Most tourists flock to the south of Tenerife in search of relaxation and to sip cocktails on the beach. That can be lovely, but if you’re in search of something more from your time away, you’ll be pleased to know that the island has plenty of unusual things to offer to holidaymakers.
In order to fully enjoy the island and the scenic drive to Mount Teide, I’d recommend hiring a car for a day trip. Jass and I love hiring a car abroad as you get to really explore and discover some hidden gems off the beaten path. We’ve done this in Langkawi, Toronto and Belfast to name just a few places.
It’s so easy to drive around the island.. As you make your way up and down the mountains from the coastal roads, through ever-changing landscapes; from rough browns and greys to lush greens, it’s all there to be explored.
Explore Mount Teide, the volcanic mountain
Mount Teide (Pico del Teide), is a 3718-metre high active volcano in Tenerife and the surroundings comprise of Teide National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Accessing the volcano is not difficult but you do need a permit in order to get to the very top. To avoid disappointment, this takes some planning as you need to apply for the permit in advance. It’s the ninth most popular national park in the world, so you can imagine lots of tourists are trying to get to its peak.. after all, it is not every day that you get to stand on top of a volcano!
Ascend Mount Teide by cable car
You might be pleased to know that you can conquer Spain’s highest peak; ‘Papa Teide’; as it’s known by locals by cable car and without breaking into a sweat!
The dramatic cable car ascent which is almost 12,000 ft above sea level will take your breath away and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping island views and jaw-dropping landscapes.
Bear in mind that up in the mountains, Tenerife is cold most of the year, so wrap up warm when visiting.
You can go hiking anywhere in Tenerife, but the rocky volcanic hiking trails that skirt the summit of Mount Teide are something else. To hike to the top, you need to take trail No. 10, Telesforo Bravo, which starts at La Rambleta. Bear in mind again, that you’ll need a permit to get to the volcano, which the National Park guards will ask for at the entrance.
Star gazing at Teide National Park
Stargazing at Teide National Park is one of the best and most romantic things to do in Tenerife. The island is renowned for having the clearest night skies in the world, and so is amongst one of the only handful of places where you can watch the gazillions of stars in the milky way all year round. In fact, 83 of the 88 officially recognised constellations can be seen from here.
I’d recommend visiting Teide National park twice in the day; once during the day to explore the volcano and again at night to watch the stars for a once in a lifetime spectacle.
Tenerife really packs a punch when it comes to contrasting experiences. Whether you want to relax on a sandy beach, climb a volcano, snorkel with turtles, or go on a whale watching cruise, there is something here for everyone.
What’s your favourite thing to do on the Canary Islands?
*In collaboration with Travelscoop, but all views are my own