Nestled off the coast of Morocco, Santa Cruz Tenerife, or simply Tenerife, is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and a major tourist destination. Dominated by the dormant volcano of Mount Teide, which is also Spain's tallest peak, Tenerife boasts beautiful black and golden beaches, charming cliffside towns with glorious ocean views, and diverse landscapes that are home to a vast array of unique fauna and flora. While the beaches and luxury resorts are the island’s biggest drawcard, it also has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of restaurants, tavernas, bars, and nightclubs. The city also hosts the annual Carnaval de Santa Cruz, a massive festival held before Lent with colorful parades, music, and dancing. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Los Gigantes Cliffs
Los Gigantes (The Giants) is a quiet holiday resort named for the breathtaking cliffs that rise from the depths of the deep blue sea for more than 2,700 feet into the sky along the west coast of the island. Formed during the first volcanic activities that created Tenerife, the cliffs form part of the Teno Rural Park, which lies between Buenavista del Norte and Santiago del Teide and offer awe-inspiring views to both locals and visitors alike. There are several viewing points along the coast where the cliffs can be seen, however, the best spot is Mirador Archipenque in the village of Los Gigantes and is perfectly positioned to see the Los Gigantes cliffs at their finest.
Los Gigantes Santiago del Teide, Spain, Tenerife
2.The Museum of Nature and Man
© Museos de Tenerife
The Museum of Nature and Man is dedicated to the Guanche aboriginal culture of ancient Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It showcases the most important archeological findings on the island, ranging from an extensive collection of well-preserved mummies from around the world to native tools and carvings used and created by the tribe. The Museum of Nature and Man has three sections, namely the Canary Institute of Bio-Anthropology, the Museum of Architecture, and the Museum of Nature Sciences. These sections focus on the fields of botany, entomology, paleontology, and terrestrial vertebrates and display item related to pre-Hispanic human remains and the natural riches of Tenerife.
s/n Calle Fuente Morales, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarias, 38003, Spain, Phone: +34-922-53-58-16
3.Piramide de Arona
© Barselona Dreams/stock.adobe.com
Located in the Hotel Cleopatra Palace Tenerife in Playa de las Américas, just south of Tenerife, the Piramide de Arona is a state-of-the-art auditorium with a striking, pyramid-like design that is used for traditional and modern flamenco dancing shows. The spectacular hall hosts a range of exhibitions, events, and concerts featuring a fusion of flamenco, opera, and dance and using a combination of visual arts and the latest audiovisual technology. The Arona Pyramid is within walking distance of many excellent restaurants for after-show dinner or drinks.
Av. las Américas, s/n, 38650 Arona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Phone: +34-922-27-68-34
4.Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín (Tenerife Auditorium Adán Martin)
© Feliz Photo/stock.adobe.com
The Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín is an auditorium and architectural symbol of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the hall is situated on the Avenue of the Constitution next to the Atlantic Ocean and is regarded as the finest example of contemporary Spanish architecture in the Canary Islands. The auditorium features striking elements highlighting the late-modern architecture of the late 20th century and is home to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (Tenerife Symphony Orchestra) and is one of the city’s major tourist attractions.
Av de la Constitucion, 1, 38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
5.Hike the Masca Mountain and Valley
The Masca Valley is a beautiful area in the western part of Tenerife that is named after a tiny Masca village that rests at almost 2,000 feet above the sea level. Visitors can soak up the stunning natural scenery on the Masca walk, a three-mile hike that descends from the village through the isolated and picturesque Masca Gorge to the sea. Hailed as Tenerife's prettiest village, Masca has charming stone houses, towering palm trees, and gorgeous views across the ocean, and is a challenging three-hour hike down the impressively steep Barranco de Masca to the coast.
Masca, Masca Valley, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
6.Teide National Park
Teide National Park surrounds the towering Teide-Pico Viejo stratovolcano known as Mount Teide, which rises 25,000 feet above the ocean floor and is the highest peak in Spain. One of Spain’s oldest national parks, Teide National Park is spread over 19,000 hectares and is home to bizarre rock formations and alien-like landscapes, making it a geologist’s dream. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a range of outdoor and recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, camping, backpacking, rock-climbing, and wildlife watching.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
7.Whale and Dolphin Watching
© Stephen Davies/stock.adobe.com
Head out into the deep blue to watch dolphins and whales frolicking in their natural environment on an ethically guided whale and dolphin-watching excursion. These guided tours offer an unforgettable experience of seeing some of the 28 species of whales and dolphins that call the area home up close. Daily boat trips from Los Cristianos or Los Gigantes are offered, and the journey is around three hours in duration, during which time visitors can observe a range of dolphin and whale species in their natural habitat.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
8.The Pyramids of Guimar
The Pyramids of Guimar is a natural complex of lava stone structures outside of the town of Güímar that date back to the 19th century and may have been visited by ancient civilizations from Egypt and South America. The complex features six free-standing pyramids that are made from stone without mortar and feature geometrical steps very similar to those of the Mayan-built Aztec temples in Central America. The complex also features ancient artifacts, reed ships, and tranquil grounds with plenty of shady spots for picnicking.
