We spent 4 months on Tenerife and share our list of top things to do on this beautiful canary island. Tenerife has something magical, and we ended up staying much longer as expected... this is definitively a place one never wants...
Prepare your trip to Tenerife with our Tenerife travel guide
Welcome to our page dedicated to Tenerife! We spent a little over 4 months on this beautiful Canary Island during the winter of 2018-2019 and another months in November 2019. At the end of this page you will find all our articles written during our stay, and on this page, a summary of the various important information to know before you get here as well as some good addresses! :)
We settled in Tenerife as Digital Nomad meaning we lived there and worked online throughout our stay. The first part of this page is more "generalist" and will probably be useful for both holidays and longer stays. In the second part we decided to focus a little more on Tenerife's assets for nomads and we give you our advice more specific to this lifestyle (as well as the budget to plan).
- Tenerife: A map with all our blog posts
- Tenerife climate: when should you visit?
- Best events on Tenerife
- Rent a car in Tenerife
- Hotels in Tenerife - where to stay
- Cheap flights to Tenerife
- Tenerife for Digital Nomads: a paradise
- Which are the digital nomad hubs on Tenerife?
- How much will you spend as a nomad on Tenerife?
- Long term car rental on Tenerife
- All our blog posts about Tenerife
Tenerife: A map with all our blog posts
In Tenerife we mainly explored the northern part of the island, our favorite if you ask us! In total we have written 8 articles about Tenerife. You will find all items in chronological order at the very end of the page, but if you would rather see our items on a map then we let you click on the button below.
Tenerife climate: when should you visit?
The sweet nickname of Tenerife is the Island of Eternal Spring... This would suggest that all seasons are equal, but in reality this is not totally the case either;)
In fact it is very difficult to make predictions for Tenerife, because there is a myriad of micro-climates on the island and the weather can change completely while only making a few kilometers!
But if we had to do some generalities:
- From April to October: you are sure to walk around mainly in shorts and T-Shirt, eat out in the evening with a small jacket or sweater and swimming is definitely an option every day
- From November to March: you will walk around in T-shirts and shorts often... in the south, almost every day. In the north, it will also happen regularly, but there will also be days when you will be wearing jeans and a big sweater. The evenings are cooler. We ate regularly outside, but here we clearly needes a jacket.
We stayed from the end of October to the beginning of March. We had temperatures between 12° and 25° during the day. On Christmas Day I was wearing a bikini on a northern beach and I went swimming... And somewhere around December 28th I was wrapped up in a big sweater shivering in front of our gas heater. Unpredictable... I warned you :)
Best events on Tenerife
Tenerife is the most populated island in the Canary Islands. Almost 1 million inhabitants live there and as a result, local and traditional life is still very present. There are events almost every week somewhere on the island, but if we had to list the main events then it would give something like that:
The procession of kings - La Orotava
On January 6, the feast of kings is traditionally celebrated. While in our country this tradition is generally limited to the small cake, in Spain this celebration is quite different! It is almost as important as Christmas. In short, it's really something!
This year we attended the parade held in la Orotava. I don't know... we naively thought it would be a little parade "for the children". Well, it was actually a crazy evening with a huge parade and thousands of people in the streets! (Note: the day of the parade is not necessarily the 6th... in 2019 it was for example Saturday 5th. So remember to check the date)
Apparently the parade and celebration is also very good and popular in Puerto de la Cruz.
The Carnival of Tenerife
So beware, the Tenerife carnival is THE big celebration of the year! We had no idea before, but know that Tenerife is the second largest carnival in the world (just after Rio). In short, for 3 weeks it's just crazy! Everyone goes out to celebrate in the streets, there are food and drink stands, free entertainment and concerts everywhere.
The big parade (which brings together one million people) is held every year in Santa Cruz, and in 2019 we went there several times (to the big parade but also just to celebrate in the evening in the streets). Phew... it's really something this carnival! The atmosphere is very joyful and festive. Everyone is dressed up and the live music resounds until the end of the night in the streets.
But in the celebration is really everywhere! Puerto de la Cruz is also quite famous for the wild evenings.
It is also in Puerto that the Mascarita Ponte Tacón is held every year! What's that you'll ask? Well... just a race held in the city that's reserved for men... The particularity? To participate, men must wear heels (minimum 8cm, 3"1) while in disguise. We unfortunately left Tenerife a few days too early... but this event must be worth the detour haha
Carnival dates vary from year to year. The big parade is always held on the day of the mardi gras.
Easter: Celebrations in La Laguna and La Orotava
At Easter time, it is in La Laguna and La Orotava that we find the most events. Religious processions, but also decorations all over the streets.
Corpus Christi in la Orotava and in la Laguna
This religious holiday is one of the main events of the summer! Every year in June, the city centre of La Orotava is covered with a huge carpet of flowers! Hundreds of volunteers set up impressive frescoes in the main street of the city and on the town hall square. The whole thing is then "destroyed" when the procession passes over it.
The San Andres Festival
So here, guys, this is a festival we didn't expect! :) Every year, between the 29th and 30th of November, the celebration of San Andres is held!
