There are thousands of tourist and family entertainment options in the Canary Islands and a good part of these activities take place in Tenerife as the largest and most populated island in the archipelago. At the same time, the best things to see and do in Tenerife are scattered between the north and south of the island, which makes the logistical planning of an itinerary less of a benefit and more of a necessity.
With that in mind, in this post I have compiled all kinds of plans and all kinds of places imaginable so that you can return home claiming to have seen the most attractive and interesting places in Tenerife. Read on if you want to get a clearer and more concise idea of the kind of trip you can enjoy if you visit Tenerife for 7 continuous days.
Day 1: Start the trip in the north of the island
The northeast of Tenerife is one of the most populated areas of the whole island due to the fact that the capital is located there. At the same time it is characterised as a section of the island with a very defined natural beauty, as the greenery of the Anaga Natural Park together with the Enchanted Forest of La Ensillada create a contrasting panorama with the rocky coasts full of cliffs.
I advise you to start your trip in this part of the island knowing that it is well worth a visit. Bear in mind that for this day and for the rest of the trip you will need a rental car to get from one point to another quickly and safely.
Explore the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the most populous city of all the Canary Islands and stands out as a cosmopolitan community where the historic atmosphere of its older neighbourhoods mingle with new modern constructions. Such as the Auditorio Adan Martin or the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife.
The colonial church of the Immaculate Conception, the Palacio de Carta and the Museum of Nature and Man are just some of the places you should visit on a brief visit to this beautiful city. The Plaza de España is another must-see in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Continue the day by visiting La Laguna
While in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it is highly recommended to visit the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. It is a picturesque city that must be explored on foot, so I recommend you leave your car in the car park in the historic centre. This is so that you can visit the cathedral that bears the same name as the city, as well as the surrounding area and the famous Plaza del Adelantado.
The Plaza de la Concepción and the Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife are also stops that you must make on your short tour of the city.
Walk along the old road to Pico del Inglés
From the centre of La Laguna you can start driving towards the northern tip of the island and take the TF-12 road through the Parque Rural de Anaga. This road will take you to the last destination of the first day of the trip, but there is a small detour you can take to head to the Mirador del Pico del Inglés. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
This is a narrow route through a dense section of the park's vegetation, creating a path that looks like a fairy tale. Because of this characteristic, over time it has become one of the most photographed places in the whole of Tenerife.
Drive to Las Teresitas for a beautiful sunset
If you continue driving for another hour or so you can spend the late afternoon and early evening at Las Teresitas Beach. This is a beautiful seaside community with almost two kilometres of uninterrupted white sand and is considered one of the best beach resorts on the island.
It's a great place to enjoy the first beach swim of the trip as well as a delicious dinner from the catch of the day at one of the restaurants in the picturesque town of San Andres. The return to the city can be quicker and more comfortable, as you have the alternative of driving along the TF-11 road.
Day 2: Visit Puerto de la Cruz and surroundings
Puerto de la Cruz is another of the most important urban settlements in Tenerife and since the end of the 19th century it has presented itself to the world as one of the first Spanish cities oriented towards tourism and entertainment.
Throughout this community you will find all kinds of plans, but a short walk through its historic centre, a stroll along the fishing pier and dinner in one of the hundreds of restaurants in the city are not to be missed on your visit.
Start the day at the Mirador Cruz De La Atalaya viewpoint
On the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz, on the road to Candelaria near the village of Tamaide is a modest viewpoint that has one of the best views in the whole region.
This is the Mirador Cruz De La Atalaya and is an excellent place to start your second day, as it gives you the opportunity to see the first skies of the morning before driving along the TF-21 towards your next destination, which is also located in the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz.
Tour the stately architecture of La Orotava
The famous town of La Orotava is known locally as the town of balconies. This has to do with its famous wooden balconies that belong to the old mansions that are built along the length and breadth of its cobbled streets.
Among the highlights of this locality are the Victoria Gardens which are characterised by their stepped design full of fountains and flowers that create a very beautiful and peculiar atmosphere. The Casa de Los Balcones is another of the town' s great attractions and consists of a large and stately building in which today there is a museum accessible to the public to learn about the ins and outs of the world of craftsmanship in Europe and Latin America.
Spend the afternoon at Loro Parque
Loro Parque is a very famous family entertainment complex in Tenerife that functions as a kind of zoo. It is a space that also combines educational activities and dynamics to interact with the animals that are protected there from the dangers of their natural environments.
There are penguins, gorillas, tigers, red pandas, dolphin pools and lots of other impressive animals. There are exhibits that are set up in the style of a natural history museum and there are also some cafeterias where you could have lunch.
However, I advise you to preferably do so in one of the restaurants in the neighbouring Punta Brava neighbourhood, so you can take the opportunity to wander around the picturesque streets.
Watch the sunset in Playa de Los Roques
The sunsets in this part of Tenerife are worth admiring and if there is one place to enjoy them in the surroundings of Puerto de La Cruz it would be Playa de Los Roques. This is a practically virgin beach that is distinguished by its total absence of sand and by the existence of several rocks that are placed in front of the strong waves of the water, thus creating a quite captivating landscape.
