Just because Tenerife is a popular tourist destination doesn’t mean you can’t avoid the crowds and discover the true Spanish soul of the largest of the Canary Islands. From fiestas and ancient trees to exploring the stunning natural landscape, there is plenty here for travellers looking to step off the beaten track and get to the heart of the island. |
Speak to locals, fellow travellers you encounter at the hostels or other passengers on one of your shared Tenerife transfers to and from the airport, and you’ll get plenty of tips to help you uncover the un-touristy side of the island. To get you started, here are five great Tenerife activities that won’t break the bank.
1. Climb Tenerife’s Dramatic Volcano
Much of the landscape of Tenerife was carved from the explosions of its impressive volcanoes, the largest of which is Mount Teide. The now-dormant volcano is set in the heart of Teide National Park and scaling it gives you stunning views over the moon-like volcanic landscape and out to the sea beyond. The climb is tough, and you’ll need a permit in advance before trying it – and if that all seems like too much trouble, there’s a cable car which will take you up 2,356m.
2. Discover the Dragon Tree of Icod de los Vinos
Local legend has it that the ancient Dragon Tree in Icod de los Vinos grew out of a site where a dragon’s blood was shed. Another myth is the age of this iconic tree – some put it at an improbable 5,000 years while others a more realistic 650. No matter what the truth is, the tree is very old and impressive and well worth a visit.
3. Camp Out Under the Stars
Free accommodation can make a big difference to the price of a holiday. Rather than splashing out on hotels, why not get close to nature by staying in one of the island’s thirteen campsites? Camping is free, but a prearranged permit is required so you’ll need to do a bit of research before you turn up. Some sites are set in the hills amidst some beautiful landscapes; others are in the heart of the island’s beautiful pine forests. This really is a wonderful way to get to know the non-touristy side of Tenerife better.
4. Join the Carnival
Probably the best way to enjoy free entertainment (especially if you like to party Spanish-style) is to time your visit to coincide with one of the fiestas or carnivals which take place in many of the towns and villages across the island. Expect street floats, live music and lots of dancing. The locals will happily party until dawn – and everyone’s invited.
5. Step Back in Time at Masca
The small hillside village of Masca, set high on an outcrop in the dramatic Teno Mountains, offers a snapshot of Tenerife’s lost rural past. Thanks to its inaccessibility, the village has barely changed for hundreds of years. Tourism is thriving here so plan a visit for early morning or late evening to see it as it must have been years ago.
How to Get to Tenerife
There are two international airports on Tenerife which are both served by a number of budget airlines offering cheap flights. One of the best ways to find out about hidden gems and great free activities is to talk to other travellers, so reserve a space on one of the shared Tenerife transfers from the airport to your accommodation and you’ll be bound to get some good tips. Many Tenerife transfer services will allow you to book in advance, so think about arranging your ride before you even leave home.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Tenerife transfers Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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