If you’re looking for the best Tenerife excursions for your next holidays, this is just the article you need. In Tenerife there’s so much to see and do!
ÍNDICE DE CONTENIDOS
- 1. Travel up Mount Teide by cable car: an essential Tenerife excursion
- 3. Siam Park: the world’s best theme park
- 5. Hiking in the Masca gorge and a visit to Los Gigantes
- 6. La Orotava: one of the most beautifu l Tenerife tours
- 7. Hiking through the Anaga Rural Park: an unforgettable excursion for nature lovers
- 8. Loro Parque: the best zoo in Europe
- 9. A sailing excursion to spot whales and dolphins: the best excursion for the whole family
- 10. Jeep Safari in Tenerife—a thrilling adventure
Of course, our beaches are the perfect place to relax and unwind by the sea, but you can also enjoy Tenerife tours to suit all tastes, ages and preferences.
You could combine different trips into a tour of Tenerife.
To start with, there’s Mount Teide, the jewel in the island’s crown, and unique of its kind: the highest peak in Spain and no more and no less than the world’s third largest volcano.
You can also go hiking across verdant landscapes, and on whale- and dolphin-spotting excursions in the south of Tenerife; there are Jeep safaris for the more adventurous types, and famous zoos—and you really shouldn’t miss a stargazing session from the Teide National Park.
We have prepared a list of the best Tenerife excursions, to help you organise your visit.
Are you up for it?
1.Travel up Mount Teide by cable car: an essential Tenerife excursion
On this list of the best Tenerife tours, if there’s one activity you really mustn’t miss on the island of eternal spring, it is a cable car trip up Mount Teide—the top excursion from southern Tenerife, as well as from Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island.
It’s not every day one has the opportunity to see a volcano with such unique features, as there are only two in the world that can beat it, and both of those are in Hawaii. It was for very good reason that in 2007 Mount Teide was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
To make the most of your visit, you should prepare for your expedition to Mount Teide carefully. We advise you to find out everything you need to know beforehand: the various ways of making the ascent, the minimum age requirement, the weather, what clothing is most suitable, and so on—and, of course, prices and opening times.
You can find all the information you need on this website.
Having said all that, let us now look at the most comprehensive Teide excursion available in Tenerife.
The most comprehensive activity: the Teide Tour with Cable Car
If you want to properly explore the Teide National Park, this is one of the best Tenerife tours you could choose.
Because it includes an official guide in different languages, an optional cable car ticket for the ascent and descent, and group transport from the north and south of Tenerife.
A bus picks you up at the collection point and takes you to the start of your Tenerife volcano tour comfortably and in a sustainable manner—using group transport.
Moreover, as you won’t need to worry about following directions or finding a parking space; you can focus on enjoying your tour, and listening to the guide’s explanations of the unique scenery and the island’s fascinating history, both heavily influenced by the immense volcano that rises out of the ocean that is Mount Teide.
The itinerary includes an optional cable car ride to an altitude of 3,555 metres. Imagine the views!
From there, provided that the weather conditions are favourable, you will see the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma on the horizon.
At your feet lie Siete Cañadas, the Valley of Ucanca, North Tenerife, and the crater of the Pico Viejo volcano. A landscape sculpted by fire centuries ago, in which today you can make out different types of lava and amazing volcanic formations.
How does that sound?
How to ascend to the summit of Mount Teide using the cable car
The ascent to the peak of Mount Teide is one of Tenerife’s most exciting excursions, if not the most exciting.
If you don’t have much time, the best plan is to travel on the cable cable car to the upper station at 3,555 metres, and then walk up the authorised path to the peak at an altitude of 3,718 metres. (You will need permission to use the path.)
So, what are the options for the cable car ascent? You have two options:
The first is to make your own way up, in which case you will need to make the necessary preparations yourself.
This includes buying your cable car tickets, which you can do very easily here on this website, and obtaining a permit from the National Park to access the peak of Mount Teide. You will need to allow plenty of time for this, because only 200 permits are issued per day, and you need to make sure that your cable car car tickets are for the correct date and time slot.
