Best day trips in Tenerife

On these excursions you will explore huge unspoilt beaches, laurel forests, the alien landscape of Mount Teide and ancient pirate shelters: that's how spectacular the Canary Islands are!

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

9 min read

Best day trips in Tenerife

Roads of Tenerife | ©Vaun

Tenerife is an endless source of experiences and adventures thanks to its beautiful landscapes and perfect weather all year round. While it may be tempting to swim in the crystal clear waters of its beaches every day until you catch your flight home, here's a guide to 5 incredible excursions in Tenerife to discover all that this island and the rest of the archipelago has to offer.

1. The best day trips in Tenerife

Garajonay National Park, La Gomera| ©Till Krech
Garajonay National Park, La Gomera| ©Till Krech

2. Half day excursion to the Teide National Park

Teide National Park| ©Jose Luis Tirado
Teide National Park| ©Jose Luis Tirado

Climbing Mount Teide is a must on any trip to Tenerife, and with this guided excursion to Teide National Park you will explore the volcano with the incredible views of Tenerife at your feet.

What you'll do on this tour

You'll start the day by heading into Teide National Park, passing through deep pine forests on a mountain road. Once you arrive at your destination, your guide will take you to discover the volcanic earth landscapes formed by the erosion of lava.

You will visit the Roques de García, a group of curious rock formations that seem to have been sculpted by hand, the most famous of which are 'La Catedral' and 'La Cascada'.

On the trail to the Roques de García you will have the sensation of having been transported to the surface of a distant planet, and you will see volcanic rock twisted and sharpened into impossible shapes, the flora that has grown in this hostile landscape such as broom or wallflower and a varied fauna of lizards, centipedes, praying mantises, dragonflies and beetles.

You'll then climb the volcano on foot or by cable car (if you've bought your tickets in advance, as they are not included in the tour and tend to sell out very quickly) and from a point near the top you'll look out over the incredible views of Tenerife that can be seen from the top.

Why I recommend this tour

Whether on an organised tour or on your own, visiting the Teide National Park is a must on your trip to Tenerife. The advantages of this activity are several: you won't have to plan the route on your own and you make sure you don't miss the most impressive places in the reserve, and you will be picked up at your hotel and provided with transport to and from the Park. Also, considering the price of the excursion it is totally worth saving the extra effort of organising it yourself.

Also, something quite relevant is that you need to ask for a permit to climb Teide (it is done with an online application), but you won't need it if you go on an organised excursion.

Useful information

  • What's included: Transport to and from your hotel, professional guide.
  • What's NOT included: Cable car ticket to climb Teide

3. Full day excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife

La Sabina, Frontera Rural Park| ©Dan
La Sabina, Frontera Rural Park| ©Dan

Take the ferry for an excursion to El Hierro and explore its viewpoints: at each of them an unforgettable view of land and sea awaits you, so beautiful you'll find it hard to believe it's not hand-painted.

What you will do on this excursion

A local guide will accompany you on a tour of El Hierro's most stunning sites, starting at the La Peña viewpoint in the north of the island, where you'll have beautiful views of the El Golfo valley and its endless fields of grapes and other local fruits.

The second stop is the viewpoint of Jinama, which will offer you quite a contrast in its views of the bay of El Golfo and its steep cliffs of volcanic rock, on which you can see lost constructions and remote hermitages giving you the sensation of being lost on an almost deserted island.

Afterwards, it is time to take a route through the Rural Park of Frontera and walk, literally, on history: there you will see the laurel forest, a unique ecosystem of the Canary Islands and protected by UNESCO. You will arrive at a local restaurant and taste a menu of typical food such as potatoes with mojo, grilled cheese, rabbit or escaldón de gofio.

In the evening you will visit the Candelaria Church, a small church with white walls and a beautiful bell tower on top of a mountain and visit the natural swimming pool of La Maceta, formed on the seashore and one of the most popular swimming spots for locals and tourists.

Before catching the ferry back to Tenerife you will visit the Hotel Punta Grande, a tiny black stone hotel on the edge of a cliff.

Why I recommend this excursion

Although neither the ferry ticket nor lunch is included in the price, organising this excursion on your own would be even more expensive than paying for the activity and those two extras. Therefore, this is the best option since the route of the excursion seems ideal and the price is one of the cheapest you can find for an excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife.

Useful information

  • Group size: 50 people
  • What's included: Local guide, driver and air-conditioned minivan, transfer to and from your hotel.
  • What's NOT included: Lunch (14 € per person) and ferry ticket (24 € per person)

4. Full tour of the island of Tenerife: Teide, Icod, Garachico and Masca

Ancient Dragon Tree of Villa de Icod| ©Miguel Ángel García.
Ancient Dragon Tree of Villa de Icod| ©Miguel Ángel García.

The best way to discover the whole island of Tenerife and all its charming corners: on this complete tour of the island of Tenerife you will visit the incredible landscapes of the Teide, villages lost in time and rural communities with ancient trees.

What you will do on this tour

You will be picked up from your hotel and through the charming little village of Vilaflor you will access the Cañadas del Teide, one of the most important national parks in Spain and the most visited in the country. It is crowned by Mount Teide and has been a World Heritage Site since 2007, and offers some of the most spectacular scenery you will see on your travels: volcanic rocks that seem to have been sculpted by hand in a crater that looks like part of the surface of another planet.

You will then head for the village of Icod through the Orotava Valley, in the north of the island and the main home of the island's population. In Icod you will discover one of the most beautiful villages of Tenerife whose main symbol is the Drago Milenario, a majestic and ancient tree. After a stroll through this charming town you will sit down for lunch in a restaurant where you will be served typical Canarian food.

