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Itinerary for 7-day Holidays in Tenerife, Spain

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Sunny Winter Holidays in Europe

Winter… Winter always comes and once it does, somehow it feels that it never leaves. I hardly meet a person who doesn’t want to migrate somewhere warmer during the cold season. Here in Europe, we don’t have many places to run away from the bitter cold of winter, but the Canary Islands are one of them. Yes, it lies just next to Africa in the Atlantic, but technically – it is Europe. This Spanish territory is a legacy of the empire’s illustrious past.

Today, Tenerife stands as a year-round haven for those seeking balmy weather and diverse experiences. In this guide, I’ll share a tried-and-true 7-day itinerary that showcases the best of Tenerife, from its stunning beaches to its majestic mountains.

And don’t you feel like you deserve holidays on a sunny beach too? Maybe, with a mix of one or two adventures every now and then? That would be nice, isn’t it? I think any month could be a perfect time to put your umbrellas down and head to the biggest island of all the Canary Islands – Tenerife. Whether you’re basking in the sun or embarking on an adventure, Tenerife promises a dose of vitamin D and joy for every traveler.

Teide Volcano is the crown jewel of the Canary Islands. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

7-Day Tenerife Itinerary

A typical view in the northern part of Tenerife. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Tenerife Island Details

Tenerife Map

You wouldn’t guess that Anaga Rural Park is located on the same island as an active volcano. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

How is the Weather in Tenerife?

The weather in Tenerife is just fantastic throughout the year. In winter months like February – visiting Tenerife is just surreal. Not only do you get to take out your summer outfits out of the closet but to swim outdoors in a warm sea. One thing is for sure – there are not so many places with such pleasant weather during winter. Tenerife & the rest of the Canary Islands get to enjoy one of the best climates in the world. Why won’t you enjoy it too?

Most of the beaches in Tenerife has its sand colored black by Teide volcano. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Day 1 – Enjoy Sun & the Best Tenerife Beaches

Today is all about indulging in the simple pleasures of a beach holiday, setting the tone for an unforgettable week in Tenerife. To some, I imagine, this might sound a bit lame, but once you get your keys to a car and an apartment, the first thing you should do is to go out and head for the closest beach. Let’s start with a big chunk of Vitamin D, you know that it improves your mood, right? ² Good feels are what we are here for, be ready for a week of happiness as this feeling won’t leave you for the rest of the trip. A sunny beach with warm ocean water for sure is surreal once you get here on a winter out of cold Europe.

Keep in mind that due to possible big waves, some of the beaches might be closed. In that case, just head for any beach with a breakwater, I marked some on the map.

After the beach, you should walk around, and get to know your neighborhood – find those grocery shops for the morning milk runs and the pubs for the late-night drinks. Picking the best area for your base will vary based on yout personal preferences, but I highly recommend the area around Los Gigantes for its breathtaking evening views, where the sky and sea meet in a spectacular display of colors.

Day 2 – Take the Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour

Due to past experience on some other islands, I wasn’t expecting more than beautiful vistas of the island out of the tour. That was true but so was the following. From what I learned the chances of encountering these playful and intelligent creatures are exceptionally high. It might sound strange, but most of the dolphins seek out the boats themselves. They do it either for some wave-riding along the human vessels or simply just because they want to befriend you. Either way, you won’t be able to tell the difference. The dolphins will be there to cheer you up and that combined, with more sea, and more sun will guarantee some quality time. Based on my personal experience (besides the North Atlantic), Tenerife was the only island where dolphins still reach out for boats. In many places, like Mauritius and other coasts suffering from over-tourism, the opposite is true. Therefore, it is very important to take one of the eco-dolphin-friendly tours to keep these majestic creatures still interested in us.

While dolphin sightings are common, spotting a whale is a moment of serendipity, a special gift from the sea.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry or tour to La Gomera Island and spend your day there. Most of the dolphin and whale watching tours are heading for territory between Tenerife and La Gomera anyway, where these encounters are very common.

If you are afraid to get seasick, I would still recommend spending this day not too far from the sea. You just got here and there is still plenty of time to see the rest of the island. Today is the day for the sea and the further enjoyment of the beautiful beaches of Tenerife.