These steps can be avoided by choosing the second option: travelling up Mount Teide by cable car and then ascending to the peak with Volcano Teide Experience.
You will not only save yourself from having to deal with the bureaucratic procedures, you will also be accompanied by an official guide from the Teide National Park, who knows all the stories about the volcano, and who can answer all your questions. A most enriching experience!
2. La Gomera: one of the best Tenerife excursions
La Gomera is a small island to the west of Tenerife. The beauty of its rugged scenery has made it one of the favourite islands of the tourists who visit the Canary Islands every year.
In fact, it is one of the best one-day excursions from Tenerife. You cross to La Gomera on the ferry, and spend a day exploring the island and falling in love with its lush natural scenery and delightful, isolated villages.
What to see and do on La Gomera
If we had to describe La Gomera in a few words, we would say it is...
A quiet island with steep volcanic mountains and luxuriant native laurel forests of immeasurable value, an idyllic coastline and traditional villages.
You can see from this general summary that this particular Tenerife excursion is well worth including in your plans. So here are our favourites, so that you have some idea of where to start:
- The Garajonay National Park is an absolute ‘must’: Like the whole island, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve; this is a laurel forest with an enormously rich biodiversity.
- The island’s capital, San Sebastián de La Gomera, a lovely place where time seems to have stood still.
- Valle Gran Rey, a village on the side of a mountain, which is a favourite summer haunt of the locals. And for good reason. And our next recommendation...
- Playa del Inglés, often ranked among Spain’s most beautiful beaches.
- The Mirador de Abrante, a viewing point with spectacular views of the Valle Gran Rey and Mount Teide. Note that it is not suitable for people affected by dizziness, as it has a platform that juts out from the edge of the cliff, with a glass floor and handrails, making you feel that you are flying.
3. Siam Park: the world’s best theme park
One of the most brilliant Tenerife excursions on Costa Adeje is Siam Park, for eight successive years the best water park in the world according to Tripadvisor!
A Tenerife excursion that never disappoints if you have young children, but that adults can enjoy too. The attraction’s careful, Thai-style design alone makes it worth a visit.
Waterfalls and bridges, heart-stopping rides camouflaged among the greenery, spectacular slides, and even the world’s biggest artificial wave, all await you at Siam Park.
This park is one of Tenerife’s great attractions: there’s nothing else like it.
4. Stargazing from Mount Teide
If you’re looking for the best stargazing site, you need to come to the Teide National Park.
Far removed from built-up areas and their light pollution, it is also at an altitude of over 3,000 metres. The sky above the Teide National Park can be justly proud of its title ‘Starlight Destination’ in the Starlight Foundation’s ‘Tourist Destinations’ listing.
After all, the sky above Mount Teide is an unparalleled location for stargazing, and you should include a visit to Mount Teide by night in your Tenerife excursions.
How can you do that? Here are two of what we consider the best Tenerife tours for you to choose from.
An excursion to Mount Teide by night that you simply must not miss
Mount Teide by night is a fantastic experience that gives you the opportunity to see 83 of the 88 constellations officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union—in other words, all the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, and a good number of those of the Southern Hemisphere.
On this excursion, you are collected by bus from a point near your hotel, and taken to a viewing point to watch the sun set. Then, at the cable car base station, an accredited Starlight guide will meet you by the long-range telescopes to offer you a fantastic and informative stargazing session.
Combine two in one with a cable car ascent: Sunset and Stars on Mount Teide
One of the most spellbinding sights in Tenerife is the triangular shadow cast on the horizon by Mount Teide as the sun sets.
Sunset from the side of Mount Teide is a gift of nature with the colours of the sky ranging from light to dark, and changing from deep blue to shades of orange as night falls.
To view this spectacle, we take you in the cable car to the free access path to the Mirador de Pico Viejo, the viewing point where you can enjoy the most incredible views.
