Getting to know Tenerife in 4 days seems like a difficult mission, but with the right itinerary and an intense tour, you will be able to visit as many attractions as possible during your short stay. The ideal way to do this is to divide the island into sectors and assign one to each day.
Among the best things to see and do in Tenerife are a tour of Santa Cruz, the Teide National Park and its peaks, the Siam Park theme park and the villages in the north of the island. In between you can visit pyramids, rocks and caves that will show you that Tenerife is an island for everyone.
Day 1: Tour Santa Cruz, visit the Palmetum, have lunch at the Municipal Market and have a swim in the César Manrique Park
Your first day on the island will start with a walk through the main streets of Santa Cruz, where you can begin to explore and learn about the history and culture of Tenerife. You will also be able to visit the Palmetum, have lunch at the traditional Nuestra Señora de África Municipal Market and spend the afternoon at the César Manrique Maritime Park, where you can swim and relax.
Tour Santa Cruz de Tenerife
This trip starts in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is the most important city on the island and a haven of ancient Canarian culture. This is a tour that you can do on foot or by bicycle, to visit the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and the Plaza de España, two of the city's most representative sites.
Visit the Palmetum, the largest botanical garden in the Canary Islands
Among the very streets of Santa Cruz, your next stop will be the Palmetum of Santa Cruz, located in the Puerto de Honduras area. It is a botanical garden of 12 hectares, which makes it the largest in the Canary Islands and a refuge for palm trees and local flora.
The Palmetum is one of the most important projects in the Canary Islands, because in just a few years it managed to transform a rubbish dump into a natural space for visitors. Nowadays it is the most representative green lung of the city, as well as being the largest botanical reserve of tropical palm trees in the world.
Visiting the Palmetum in its entirety will take you approximately 3 hours and is one of the best things to do in Tenerife. The park is open to the public daily from 10.00 to 18.00 and general admission is 6 euros.
Have lunch at the Municipal Market Nuestra Señora de África
After touring the Palmetum, at lunchtime you can visit the Nuestra Señora de África Municipal Market, located just a few streets away. There you will discover, as its name suggests, many of the African roots that Tenerife has due to its proximity to that continent, as well as the best local gastronomic products.
I recommend you try the eclectic dishes of Bokanka, the Latin American delicacies of Antojitos de mi Tierra and the tapas of Gastrobar El Gusto por el Vino, if you prefer a more Spanish option.
After lunch, I recommend you spend some time strolling around the galleries to get to know the place better.
- Opening hours: every day from 6.00 am to 8.00 pm.
- Address: Av. de San Sebastián, 51, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Museum of Nature and Archaeology, one of the best museums in Tenerife.
Take a swim in the César Manrique Maritime Park
After lunch, I suggest you spend the afternoon in the Parque Marítimo César Manrique, which is a large complex of swimming pools for adults and children, with solarium areas, children's play areas and gastronomic services. Visiting the Parque Marítimo is an ideal option if you plan to visit Tenerife with children.
The Parque Marítimo César Manrique is just a few streets away from the Municipal Market and can be reached in a 10-minute walk or by city buses on lines 914 and 921 to Tres de Mayo station.
This park can also be an alternative if you are planning to visit Tenerife in December or in the months when the beaches are windier or colder, as it has heated pools where you can take a relaxing swim.
- Opening hours: every day from 10.00 to 19.00 hours.
- Price: from €5 per person.
Dinner in the García Sanabria Park
Once you have finished your visit to the Parque Marítimo, you can close the first day with dinner in some of the restaurants and bars in the area of Parque García Sanabria, one of the most popular nightlife areas in Tenerife.
Day 2: Visit Teide National Park, Roque Cinchado and the Pyramids of Güímar
If the first day's tour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife wasn't adventurous enough for you, get ready because on the second day I'll propose an itinerary through the nature of the Teide National Park, which contains Tenerife's highest peak, and you'll also be able to visit other places such as the Roque Cinchado and the Pyramids of Güímar.
