Best Things to do in TENERIFE – one week on a microcontinent

As the over-popular south coast of Tenerife is the most neglectable part of the island, I’ll show you in this guide which are the best things to do in one week. Picturesque villages, lush fields, bewitched forests, black lava beaches – and on top of this the mighty Mount Teide.

Lava Beach in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife a microcontinent
Black lava beaches are just one amazing feature on the island of Tenerife.
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EL MEDANO – where not only the wind will blow you away

Since after almost an entire week in Tenerife, I hadn’t been to the beach, I urgently needed to add some lazy hours of sweet nothing. After having explored the island’s northern hinterland, I really didn’t feel like letting the tourist ghettos on the south coast put an ugly stain on the positive’n’pure impression Tenerife had made. Fortunately, the wind blew me to a small surfer town on the east coast, and although I’m not a surfer, El Medano with its beautiful coastline, laid-back atmosphere, and great fish restaurants actually did blow my mind.

El Medano in Tenerife
Not only windsurfers enjoy El Médano’s wild waters.
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MOUNT TEIDE – the Highlight of Tenerife

Whether you get to the top hiking or if you opt for a ride on the cable car: Mount Teide is definitely a highlight of every visit to Tenerife. In this post, I’m introducing various ways how to visit this majestic mountain.

Majestic Mount Teide and the amazing stone formation below.
Majestic Mount Teide and the amazing stone formation below.
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GARACHICO – ICOD DE LOS VINOS – MASCA – Touring Tenerife’s Delightful Northcoast

I know, I know, it’s hot, Tenerife’s beaches are beautiful and the waters turquoise’n’tempting. Yet, spending all your time lazing on a beach would be a big mistake since idyllic townlets like Garachico, Icod de Los Vinos, and Masca are awaiting visitors on the island’s cooler yet very delightful Northcoast.

Village of Masca
Masca, the forecourt to paradise.
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LA OROTAVA – Tenerife’s Most Mesmerizing Mountain Town

No matter what else you are planning to do on the island of Tenerife – a visit to the mountain town of La Orotava, basically the forecourt of the Teide mountain, will be the absolute highlight of your trip – literally.

The Mountain Town La Orotava in Tenerife
View of La Orotava…and far beyond.
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Day Trip to San Cristobal de La Laguna and the National Park of Anaga

Do you guys want to see where Disney & Co. get their inspiration and their decoration ideas from? Then follow me on a day trip to the picturesque town of San Cristobal de la Laguna – mostly just referred to as La Laguna – from where we’ll take the bus uphill to the enchanted forests of Anaga. Quick, call Snow White, and then it’s hi ho hi ho off to Anaga we go!

Mural created by Matías Mata aka Sabotaje al Montaje. in San Cristobal de la Laguna in Tenerife
Hardly anyone is talking about La Laguna’s artsy side. This is my favorite mural, created by Matías Mata aka Sabotaje al Montaje.
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Guide to PUERTO DE LA CRUZ – a Town Full of Contrasts

Way back in Tenerife’s early years of tourism, the former fishing village Puerto de la Cruz was apparently destined to become this major mass tourism resort. Sadly, in some spots, merciless planners succeeded so that the town has to endure some of those horrific soulless high-rising prefab buildings. But as mass tourism finally moved mostly to the south coast, Puerto de la Cruz got somehow stuck between its old charm and the ugly remains from the second half of the 20th century. It remained in a peculiar limbo between idyllic beaches and striking urban art. There is the old and the new, the borrowed and the blue – all in all, Puerto de la Cruz is a place of many contrasts which makes it the perfect base on Tenerife’s northern coast.

View of Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique, Puerto de la Cruz
When the waters are too rough, you can always go for a swim at the Parque Maritimo, created by Canarian superstar Cesar Manrique.
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One Day in SANTA CRUZ de TENERIFE

I urgently need to make a correction to this post. No, I didn’t make a typo. Oh no, there are no grammatical or spelling errors – at least I hope so. I was simply wrong when I first created this post.
Was it the bad weather?
Was it the exhaustion after a few weeks on the road?
Whatever it was that drove me to portray Santa Cruz as not worth seeing, I was wrong. Very wrong!

Street in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
View of the iconic belfry of the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción from the picturesque Calle Antonio Domínguez Alfonso.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit the city on another trip to Tenerife, and what can I say, I thought it was great there: Lively and yet not stressful, with lots of shops, great restaurants, beautiful squares, and a pleasant promenade along the sea, the city scored highly at second glance. And since I was on the hunt for the best street art, this time I also went to parts of the city that usually aren’t on the tourist agenda.

Charming alleys, friendly residents, lots of local vibes, and yes, the best street art in Tenerife convinced me: Santa Cruz is not only absolutely worth a day’s visit. The city, which is connected to a comprehensive public transport network, can also be an excellent base and starting point for exploring the entire island.

So again: Sorry, Santa Cruz, I totally stand corrected!

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