The Canaries, and in particular, the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, has been popular with Brit’s for years as the region almost guarantees sunshine year round. Of course it’s not just the sunshine that makes people flock to Tenerife. The short four-hour flight and diverse family friendly attractions make the island easily accessible and appealing to families too.
I’ve been fortunate to visit Tenerife many times. I visited frequently during my years running the Shore Excursions department onboard cruise ships and more recently in October during our first family cruise. Spending the day in Tenerife with my husband and our boys reminded me just how many world-class attractions, both natural and man-made, there are on the island. Below I have shared my 5 MUST see sights in Tenerife.
Must see sights in Tenerife
Tenerife’s unique and dramatic landscape is defined by the volcanic activity that has shaped it for millions of years. Although the island is only small, (785 sq miles to be exact!) don’t be fooled and have your camera at the ready to capture the green valleys, unique buildings, stunning beaches, towering cliffs, quaint villages and the volcanic landscape of my number one must see sight…..
I’ve visited the Unesco World Heritage site on a few occasions, (escorting passengers on tours was a huge perk of my job!) During each visit I was always in awe of the 10-mile-wide volcanic crater which dominates the centre of Tenerife. In the middle of the crater Mount Teide volcano rises to 12,198ft above sea level, the highest mountain in all of Spanish territory and, most impressively, the third tallest volcano in the world.
I always used to enjoy checking out the islands unique flowers at the crater and trying to get close to the resident geckos and lizards. If you have a head for heights I fully recommend you continue upwards and take the cable car to the peak! The ride itself is a once in a lifetime experience and the views, at an impressive 11,660 feet above sea level, are absolutely incredible.
Every time the cruise ship I was working on sailed into Tenerife you could guarantee that the whale and dolphin watching boat tour would sell out. The south-west coast of the island is the perfect place for spotting whale and dolphins in their natural habitat and many local companies specialise in organising these boat trips. (Try to book in advance!)
Some offer a coastal sightseeing boat tour too which I would recommend. Other operators offer a two-hour boat tour which is ideal if you are keen to do a short spot of sightseeing before spending the rest of the day on one of the islands many beaches…
Tenerife offers a range of beaches from volcanic black sandy beaches to golden sandy beaches, hidden coves for relaxing to bustling beaches with lots of water sports facilities including diving, kite surfing and deep-sea fishing.
Ten of the beaches dotted around Tenerife’s coastline are Blue Flag beaches which means you can expect great water conditions and also all the facilities which make your life easier when travelling with kids! (Ramps, showers, changing rooms, lifeguards, first aid, parking facilities, etc).
Must see attractions in Tenerife
During our cruise ship call into Tenerife in October we enjoyed a day at Siam Park. (It was really difficult to decide which attraction to visit to be honest as one day is not enough time in Tenerife.) It was my first time to Siam Park and I have to say, I was really impressed. The attraction is so much more than a water park. It’s one of the largest aquatic theme parks in Europe and was recently voted by Trip Advisor readers as the number 1 attraction in the world. It has 14 different water attractions including the Tower of Power, The Dragon, Mekong Rapids, an Adventure Land set in its own tropical paradise, a HUGE man-made beach with wave pool and even sea lions.
As you can imagine we had tears and meltdowns when it was time to leave as my boys loved it too. You can read our full review here – A splashtastic day at Siam Park, The Water Kingdom, Tenerife.
Loro Parque is another popular theme park and sister resort to Siam Park. (Check out the special multi ticket offers if you intend to visit both attractions as it will save you a nice sum.) It’s Tenerife’s longest-established theme park and is rightfully proud to have the world’s largest collection of parrots. (You can have your photo taken with one if this is of interest to you). I love Loro Parque, it’s a gorgeous place to take a stroll and there are some really entertaining shows too featuring parrots, orcas, sea lions and dolphins.
My fondest memory of Loro Parque was when I was asked to take photos of the dolphins for the shore excursions brochure. I must have taken hundreds of photos of splashes and waves. I failed miserably at taking a good shot like the one above, for the front page of the brochure!
So that’s it my top 5 must see sights in Tenerife. To be honest I could have gone on and on, for such a small island it’s packed full with unique man-made and natural attractions. Have you visited the island? What are your must see sights in Tenerife?
Disclosure – This is a collaborative post. All opinions and words are, as always, my own.
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