Visit the Teide National Park, Spain's highest peak
Teide is the highest point not only in Tenerife, but also in Spain, and the third highest volcano in the world. Inactive for more than 200 years, it is now a must-see for tourists touring the Canary Islands, as its peaks offer some of the best views of the Atlantic islands.
Teide is located some 65 kilometres south of Santa Cruz and the best way to visit it is on an organised excursion, although you can also explore it on your own by car on the TF-21, which takes about an hour and a half.
If you decide to take one of the many excursions to Teide, you can walk along the hiking tra ils accompanied by an expert local guide, who will give you information about one of the most representative sites in Spain.
Teide cable car
During your visit to the volcano you can also choose to travel on the Teide Cable Car, which in a 10-minute ride connects the base of the National Park to La Rambleta station, which is a few metres below the peak.
This is the most accessible way to reach one of the highest points on Teide and costs approximately 49 euros per visitor, including access to the Pico Viejo viewpoint.
Along with the rest of the Teide Park, this is one of the best places in Europe for stargazing at night. One of the best ways to do this is with an organised stargazing tour.
Take a hiking route around Roque Cinchado
In the heart of the island, within the Teide National Park and next to the volcano, you can visit the Roque Cinchado, one of the most emblematic rock formations of Tenerife.
El Cinchado belongs to the Roques García group, although it has a unique shape, with a narrower base than the peak, which distinguishes it from the rest and makes it an attraction in itself.
At Roque Cinchado, which is located at an altitude of 2,100 metres, you can get some of the best photographs of Tenerife. On nights when the moon is full, the Natural Park offers excursions to contemplate the star field that forms in the sky.
Visits to Roque Cinchado are usually combined with visits to Alto de Guajara, which is the highest peak in the natural amphitheatre of Las Cañadas del Teide, and with hiking excursions to Montaña Blanca and through the Lunar Landscape.
Visit the Pyramids of Güímar
On the way back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the TF-1, is the Pirámides de Güímar Botanical Garden and Ethnographic Park, a large open-air museum built around the six pyramidal structures oriented towards the sun, according to the astronomical calendar, and which were built in the 19th century by the indigenous Guanches.
These pyramids are the main attraction of Güímar, in the west of Tenerife. The facilities also include the Ethnographic Park, the Casa Chacona Museum and the Poison Garden, which is the best known of the park's botanical gardens.
You can visit this site every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and general admission costs approximately 13 euros.
You can tour the Pyramids of Güímar with an audio guide and marvel at one of the few indigenous ruins still standing in the Canary Islands that preserve the Guanche culture in Tenerife.
Day 3: Visit Siam Park, take a whale-watching excursion and explore the beaches of southern Tenerife
After an adventure tour, for the third day I propose an itinerary through the south of the island to discover what is considered to be the best water park on the planet.
Also, in this area you will be able to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife, such as Playa de las Américas, Playa del Duque and Playa Fañabé.
Visit Siam Park, a theme park with Thai architecture
The Siam Park water park is not only one of the best theme parks in Tenerife but also one of the best in the world, according to internet votes that are repeated every year. Located in Costa Adeje, in the south of the island, it can be reached from Santa Cruz by car on the TF-1 road in just under an hour or by bus on the 110 and 111 lines to the Magma station.
Siam Park is a water theme park inspired by Thai architecture where you can surf waves up to 4 metres high, relax on the natural white sandy beach and feel the adrenaline rush of Tower of Power, a 28-metre ride where you can speed through an aquarium full of sharks and rays.
This park is a great place to visit with the whole family and is open daily from 10am to 6pm. General admission tickets cost approximately 40 euros for adults and 28 euros for children.
Go on a whale and dolphin watching tour
The Canary Islands are one of the ideal places for whale and dolphin watching, and Tenerife is no exception. That's why, from Puerto Colón, just a few streets away from the Siam Park water park, you can book a whale watching excursion, which is an ideal plan if you're touring the island with children and want to get to know the different species of whales that exist in Tenerife.
There are whale-watching excursions on the island for everyone and at different prices, although I recommend those that sail along the coast of Tenerife, as you will be able to see cetaceans in their natural habitat and , being a smaller boat, you will be able to see the dolphins and whales close up, and in some options you can even experience a snorkelling trip, weather conditions permitting.