Day 3 – Visit Masca Village

By now you probably gotten used to warm weather and the sun (hopefully without too much of a sunburn). It is time to turn your holidays into an adventure to remember. Not like it is boring to lay down on a mattress by the sea reading a book and sipping one Gin Topic after another, but by now you probably have noticed a giant mountain overlooking the island. It kinda looks interesting, doesn’t it? We’ll get there on time, don’t worry, but for now, let’s get closer to the sea. What about getting on that big cliff called Los Gigantes?

Besides Mount Teide itself, probably the most popular natural attraction on Tenerife island is Masca village, and the so-called Masca hike. The route goes down from the village through Masca Gorge to Playa de Masca at sea level. As of 2019, it was closed down for safety upgrades because some genius decided to do the hike with slippers – don’t be that person, it is not the same as going to the closest supermarket to buy another six-pack.

Despite the hike being open or closed, Masca Village is highly recommended for any visitor to Tenerife Island. The Teno Massif surrounding the settlement is absolutely mesmerizing. In fact, the whole Teno region used to be a separate small island, which later joined forces with other islets to form what is now called Tenerife Island.

Sadly, I never had a chance to do the track but by now I hope it is open again for visitors. From what I read and from what I saw, the Masca hike is usually a one-way walk to the beach from where a water taxi will take you back to Los Gigantes but the times might have changed. What definitely has changed is that Masca village is no longer reachable by car. You’ll need to take a bus from the nearest town. Alternatively, you can do a longer and more spectacular guided hike to the ocean from Santiago del Teide. Apparently, you’ll also need a permit to access Masca Gorge Trail, but guided tours will handle this for you.

Day 4 – Get on the Top of Tenerife Island – Teide Volcano

While the main reason to go to the Canary Islands is its stable climate, the main reason to pick Tenerife Island for your holidays in the Canary Islands is Mount Teide. Yes, it is the biggest island of all the archipelago and it is amazing – infrastructure and beaches are as good as it gets. Nevertheless, there is nothing similar to Mount Teide on the other islands of the Canaries, and as a matter of fact – the whole of Spain. Mount Teide is the highest mountain in the whole country and did I mention that it is an active volcano too? At the narrowest point up in the north, the sea level and the top of Mount Teide are separated only by 13km / 8 mi. That alone makes the landscape of the island truly awe-inspiring. The one you cannot mistake with anything else.

What is even better – is the various possibilities to reach the peak of Mount Teide. Most of us will reach it by the cable car running from the base station (2,356m / 7,730ft) to La Rambleta (3,555m / 11,663ft). The very peak of Mount Teide (3,718 / 12,198ft) could be only reached by foot with a special permit that you can get here from the park authorities. In the recent years, with the growth of visitors and the necessity of eco-tourism as result, guided group tours to Teide Volcano have become very popular – no more worries about parking slots or any other organizational stuff.

If anybody wants to see more of Teide National Park, they can climb the whole mountain on foot. The hike could start almost from anywhere, including the full challenge of climbing Mount Teide from the sea level. More adventurous people might also want to try the Teide Volcano sunrise hike or sunset tour.

Day 5 – Visit the North of Tenerife Island

Many ask which side of Tenerife they should go. North or South? There is no such thing as the right answer to this question. Both faces of Tenerife Island are totally different. It is like Two-Face from the Batman series. While the south is sun-drenched, has more spaces and golden beaches, the north is totally different. This part of Tenerife is where the island’s volcanic heritage and lush landscapes come to life, offering a blend of nature, history, and culture.

Garachico is listed among top most beautiful villages in Spain. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Los Gigantes is located on the edge of both sides. Today we go further to the North than we ever did before. The whole route will slowly bring you to a totally different world. First stop – Garachico – an old port founded in 1496 by a Genoese banker after Tenerife was conquered by the Crown of Castille. Its importance diminished in 1706 when a volcanic eruption destroyed part of the town. Today, Garachico is an interesting tourist destination offering informational historical walks around the city surrounded by 500m+ / 1500ft cliffs.

After visiting Garachico, drive along the coast towards Puerto de la Cruz, where you no longer have to worry about the road quality. The areas beyond the Teno region, offer smooth travel, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the experience with everything on the table.

