The Most Important Sights at a Glance
Tenerife is an island that has to offer various superlatives: the highest mountain in Spain, which is also the third largest island volcano in the world, a thousand-year-old tree, the largest parrot reserve in the world, the longest lava tube in Europe and almost 500 meters high cliffs. In addition, there is an incomparably diverse natural landscape that will delight every passionate explorer. And last but not least, wonderful beaches provide a first-class holiday feeling. Don’t miss the best things to see in Tenerife.
Simply click on the respective point of interest and you will automatically be directed to the relevant information. Have fun exploring.
Holiday Island of Tenerife
With around 917,000 inhabitants (2019), Tenerife is the most populous island in Spain. Its area of 2,034 square kilometers also makes it the largest Canary Island. Around 6.2 million vacationers spent their holidays here in 2018. And the ever increasing number of visitors undoubtedly testifies to the enormous popularity of this island. The mild all year round climate offers the best bathing weather in every season. Even in the winter months, when the rest of Europe is bitterly freezing, you can laze in the sun at pleasant 24 degrees on this island. Holidaymakers are perfectly catered for. The tourist infrastructure is particularly excellent in the south of the island. Sufficient accommodation in all price ranges, countless leisure and shopping opportunities and spectacular sights help to ensure that your stay in Tenerife is guaranteed to be just great. Read here which are the top sights of this extraordinary Canary Island. This increases the anticipation for your vacation and you get an idea of what you definitely want to see:
THE ANAGA MOUNTAINS – GREEN NORTH
The Anaga Mountains are located in the northeastern part of the Canary Island. The 10 x 20 km area is considered the green lung of Tenerife due to its lush vegetation. On the northwest side of the mountain range there is the Bousque de la Mercedes, an evergreen laurel forest. Some of its trees grow so close together that you can no longer see the sky. The high humidity occasionally creates clouds of fog that give the forest a magical touch. The other part of the Anaga Mountains is also covered with many trees and plants. A variety of hiking routes lead you through the forests and at the various viewpoints you can enjoy fantastic sights.
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA – WORLD HERITAGE
The university town of La Laguna can be found north of the capital, Santa Cruz. Around 25,000 students are registered at its University “San Fernando”. Founded at the end of the 15th century, La Laguna is one of the oldest cities on the island and is therefore of historical importance. The old town bears witness to its long history with a number of historic buildings: the “Santa Catalina Monastery”, which still has nuns, the large church “Catedral de la Laguna”, the old city theater “Teatro Leal” and many more. Due to its historical relevance, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
THE LORO PARK – WORLD ZOO
The Loro Park opened its gates in 1972 and was initially planned as a breeding station, especially for endangered parrot species. Almost 50 years later, it has grown into one of the most beautiful and largest zoos in the world. 50 million visitors have already enjoyed it. Due to the high number of visitors, Loro Park is one of the most important sights of Tenerife. The highlights of the park include the “Dolphinarium” with regular shows, the “Planet Penguin”, which takes you into the Arctic and brings you closer to the life of these birds, the Orca Show , the white tigers and of course plenty of parrots. The zoo is home to the largest variety of parrot species in the world.
LA OROTAVA – GREEN CITY
Not far from Puerto de la Cruz you will find this remarkable city, which is considered the most beautiful in Tenerife. Its historic buildings are particularly impressive. The best known is the Casa de los Balcones (House of Balconies). The almost 500-year-old house is home to a small museum in which you can admire its originally furnished rooms. The rooms bear witness to how people have lived there in the past centuries. La Orotava also captivates with parks and countless green spaces that transform the place into a blooming and green oasis. Also worth mentioning is the free botanical garden, where you can have a stroll and enjoy nature.
EL DRAGO MILENARIO – THE VENERABLE
In the town of Icod de los Vinos, which is located near the northwest coast and is one of the most important wine-growing areas on the island is located one of the most famous things to see in Tenerife: the 20 meter high dragon tree “El Drago Milenario”, which has a trunk circumference of six meters. To be correct it is not really a tree, because dragon trees actually belong to the asparagus family. Official information boards on site say that “El Drago” is more than 1,000 years old. According to studies, however, scientists assume it is “only” 400 years. However, this hardly diminishes the venerability of this impressive plant.
GARACHICO – LAVA POOLS
This coastal town in the northwest of the island nestles picturesquely on a semicircular headland between the sea and the mountain landscape. Due to its more than 500-year history, this place has a particularly beautiful old town. In the center you will find the Plaza de la Libetad with the church “Iglesia de Santa Ana”. Some park benches and a restaurant invite you to linger here. A special feature of this place, are the natural sea water pools, which were created by cooled lava flows. You can reach the individual natural pools via beautifully laid out paths. If you have bathing suits with you, just take a dip into the fresh water.
CANDELARIA – PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE
It is the main pilgrimage destination of the Canary Islands. The street scene of this very quiet place on the Middle East coast is mostly dominated by the locals. Two sights characterize Candelaria in particular: On the one hand, there are the nine statues of the so-called Menceyes that have been set up along the beach promenade. The approximately 1.80 meter large bronze figures represent the nine kings of the Guanches who ruled over one of the nine regions before the arrival of the Spaniards. The other highlight is the three-aisled basilica in honor of the patron saint “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria”. Built in 1959, it is still quite young, but impresses with its neoclassical style and the three naves. Hundreds of thousands of followers of the Virgin make a pilgrimage to the village each year to visit the basilica.
