13 Best Things to do in North Tenerife

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Looking for the best things to do in north Tenerife? Welcome to our inside guide to Tenerife’s north coast.

Questions about Spain - stunning hillsides in Tenerife in the Canary Islands

Incredible terraces in Spain’s Tenerife

Amazing Things to do in Tenerife North

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is renowned for the warm climate, luxurious resorts, and pristine beaches found on its southern side. But this fascinating island has a more mysterious face to reveal if you decide to adventure into the deep North. A lush laurel forest hugs the dormant volcanos of the island, following the old trails to some of the most stunning natural pools in the world. The ancient streets of Garachico and La Laguna await you with their traditional guachinches, where you can get a taste of the local cuisine (the Papas Arrugadas are phenomenal) whilst the capital’s big city vibe is powerful enough to keep you entertained at night.

Let us guide you towards the best things to do in north Tenerife.

Where to stay in North Tenerife

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options across North Tenerife. But check out the Iberostar hotels in the Canary Islands to get started with a place to stay. 

When to visit North Tenerife

The north of the island has a subtropical climate and is often cloudier than the sunny and dry South. But it does have its fair share of sunny days, particularly during the summer months when the temperatures stay between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. Even in the cold season, it never gets chillier than 20C, although the rains tend to be more abundant. To get the most from your vacation, it is best to book your trip somewhere between June and September.

How to get to Northern Tenerife

The Tenerife North Airport is situated in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 10 kilometres from the capital. It is a hub airport that connects all seven Canary Islands with Europe. To get from the airport to Santa Cruz, you can use public transportation, rent a car, or hire a private transfer. Alternatively, another good option is to fly into the main airport at Tenerife South and drive from there. It will take less than an hour as Tenerife is not that big.

Unusual things to do in Tenerife

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna in Tenerife North

The best Things to do in Tenerife North

The northern side of the island offers so many beautiful places to uncover and activities to try that you will need at least one month to work your way through this list of the main attractions. You will find gorgeous forests, foaming waves, jagged shores, old villages with cosy restaurants, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and spectacular churches that call for spiritual awakening.

Since it’s rare to have a month to spare, here are the best things to do in Tenerife during a one week trip. The best places to go. If you are aiming for a city break only, choose two or three on the list and take your time to enjoy them.

Walking through Anaga Natural Park

From sea to Clouds – Anaga Rural Park

Imagine the fresh smell of trees as you follow your path through the dense laurel forest, stepping under heavy leaves, still bearing the burden of the last rain. Anaga Rural Park is crossed by a vast network of trails, allowing exploration by car, but it is also an important place for hikers and nature lovers who climb their way up the mighty Anaga mountains.

With diverse and exotic fauna, including birds and butterflies, this park is a pleasure to explore. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve due to the high number of plant and animal species, but access remains free, with multiple entry points into the protected area.

Traditional villages are scattered around, whilst the wild beaches attract tourists looking for a moment of peace, far from the usual buzz of the resorts of Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje.

Questions about Spain- inside historical buildings in La Laguna in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Getting off the beaten path in Spain in the Canary Islands…

Visit La Laguna, The Cultural Capital of Tenerife

Located at the base of the Anaga Rural Park, San Cristóbal de La Laguna was the original capital of the island until its place was taken by Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the 18th century. Its UNESCO World Heritage Status stems from the fact that this was the first well-planned 15th-century city with a grid like structure. This design was then copied and used as a prototype for cities across the Americas.

The colonial heritage is still present on the narrow cobblestoned streets with coloured houses proudly displaying their traditional wooden balconies. The Obispo Rey Redondo Street is the most popular for the multitude of restaurants and bars serving fresh food and cocktails.

If you have one day to spend in La Laguna, you should not miss the Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife. Besides the wonderful architecture of the edifice and the variety of artefacts you will discover, the interior well has a dark story to tell about a young girl who ended her life inside it and is still believed to be haunting the house.

If you travel in June, try to catch the spectacular fiesta held in honour of San Benito Abad. On June 11, La Laguna’s streets are covered in beautiful natural carpets made from flowers, leaves, shrubs, and heather as the inhabitants and tourists wait for the procession to begin.

Unusual things to do in Tenerife, TEA in Santa Cruz Tenerife

TEA in Santa Cruz

Get a big city boost in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife, a truly cosmopolitan city that, every year, gathers hundreds of thousands of tourists during the second largest festival in the world after Rio de Janeiro. Outside festival days, you will find a tranquil place that mixes culture with exotic flora and marine elements. Walking on the cobblestoned streets in the morning sun is pure pleasure whilst the beach offers soft sands and an avant-garde building – the Tenerife Auditorium. Santa Cruz is perfect if you want to try high-end cuisine or go shopping, and there is a lot taking place at night in the bars and clubs that populate it to satisfy every night owl’s desires.

Unusual things to do in Tenerife - La Orotava

Antique balconies in La Orotava

Take a spiritual walk around La Orotava

There is something almost mystical happening on the ancient streets of La Orotava, imbued with the heavy perfume of history that combines with the freshness of the natural landscapes around the city. Like La Laguna, this town houses the annual fiesta of Corpus Christi when it dresses in the wonderful colours of petals and leaves. There are many churches you can visit, but La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, with its baroque architecture, is by far the pearl of religious buildings on the island. If you are interested in history and culture, do not skip La Casa de los Balcones, where you can admire an excellent art collection and, of course, the famous wooden balconies specific to this part of the island.

Black sand volcanic beach near Taganana in North Tenerife

Black sand volcanic beach near Taganana in North Tenerife

Surf and Relax in Bajamar

Bajamar has a 700-meter beach with soft yellow sands and azure waters ready to receive the surfers, yoga lovers, and families. The biggest attractions are the three natural saltwater pools offering a protected space for relaxation and swimming. The beach is not far from restaurants and bars, so you can spend a full day sunbathing and admiring the huge waves crashing into the stone lighthouse still looking over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Visiting Garachico side streets - one of the best things to do in North Tenerife

Garachico – Stroll around Tenerife’s First POrt

Garachico’s fate wasn’t one of the most fortunate, as this once prosperous port was hit badly in 1706 when the Montana Negro volcano erupted, destroying the entire city. However, over the past centuries, the town was slowly rebuilt, and today is considered one of the most marvellous places to visit on the island. The volcanic eruption formed natural pools, so what was once regarded as the place of the tragedy is today a spot for leisure, attracting a large number of tourists every year. Garachico is renowned for its guachinches where you can try local dishes based on fresh fish and seafood.

Guimar Pyramids Tenerife

More incredible things to do in North Tenerife

So, those are the best things to do in north Tenerife. But if you have more time, look out for the following:

  • El Teide National Park – the stunning volcano and UNESCO World Heritage Site at the centre of the island on Mount Teide
  • Icod de los Vinos – an incredible tree with stunning views and the best way to experience one of the unique things about Tenerife
  • The Botanical Gardens in north Tenerife – a great place to cool off.
  • Take a trip to the neighbouring island of La Gomera
  • Take boat trips and go whale watching in Tenerife
  • Head to the zoo at Loro Parque

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