You cannot access the shore with your hire car, but you can leave it in the public car park and go down to the beach along a short path that is perfectly signposted and conditioned.
Day 3: See the cliffs on the northwest side of the beach
The north-western tip of Tenerife is distinguished by some of the world's most beautiful cliffs, with its rugged terrain that juts out from the coastline.
Inland the region is also home to a number of natural attractions. For winding roads wind their way through the Teno Rural Park. This has the most canyons and cliffs on the whole island due to the way the volcanic massif of the area is configured.
Go to the Punta Teno lighthouse
Punta de Teno is a tourist hotspot in Tenerife due to the fact that it is the westernmost section of the whole island. It's an excellent idea to start your third day of your visit here as you can enjoy an energising swim at the beach that bears the same name as the area.
Entering the lighthouse to enjoy its panoramic views is a must. Although in the hypothetical case that you are unable to enter, you also have the option of enjoying the view of the landscape from the Punta del Frailete viewpoint or the Punto del Teno viewpoint.
Walk through the Teno Natural Park
If you take the TF-445 road and then head south on the TF-436 road, you will enjoy the privilege of driving through the villages that are located throughout the entire region of the Teno Natural Park.
El Palmar, Las Lagunetas and Masca with its famous viewpoint are just some of the communities that will be on your route and where you will have the opportunity to have a brief stop to stroll through their narrow streets and to admire their handicraft shops. They are also ideal places to enjoy a typical Canarian breakfast if you haven't had a chance to eat by that point in the day.
Admire the immensity of Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cliffs on the planet and is one of the great natural attractions of Tenerife and all the Canary Islands. You have different alternatives to enjoy and admire their beauty and the choice of one will depend on your time and your interests.
For example, you can sit down for lunch in one of the restaurants in Puerto de Los Gigantes, which are characterised by a direct and privileged view of these impressive geological formations. Enjoying a catamaran or sailing trip that combines a closer exploration of Los Gigantes with a whale watching tour is also an excellent idea.
The most convenient thing about it is that these types of sea trips usually depart from this very Puerto de Los Gigantes. The restaurants in Playa Puerto de Santiago are also a favourable option for eating after participating in these tours, especially as they bring you even closer to the next activity of your day.
Take a dip in the Natural Pool Acantilado de Los Gigantes
If you like the natural pools that are created by the conditions of the rocky coasts then you can't miss a sunset swim in the Natural Pool Acantilado de Los Gigantes.
It is also known as the Charco de Isla Cangrejo and it is a free and completely safe place where you can enjoy a good sunset. All this while you bathe in a saltwater pool in the best Canary Islands style.
Day 4: Have a beach tour
By the fourth day of your trip you are likely to have a significant interest in making the most of some of Tenerife's most famous beaches. This day's itinerary therefore focuses exclusively on exploring the beauty of the island's southern shores.
Walk the Golden Mile
Before you start swimming in the Atlantic waters that lap at the island's beaches, you'll probably want to take advantage of a short shopping session in one of the island's most famous shopping streets. This is the Golden Mile and is basically a well-known avenue on which some of the most famous hotels in Playa de Las Americas are built. As well as several restaurants such as the Hard Rock Café or shopping centres.
Spend the morning at Los Cristianos Beach
The next thing you should do in order to start experiencing the beach atmosphere of the south coast of Tenerife is to hang out at the neighbouring Playa de Los Cristianos, one of the best known and most favourable for swimming.
If this section of the coast doesn't suit you, you can still spend the morning at Playa de las Vistas or simply walk along the promenade at Playa de los Tarajales. Keep in mind that this is one of those activities to see or do with children in Tenerife, as they are all beaches with little waves and a coastguard.
Visit the beach at Costa Adeje
A couple of kilometres to the north is the tourist area of Costa Adeje. It is noted for its large concentration of hotel and commercial complexes creating one of the most significant industries on the whole island. Along the area there are also several beaches that you might find interesting such as Playa de El Bobo, Playa de Troya or the extensive Playa de Fañabé.
Bear in mind that some of the whale watching excursions in Tenerife leave from this point. It can therefore be a great entertainment alternative if you didn't have the chance to enjoy the boat trip during your visit to the cliffs of Los Gigantes.
Have a jet ski session in Puerto Colon
Right in the centre of Costa Adeje is a place known as Puerto Colon. Basically, it is the marina of the area where most of the jetties for luxury yachts, sailing boats, catamarans and all kinds of boats are located.
Its proximity to the beautiful Playa de La Pinta is somewhat convenient if so far none of the other sections of the coast have captivated you.
The best thing about the whole thing is that some jet ski excursions are organised from this coastal locality. These could be the dose of adrenaline you've been looking for to end your beach exploration of Tenerife's most touristy area.
Day 5: Focus your day on the wonders of Mount Teide
Teide is a volcano over 3,700 metres above sea level and is located right in the centre of the island and represents a site of utmost geological and touristic importance for the whole of Spain.
