Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and the most popular for tourism. This island generally attracts at least 5 million visitors each year. The Canaries see around 15 million annual arrivals with a third heading to Tenerife.
Tenerife is not only the largest of the Canaries but also has the biggest population. Some 950,000 people live here which is more than any other Spanish Island. This includes the Balearic Islands Archipelago with Majorca having a 923 K population. The landmass of 2,034 km² (786 square miles) is by far the biggest of the 7 islands with Fuerteventura next. As a result, the coastline of 342 km² (212.5 miles) is also the longest.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital city of this island which lies in the northeast. This is a port city which has a population of 205,000 people. Santa Cruz alone accounts for over a fifth of the total population of Tenerife. This will be closer to half the population if we include the local metropolitan areas.
Tenerife is unique among the Canaries given that this island has two airports. A distance of 54 km separate Tenerife South (Reina Sofia) and Tenerife North (Los Rodeos). Tenerife South is by far the busiest welcoming 11,168,506 passengers in 2019. Tenerife North saw a record 5,493,994 passengers in 2018. The southern airport is 16 km from Playa de las Americas. Tenerife North is 14 km from the capital Santa Cruz.
Click image to visit a full size Google Map of Tenerife Island and points of interest.
Below is a quick reference guide which contains key facts about Tenerife.
2,034 km² (786 square miles)
342 km² (212.5 miles)
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Tenerife North (Los Rodeos)
Tenerife South (Reina Sofia)
Top Resorts To Visit
Many of the top resorts here lie in the southwest of the island where it´s generally warmer. This is case for Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. These resorts tend to get some protection from cold weather due to the massive volcano Teide. There are also some fantastic locations in the north such as Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz.
Costa Adeje is one of the most beautiful parts of Tenerife which sees some of the best temperatures. Here you will find lovely beaches, top attractions and luxury hotels. The Thai water kingdom Siam Park is in Costa Adeje, the top attraction on the island. Many consider this resort to be a little more up market than some surrounding resorts. Most tend to head to Playa de las Americas for nightlife.
Playa de las Americas
Playa de las Americas is without doubt the top location on the island if you are looking for nightlife. This resort is a short distance south of Costa Adeje. Las Américas beach is one of the most famous on the island but there are also several other beautiful beaches. El Camisón y El Puertito and Troya are more superb playas, especially the latter. Hard Rock Cafe and Papagayo Beach Club are two notable places you may wish to visit.
Capital City Santa Cruz
No visit to Tenerife would be complete without seeing what the capital Santa Cruz has to offer. This beautiful city is one of the top places if you enjoy Canarian culture. There are many super museums here which give a great insight into the history of Santa Cruz. Museum of Nature and Archaeology is a good example where you can learn the history of Tenerife dating back centuries. Mercado Nuestra Señora de África is a must visit market during your visit to Santa Cruz.
Flag Of Tenerife
The flag of Tenerife looks the same as Scotland for a very interesting reason. Both share the same Patron Saint Andrew or San Andrés which is also a small village in Santa Cruz.
Like all the Canaries, Tenerife enjoy a sub-tropical yearly climate with hot summers. The islands closer to Africa can get a lot hotter but this island has seen record temperatures in recent times. July for example recently hit 42.9 Celsius at Tenerife south airport.
Winters and spring tend to be quite mild with the temperature not falling much below 16 Celsius. Summer is when it´s hottest here but the warm temperatures last until Christmas. It´s usually coldest here in February and March but much warmer than northern Europe. You can check the Spanish Costas site for more about the weather across the Canaries.
If you want to learn more about the Spanish mainland please check Costas Online here. This site covers only tourism pages about the coastal areas of Spain.
Best Beaches In Tenerife
Tenerife does have it´s share of stunning beaches but other Canaries are more famous for beaches. This is certainly the case for Fuerteventura and Lanzarote to the east. Below is a little information about some of the top playas here.
Las Teresitas beach lies north of the village of San Andrés in Santa Cruz. This stunning beach has artificial white sand like many of the beaches here. Las Teresitas measure 1.3 km in length and an average 60 metres in width. Many consider this beach to be one of the very best in the Canary Islands and indeed Spain. Lining Las Teresitas are palm trees which add to the beauty.
Troya is actually two beaches which lie in Costa Adeje and close to Playa de las Americas. These have the reputation of being among the best in the south of the island. This location is superb with all the shops, restaurants and hotels close by. Troya measures 650 metres in length with an average width of 20 metres. There are suberb facilities here and lots of opportunities for water sports.
Playa de los Cristianos is another fine beach to check out in the southwest of the island. This beach in Los Cristianos is part of the pretty Arona municipality. One of the highlights of this playa is it´s set in beautiful scenery with mountains surrounding it. Playa de los Cristianos measures 345 metres in length with an average width of 80 metres. This is another beach with excellent facilities and very easy to access.
Attactions & Days Out
Below are a few of the top attractions and days out in Tenerife.
Siam Water Park
Siam Park as we mention above is a Thai-themed water palace and the number one attraction in Tenerife. This beautiful aqua park is not only one of the best in Spain but the entire world. A visit here is like a visit to a beautiful tropical paradise. Siam Park´s water remains at a warm temperature which allows people to swim even when it´s cold. This super attractions even has it´s own little beach (Siam Beach).
Loro Parque Zoo
Loro Parque is the second best attraction in Tenerife which has the same owners as Siam Park. This incredible zoo has been going since 1972 welcoming over 40 million visitors. When Loro Parque opened it´s doors there were only 150 different species of Parrots. There are now over 350 differenct species of animals and over 4000 Parrots. Meeting the Penguins and enjoying the live shows will make your visit worthwhile.