Also note that the best time to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife is between December and June, during the winter and spring seasons.
Tour the beaches in the south of Tenerife
When you return from your whale watching excursion, you can have a bite to eat in the area of Costa Adeje and then visit some of the beaches in the south of Tenerife, where you can swim in the warm, crystal clear waters and wait for the sunset. Some of the ones I can mention:
Playa de las Americas
Playa de las Américas is the most famous beach in the south, stretching from the Chayofita mountain to the Barranco del Rey ravine. In the area you will find a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants, as it is one of the main entertainment spots in Tenerife.
If you prefer a quieter option you can visit Playa del Duque, north of Siam Park. This is a beach enclosed between artificial cliffs, with crystal clear, warm waters, ample space for relaxation and a smaller number of tourists.
If, on the other hand, you want a more traditional beach, you can visit Fañabé, which is little known by tourists and usually frequented by locals. There, as well as rest areas, you can find some of the best kayaking and snorkelling experiences in Tenerife.
Day 4: Visit the Cueva del Viento and the route through the villages of the north of Tenerife
For the last day I propose an itinerary through the north of the island, to visit the Cueva del Viento, which is the largest volcanic tube in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
You can't miss the picturesque villages of San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los Vinos and Garachico, so you can get to know a different side of Tenerife.
Visit the Cueva del Viento (Wind Cave)
The Cueva del Viento, which for years was considered the largest volcanic tube in the world, is a residual formation of the lava flows of Pico Viejo, which is located next to the Teide volcano and is one of the highest peaks on Tenerife. This tube, which stretches for 17 kilometres, is a natural spectacle of chasms and lava terraces that also serves to analyse the volcanic origin of the Canary Islands.
Here you can also take some of the best photographs of Tenerife and go on a guided tour where you will learn about the fossils and other palaeontological treasures found in one of the island's long-forgotten sites.
Bear in mind that the visit to the Cueva del Viento can take between 3 and 4 hours, depending on the pace of your walk, and that it is of medium-high difficulty due to the winding terrain and the confined spaces inside the tube, which is presented as a journey into the bowels of the earth.
- How to get there: You can get to the Cueva del Viento by car from Santa Cruz on the TF-5 road in a journey of approximately 45 minutes or by bus on lines 108 and 102 combined with line 360.
- Price: General admission costs approximately 20 euros.
The route of the villages of the north of Tenerife
To close the tour of Tenerife and get to know an alternative profile of the island, an ideal option is to visit the villages of the north, which, far from the most bustling beaches, offer good gastronomy, great landscapes, paradisiacal routes and a large number of attractions.
Icod de los Vinos
The first nearby village, located three kilometres from the Cueva del Viento, is Icod de los Vinos, the site of the famous Drago Milenario tree , which is the oldest in the Canary Islands. There you can also visit the historic centre, visit its bars for lunch and if you are a nature lover you can also visit the Mariposario del Drago, one of the largest in Spain.
In Garachico you can visit a village that was rebuilt on the ashes left by the eruption of the Trevejo volcano, and also a picturesque place with the San Miguel Castle and the Puerta de la Tierra Park, as well as the viewpoints that offer a wide panoramic view of the island and the natural pools of El Caletón, created by the volcanic lava.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz, located 30 minutes by car from Garachico, is the tourist emblem of the north of the island, as it has a seafront promenade with the Castle of San Felipe and some of the best beaches in the area, such as Playa Jardín and Playa de San Telmo.
San Cristóbal de la Laguna
The last stop before returning to Santa Cruz will be in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, located almost on the outskirts of the capital, a town with narrow colonial-style streets that was once the capital of Tenerife. Here you can visit the Cathedral, the Casa Lercaro and the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena, as well as bars and restaurants where you can dine and toast the intense tour of Tenerife.
And that's the end of this 4-day trip to the best places in Tenerife. Enough time to get to know and enjoy much of the culture, history and fun that the island has to offer, although I'm sure you'll want to come back!