MARIPOSARIO DEL DRAGO – BUTTERFLY PARK
In Icod de los Vinos you will find this very special attraction. This park is all about one thing: butterflies. While walking through the facility, you can see the beautiful and sometimes very colorful insects up close. Butterflies from all over the world are at home here. There is a total of 600 species that flutter through the air. They have wingspan from 2 cm up to at least 30 cm. In addition to the visitor facility, the park operates a laboratory in which the butterflies are grown. Here you can observe the different stages of the creation of a butterfly. All stages from the egg to the caterpillar and the subsequent pupation to the transformation can be seen.
PUNTA DE TENO – WEST TIP
This small peninsula represents the westernmost point of Tenerife. The 20 meter high lighthouse “Faro de Teno” does its daily work there. The special thing about this “tip” is the breathtaking view of the pretty neighboring island of La Gomera in one direction and the view of the imposing cliffs of Los Gigantes in the other. Its small pebble beach is protected between two piled stone moles. The water is wonderfully clear here and there is also a wide variety of marine life, making the Punta de Teno a highly frequented target place for snorkelers.
CUEVA DEL VIENTO – LAVA CAVE
At 17 kilometers, the “Cave of the Wind” is the longest lava tube in Europe and one of the longest in the world. Of the approximately 120 different animal species living in the cave, a total of 15 species were observed for the very first time. In addition, the tube is extremely rich in fossils. Remains of the giant rat and lizard were found here. Both species were endemic and are now extinct. To protect the sensitive cave system, you can only visit about 250 meters of the inside of the guided tours. A maximum of 14 participants are allowed to embark on the interesting two-hour excursion. The tube keeps branching into side passages and there are terrace-like heels and breathtaking abysses.
THE PYRAMIDS OF GÜÍMAR – MYSTERY
These pyramid-shaped terrace buildings date from the 19th century. The most interesting thing about them is that their origin and purpose have not yet been clarified. Such structures are said to have stood everywhere on Tenerife and La Gomera, but have been removed over the years. There are various theories about them. Some believe that they may have served agricultural purposes. Others believe, however, that they were built by Egyptian sun worshipers on their way to the Mayas. Furthermore it was found, that the alignment of these pyramids coincided with astronomical events. This mystery will probably keep scientists busy for a while.
THE MASCA GORGE – THIRST FOR ADVENTURE
The green gorge is located in the municipality of Buenavista del Norte in the northwest of the island and is a true natural spectacle. The surrounding area was created more than 7 million years ago. The village of the same name is a real highlight. It is located on the mountain slopes and is surrounded by countless palm trees. Imposing rock walls rise up on both sides of the lush gorge. In addition to palm trees, agaves and fig trees, there are also a variety of endemic plants to be admired for nature lovers. A stream flows through the gorge until spring and small streams and ponds form occasionally along the way. The hike from the village to the sea is one of the most popular routes on the islands. However, it is currently prohibited for security reasons until further notice. According to reports, corresponding renovation work is already underway and should be completed in October 2020.
THE PICO DEL TEIDE – THE MAJESTIC
It towers majestically over everything, at 3,718 meters height; the Pico del Teide is the highest mountain in all of Spain. Measured from the sea floor, it even reaches an altitude of 7,500 meters, making it the third largest island volcano in the world. It is huge and can be seen from almost anywhere in Tenerife and even from some neighboring Canary Islands. He is a resting giant, inside of which, however, it continues to simmer. Rising yellowish-white sulfur fumes testify to this activity. A cable car starts from the Teide highlands at around 2,350 meters and takes you up to 3,555 meters. But you can only climb to the very top of the mountain with a special permit.
THE TEIDE NATIONAL PARK – NATURAL CONTRASTS
In 1954, the area around Pico del Teide was declared a nature park and, with around 19,000 hectares, it is the largest in the Canary Islands. The treeless vegetation essentially consists of lichens and the Teide snake head. This grows up to 3 meters high and blooms in deep red colors. However, this is not the only color contrast in this area. The different types of volcanic rock shine from reddish to brown to gray-yellow and present the viewer with a wonderful play of colors. A little further south you come across the “Paisaje Lunar”, a landscape that could be from the moon. The bizarre rock formations were created by lava eruptions that solidified in the cold air.
LOS GIGANTES – GIANTS
Europe’s second highest cliff with the appropriate name “The Giants” stretches over 9.6 kilometers along the south-west coast of Tenerife. The highest point rises steeply from the sea at an impressive 488 meters. This gigantic bulwark stands against the immense ocean like a massive wall and impresses the viewer with its enormous appearance. The underwater landscape in front of the cliffs offers an excellent habitat for marine mammals, mantas and other ocean creatures. This area is also a popular destination for many excursion boats, because dolphins and whales frolic here all year round. In the village of the same name you can eat well or even spend your vacation.
BARRANCO DEL INFIERNO – HELL GORGE
The Hell Gorge wrongly bears its name because it is a real pearl for nature lovers. This wonderful hike starts near Adeje and ends at the largest waterfall in Tenerife. The cliffs get higher the further you go into the gorge and the lush vegetation becomes denser and more diverse. You will be accompanied by a small water stream on parts of the picturesque path. For nature conservation reasons, access to the gorge is limited to a maximum of 300 people per day. You will only be admitted after you have registered and paid the fee. You can do both on barrancodelinfierno.es. This website is also available in English.
Photo Credits: “Anaga” by pixabay.com; “La Laguna” by flickr.com; “Loro Parque” by flickr.com; “La Orotava” by flickr.com; “El Drago” by flickr.com; “Garachico” by flickr.com; “Candelaria” by flickr.com; “Mariposario” by pixabay.com; “Punta de Teno” by flickr.com; “Cueva del Viento” by Private; “Güímar” by pixabay.com; “Masca” by pixabay.com; “Pico del Teide” by pixabay.com; “Teide National Park” by pixabay.com; “Los Gigantes” by pixabay.com; “Barranco del Infierno” by flickr.com;