And then, when night has fallen, you can stay to gaze at the stars using long-range telescopes and accompanied by Starlight guides.
This is the complete Sunset & Stars excursion, which includes viewing the sunset from the side of the volcano and a stargazing session with long-range telescopes. Without question, one of Tenerife’s best night-time tours.
So would you like to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Canary Islands?
Combine two in one with a visit to the Teide Observatory: Astronomic Tour
If you are fascinated by astronomy, this Tenerife excursion combines a guided visit to the Teide Observatory with a stargazing experience. A unique opportunity!
The Teide Observatory is the most important solar observatory in the world. Here are three facts to give you an idea of its significance: it has been operational since 1964, its role is the observation of the Sun and robotic astronomy, and it houses solar and night telescopes belonging to several European countries.
This is an evening-through-to-night excursion, accompanied by a Starlight guide and available in different languages, with the guided tour of the Teide Observatory during the evening and a stargazing session using a long-range telescope at night.
And remember: If you’re fascinated by the Sun, the Moon and the stars, this is one of the very best Tenerife tours for you.
5. Hiking in the Masca gorge and a visit to Los Gigantes
If you love nature and hiking, you’ll have a whale of a time in Tenerife since 48.6% of the island’s surface is protected because of its natural wealth and biodiversity.
So it is guaranteed to offer you the chance to enjoy nature in its purest state, with various trails, gorges, cliffs, forests, lagoons and beaches. The island’s soil is volcanic and its vegetation luxuriant.
And to show you, here’s one example. Okay, two... Next up, two of the best Tenerife excursions. But if you’re travelling with children, check that they’re old enough for this next Tenerife excursion.
Tenerife’s most famous gorge
On your tour of the wild side of Tenerife, you absolutely must include a descent of the Masca gorge, the Barranco de Masca, one of the most popular and successful Tenerife excursions, but one which requires visitors to adhere to the attraction’s safety rules. Both the descent and ascent are demanding, so you need to bee properly equipped and prepared. The downward path ends on a wild beach which can only be accessed via the gorge, and then you climb back up in the opposite direction to admire the route by which you came down.
The Masca gorge is a deep, stone ravine carved out by water erosion over five million years.
The slow but inexorable action of the water can be seen in the horizontal layers and vertical fissures that the various ages have produced in the rock.
If you plan to go hiking through the Masca gorge, you need to head for the hamlet in the village of the same name, and you need to arrive by group transport. You will be amazed to see where they built all those years ago—it seems an impossible task without heavy machinery.
You need to book your visit to the gorge online and in advance, as visitor numbers are limited.
Los Gigantes and its cliffs
Los Gigantes, like the Masca gorge, is part of the Teno Rural Park.
As their name suggests, the Los Gigantes cliffs are enormous: 600 m-high sheer walls of rock that plunge into the sea as if cutting the water. Bathing or sailing near these imposing walls of dark-coloured stone is an experience that cannot fail to bring home what an astounding thing nature is.
An excursion to Los Gigantes de Tenerife offers a bonus in addition to diving, snorkelling or sailing—the chance to spot cetaceans.
That’s right: the waters around Los Gigantes are home to the short-finned pilot whale and the bottlenose dolphin, which are quite frequently sighted. Can you imagine anything more exciting?
6. La Orotava: one of the most beautiful Tenerife tours
La Orotava is Tenerife’s largest town, and one of the most admired, as it possesses buildings with historical interest, original gardens and a stately ambience, which has helped to ensure that its buildings are well preserved.
All of these features led to this area, most of which lies within the Teide National Park, being declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1976.
If you want to discover the true character of La Orotava, you really mustn’t miss this urban tour, and we can tell you which are the essential attractions that make the town well worth visiting.
So let’s go!
What to see and do in La Orotava
Note the not-to-be-missed highlights that await you in this picturesque town on one of the best Tenerife excursions from Puerto de la Cruz, which is only 8 kilometres away.
- Stroll through the historic quarter: see the sixteenth-century buildings as you wander the town’s steep streets, dotted with colourful painted mansions with their typical wooden balconies.
