Top areas in Tenerife
At the heart of the Canary Islands is Tenerife, the biggest landmass in the archipelago and a thriving holiday destination that receives 10 million enthusiastic tourists every year. Tropical islands like this are popular for a reason, and there’s as much to see and do in Tenerife for independent travelers as for package tourists.
The most popular spot in Tenerife is the purpose-built Playa de las Americas, a booming resort in the south. The best five-star hotels in Tenerife are found here in an area that defies its name by attracting mainly German and British tourists. The white-sand beaches, international restaurants and raucous nightlife here have a decidedly mainstream appeal.
Things are quieter in Puerto de la Cruz, another place with plenty of accommodation in Tenerife. With with parks and a zoo this mainly caters for families, but it also operates a laid-back restaurant and bar district. Driving further north delivers tourists to a part of the island that has hung on to its Spanish roots. Fountains, tapas bars and brightly colored houses make this an enviable base for those who prefer culture and history to neon signs and night clubs.
At the center of it all is El Teide, Spain’s tallest mountain. A product of eons of volcanic activity, visiting the summit of this now-dormant giant feels like traveling to the moon with its surreal, dusty terrain. A cable car leads to the top, or there’s a hiking trail for the truly intrepid.
Tenerife South Airport serves the resort and hotel district and receives the most traffic. There’s also an airport to the island’s north. Between these two, flights are available to other Canary Islands as well mainland Spain and a few European capitals.
For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Tenerife, click on the interactive Tenerife map on the left-hand side of the page.