What to see in Tenerife in 5 days
Tenerife is an island with so much to offer, that you wouldn’t believe you could get to know it properly in only 5 days—but you’d be wrong. If you use the time well, you will be able to enjoy the island’s wonderful natural scenery, its cities, its beaches and of course, its culture and mouthwatering cuisine. The exceptionally pleasant climate means that you can carry out all kinds of outdoor activities all year round, or visit cities whose very streets recall the history of the first settlers.
This is an island with lots of little surprises for visitors keen to enjoy special experiences. Ascending Mount Teide which is one of the greatest volcanoes in the world, bathing on endless, idyllic beaches, having lunch at a guachinche, or traditional tavern—these are just a few of the experiences that will enable you to derive the maximum enjoyment from your 5-day trip.
Itinerary day 1
Mount Teide National Park
The Teide National Park, a World Heritage Site, offers a landscape that could be straight out of science fiction, being made up of volcanic rock and lava debris surrounding the highest peak in Spain. You will be astonished by the Roques de García, you can ride in the cable car almost up to the summit of Mount Teide, and then you can go on a walk offering panoramic views from the heights.
12:30 – 14:00
La Orotava is a visit not to be missed. Its carefully preserved streets exude history, tradition and culture. It is one of those places that has been able to retain its true character. Its historic quarter has been declared a National Historic and Artistic Site. You will see architectural jewels, fantastical gardens, streets that will transport you back to another age... Here we find the essence of the island’s most deep-rooted traditions.
14:30 – 16:00
Bar Los Castillos – La Orotava
It is a small, but welcoming, establishment where you can enjoy authentic Canary Island home cooking. Its speciality is the typical La Orotava rabbit stew, but you should also try the papas arrugás [’wrinkled’ potatoes], grilled cheese with mojo [traditional Canary Island sauce], and the cod. Those with a sweet tooth will love the almond cake.
16:30 – 18:00
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz provides the ideal balance of tourist activity and authentic local day-to-day life. The natural swimming pools of Lago Martiánez, the Plaza del Charco, the fishing quay, and the fishermen’s quarter, La Ranilla, are some of the must-visit spots. And if you fancy taking a refreshing dip, try one of its black sand beaches, such as Playa Jardín.
18:30 – 20:30
One place definitely not to be missed is the Puerto de la Cruz Botanical Gardens. To visit it is a genuine treat for the senses. Over 4,000 species from all five continents will give you the feeling of being in the very heart of the jungle. This is one of the most spectacular botanical gardens in Spain, and is also the country’s second oldest, after the one in Madrid.
21:00 – 23: 00
Bodegón Casa El Rubio – Puerto de la Cruz
This establishment is a typical Canary Island restaurant or old-fashioned guachinche [tavern] whose origins go back to the street markets that in times gone by would spring up to sell the new season’s wine. Our recommendation: try the fruity white wine, the ribs with corn on the cob, the meat and the squid.
Itinerary day 2
10:00 – 12:30
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The island’s capital offers a wide range of possibilities for enjoyment for all as, in addition to its culture and leisure options, it has a lively social scene. No-one should neglect to visit the Plaza de España, the attractive churches, the historic districts, or the Adán Martín auditorium, the work of the renowned architect Santiago de Calatrava.
12:45 – 14:30
San Cristóbal de la Laguna
To stroll through this city, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, is to step back into the seventeenth-century while you admire its many mansions, old palaces and churches. At night, it is a vibrant place to go for a few drinks, due to its multicultural, student vibe.
14: 45 – 16: 30
Cofradía La Laguna Restaurant
This restaurant in the heart of La Laguna offers a menu whose highlights are good fish and seafood. Savour the limpets, octopus, black rice with squid, or the escaldón de pescado [traditional fish stew]. And if you want a truly authentic Canary Island dish, don’t hesitate to order the ropa vieja [chickpeas and meat stew].
17:00 – 19:00
The Anaga massif
The Anaga massif is an idyllic landscape if you are fond of hiking or of just walking in the countryside. There is a trail called El Bosque Encantado [Enchanted Forest], not far from the hamlet of Taganana, which will have you spellbound. If you fancy a dip, try the neighbouring beach of Almáciga, an incredibly beautiful place, and one of the most picturesque beaches on the island.
19:30 – 21:00
Playa de las Teresitas
What could be a better end to the day than watching the sun set from the beach at Las Teresitas? Its white sand, brought here from the Sahara desert, is reminiscent of beaches in the Caribbean, something highly unusual on an island where the beaches are normally of black volcanic sand.