Firstly for the fact that it is the highest peak in the whole country and secondly for the fact that it is a volcanic formation that is not located on the continental shelf but on an island in an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
The area is full of plans and activities that could keep you very entertained throughout the day. It is therefore a good idea to fully dedicate yourself to enjoying this beautiful corner of the Canary Islands on the fifth day of your trip.
Visit the island's astronomical observatory
Starting your day and your tour of the area around El Teide at the observatory of the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute is an excellent decision. This complex is a world reference when it comes to monitoring cosmological phenomena and studies related to outer space.
This particular site is the largest solar observatory on the planet and you have the option of enjoying a guided tour as well as admiring its structure from the outside.
Take the beautiful cable car up to Mount Teide
If you drive from the observatory along the TF-21 road you will arrive directly at the base of the Teide cable car. A ride on this fun transport system is a must to get to the top of the highest mountain in Spain.
When you get to the top you have the alternative of taking some of the hiking trails that take you to other viewpoints further away or you can also enjoy the perspective offered by the viewpoint at the cable car station itself. At the cable car base station you can also eat if you wish, as there is a restaurant for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the summit of Teide every year.
Try to hug the big pine on the way down the mountain
If you continue driving along the TF-21 there will be a point where you will start to descend the mountain, passing through areas such as the Las Lajas Recreational Area.
Just before you reach the picturesque village of Vilaflor, there is a famous tourist destination that is traditionally a basic stop on the descent of the excursions to Mount Teide: the Pino Gordo and the Pino de las dos Pernadas.
The former is a large Canary Island pine with a trunk so thick that it has attracted the attention of the local tourist offices to the point of creating a car park nearby. The second is a curious pine tree with a trunk that splits in two at the top of its structure.
Enjoy a peculiar dinner at the Castle of San Miguel
If you continue down the TF-21 and when you reach the TF-28 you start driving west, you will reach the town of San Miguel. From there you can drive south on the TF-25 and after about 15 minutes you will be at the entrance to the Castillo de San Miguel.
It is a castle inspired by medieval architecture and when you visit it in the evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy a themed dinner. In this experience you will see a medieval show with knights in armour and all sorts of theatrical props.
It is a good entertainment activity for the whole family and can also be the ideal break after a day of driving around the length and breadth of Mount Teide.
Day 6: Get to know Güímar and its surroundings
At this point of the trip, the south-western section of Tenerife is the only part of the island that you have not been able to visit. The beautiful village of Güímar and its neighbouring towns are the perfect opportunity for you to return home saying that you have enjoyed most of Tenerife.
Visit the Pyramids of Güímar
The Pyramids of Güímar are structures built in volcanic rock that belong to an ethnographic museum that is combined with a botanical garden.
This site offers tourists a close-up view of the pre-Columbian past of the Canary Islands. As well as all kinds of information about the nature of the island as a special biosphere reserve of the Canary Islands.
Have a hiking tour through the Malpaís de Güímar
After you have taken part in all the activities available at the Pyramids of Güímar museum it is a good idea to start a hiking route through the Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve.
This is a very important piece of land for the island, as it is an area of some 290 hectares with completely volcanic soil and vegetation. The reserve has a mountain that is fairly easy to climb, and some people choose to walk to the coast to observe the crash of the waves against the rock formed by volcanic lava flows 5,000 years ago.
Walk around La Candelaria and Punta Larga
Heading north along the TF-21 road, you can reach the community of La Candelaria. It is a coastal and fishing village with a basilica that has been a point of pilgrimage for the Canarian community for a couple of decades.
The neighbouring village of Punta Larga is also worth a visit and between the two places you can have lunch and enjoy a walk along the black sandy beaches of volcanic origin.
Day 7: Leave the island for a short excursion
For the last day of your week in Tenerife you can go for the idea of having an excursion to some of the nearest islands.
For this reason I will tell you about the two most common alternatives that will allow you to get to know a new destination and then return in time in the afternoon or evening of the same day. This knowing that the next thing in your logistics will be the flight or ferry back home.
Go to La Gomera from Tenerife as Colon did
La Gomera is the closest island to the south of Tenerife and is a destination with a myriad of tourist attractions such as the Garajonay National Park or its picturesque capital, San Sebastian.
You should know that these types of daily excursions to La Gomera from Tenerife usually depart from Los Cristianos or Puerto de La Cruz in the early hours of the morning and the return is usually set for around 5 or 6 pm. The logistics of the transport and the tourist route to La Gomera are usually determined by the type of excursion you choose.
Choose to visit the smallest island of the Canary Islands
El Hierro is the smallest island of all the populated territories in the Canary Islands and at the same time it is one of the most peculiar and beautiful. The excursions that take you to this point of the archipelago also usually depart from Puerto de La Cruz or from any other port in the southeast of Tenerife.
In this type of day trip from Tenerife to El Hierro you will visit places such as the Mirador de Jinama or the Laurisilva Natural Park along with a short visit to places like the Hotel Punta Grande or the Roques de Salmor.