Calle Chacona, s/n, 38500 Güímar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Phone: +34-922-51-45-10
© Balate Dorin/stock.adobe.com
Sprawling across four acres above Los Cristianos, Siam Park is a wonderful water kingdom with a magical, Thai-inspired theme that offers an array of fun for the whole family. The vast park is home to a range of water-based rides, slides, and attractions, such as swimming pools, water fountains, a wave pool with a golden sandy beach, a mile-long lazy river and adrenaline-rushing rides like the Tower of Power with a 100-foot high near-vertical slide that travels through a shark-filled aquarium. Other attractions in the park include a floating market, Sea Lion Island, several cafés and food concessions, and private cabanas for hire.
s/n Avenida Siam, Costa Adeje, Canarias, 38660, Spain, Phone: +34-822-07-00-00
, Michigan beaches
10.Sea Kayaking and Canoeing Trip
© JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ/stock.adobe.com
Explore the coastal waters around the island of Tenerife on a guided sea kayaking or canoeing trip. Unique kayaking experiences are led by professional canyoning guides and venture along the cliffs of the natural reserve Volcano Guaza, visit the only sea cave in Tenerife and offer the opportunity to snorkel and swim with turtles. Kayaking and canoeing adventures are suitable for all ages and skill levels from beginners to advanced kayakers and are conducted in the morning or at midday.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
11.El Calderito de la Abuela
© El Calderito de la Abuela
El Calderito de la Abuela is a reputed restaurant in northern Tenerife that forms part of a trio of family-owned restaurants that serve age-old traditional Canary Island cuisine with a modern twist. Together with Donde Mario and La Bodeguita de Enfrente, El Calderito de la Abuela offers conventional and creative delicacies prepared using ancient recipes that have been passed down through four generations and fresh, locally sourced ingredients from local farmers and the restaurant’s organic garden. The menu features a range of authentic tapas plates and hearty entrées, and a selection of craft wines from around the country. Diners can tuck into the delicious cuisine against a backdrop of spectacular views of the Orotava Valley, Mount Teide, and the Atlantic Ocean.
130 Carretera Provincial, Cuesta de la Villa, Canarias, 38390, Spain, Phone: +34-922-30-19-18
Based in the luxurious The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Abama, Kabuki Abama is an elegant Japanese restaurant helmed by renowned chef Ricardo Sanz and is considered one of the best restaurants in Spain. The award-winning, Michelin-star restaurant boasts minimalist décor in red and black and has a formal dress code requirement. The innovative menu features a world-class fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean cultures, offering traditional Japanese cuisine prepared with modern Western culinary techniques and typical Canary Island ingredients. The cuisine is accompanied by an excellent selection of wines from around the world, a range of high-quality sake, craft beers, high-end spirits, and signature cocktails.
Guia de lsora Tenerife, Canarias, 38687, Spain, Phone:+34-922-12-67-94
13.M.B. (Martín Berasategui)
© M.B. (Martín Berasategui)
M.B. (Martín Berasategui) is a world-class, double Michelin-star restaurant helmed by prestigious Basque chef Martín Berasategui and chef-de-cuisine Erlantz Gorostiza, who also owns several other renowned restaurants across Spain. Located in the deluxe Ritz-Carlton, Abama hotel, M.B. is Berasategui’s signature restaurant and is famous for its exceptional interpretation of Spanish cuisine with a gourmet menu of gastronomic delights. The cuisine is accompanied by an excellent selection of wines from around the world, craft beers, high-end spirits, and signature cocktails.
Guia de Isora Tenerife, Canarias, 38687, Spain, Phone: +34-922-12-60-00
14.Restaurante Lucas Maes
© New Africa/stock.adobe.com
Owned by and named after master chef Lucas Maes, Restaurante Lucas Maes is a charming dining destination based in a traditional old house dating back to the late 19th century that offers a memorable dining experience. The enchanting restaurant has four dining areas with different characters and color schemes, original floor tiles, stained glass windows, abstract paintings on the walls, and a spacious outside terrace with breathtaking views of the La Orotava Valley and the city of Puerto de La Cruz. Chef Lucas Maes creates sublime dishes using fresh locally sourced ingredients, including house-baked bread from an open kitchen where diners can watch the culinary team at work. The full-service bar offers a selection of wines from around the world, craft beers, high-end spirits, and signature cocktails.
Calle Roques del Salmor, 6, 38660 Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Phone: +34-822-07-00-35
15.Restaurante La Vieja
© Restaurante La Vieja
Nestled in the fishing village of La Caleta in southern Tenerife, Restaurante La Vieja is a charming, laid-back restaurant that specializes in the freshest and highest quality seafood, fish, and seafood delicacies in the region. Surrounded by the spectacular natural beauty of the area, the restaurant boasts exceptional views of the ocean from an expansive terrace where diners can tuck into traditional Canary dishes prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients and attention to detail and served with passion and flair. The delicious cuisine is paired with a range of Canary, Spanish, and European wines, imported beers, high-end spirits, and signature cocktails.
