the city center. Thus we somehow missed it and ended up on the top of the hill, at Gruas El Drago from where a beautiful belvedere point over Guarachico opened right in front of our eyes.
We took the narrow winding road down towards the sea and Garachico with its natural pools, dreaming to take a dip in the pristine and refreshing blue water.
Once we found a parking space we left the car and started walking towards the natural pools. The downside was that one part was closed, and the art which was open was not really suitable for bathing. At least we did not risk it, thus we went for a coffee in Garachico’s main square, walked around in the small village, and decided to go forward.
Forward meant towards Faro de Teno and Los Gigantes. But our road trip stopped 6 km away from the lighthouse because the road was closed for vehicles and you could only continue with a taxi or if you were on a bus.
Disappointed by yet another failed destination, we decided to go searching for a beach where we could spend the rest of the day and bathe in the ocean.
After going all the way down (on foot) to Playa de Los Barqueros which is not a friendly place for swimmers, we were very close to give up and go back to Puerto de La Cruz when we saw this incredible swimming pool with the most amazing views over the ocean, part of Melia Haciena del Conde.
The pool is next to a golf course, it was not crowded at all, it offers the best views and you can spend your whole day here for only 15 EUR (if you are not staying at the hotel, of course).
Day 2 – Siam Park
Since the drive from Puerto de la Cruz to Siam Park took around 1 hour and a half one way, we decided to allocate one full day for Siam Park.
I must admit I’m not a fan of theme parks, or water parks or whatever involves hights and scary things. But my husband is and we always compromise.
Before going and even after that, I had received many good opinions about Siam Park. Everybody was impressed and told us we should try it.
I’m sure you are expecting my opinion to be different by now. The big downside of it all is that it was really crowded, thus we had to wait in line a big part of the time spent in the park (even though we both had fast track tickets – 15 EUR/pers in addition to the 38 EUR ticket).
Another thing I disliked was that they did not have (or we could not find them, even though we went to 3 lockers) a place where you could change, although they charge you for a locker (10 EUR). Also, you cannot pay with a bracelet or electronically at the many shops, cafeterias, restaurants and souvenir places within the park, thus you have to carry the money around, in a water park.
The rides (the 3 in which I managed to go) were nice, but the one they advertise the most is not part of the fast track ticket (even though you have it on the bracelet) so expect waiting in line for up to 1 hour.
All in all, taking into consideration the 4 EUR parking fee, all the extra taxes, and entrance ticket we spent around 120 EUR (without food or drinks or the way there) which I don’t think was worth it.
Day 3 – Santa Cruz, Playa de las Teresitas, Punta del Hidalgo
We woke up in the morning and left straight for Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital city.
After finding a parking spot right in the main square, Plaza de Espana, we went around on the very Spanish colorful streets, stopped by for coffee on a very socially busy street, after which we walked all the way to the Auditorium.
The Auditorium’s building is hard to miss and it will catch your eye because its architecture looks a lot like Sidney’s Opera house.
Since it was a really hot day we headed right to the beach at Playa de las Teresitas, the only sandy beach with sand brought from Sahara.
Before heading directly on the beach, we went all the way up at the Mirador Las Teresitas from where you get that iconic view, the picture you see in all the advertisements about Tenerife. Surprise suprise, the Mirador Las Teresitas is closed.
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Either way, we still had a lovely view from the top of the hill.
At Punta del Hidalgo is where other natural pools are to be found and where you could take some surf lessons.
Day 4 – El Teide National Park
This was maybe one of the best days spent in Tenerife, mainly because the mountain views are simply breathtaking, but also because the scenery is so very diverse and different and we got to see something different at every 10 minutes.
Starting in Puerto de la Cruz, we went through La Orotava with its colorful houses on the edge of the hill.
We moved forward on a very winding road, climbing slowly towards the top of the highest mountain in Spain.
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We went through the clouds, stopped for some time in a quiet forest filled with woodpeckers, and finally reached over 2000m where the scenery turned truly distinct.
Since Teide is a volcano, we felt like walking on the Moon in some places, fastly switching to Mars. Or at least that’s how I imagine those two planets to look like.
As soon as we saw the Teide cable car, we understood it was going to be extremely difficult to find a parking place in order to take it and go up to the highest spot. If however, you are luckier and find one, here is where you find all the information about Teide Cable car.
After half an hour of going around looking for a place to leave the car, we decided to go a bit further where we found a hotel with a cafeteria and drink a coffee with an incredible view.
Day 5 – Whale and dolphin watching on a boat and Los Gigantes from the sea
Another of the best experiences ever!
It is true that the whales weren’t exactly as huge as the ones in Sri Lanka, they were pilot whales who are related to dolphins.
But man I loved going around in a boat with the air in my hair and dolphins jumping around us.
During the 6 hour trip on the ocean, we also stopped at Los Gigantes and took a dip in the water. By the way, the name of Los Gigantes is not linked to the huge stones springing from the water, as I thought. Instead, the name is linked to the giants the Spanish thought were hiding in the caves in this area of the island when they came to conquer Tenerife.
Day 6 – Spend some time on the beach
Apart from Las Teresitas, we couldn’t really find all those beaches we were hoping for, but I’m sure there are some hidden out there and we weren’t very patient to find them.
Playa Jardin was exactly in Puerto de la Cruz but we were too lazy to check it out, even though I’ve seen some beautiful pictures.
Playa del Bollullo was on our list but somehow failed to reach it once again, since it’s really close to both Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava.
La Caleta in the Adeje area is also a sandy beach worth spending some time on if you are staying in the Southern part of Tenerife.
More on the best beaches on the island worth visiting for your one week in Tenerife you can find here.
Day 7 – Take a trip to La Gomera island
OK, this is not really on the island of Tenerife, but if you love nature and want to see that incredible balcony where you look stranded over a void, take a boat trip and spend one full day on one of the other Canary Islands: La Gomera.
More time? Here are some other things worth seeing in Tenerife
If you want to either change some of my attractions with others, or you have more time on the island, here are a few other destinations worth seeing:
- Masca village – some kind of smaller Machu Picchu, high in the mountains, an old Guanche settlement
- Loro Park – a zoo type of park where plenty of animals are kept. We chose to skip this because I don’t encourage keeping animals in captivity just for human’s advertisement.
- Los Cristianos, Las Vistas, Las Americas on the Adeje coast
- Anaga Nature Park – for those trekkers and nature lovers out there