In the small village of Icod de los Vinos this festival takes the form of.... be careful... a table race in the streets. Yep... the idea? The legs of large wooden tables are cut off, we sit on them and slide down the steep slopes of the street. Totally out of control, totally offbeat and totally awesome! :)
In Puerto de la Cruz, the celebration is a bit different. All the children walk the streets pulling garlands of cans behind them. This make some insane and creates a really fun atmosphere where all the locals are in the streets to dance, sing and eat chestnuts.
Christmas decorations in the Laguna
As the holidays approach, it is in La Laguna that we find the most impressive decorations. I wouldn't hide the fact that we found it a little kitschy, but at nightfall the atmosphere was quite unique. It's really nice to stroll around the pedestrian centre! It's quite funny because during the day there were really not many people, but as soon as night had fallen, the streets were suddenly over-crowded.
Rent a car in Tenerife
Tenerife is an island that is relatively large and one of the easiest ways to visit it is most probably by car rental. To rent a car we advise you to compare the rates on Rentalcars.
There are many companies on Tenerife (more or less low cost). For our part, we opted for Top Cars. In order to limit the costs we had chosen not to take any additional insurance but descided to give a deposit of 500€. (Other companies have cheaper daily rates but the deposit is usually 1000€ or 1200€). In short, when comparing prices, take into account the costs related to additional insurance or security.
Our experience with top Car had gone well. 3 rentals, 3 times we gave the deposit and each time we got it back without any problem (we are very good drivers hahaha) :)
Beware of the very high season!
If you come to Tenerife and plan to rent a car, be really careful about the dates of your trip. Prices for car rentals tend to fluctuate (very) strongly with the seasons. The peak? The week between Christmas and New Year! Prices can easily be multiplied by 5 or 6...
But let us be reassured, it really only extends over 10 days. During our rental period the rates had remained low until December 23rd and from January 3rd it was back to normal (we decided to give back our car during these 10 days as it made our budget explode)
Hotels in Tenerife - where to stay
Tenerife is a rather large island and there are many accommodation options! After all, it depends on what you want and are looking for...
The south is known for its large beaches, sun, festivals (and Germans). This is where the largest concentration of 5* hotels and all-inclusive resorts is located. Not at all our cup of tea to tell the truth....
In Santa Cruz: the capital. This is an option that is "central" because we can easily go around, but we won't hide from you that Santa Cruz didn't excite us more than that (except for the carnival, of course).
La Laguna: Right above Santa Cruz, la Laguna is a good alternative. It has more charm than the capital, there is a good choice of restaurants and places to go out (the tram links La Laguna directly to Santa Cruz). On the other hand, you should know that the Laguna is probably the place on Tenerife where it is the coldest! Located a little higher up, this small town is known to the locals for its humid and chilly climate.
Puerto de la Cruz: It's a little bit like the small south of the north... :) (sorry I couldn't find any other way to put it...). The old part of the city is cute, but the concrete part is pretty ugly. But we are in the north, ideally placed to visit many beautiful spots and there is a rich offer of apartments, hotels, guesthouses. In short, it's a nice base according to us, but you clearly have to go there to sleep, eat and then move out of the concret buildings to see the nice things around.
La Orotava: Having fallen totally in love with this small town we are probably not very objective... but for us it is by far the most beautiful place to settle down! :) Even though it has to be said that we are not directly by the sea, so if you are there for the beach, you will have to move.
In Anaga: There are no hotels but there are some airbnb rentals available. Anaga is our favorite landscape, but if you stay there you should be willing enjoy the tranquility and isolation (and the fact that you have to drive a lot just to go to a shop);)
All the rest of the northern coast: many small accommodations, hotels and rentals are spread between Buenavista del Norte and La Laguna. If you have a rental this is the best option for us! Find your own cozy nest and be flexible to explore during the day!
To find a hotel in Tenerife we advise you to take a look at Hotelscombined. It is a search engine that compares the main booking sites. There are hotels, guesthouses, inns but also apartments.
If you want to opt for an airbnb and you don't have an account yet, don't forget that you can use our referral link. This way you will have 25€ of credit for your firstbooking (and we will receive credit for our next stay) :)
Cheap flights to Tenerife
Tenerife is a destination that is easily accessible from many cities in France, Switzerland and the rest of Europe. During the summer season and Christmas holidays there are many low-cost flights arriving daily from all over the world.
From France we manage to get tickets from 29€ (this is not what we paid, but we met several people who managed to get these prices... it was also what decided them to come to Tenerife) ;) For our part we had paid roughly 180€ for the round trip (we bought 2 one-way tickets, so it's a bit biased).
If on your dates you do not find a cheap flight that is direct then you can always choose flights with a stopover via Barcelona or Madrid (or even Morocco).
To find a cheap ticket, the best thing to do is to monitor prices on Skyscanner and especially to play a little with the dates.
When we wanted to buy our return flights, there were differences of up to 120€ between one day and the next... in short: compare!
