How to do... Tenerife


Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife = British nans on tour?

Don’t be a noob.

This is the land of ‘Eternal Spring’ where beach, mountain, desert and forest are all tied up with a bow.

Just stay clear of the resorty Los Cristianos and Las Americas and you’re on to a winner.

This is how to do Tenerife…

1. Find culture in Santa Cruz

Once you leave the beaches and step away from the tourist traps you’ll find a creative island where street art rules.

Santa Cruz is the island’s cultured capital. There’s open-air galleries, museums (which are all free on Sundays) and the dreamy botanical gardens.

When your brain is stuffed, fill your stomach at the African Market where you’ll find great food and plenty of arty trinkets to bring home.

2. Go wild

Tenerife’s home to Spain’s highest peak and the world’s third largest volcano. Boom boom.

Mount Teide claims the title for both. There’s a cable car that’ll whisk you to the summit (a 17km wide crater) or you can just wander through the surreal landscape for free.

Then there’s the Anaga Mountains - Tenerife’s real life rainforest. The path winds down steep ravines and through leafy valleys where you should sit tight and wait for the stars. You can pretty much taste the Milky Way from here.

3. Try Canarian mojos in a cave

Red, orange and green - Tenerife’s traffic light sauces will change your life. If your life is measured by good food. Which it should be.

Try them smothered on ‘papas arugardas’ - wrinkly salted potatoes served in any self-respecting restaurant.

For a classic Tenerifian experience, head to one of the ‘guachinches’ - garage restaurants - found across the island. Like a trendy foodie pop-up (except authentic and traditional) the guachinches are family run and serve seasonal local food.

Guachinche Los Gomez is a classic and La Cueva is guachinche built into a cave.

4. Sip on Barraquitos

Sorry Irish Coffees… you’ve had your day. It’s all about the Tenerifian barraquito.

These bad boys are only found in Tenerife and cost the same price as a bottle of water. God bless you Spain.

Coffee, condensed milk and Licor 43 (a citrusy vanilla Liqueur) topped with cinnamon and lemon peel - order it before, after and in between meals 💁

5. Explore the Volcanic Beaches

Tenerife is a volcanic island which means white powdery sand is not a given.

Lots of the resorts import golden sand to draw the masses (the world is mad) but that means packed beaches and expensive sun loungers.

For the real shimmery black sand (and no people) head to Benijo. It’s a steep walk down a cliff but you’ll (probably) have it to yourself.

Tenerife is a hell of a lot more than your classic winter-sun-getaway. It’s like if your favourite foodie-arty mate married a volcanic jungle.

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