rocky landscape with green bushes in Teide park on Tenerife island on the sunset
Mount Teide is impressive, but the surrounding national park is just as captivating.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Tantalizing Things to Do in Tenerife

With a Big Helping of Natural Beauty, a Dash of History and a Sprinkle of Culture, Tenerife is Pure Temptation

Tenerife is the big, bold matriarch of Spain’s Canary Islands. A dormant volcano cloaked with tropical forests and old lava flows, Tenerife is home to sleepy colonial towns and lively Carnaval celebrations alike. Glorious beaches lined with all-inclusive resorts lure in millions of visitors a year, but there is much more to do here than simply sip cocktails by the pool.

Get away from the more popular tourist spots and you’ll discover an island drenched in both natural beauty and diverse culture. There’s a reason why cruises around Spain always make a stop in Tenerife.

Check out these top points of interest in Tenerife for a dazzling island vacation.

Parque Nacional de Teide

The eponymous Mount Teide towers over Tenerife — in fact, it’s the tallest peak in Spain. The dormant volcano rises more than 12,000 feet out of the sea and the crater at its heart stretches 10 miles across. The national park surrounding the mountain is undoubtedly a highlight of the Canary Islands and one of the best things to do in Tenerife.

It is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most popular national park in Spain. Hiking trails wind all around the mountain. Snaking your way up to the peak of El Teide might be the biggest draw for keen hikers, but tramping through the unique volcanic terrain in the surrounding park is equally as rewarding.

Not so keen on walking? A cable car can also take you up to the crater to enjoy outstanding views of the archipelago.

Bird Paradise. Tenerife, Canary IslandsEnjoy the bright colors of birds and flowers in the tropical garden of Risco Belle. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Risco Belle Aquatic Gardens

Step into this delightful tropical garden for a romantic and tranquil escape from everyday life. Picture a sweeping lawn unfolding elegantly in front of you, decorated with inviting tables and chairs, as well as exotic and colorful plants. There are plenty of birds flitting around and entertaining visitors with their song, and a cafe is tucked away in the historic main house.

Bring along a book — you could easily while away a quiet afternoon here.

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Two whale fins sticking out of the water.Take a trip out to sea to view some of the ocean's most incredible creatures.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Whale Watching

Don’t forget to explore the watery side of Tenerife. Roughly 28 species of whales and dolphins periodically take up inhabitance in the warm waters surrounding the island. Minke, sperm whales and even orcas make regular appearances. Resident bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales also delight visitors year round.

Daily trips depart from Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes and you are almost guaranteed sightings.

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