Important: On Tenerife there are 2 airports! One is in the south and this is where most international flights and low-cost flights arrive. This airport is the one closest to the Costa Adeje, Los Christianos, etc. In short, it is clearly the most touristy airport (and often the cheapest of the two)
The northern airport is located just next to the small town of La Laguna. Here it is mainly domestic flights that land.
Quite frankly, the airport you will arrive at makes little difference. There's only an hour's drive between the two. On the other hand, if your flight arrives very late in the evening or leaves very early in the morning, it may cost you more by taxi (buses run roughly until 11:30 pm and resume service around 6 am). Most car rental companies are located at airports, so if you plan to rent a car, the easiest way is usually to rent directly upon arrival to be flexible.
Note: If you do not wish to rent a car it is also possible to arrange a transfer in advance. This is often a little cheaper than a taxi (obviously more expensive than public buses though). To book you can go through Civitatis. The price varies according to your arrival airport and destination but the site will give you the exact price for your journey.
We rented our car at the northern airport and our return flight left at 7am. So it was very practical because we came to the airport directly with our rental car at 5am, dropped it off in the parking lot leaving the keys under the dashboard and left to take our flight.
P.S. It is also possible to take the boat to come to Tenerife. But be aware that it takes 2 days from the mainland and that it is unfortunately much more expensive than flying!
Tenerife for Digital Nomads: a paradise
For our part, we did not come to Tenerife for a "holiday" as such, but instead decided to stay there for 4 months to work online. We have adopted this nomadic lifestyle since 2016 and Tenerife is definitely one of our favorite destinations from a "digital nomad" point of view.
The 4G/wifi internet connection is excellent, the multiple activity offers and the mild climate make it a small paradise for those looking to work online while travelling.
Are you interested in articles about our nomadic lifestyle? So don't hesitate to take a look at the over category dedicated to digital nomadism.
Which are the digital nomad hubs on Tenerife?
The south of Tenerife being very touristic, the digital nomads tend to concentrate more in the northern part (although there is also a small community on the Los Christianos side). But if you ask us, the north has much more attraction for nomads... cheaper rents, less "German" restaurants and a much more local atmosphere.
The main cities where nomads settle are: La Orotava (the nine coliving is based there), Puerto de la Cruz and the capital of the island which is Santa Cruz. It is absolutely possible to settle anywhere on the island, but simply know that the fibre is currently only in place in the main cities.
In our case, we were in La Orotava and were totally delighted with this choice! A beautiful little town with a crazy charm and everything you need (and a taxi to get down to Puerto de la Cruz costs less than 10€);)
How much will you spend as a nomad on Tenerife?
The "nomad" budget is a little different from a traveller's budget and it will depend greatly on your expectations in terms of accommodation, travel, co-working space, meals, etc... But if we had to give price ranges, here's what you get:
- Living in a Coliving: count 1666€ of "rent" for a couple (private double room with breakfast, coworking area, yoga class and weekly BBQ included). If you are alone, the rates start at 670€/month (in dormitories of 4) until 1078 (private double room). To this we add something like 200€ for grocery shopping per month (for a couple), 300€ of outings/activities, 350€/month for a rental car (including gas). This costs about 2500€ per month for 2 people (for solo nomads it would be around 1400€-1800€ depending on the type of room). Read our experience at Nine coliving
- Rent an apartment and go to a co-working space: The costs for food, activities and car rental would be similar. In terms of accommodation, it is possible to find a nice apartment between 400€ and 650€ per month. For a co-working space, count 100€ to 150€ per month for a desk with the classic infrastructures that go with it (meeting room, wifi that pulses, coffee and tea).
Ressources utiles pour les nomades:
- Nine coliving
- coworking spaces: Coworking in the Sun (Puerto de la Cruz), Tenerife Coworking (Santa Cruz), Coworking Nomad (Santa Cruz)
- The facebook group Tenerife Digital Nomads. this is a very active group with lots of events
- The website Milanuncios is perfect to find an apartement. This is the local platform where you'll find everything
Long term car rental on Tenerife
During our first 2 weeks in Puerto de la Cruz we decided not to rent a car because we were taking Spanish classes and our weeks were already very busy. On the other hand, as soon as we finished school we were on the move again pretty often and car rental quickly became a necessity.
However, it should be noted that legally, rental companies in Tenerife cannot (or will not?) make a contract for more than one month. But you can rest assured, if you rent by the month, you can easily extend your contract without necessarily having to go back to the rental agency.
Budget level it will depend on the season... but overall it costs about 300€ per month for the rental. In terms of fuel, you'll see it, but it's not very expensive. The liter of gasoline is less than 1€!
To find a rental company we used RentalCars.
After comparison our choice was Top Car. We can't tell you what the situation is with the other companies, but with this one we haven't had any problems with all our cars.
On the other hand, beware of the very high seasons! During our rental (from early November to early March) we decided to return our car during the Christmas season. Indeed, between December 23rd and January 2nd, the price of 8€ per day went up to something like 50€ or even 80€ for a simple VW Polo... Needless to say, we were much better off on foot during the holidays and it allowed us to change the colour of our car;)