A weekend in Tenerife
With its volcanoes, lava flows, lush laurel forests, ravines and numerous beaches, the island of Tenerife can offer you a weekend where Nature is the undisputed star. However, we do recommend that you combine hiking and other sports activities with calmer strolls that will allow you to discover the architectural beauty of lovely cities such as San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Other experiences well worth trying on a weekend trip to this island are cetacean spotting, a cable-car ride up the Teide volcano, and a sea-diving activity. Of course, no visitor should miss the chance to enjoy the abundant Canary Island cuisine—which acquires more Michelin stars by the day—as well as the island’s magnificent wines.
Itinerary day 1
Its golden sands, palm trees and pleasant atmosphere make this one of Tenerife’s most popular beaches. Enjoy your first afternoon here, strolling by the sea shore, sunbathing or having tapas in the San Andrés fishing quarter.
The island’s capital is noteworthy for its dignified air, its historic neighbourhoods, and its oh-so-lively social life. Before dinner, take the opportunity to stroll around and see the architectural highlights—or at least the La Concepción colonial church and the Adán Martín auditorium.
This establishment is spread over several rooms of a nineteenth-century house, and has preserved its original character and décor. The antique furniture and wood-beamed ceilings add the finishing touch to a most pleasant experience where traditional cooking takes centre stage. Of course, you can order the delicious papas con mojo [potatoes with traditional Canary Island sauce], but be sure to try some of the specialities too.
Itinerary day 2
Even if you’re not going to be able to see the whole park, set aside some time to explore the Sendero de los Sentidos, a path which once linked the villages of Anaga with La Laguna. There are three options here, all of different lengths, but each of them makes for an enjoyable walk, where you can learn about nature and see examples of laurel woods. On the shortest route, walkways are provided to make the walk accessible for wheelchair users.
This historic city enjoys a lively university atmosphere. Stroll along its streets with their abundance of monuments and mansions to see for yourself why it has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. During the daytime, it is a pleasure to visit the city’s Cathedral and museums, and in the evening no-one can resist the temptation to go out for a drink.
This restaurant in the heart of La Laguna offers a select menu whose highlights are good fish and seafood. Do not hesitate to order limpets, black rice with squid and fish escaldón [a typical Canarian dish of fish stock blended with gofio—toasted Canarian flour]. It also has traditional dishes on the menu, such as the so-called ropa vieja or ‘old clothes’ [pulled or shredded stewed beef with vegetables]. The restaurant has a very attractive open-air inner courtyard.
In this national park, you will see a remarkable volcanic landscape formed by flows of lava and incredible structures such as Los Roques de García. Go up Mount Teide by cable car, and walk on up to the summit of the volcano. At an altitude of almost four thousand metres, the view is spectacular.
La Orotava is one of the most beautiful and historic areas on the island. Its not-to-be-missed views include the Casa de los Balcones (which houses the Museo de Usos y Costumbres [Folk Museum]), the churches of La Concepción and San Agustín, and the Town Hall. You could also take the opportunity to buy your first souvenirs in this town.
The perfect establishment in La Orotava for partaking of traditional Canary Island cuisine. On offer here there is a host of wines, artisan cheeses, ham, and authentic traditional dishes such as homemade almogrote [a paté made of hard cheese, garlic, olive oil and peppers] and the ‘house ropa vieja [stewed meat with vegetables] made with shredded roast pork’.
This is the island’s smallest municipality, but also one of the most delightful. It was even suggested as the ideal place to rest and recover by the British Medical Association in the nineteenth century. It was declared a National Tourist Site of Special Interest in 1955 and has continued to charm visitors ever since with its fishing quarter, La Ranilla, and with its modern Puerto Street Art murals.
Itinerary day 3
One of the island’s most charming towns, its historical heritage was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1994. Take a stroll through its cobbled streets, and finish by relaxing in one of El Caletón’s natural swimming pools. You will be seduced by both the crystal-clear waters and the stunning views.
The Playa de las Américas area has an extensive range of discos and dance halls where you can have fun until the early hours of the morning. Make your way to the area around Las Verónicas, get ready to dance the night away, and enjoy the international ambience.
Patrons will savour spectacular haute cuisine creations and unique flavours using the best local ingredients as they take in spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean from the rooftop at Royal Hideaway Corales Beach. The Michelin-starred and Repsol-sunned Padrón brothers offer the flavours of the Canary Islands and the sea in a scrumptious culinary offering. Tasting menus are available and recommended for 16 years and older.
When seen for the first time, the cliffs of Los Gigantes [the Giants] are an impressive sight, because this vertical mass of rock is over 600 metres high. You can take a boat trip from the port of Los Gigantes, but if you prefer to stay on dry land, make your way to the La Arena beach, where you can go for a paddle whilst enjoying the views of La Gomera.
It is a standing joke among the captains of the vessels dedicated to cetacean-spotting trips that Tenerife has its own aquarium in the ocean. And they could be right, because every time these boats set sail, dolphins, pilot whales, fin whales and sperm whales appear as if by magic.
This traditional restaurant, located in the town of Las Aguas, is the perfect choice if you fancy sampling delicious rice dishes. It has a very pleasant terrace, as well as excellent service. What more can you ask?
You would probably make your way to Icod de los Vinos because it is home to the famous Drago Milenario [Thousand-Year-Old Dragon Tree], but it’s also worth checking out its beautiful historic quarter, clustered around the Matriz de San Marcos church, the San Francisco convent, and the squares of Lorenzo Cáceres and La Pila. If you decide to linger and have lunch here, try the rabbit with potatoes.