21:00 – 23:00
La Hierbita Restaurant
In this ancient tavern, whose walls have witnessed over 120 years of history, fresh produce from local suppliers takes precedence. The traditional, high-quality cooking on offer here will please even the most discriminating tastes.
Itinerary day 3
10:00 – 12:00
Garachico is a charming town, which has done well to conserve its historic centre. Here, you can take a step back into the island’s colonial past. In addition, it has some superb natural swimming pools formed by lava streams near the San Miguel castle, which make an ideal stopping-off point.
12:30 – 14:00
Icod de los Vinos
This is where you will find the famous Drago Milenario [Thousand-Year-Old Dragon Tree], an emblem of the town, along with a carefully conserved historic centre. Nor would you want to miss Matriz de San Marcos church, the Convent of Saint Francis, or the squares of Lorenzo Cáceres and La Pila. You could have an aperitif before lunch, and try the local wine and cheeses.
14:30 – 16:30
Las Aguas Restaurant
If you want to try an exceptionally good rice dish, this place is a safe bet. The menu is based on a wide range of rice broths and a first-rate fish offering. The establishment has ocean views and a very pleasant terrace. The perfect spot to recharge your batteries.
17:00 – 20:00
Los Gigantes Cliffs
As you travel towards the island’s westernmost point at Punta Teno, the Los Gigantes cliffs, towering to a height of almost 600 metres, offer amazing views. To access them, you will need to travel to Santiago del Teide, and then make your way up to one of its breathtaking viewpoints. This place offers a wealth of activities, in addition to the panoramic views. You can go cetacean, dolphin or whale spotting, or go for a sail in a kayak.
21:00 – 23:00
San Hô Restaurant
Located in Royal Hideaway Corales Beach, this restaurant bearing the Japanese name for coral promises to take patrons on a fabulous culinary journey through Japan, Peru and the Canaries. Come enjoy the exquisite fusion cuisine of Chef Jamie Palmar, whose impressive track record includes Abama Kabuki, El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Sensu, Kazan and Naiko.
Itinerary day 4
10:00 – 12:00
The Güímar Pyramids
Güímar constitutes one of the island’s pleasant surprises. It is not particularly touristy, but it is a fascinating archaeological site. Here you will find the famous black pyramids and, what is more, they are surrounded by a botanical garden.
12:30 – 14:00
Candelaria is the home of the patron saint of the island of Tenerife. This town, which has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, is well worth a visit. In the square where the basilica stands (the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias), we can see several bronze statues depicting the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, the Guanche kings or menceyes, in their traditional dress.
14:30 – 16:00
La Casona del Vino Restaurant – Candelaria
Typical Creole food, rice and meat dishes, all accompanied by good wines. A pleasant, welcoming establishment with lovely views and offering excellent value for money. Who could ask for more?
16:30 – 20:00
Playa El Médano
This is Tenerife’s surfing and kitesurfing beach par excellence. The kites flying over the ocean while tracing waves of colour is a memorable sight. But if water sports are not your thing, you could always visit the Montaña Roja Special Nature Reserve with its astounding views, or just stay on the beach and enjoy the cooling sea breeze.
21:00 – 22:30
Tasca La Lata del Gofio
Offering views of the ocean, and with the Montaña Roja as the backdrop, this tavern has a bar area with tables and a bar counter, as well as a quieter area for family or group lunches and dinners. A quiet place, with excellent Canary Island cooking, where you can enjoy an extra-special end to the day.
Itinerary day 5
10:00 – 12:00
Playa de las Américas
This is one of the best-known beaches in Tenerife. During the daytime, it is a quiet place where you can enjoy the ocean and the atmosphere of its promenade. At night, however, it becomes one of the island’s most popular spots for partying and nightlife.
12:00 – 15:00
It is considered one of the best water parks in the world. Siam Park was inspired by the Asiatic kingdom of Siam (now Thailand), and its architecture is reminiscent of that country. The water rides are the highlight, but there are also relaxation areas and a shopping area in the style of a little Thai town.
15:00 – 16:00
La Masía del Mar Restaurant
With wonderful views of the bay of La Caleta de Adeje, this restaurant is a superb option if you fancy a paella or some fresh fish. If you prefer to go during the evening, entertainment is provided in the form of live music.
16:30 – 21:00
Arona y Costa Adeje
Tourists seeking beaches and sunshine tend to prefer the south of the island. At times, you might think you are in another country. But this area also has superb beaches and friendly bars, eateries and other establishments where you can enjoy an aperitif, do some shopping or buy souvenirs.
21:30 – 23:30
Maresía Restaurant by Hermanos Padrón
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.