6 unforgettable things to do in Tenerife South
Visiting Tenerife would never be complete if you don’t explore both North and South. As much as I enjoyed my stay in the capital of the island and colonial towns located in the North, going to the South was definitely more savage and adventurous! Climbing the highest peak of Spain has been one of my favorite traveling memories so far, even despite the fact I couldn’t make it to the end. Sometimes life surprises you in a way you didn’t expect but still, it was an amazing day 🙂 Few weeks ago I shared with you our top reasons to visit Tenerife North. I think it’s very useful to first know what to see in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and its surroundings, before going out to explore the rest of the island’s territory. So, let’s speak about the South!
1. Explore different beach every day
Without question, some of the biggest jewels to see in Tenerife South are its charming beaches. The Americas and the Christians are the most visited beaches in this part of the island. Los Cristianos is a white sand beach and one of the most touristy in the area. It is a classic and perfect destination for families with children. On the other side, Playa de las Américas offers a large number of options for leisure, such as water sports, bars, restaurants and shops. If you are looking for a lively area full of life, this is your place. In case you are more about a quieter bathing area, I recommend you go to the Costa del Silencio to enjoy clean waters and a volcanic landscape perfect for scuba diving or snorkelling. The great thing about the South is that all the most popular beaches are situated very close to each other, so you can literally take a bath in a different place every single day.
2. Enjoy the atmosphere of Adeje Coast
All the beaches I mentioned before are located in Adeje Coast, the most popular area of Tenerife South and a simple must if you are looking for a more animate atmosphere. This is where you will find most of the attractions in this part of the island. I recommend yo to start with Arona – its beautiful old town stands out with beautiful narrow streets and mansions of popular architecture, and even part of its territory has been declared an Archaeological and Ethnographic Park. Arona is also a great leisure center where you can go shopping, taste the local cuisine and enjoy its great nightlife (after pandemic…). Once you are in Costa Adeje, you should also visit the Puertito de Adeje, a natural reserve where you can meet the fauna of the place, especially crabs, seahorses and turtles living in the wild!
3. Practice water sports
The transparent beaches located in the south of Tenerife will allow you to not only take a rest, but to carry out certain sports and leisure activities that will leave you speechless. Both surfing and bodyboarding are water sports that have great opportunities to practice on the beaches of Tenerife South, since they can be enjoyed throughout the year. It is also an activity that attracts both visitors and locals. Bodyboarding is one of the funniest things to do in the south of Tenerife, and if you have never practiced it, don’t worry, because you will be able to learn how to stay on the board on almost every single Southern beach.
The best of Tenerife South is not only its incredible beaches, it is also the fact that they are home to a great biodiversity that you can discover thanks to scuba diving. The crystalline waters of this area facilitate the observation of its colorful and varied marine flora, as well as its fauna. Can you imagine swimming together with sea turtles? You can choose the level of immersion with which you feel most comfortable so that the experience is as satisfactory as possible.
4. Watch whales and dolphins in the wild
One of the most popular activities to do in the South of Tenerife is whale and dolphin watching, ideal to do with friends, family or you second half. It is very exciting to observe the horizon until the moment when the first animals are seen! Keep in mind that each excursion is a unique experience, since the appearance of cetaceans and their reactions are unpredictable because they are wild animals and we have to respect their privacy and rhythm of life.
The main places from which you can catch one of these boats are the port of Los Cristianos and Puerto Colón. There are several options, from excursions of 2 to 5 hours, with lunch included to the ones that include bathing in the sea. You choose the best way to take advantage of the trip. Try to turn your camera off and just enjoy the show. Believe me, no picture will be able to catch such an emotional and beautiful moment!
5. Climb the highest peak in Spain – Teide
The peak of Teide is the highest peak in the country and Its arid landscape is an important attraction for thousands of tourists throughout the year. Geographically situated in the centre of Tenerife, this amazing volcano is visible from almost every part of the island and it was also the first thing that my eyes saw before landing at the airport. I will never forget that moment with the sky covered with clouds and the one and only peak of Teide showing all its beauty above the fluffy carpet.
The ascent to the summit of Teide can be done by cable car, although if you want to reach the highest point you will have to walk the last 200 meters. To do this, you will have to obtain a special permit in advance, except if you book the night in the Altavista refuge, as I did, where this permit is included with the reservation of the stay. Unfortunately i due to the bad weather conditions my reservation in the refuge was cancelled and I couldn’t pospone it for another day. Also the cable car was not working for security reasons. Sometimes the weather may be tricky and even a two-weeks preparation won’t save your plan. And this is exactly what happened to me. Do I regret? Of course I would love to get to the summit at sunrise because the views must be breathtaking. But there was nothing I could do about it and now I have one big reason to come back to Tenerife! It was still one of my favorite days ever because the Teide National Park is enormous and I spent an entire day trekking and trying different trails. The peak of Teide is situated at 3715 meters above the sea and you have different altitude points from where you can start your trail. Believe me, you will feel great after all day of hiking surrounded by the outstanding and exotic nature, no matter if you reach the top or not 🙂
6. Go for a ride to Los Gigantes
My last and total must to do in Tenerife South is to visit Acantilados de Los Gigantes, one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the entire island. Los Gigantes rocks fall on the Atlantic Ocean from a height that reaches more than 600 meters. The native inhabitants of the island, the Guanches, gave them a name of the “Wall of Hell” or “Wall of the Devil.” To discover the full magnitude of this place, many adventurous tourists decide for a 3-hours trail. Another option to get to know the Los Gigantes Cliffs up close is through a boat or bus ride.
The neighborhood of Los Gigantes has several viewpoints with spectacular and unrepeatable views, so be prepared for many (and sometimes very windy) stops along the way. The cliffs are also surrounded by many coastal towns, such as Playa de La Arena, Puerto de Santiago, Alcalá and Playa San Juan. Each one of them shines with its unique attractions: volcanic sand beaches, picturesque promenades, views of the Teide volcano and traditional gastronomy.
After more than one week in Tenerife, I still felt like there was so much to see and do! I will definitely come back one day and reach the top of Teide, but there are also many other places that I would love to visit. All the most important highlights of the islands from both North and South are easy to get to by public transport and this is a big plus! Even though, renting a car is the best option and this is what Edwin and I will do the next time. Another great thing about Tenerife is the fact that the weather is sunny all over the year. There are literally thousands of reasons to visit this beautiful island and I hope this article, together with our itinerary through Tenerife North, will help you make the final decision! 🙂