The Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Tenerife, Canary Islands

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The largest of all seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is best known for its year-round mild climate and lush green landscapes. According to Lonely Planet, over ten million visitors flock to the island every year, many of whom will stay at popular tourist resorts in the south. However, if you look beyond the famed tourism spots for Tenerife holidays, you’ll find another side to the so-called ‘island of eternal spring’ just waiting to be discovered, including a variety of non-touristy things to do in Tenerife.

Now, it’s over to some of the biggest names on the travel blogging scene to tell us about the best lesser known things to do in Tenerife:

Garajonay National Park, La Gomera

Garajonay National Park, La Gomera

Credit: Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat

A few years ago I spent a week on Tenerife and one of my fondest memories is of a day trip to a neighbouring island, La Gomera and the Garajonay National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the centre of the island, around its highest peak.

This dense wooded region is almost always shrouded in mists and clouds, as it was on the day I was there.  Wandering alone along the trails through the forest of laurel and heather trees felt quite surreal, as moss-covered branches stretched out into the mists, each dripping with the water that condensed on them from the clouds. Lush green ferns covered the forest floor, vivid green in the streams of sunlight that occasionally broke through the mists. It’s mysterious, beautiful and rather creepy at times but I can see why this National Park is a great draw for hikers and the views, if you are lucky enough to be here on a clear day, are spectacular I’m told.

— Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat

El Caletón de Garachico Natural Bathing Pools

Garachico Natural Bathing Pools, Tenerife

Credit: Erin Hardie, Downbubble

The most unforgettable thing we did on our trip to Tenerife was to swim in the El Caletón de Garachico natural bathing pools. Our only regret is that we didn’t get accommodation in the town and stay for at least another day to further enjoy this natural wonder!

The bathing pools were formed in 1706, when a volcanic eruption covered the entire town in hot lava. As this met the sea, it cooled to form the bathing pools that today’s residents now enjoy. Some concrete platforms have been built atop the jagged rocks for sunbathing, and the water in the pools is the tidal sea water. In fact, at high tide, some of these pools can get a little dangerous, but if the tide comes rolling in, just hop out and visit the al fresco terraced beach bar/café for an ice-cream or a beer to steady the nerves! This has to be one of the best of all the lesser known things to do in Tenerife.

— Erin Hardie, Downbubble

Hiking the Masca Ravine

Masca Ravine, Tenerife

Credit: Teresa Gomez, Brogan Abroad

Masca is a little village perched on top of a lush outcrop surrounded by rocky cliffs. Anyone who sees a photo of Masca could be forgiven for thinking it is located somewhere in Hawaii.

The hike takes you down the gorge from the village. It’s a very tough trek, but you will feel like you’re within the set of Jurassic Park and you almost expect a dinosaur to appear around the corner. One thing you will see is lots of bats, who live in the caves on the rock face.

If you plan to do this walk, remember that you will have to come back up, so start very early in the day to avoid getting caught out in the ravine in the dark. I cut it a little bit fine and it was slightly unnerving, as you are completely cut off from the world. But don’t let this put you off. It was one of the most spectacular treks I have ever done and it’s one of my best memories of Tenerife.

— Teresa Gomez, Brogan Abroad

La Laguna

La Laguna, Tenerife

Credit: Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat

When I visited La Laguna, the former capital of the island, it felt as if I’d been transported to another time and another place – a bubble trapped in history, way back at the turning of the 15th and 16th century, when La Laguna was newly built, and the island of Tenerife was the crossroads connecting Europe with the New World.

Beautifully preserved buildings lined the narrow streets, as I discovered one enchanting cobbled courtyard after another. Each house was painted a different colour – some mustard, others green, pink, blue or simply white. Pretty balconies, intricate wood panelling, brightly decorated tiles – such attention to detail had been to each one.

Now a thriving university and the island’s cultural capital, it must be a great place to stay to see a completely different side of Tenerife.

— Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat

Have you been to Tenerife before? Are there any attractions you’d recommend for travellers looking for non-touristy things to do in Tenerife?

The best non-touristy things to do in Tenerife - the largest of all Canary Islands.

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This is a collaborative post.

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  1. Aimee Bradley
    February 9, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    Looks amazing Iv never been. But Iv saved it for my bucket list xx

    • February 10, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      I really want to go now, and flights seem quite reasonable too!

  2. Hannah denton
    February 9, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    Garajonay National Park & the bathing pools look right up my street!

    • February 10, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      I never knew Tenerife was so beautiful! It’s surprising what you can find when you go off the beaten track.

  3. February 11, 2018 / 4:52 am

    The natural bathing pools remind me so much of those in Iceland. A couple of years ago the New York Times wrote a wonderful piece about them and ever since my husband and I have wanted to go. I must say, those in El Caletón de Garachico look far warmer! x

    • February 12, 2018 / 2:52 pm

      Yes, me too. I haven’t been to Iceland before but I have heard about the natural bathing pools and hot springs, and they sound wonderful!

  4. February 11, 2018 / 8:28 am

    I have never been to Tenerife before but I’ve heard about the lovely beaches. Will definitely consider these places to visit now!

    • February 12, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      Writing this post has really made me want to visit Tenerife!

  5. February 11, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    I have never been to Tenerife and I love that you’ve found non touristy things to do there. I have to admit major tourist destinations never particularly appeal but this brings out the quieter side of the island. By the way, your share buttons are crashing into the start of the comment box so you can’t actually see the first line you’ve typed.

    • February 12, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      I’ve never been either and I never would’ve considered it before, but since I wrote this post, this has all changed! Thanks for the feedback on the share buttons. I haven’t noticed this myself but I’ll have to try commenting and see if it happens to me. Was this on mobile or desktop?

  6. February 11, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Those natural bathing pools sound amazing and the Masca Ravine looks absolutely breathtaking! x

    • February 12, 2018 / 2:49 pm

      The Masca Ravine is one of the places I’d really love to visit in Tenerife!

  7. February 12, 2018 / 10:36 pm

    I really want to visit Tenerife. The climate is definitely attractive, and I love the idea of visiting these places especially the visiting Masca

    • February 13, 2018 / 12:02 pm

      After writing this post, I’m actually considering booking a flight to Tenerife – it’s so cheap, I’d feel silly not going.

  8. February 20, 2018 / 11:33 am

    I’ve never been to Tenerife but it somewhere I have always wanted to go, you’ve made it sound so much more appealing than it was before to me x

    • February 20, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      This post has really made me want to go too! And it’s so cheap, it almost seems silly not to just book some flights and do it!

  9. Kanika
    April 7, 2018 / 11:45 am

    What an amazing post! This place looks like stuff of dreams.. excellent work! More travel to you ❤️❤️

    • April 9, 2018 / 3:19 pm

      Thank you! I would love to go to Tenerife someday.

  10. April 7, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Tenerife has never really been on my radar. I imagined it as crammed beaches filled with lobster suns seekers so seeing this side of the island has made me think twice, thank you

    • April 9, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      I was exactly the same until I published this post. Now, I am seriously considering travelling to Tenerife later this year!