With its great year-round climate just a 4-hour flight from the UK, it’s no surprise that as the largest of the Canary Islands scores big when it comes to family holidays. As is so often the case with popular destinations, major attractions (such as Mount Teide and the fantastical Siam Water Park) enjoy a lion’s share of airplay. However, spread your wings (or grab a hire car) and you’ll find Tenerife has a wealth of hidden treasures off the beaten track just waiting to be discovered.
Here’s our selection of ideas for escaping the crowds in favour of some picture postcard views, quirky architecture or an aqua experience courtesy of Mother Nature.
The Magical Masca Valley to Teno Massif Walk
Formed around 5 to 7 million years ago this majestic landscape should be top of any holidaymaker’s itinerary to Tenerife. One of the oldest parts of the island it gives way to laurisilva, subtropical rainforest, and broad ravines that sweep deeply down to the Atlantic Ocean. Hike the Teno Rural Park that affords stunning views towards the cliffs of Los Gigantes from Punto de Teno along the 4.5km path on the West coast of the island. Visit the pretty hamlet of Masca situated at the foot of the Teno Mountains, only recently accessible to tourists and explore the Bay of Masca, reputed to have been frequented by pirates.
Garachico & Buenavista Del Norte Rock Pools
The rugged coastline of Tenerife has gifted the West of the island with natural swimming pools at Garachico and Buenavista Del Norte. Garachico’s rock pools offer the best swimming and are a great day out for all the family whilst the lesser known Buenavista Del Norte pools provide a quieter afternoon to enjoy this natural spectacle. Garachico also features; Parque Puerta Tierra (charming gardens), Plaza de la Libertad (Freedom Square) and the San Miguel castle where the family-friendly Medieval Night is a wonderful evening for all.
Modern Lighthouse at Punta de Hidalgo
The crisp white edges and modern design of this lighthouse contrast effortlessly against the unspoiled landscape of the Punta de Hidalgo and offer a truly unique photo opportunity to all visitors. Nestled on the Northern shores of Tenerife it is an ideal location to explore the romantic Mountains of Anaga admiring the sweeping vistas.
Costa Martianez in Puerto de la Cruz
For real refreshment the sea-facing pools of Costa Martianez should be a definite day-trip. Located in the North of the island this series of sea pools combines art, culture and fun surrounded by traditional native plants and original sculptures. At around 27,000 cubic metres of sea water there is plenty of room for all the family to splash around in whilst learning more about the local history of Tenerife.
La Orotava Botanical Gardens
On the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz is the picturesque town of La Orotava which was formerly one of the wealthiest regions in Tenerife and is still home to one of its great exports, bananas. Lining the cobbled streets are renaissance mansions and architectural treasures epitomising the towns former wealth. The town is also home to beautiful botanical gardens, La Hijuela del Botánico, where a diverse collection of over 3,000 tropical and sub-tropical plants burst into a colourful collection on the hillside. Remember to bring the camera along for this one!
Pyramids of Guimar
Perhaps a more recognisable excursion to previous visitors to Tenerife are the pyramids of Guimar in the East which are believed to have been modelled on those found in Mexico, Peru and Ancient Mesopotamia. The use of these pyramids is still unknown although the Casa Chacona (Museum of Casa Chacona) featuring here offers theories of what they were once used for.
Restaurant Pantalan – Las Gallettas
Dine above the water at the pretty Restaurant Pantalan resting on stilts over the harbour in Las Gallettas near Golf Del Sur on the South coast of Tenerife. Sample many local dishes with plenty on offer with the must-try Luxury Seafood Tower, consisting of Lobster, Prawn Tampura and Mussels best accompanied with a chilled bottle of white wine.
Roque Bermejo & Playa San Marcos Beaches
Escape the crowds of Playa de las Americas and Playa Del Ingles with a day at the Roque Bermejo beach or Playa San Marcos. The definition of secluded can be found at Roque Bermejo, a tiny fishing hamlet which is only accessible by boat on the very Eastern Tip of Tenerife. Far easier to get to is the charming Playa San Marcos beach backed by a fishing harbour and fish restaurants on the West coast below Icod de los Vinos.
3 Hot Picks from Tenerife
In no particular order, we’ve picked out 3 RCI Gold Crown resorts that were also awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015 for you to choose from in Tenerife.
Experience true glamour within the white-washed walls of the Hollywood Mirage evoking a real sense of elegance upon the hillside of Los Cristianos. Picture yourself within one of the luxurious 4-bedroom penthouses, designed with contemporary décor and state-of-the-art furnishings including a massive roof deck Jacuzzi. Feel the warm gaze of the sunshine upon your face as you sip on ice-cold cocktails from the Malibu Bar, delicious meals from the al fresco restaurant and enjoy ultimate peace and quiet as the kids are occupied at the Croc Club.
Effortless-style is afforded at the Royal Tenerife Country Club idyllically located at the foot of Mount Teide with awe-inspiring views towards the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Classic, marble-floored villas furnished with high-quality interiors welcome you to the sunny South of Tenerife with all possible home-comforts imaginable for a first-class holiday. Lush, manicured fairways of the Amarilla 18-hole course give way to the magnificent swimming pool whose centre-piece is a tropical island cocktail bar the perfect way to relax before settling down at the nearby Restaurant Pantalan in Gallettas.
The vibrant tropical gardens surrounding the luxurious apartments offer a private escape from golden sands of the adjacent Playa de las Americas. Reflecting the charm of the locals the tastefully decorated apartments are elegantly furnished with modern conveniences to ensure you have an exquisite holiday in Tenerife. Refresh yourself within the inviting free-form swimming pool soaking up the ever-present sunshine before easing back in the sumptuous restaurant pondering your choice of delectable evening meal.