You will continue exploring the north of the island in the direction of Garachico, a small village with charming cobbled streets and a beautiful church, in front of which you will find an islet known as Roque de Garachico. To finish the excursion, you will arrive at the village of Masca on the top of two ravines, a historic place that served as a refuge for pirates in the 17th century. You will make a tour through this wonderful village forgotten in time and at the end you will take the way back to your hotel.

We continue along the north coast of the island until we reach Garachico, popular for its volcanic lava flows and the islet in front of the village, the Roque de Garachico. The journey ends in Masca, located in the Teno Massif, the northwest point of the island, a village with deep ravines and cliffs. This is where the pirates used to hide from their privileged position at an altitude of 750 metres, controlling and intercepting the maritime traffic between Tenerife and La Gomera. Along the route, hikers are allowed to take photos at the different points of interest where stops will be made.

Why I recommend this excursion

This is a very popular experience and very good value for money, showing you the main sights of the island and some of its most charming villages in a perfectly organised route.

Some useful information

  • Group size: 15 people
  • What's included: Private transport, pick up and drop off at your hotel, professional guide, all entrance fees.

Alex's Traveller Tip

For a short trip to Tenerife, do the full island tour which visits Teide, Icod, Garachico and Masca. If you're staying for five days or more, I recommend visiting La Gomera and getting lost in its magical landscapes.

5. Day trip to La Gomera from Tenerife

Visit La Gomera by jeep| ©-JvL-
Visit La Gomera by jeep| ©-JvL-

La Gomera keeps all your attention on the inland landscapes and its impressive Garajonay National Park, a place that is already worth a trip to La Gomera from Tenerife.

What you'll do on this trip

Departing by ferry from Puerto Colón in the south of Tenerife, you will arrive in San Sebastián de La Gomera, the capital of the island.

There you will head for the Garajonay National Park, where you will find a laurel forest, unique in the Canary Islands and protected by UNESCO, which at the dawn of human civilisation was the most common type of vegetation in Europe.

A short hike through this beautiful park will take you to the viewpoint of Degollada de Peraza to enjoy wonderful views of the Barranco de la Laja ravine and the Chejelipes water dams.

You will continue to the villages of Las Rosas and Agulo in the north of La Gomera, where you will stop at a restaurant to enjoy the typical food of the island while you are shown the silbo gomero, a method of communication used by the island's aborigines and which has been adapted to Spanish over the centuries.

After lunch, you will return to San Sebastián de la Gomera, passing by important places in the life of Christopher Columbus, such as the Torre del Conde and the Casa de Colón, and the villages of Chipude and El Cercado. Once back, you will take the ferry to Tenerife and you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Why I recommend this excursion

Visiting La Gomera is a perfect activity for a trip of a week or more to Tenerife, so if you have time to spare I recommend you not to miss this complete organised excursion for its good value for money and its great guides.

Useful information

  • Group size: maximum 55 people
  • What's included: Professional guide, transfer to and from your hotel, lunch at the Mirador del Abrante, La Gomera harbour fees, ferry taxes.

Jeep option

You can take a Jeep tour to La Gomera from Tenerife with a similar route to the previous option. You will cross the laurel forest of the Garajonay National Park and visit the Hermigua Valley, where you will take a short walk to see the Pedro and Petra rocks, with a beautiful legend about their origin.

You will drive around the island and see first hand how its rural charm has remained intact over the years, passing through aloe vera and banana plantations and viewpoints from which to enjoy breathtaking views of the island.

  • Group size: 6 people
  • What's included: Professional guide, transfer to and from your hotel, lunch.
  • What's NOT included: Port fees (€10,50 per person)

6. Excursion to Anaga Peak

Las Teresitas Beach| ©Canary Islands Photos - UNFILTERED
Las Teresitas Beach| ©Canary Islands Photos - UNFILTERED

Anaga Peak is in the northwest corner of Tenerife, and is accessible via San Cristobal de La Laguna. It is one of my favourite places on the island, as it is not only a very beautiful area, but also one of the least touristic and least visited, so a trip to Anaga Peak always promises an unforgettable day.

What you will do on this excursion

Departing from your hotel in Tenerife, you'll take the road to San Cristóbal de La Laguna (or, as the locals know it, simply La Laguna) where you'll take a short walk to visit the city's main market and learn about the different varieties of potatoes used in Canarian cuisine.

You'll head for the Mercedes laurel forest, one of the most beautiful on the island, and begin the ascent route to Anaga Peak and continue to the northern tip of Tenerife. There, you'll rest and have a picnic on the beach of Roque de las Bodegas, the perfect setting for a photo for Instagram.

You'll head back to Anaga Peak and visit another beach, Las Teresitas, special because it was built with sand from the Sahara, and where the scenery with palm trees transports you for a moment to a faraway place.

To finish the tour, you will pass through Santa Cruz de Tenerife and visit its impressive harbour and make a last stop in Candelaria, famous for the Black Virgin that houses its basilica. Afterwards, you'll head back to your hotel with the fullness of having enjoyed a day you'll always remember.

Why I recommend this excursion

As I said before, this area of Tenerife is one of the least visited by tourists, so it always promises a very enjoyable experience. What's more, the beauty of the beaches and the viewpoints you'll be looking out over are perfect places to capture in a photograph that will always remain in your memory.

Some useful information

  • Group size: maximum 6 people
  • What's included: Picnic, hiking poles, professional guide, hotel pick up and drop off.