- If there’s one famous building in La Orotava, it is La Casa de los Balcones [House of Balconies], an outstanding example of a Canary Island historic mansion with its wide, wooden balconies decorated with flowers.
- The Iglesia de la Concepción, because this church is the finest example of Baroque architecture in the Canary Islands.
- The gardens known as either Los Jardines del Marquesado de la Quinta Roja or Jardines Victoria are an emblematic spot, with fountains, and planted with beautiful flowers and trees; there are also lovely views from the highest point.
Of course, you should also visit the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the Plaza de la Constitución, as both are delightful squares, and home to the odd architectural treasure.
7. Hiking through the Anaga Rural Park: an unforgettable excursion for nature lovers
The Anaga Rural Park, which is also a Biosphere Reserve, is home to the greatest number of endemic species on the continent of Europe, and has the highest number of magnificent native laurel trees.
Its plant life and its geological wealth make this park a paradise for all those with a passion for hiking.
Walking among rugged mountains, exploring paths bursting with plant life, stopping at viewing points to gaze at the scenery, or swimming from one of the area’s beaches of volcanic sand are some of the greatest pleasures offered by Anaga.
Although there are trails for the most intrepid explorers, there are also shorter and easier walks, making the Anaga Rural Park a perfect Tenerife excursion for families with children, as well as providing a change from the beach.
Whether you are seasoned veterans of the mountains or whether this is your first visit, it is also worth paying attention to one of the added attractions of this tour: Anaga’s geological treasures.
Grasp the opportunity to see all the park’s geological formations, particularly the famous rocks that are old volcanic chimneys, but also note the ditches, the profile of the cliffs and the depth of the ravines.
In the Anaga Rural Park, you can go from a dense, seemingly enchanted, forest to a pretty beach on the same trail—a thrilling experience.
8. Loro Parque: the best zoo in Europe
Continuing with plans for activities with the youngest members of the family, we come to one of the most popular north Tenerife excursions with children: Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz.
Loro Parque has the world’s largest and most diverse collection of parrot species and subspecies, but it also has other animals, including chimpanzees, lions, and even red pandas—earning it a reputation as an outstanding zoo.
There is also an aquarium, sea lions, dolphins and killer whales which star in highly entertaining shows organised by the staff. Along with the parrots too, of course.
If you’re looking for a day out from Puerto de la Cruz, learning and having fun, Loro Parque is an excellent choice.
9. A sailing excursion to spot whales and dolphins: the best Tenerife excursion for the whole family
A cetacean-spotting excursion on Costa Adeje is something you really won’t want to miss. Especially if you’re travelling as a family.
To be sailing along, and suddenly to catch sight of bottlenose dolphins or pilot whales on the surface of the sea makes for a difficult experience to describe; to see them so close, in their own habitat and undisturbed is mind-blowing.
Depending on the time of day and the weather conditions, you may see them leaping, swimming in search of food, or playing. They look as if they’re dancing!
We believe this may be the very best place to relax with children in Tenerife, as contact with animals always has a positive effect on young children.
10. Jeep Safari in Tenerife—a thrilling adventure
We cannot finish this list of the best Tenerife excursions without recommending a 4x4 safari to La Gomera or Mount Teide, in the north of Tenerife. There are Tenerife tours, including private ones, to anywhere you can think of!
Just look for the destination that best suits you, and enjoy the ride, as the drivers are very experienced, and during the trip they can tell you (in several languages) the history of what you see along the way, along with all sorts of interesting facts.
Would you like to explore La Gomera? Book a tour from Tenerife that will collect you at a point close to your hotel, take you to the ferry and then show you the whole island on a jeep tour, stopping off at the most iconic spots.
The best of La Gomera in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, so that your adventure will be exciting, but also safe.
And with this highlight, we come to the end of our list of the best Tenerife excursions. Remember to book your excursions in good time, particularly in the Teide National Park, which is in great demand during the island’s summer season.