Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and a 3½ hour flight from the Barcelona airport. It's also one of the few places in Europe where you can find pool-worthy weather (or close to it) all year long. Its north and south are diametrically opposed in terms of climate – you’ll find hot weather and yellow beaches in the south, and increasingly cool temperatures, lush greenery and black sand beaches as you venture north. Assuming you’re seeking a warm-weather escape, this itinerary focuses on the sunny south of the island.
9am-10am arrival & check-in: The Tenerife South airport is only a ~10 minute drive from Costa Adeje, the resort hub of Tenerife’s south. There are dozens of options to choose from, but the Iberostar Selection Sábila is a great choice if you’re looking for beautiful views and a luxurious feel. You’ll be greeted with a cold glass of cava upon arrival, and then the holiday begins! The hotel has beach access, modern, airy rooms and a fun food market by the lobby - perfect for a pre-dinner glass of wine and tapas.
fyi: If you’re looking for an extra touch of luxury, opt for the Star Prestige option. This upgrade costs a little more but ensures you’ll have a sea view room, access to the rooftop infinity pool (where you can have unlimited self-serve cocktails and snacks), and preferential treatment throughout your stay.
10am-11am car rental: Car rental agencies dot the island, but if you’re staying at the Iberostar, you can actually order a car from the touch-screen platform in the lobby and have the car dropped off for you directly at the resort. It’s super easy and saves any time you’d waste making your way to the car rental spot. From your hotel, plug Teide into Google Maps and off you go!
11am-12pm teide volcano: Once you’ve reached the base of the Teide volcano, there’s a cable car that can bring you up to the top. Tickets can be pre-bought online for €13.50. Otherwise, just parking and walking around the base is worthwhile in itself (and a little less daunting if you're scared of heights like I am).
12pm-2pm los gigantes: After you’ve had your fill of the volcano, head back to the car and make a beeline for Los Gigantes, a resort town that’s axed around a series of large rock formations. The waterfront is a great place to have lunch with a view, although the restaurants do tend to be touristy. La Paella Rustica has one of the more appealing menus and has the optimal terrace for Los Gigantes-gazing.
2pm-4pm black sand beach: A trip to Tenerife without a visit to a black sand beach would be a loss, so head to the Los Gigantes beach. Make sure you’re wearing flip flops on the sand and have something to lie on, because the sand gets HOT.
4pm-8pm hotel: Head back to your hotel for a dip in the pool, a shower & perhaps a poolside cocktail before heading out for dinner. If you’re staying at the Iberostar, there’s a chance that there’s a bottle of cava waiting for you in your room so take the time to enjoy :)
8pm-10pm dinner at meson las lanzas: This place doesn’t feel especially fancy and is very unassuming, but it’s authentic and will not disappoint. Their sangria is the absolute best I’ve tasted (I still dream about it from time to time), they’ve got melt-in-your-mouth Iberico ham and amazing fish dishes as well.
10pm+ drinks: Costa Adeje is jam-packed with places to grab a drink, so don’t make the mistake of heading back to your hotel too early if you're looking for a night-cap - some of the hotel bars in Costa Adeje seem to be geared to more of a senior crowd from what I've seen.
8am-9am breakfast: Grab breakfast at the hotel and make sure you slather sunscreen on because the next few hours will be spent on the water!
9am-1pm boat tour: Tenerife is home to bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales year-round, and if you're lucky, you may get to spot some other species as well! Several companies offer boat tours to go whale watching - we opted for Monte Cristo Catamaran because of its smaller size (maximum of 12 passengers) and the itinerary they provided. First, you'll be offered a beer or non-alcoholic beverage and taken out to spot some sea life. Once you've gotten your fill of whale-watching, the boat cruises to a bay where you can snorkel and swim. Back on board, small tapas and glasses of cold prosecco will be waiting. The trip is rounded out with a slow sail along the shore and back to the harbour. The boat tour will set you back approximately €70 per person, and they offer complementary hotel pick-ups/drop-offs.
1pm-4pm poolside lounging: If you've come all the way to Tenerife, you're probably hoping to leave with somewhat of a tan, so make sure you take the time to relax and enjoy your hotel's pool. If boredom hits, a walk on the beach is a nice way to see Costa Adeje from a different angle - but personally I could never be bored with an Aperol Spritz in my hands.
4pm-6pm cocktail hour: A fun little quirk about the Iberostar is that they've got a full food market right off the lobby. Swing by here before dinner to have a couple glasses of Spanish wine & enjoy a few appetizers. Each stand serves up different specialities, so it's fun to peruse around and order from a couple different spots.This food hall is available to non-guests as well, so it's not off the table even if you're staying at a different hotel!
7pm-9pm dinner at meson castellano: After a day in the sun, it can be easy to want to stick around the hotel but odds are, you'll end up in a tourist trap with mediocre food (and these kinds of restaurants line the streets in Costa Adeje). Hop into a cab instead and make your way to Playa de las Americas for a yummy seafood dinner at Meson Castellano. This place is packed, and rightfully so - the octopus and paella do not disappoint.
If you've got more time to spare on your Tenerife holiday, there are dozens of beaches waiting to be visited - a quick Google search will provide you with the top ones depending what you're looking for. For a casual tapas dinner, Sabastien in Costa Adeje has a large menu and a cozy outdoor seating area. Enjoy! :)