The rest of the day should be spent based on your preference. It is the time to visit Loro Park or walk around Puerto de la Cruz. Our choice was to have a picnic in Playa de los Roques, or you can visit La Orotova instead. Just don’t press too far – tomorrow is the time for La Laguna and Anaga Rural Park.

The northern side is not as spacious as the southern one. Eveything feels like it was molded by Teide itself. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Day 6 – Enter the Hikers’ Paradise – Anaga Rural Park

Most of us associate Tenerife and the whole Canary Islands with volcanic formations. Anaga Forest is a totally different landscape. It is a true jungle from the movies: lush green with the sunlight blocked by the trees – alive & dangerous – nothing in common with desolate volcanic rocks. Well, at least, from the first sight.

The whole Anaga Forest is growing in a mountainous area formed between 7-9mya, after a volcanic eruption. Ever since life transformed this landscape to something more exotic than you’d expect from Tenerife. That is so for a reason – Anaga Rural Park has more endemic species than any other area in the whole of Europe. For that reason, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve in 2015. Actually, a pity it happened so recently.

These unique natural features attract many outdoor enthusiasts but the Anaga Forest does something way more important. The forest controls the humidity and fertility of the island. Back in the days, when wood was the most important building material, people started deforesting the area. It was noted that the microclimate of Tenerife has changed. Ever since the forest preservation took place. Unfortunately, not so many places in Spain remain with an authentic forest.

Tip: No matter where you plan to stay for the first days, you should consider relocating to Santa Cruz de Tenerife on this day as you’ll spend the rest of your time in the western part of the island.

Day 7 – Party at the Capital of Tenerife Island – Santa Cruz

After all the breathtaking variety of nature, Tenerife Island has, it is finally the time to see some of the local culture. I can hardly think of a better place to do so than the Capital of the island – Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Even though Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the most populated city in the whole archipelago, don’t underestimate Santa Cruz. After all, it does share the Capital status of the Canary Islands with Las Palmas and has that feeling of a major city. There is plenty of cultural stuff to do during the day, and more than enough things to do at night. It is especially true during the Carnival at the end of February or at the beginning of March. It is not a well-known fact that Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts the second biggest Carnival in the whole world, bowing down only to the famous Rio de Janeiro.

The dates of the event vary from year to year but you can read more about it in my different article about the schedule of Carnival de Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2024. This is surely one hell of an event not to miss if you are around. The whole Santa Cruz de Tenerife turns into a party day after day.

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the second biggest in the whole world. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Where to Stay in Tenerife?

Most of the visitors to Tenerife holidays head to resort towns located around Playa de las Americas like Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos. Unless you are visiting Tenerife for beach holidays only, I would recommend getting a bit further from the crowds instead.

From what I saw, the popular destinations feel like they were built for people seeking package holiday getaways. It was done in the most uninteresting part of Tenerife Island. All the cool stuff is somewhere else.

If you want to get intimate with the natural beauty of the island, Los Gigantes or La Laguna are the better choices. If you don’t like calm places, Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Puerto de la Cruz are the places to go.

Los Gigantes provides the most dramatic everyday views from all the resort areas in Tenerife. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Personal Experience

There were things I expected with high expectations and they didn’t disappoint me. The Crown Jewel of Tenerife – Mount Teide exceeded even my most optimistic hopes. At the time of my visit, the whole Teide National Park was beyond my imagination. I never expected to see a new type of landscape ever again, and here it was a somewhat barren, yet rich, in both case alien and bizarre surroundings of the tallest point in all territories of Spain.

Despite its uniqueness and beauty, it was not only Mount Teide that made the whole journey across the island so exceptional. Not a single day left me disappointed. Every day it felt like a different adventure on a different island. It is not your one trick pony like paradise beach island Mahe in Seychelles, or Mauritius snorkeling heaven. Tenerife has many faces and excels to perfection in some of them. If you follow this itinerary, I’m sure you’ll experience the same. The largest islands in the Canaries have more than enough to offer to anybody.

The Cable Car will take you almost to the top of Mount Teide, but to reach the very peak you’ll need permit. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots


² Young S. N. (2007). How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN, 32(6), 394–399.

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