La Caleta de Adeje, Canarias, 38679, Spain, Phone: +34-922-71-15-48
16.Bar Restaurante El Cine
Tucked away in an alley in Los Cristianos, Arona, Bar Restaurante El Cine serves traditional Canary specialties in an enchanting setting. Established over 25 years ago, the cozy restaurant has tables on a terrace covered with awnings and an open kitchen where diners can watch the culinary team create delicious dishes with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Located a few steps from Los Cristianos beach, the restaurant serves a menu featuring favorites like fried octopus, papas arrugadas, fried chicken, and fresh salads, paired with casual Spanish wines and sangria.
8 Calle Juan Bariajo, Los Cristianos, Arona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarias, 38660, Spain, Phone: +34-609-10-77-58
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17.Mesón El Monasterio
Based in an old monastery that was beautifully restored to its former glory in the 1990s, Mesón El Monasterio is a romantic eatery in Los Realejos that promises a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The symbolic, gastronomic hotspot is located at the foot of a volcano and is surrounded by rolling fields, manicured gardens, and several terraces with beautiful views. The culinary gem is well-known for its relaxing atmosphere and serves generous breakfasts, national and international cuisine for lunch and dinner, and mouthwatering homemade desserts. Mesón El Monasterio serves a range of casual wines, handcrafted cocktails, and high-end spirits.
12 Carretera La Montañeta, Los Realejos, Canarias, 38410, Spain, Phone: +34-922-34-07-07
© Los Roques
Located opposite the Los Abrigos harbor in southern Tenerife, Los Roques is renowned for its seasonally changing menu that features creative and local cuisine boasting national and international flavors. Exuding a friendly and intimate atmosphere, Los Roques serves delectable dishes made from light, seasonal recipes and prepared using fresh local ingredients like fish and other seafood delicacies, farm-fresh vegetables and salads, prime grass-fed meats, and mouthwatering desserts. The restaurant has a two dining rooms and an expansive terrace with spectacular views over the open sea and a full-service bar that offers a large selection of wines and signature cocktails.
16 Calle La Marina, Los Abrigos, Canarias, 38618, Spain, Phone: +34-822-04-67-06
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19.Tasca La Tata
© Tasca La Tata
Tasca La Tata is an eco-friendly restaurant that serves innovative and healthy cuisine with Mediterranean and Oriental flavors in a sleek, modern setting with several different dining spaces. A paradise for eco-foodies and vegetarians, the eatery offers a menu of dishes made using traditional Canary recipes and fresh, locally sourced ingredients and products like homegrown, seasonal salads, and vegetables. The cozy venue also hosts temporary arts and crafts exhibitions and has an interior patio for intimate and romantic dining experiences.
6 Calle Arquitecto Marrero Regalado, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarias, 38001, Spain, Phone: +34-922-24-28-85
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© El Guaydil
Located in a small house in the heart of the historical center of the World Heritage Site of La Laguna, El Guaydil is a lively restaurant that serves creative Canary cuisine using fresh local ingredients. Diners can enjoy delicious dishes made with freshly caught fish and other seafood delicacies, farm-fresh vegetables and salads, and prime grass-fed meats. The menu changes twice a year and features typical local dishes, excellent cheeses, and desserts, a selection of casual wines, handcrafted cocktails, and high-end spirits.
26 Calle Dean Palahi, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canarias, 38201, Spain, Phone: +34-822-04-76-65
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20 Best Things to Do in Santa Cruz Tenerife, Spain
- Los Gigantes Cliffs, Photo: olenatur/stock.adobe.com
- The Museum of Nature and Man, Photo: Museos de Tenerife
- Piramide de Arona, Photo: Barselona Dreams/stock.adobe.com
- Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín (Tenerife Auditorium Adán Martin), Photo: Feliz Photo/stock.adobe.com
- Hike the Masca Mountain and Valley, Photo: GVS/stock.adobe.com
- Teide National Park, Photo: EwaStudio/stock.adobe.com
- Whale and Dolphin Watching, Photo: Stephen Davies/stock.adobe.com
- The Pyramids of Guimar, Photo: lorenzobovi/stock.adobe.com
- Siam Park, Photo: Balate Dorin/stock.adobe.com
- Sea Kayaking and Canoeing Trip, Photo: JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ/stock.adobe.com
- El Calderito de la Abuela, Photo: El Calderito de la Abuela
- Kabuki Abama, Photo: Grafvision/stock.adobe.com
- M.B. (Martín Berasategui), Photo: M.B. (Martín Berasategui)
- Restaurante Lucas Maes, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Restaurante La Vieja, Photo: Restaurante La Vieja
- Bar Restaurante El Cine, Photo: Pixel-Shot/stock.adobe.com
- Mesón El Monasterio, Photo: sievert/stock.adobe.com
- Los Roques, Photo: Los Roques
- Tasca La Tata, Photo: Tasca La Tata
- El Guaydil, Photo: El Guaydil
- Cover Photo: Balate Dorin/stock.adobe.com