The best way to really experience Tenerife in all its splendour is to get out and about, with a trip to a few of its cultural sites and community events.
Get a feel for local life and join in the festivities at carnival time – a major event in the Tenerife social calendar. Explore the charming village of Candelaria with its historic Basilica – home to the famous Black Madonna statue, or visit the ‘Los Gigantes’ cliffs – a breathtaking natural wonder millions of years old.
A spectacle not to be missed is the flower show that takes place in La Orotava in celebration of Corpus Christi - witness the beautiful flower displays and intricate sand tapestries painstakingly created over days.
Attractions in Tenerife appeal to people of all ages with a broad range of interests. Take a look at our list of some of the most enduringly popular.
One of the biggest and most spectacular events of its kind, the carnival in Santa Cruz is held every February or March and attracts around 1million people from around the globe.
The celebrations begin on a Friday evening with an outstanding opening parade which gives way to music and dancing as the live bands begin to perform. The event reaches its peak at midnight when the buzzing streets are loaded with people in fancy dress eating, drinking and dancing until the sun rises.
The party continues every night until the following Wednesday when the burial of the sardine is celebrated, the event which signals the end of the carnival.
The Orotava Flower Show forms part of the Catholic Corpus Christi festival which takes place every June on the streets of this pretty town.
It all began in 1847 when Leonor del Castillo y Monteverde decided to sprinkle petals over the ground outside her home, for the Corpus Christi procession to walk over. Since then it has become an annual event, transforming the streets surrounding Iglesia de La Concepción into urban floral works of art.
The show’s centerpiece is an 850m² volcanic sand tapestry of religious iconography, which fills the plaza outside the Town Hall. The atmosphere, as the artists painstakingly prepare the floral ‘carpets’ and the procession passes through them on its way to church, is truly magical.
Candelaria is a town on Tenerife’s southeast coast, famous for its Basilica which houses a statue of the Black Madonna – the ‘Virgin of Candelaria’ and Patron Saint of the Canary Islands.
Known in Spanish as ‘La Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Candelaria’, the statue attracts thousands of pilgrims who flock to visit it each year. The statue and Basilica are also very popular with tourists, and many organised excursions come to the town.
According to Tenerife’s Christian conquerors many centuries ago, the statue represents the image of the Virgin Mary. The Basilica of Candelaria is considered the main temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Canary Islands, and the Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated on 2nd February and 15th August.
Los Gigantes (“The Giants”) are a dominant cliff face forming part of the seven million year old Teno mountain range, along the west coast of Tenerife.
Breathtakingly striking, these enormous rocky cliffs soar to between 500m and 800m above sea level and are considered by many to be one of the island’s most inspiring natural wonders. With no beach at the foot of the cliffs, they simply plunge straight into the ocean below – creating a sheer wall, believed to be the edge of the world in ancient times.
The best way to view the cliffs is by boat – only then can you get close enough to appreciate just how imposing and beautiful they are.
Whether you are a seasoned hill walker or a gentle trekker, Tenerife offers a massive range of incredible walks to suit all levels of fitness and ability.
The stunning peaks of Montaña Blanca and Guajara in the National Park of Mount Teide offer rewarding views of the island and an experience of trekking at high altitude.
For a gentler ramble the coastal walks of the south give you the opportunity to get away from the main tourist areas and enjoy the natural flora and fauna of Tenerife's stunning volcanic landscape.
Located in the island’s capital, the Santa Cruz Casino is situated inside the Hotel Mencey and boasts two blackjack, two poker and three roulette tables and 20 slot machines.
Casino de Taoro enjoys a spectacular location in the centre of the Lago Martiánez swimming pool. The extensive games room includes American roulette, blackjack, poker and French roulette tables, as well as an impressive 60 slot machines.
The Playa de Las Americas Casino is located within the Hotel Gran Tinerfe and provides five blackjack, five American Roulette and five poker tables, in addition to 60 slot machines.
All casinos also offer spectacular eateries, sophisticated bars and multi-lingual staff to ensure an incredible evening.
Marvel at the spectacular range of products available in the iconic El Corte Inglés in Santa Cruz, before heading to the streets of Santa Cruz the city which are bursting with every kind of outlet imaginable.
Further to the north, Puerto de la Cruz presents many excellent shopping opportunities with stores selling duty-free goods, such as alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes and electrical goods for very reasonable prices.
In the south of Tenerife, the Safari Centre is home to a superb range of outlets, including both every-day brands, as well as designer labels. The upper floor of this outdoor shopping paradise provides the perfect place to relax after an extravagant shopping trip, with many cocktail lounges and eateries.
There are many markets peppered throughout Tenerife – some are very small and cater towards the locals whilst others are huge and are aimed towards holiday makers.
The market held on a Sunday in Los Cristianos is the largest tourist market on the island. Always bustling and full of people searching for the best deals, this outdoor market comprises masses of stalls selling a wide variety of goods.
Selling everything from clothing, jewellery, books, electrical, fabrics, souvenirs, food and homemade goods, the Los Cristianos market offers bargain hunters a great opportunity to discover hidden treasures or some cheap and cheerful gifts to take home.