Three days in Tenerife give you ample time to explore volcanic landscapes, sample local culture and cuisine, and enjoy downtime at the beach. To make the most of your time, book tours and activities in advance, especially during peak season. Here’s how to spend three days in Tenerife.
Day 1: City Sightseeing
Spend your first day exploring the north of the island, starting in the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. A hop-on hop-off bus tour comes with the flexibility to create your own itinerary and features onboard commentary that ensures you don’t miss anything. Look out for landmarks such as the Tenerife Auditorium and Plaza de España and learn about the island’s Carnival Celebrations at Casa Del Carnaval.
Discover more of Tenerife’s northern villages and beaches without having to worry about hiring a car on an afternoon trip to San Cristóbal de La Laguna. Tours typically combine a walking tour of La Laguna’s UNESCO-listed Old Town with a trip to the villages of Taganana and Las Teresitas, and provide insight into Canarian life and culture; some also visit the sacred Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria in Candelaria. If you’re a food lover, opt for a gastronomy tour that includes a typical Canarian lunch and wine tasting.
Day 2: Natural Wonders of Tenerife
It’s worth devoting an entire day to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Teide National Park. Ride the cable car to the 12,198-foot (3,718-meter) summit of Mt. Teide, Spain’s highest peak, for an incredible view over the island—book your tickets in advance to save time waiting in line.
The park is only accessible by 4WD, so taking a tour means you can explore further afield and get the best views of Roques de Garcia rock formations, the moon-like lava fields of Llano de Ucanca, and Pico Viejo volcano. Some tours include a hike in the Masca Valley, while others visit either the Millenary Dragon Tree at Icod de los Vinos, the historic town of La Orotava, or the Los Gigantes sea cliffs. At night, return to the park to enjoy moonlit views of Mt. Teide during a stargazing experience—the remote location is renowned for its clear skies and high visibility.
Day 3: Beach Breaks and Island Escapes
You can’t come to Tenerife without adding some sun, sea, and sand to your itinerary. Kick off day three with a boat cruise along the south coast; tours typically give you time to swim and snorkel at beaches and bays, and increase your chances of spotting whales and dolphins. Alternatively, set sail for the neighboring island of La Gomera to explore the UNESCO-listed Garajonay National Park.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at one of the beach resorts. Choose a beach that fits your preferences—Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas are two of the biggest and busiest, with plenty of options for drinking and dining. Nearby La Caleta is a more tranquil option, while El Médano is the top choice for windsurfing and kitesurfing. To satisfy an appetite for adventure, book a Jet Skiing safari, try scuba diving, venture inland on a buggy excursion, or visit Siam Park water park.