Tenerife: An underrated cruise destination

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
By Azamara

Tenerife is the largest and the most striking of the Canary Islands and with it attracting more than 10 million visitors every year, it is one of the most popular too.

Despite Tenerife having lots to offer with its unique blend of wilderness and lively towns, it is still very much an underrated cruise destination.

However, you can go on our Canary Island cruises and enjoy everything this gem of an island has to offer and here we take you through some of the reasons why Tenerife should be next on your cruise bucket list.

Where should you visit and what should you do?

With so much to see and do in Tenerife it can be hard to decide what you want to do with your time on land, but to give you a helping hand we have listed some of the places you need to visit.

Head to Spain’s tallest mountain

Pica Del Teide

Teide National Park is the Canary Islands biggest park and it is not only home to craters, volcanoes and rivers of lava, it is also home to Mount Teide, which is Spain’s tallest mountain.

Carmen Edelson, the founder of travel blog Carmen’s Luxury Travel, recommends you head here during your cruise holiday to Tenerife.

She tells us, “The first thing I would recommend is to visit Teide National Park in Tenerife. Here you can enjoy the unique landscapes of the island which even includes a dormant volcano! There are a number of hiking trails, as well as a cable car ride that takes you to the top of Mount Teide for absolutely stunning views.”

Mount Teide is a volcano that stands at 3,718 m above sea level and with its unrivalled panoramic views and its changing looks throughout the different seasons of the year (during winter it can be covered in snow) will make it a source of delight for you.

There are tours you can go on to discover this incredible natural attraction such as our very own Canadas Del Teide Panorama trip. This four-hour tour travels through the pine forests leading up to Mount Teide and lets you stroll through the lava fields.

Explore the Masca village and Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes

Many of you undoubtedly have heard of Los Gigantes, which is located on the sunny, west coast of the island. It is one of the most attractive natural wonders on the island with the area boasting cliffs of up to 800 metres that drop almost vertically into the sea.

Pauline, who was born and raised in Luxembourg, writes about her travel adventures on her site Paulina on the Road and she says you just have to visit the village of Masca and Los Gigantes.

“The village of Masca is also one of the must-dos in Tenerife. The village is nestled in the canyons of Los Gigantes and had no access to paved roads until the 60s-70s. That's how Masca managed to preserve its original charm. I highly recommend hiking down from Masca village to the beach (3-4hours). If you enjoy exploring quaint, colonial towns, I also highly recommend visiting La Orotava and La Laguna.”

Tour around Tenerife

Los Critianos

With so many great attractions to visit and activities to try Monica from the travel site Not A Nomad Blog says you need to make the most of your time on the island by not just staying in one place.

“I highly recommend touring around a bit in order to appreciate the diversity of the island. Just staying in one location would not do Tenerife justice! My favourite spots are probably Las Teresitas (for the view over the beach), Los Cristianos (for the food and fabulous warm weather), La Laguna (for the friendly locals who make you feel like family), and El Teide (for the otherworldly landscapes). That said, Masca Valley and the Anaga region are both breath-taking in their own right, so it's hard to pick an absolute favourite.”

During your cruise to Tenerife, you can book to go on our Icod, Garachico & La Laguna tour. Here you’ll embark on a guided tour of the old-world architecture and rustic charm of the island that will see you visit some small towns and the former capital of the island, La Laguna. In total, this tour will take 7 hours.

Watch the wildlife

Dolphins in Tenerife

Tenerife’s waters are home to a whole host of fascinating marine animals, while on land you can spot some tropical birds.

Bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles, pilot whales and sperm whales are commonly seen in the waters around the island. Keen birdwatchers will also have lots of species you can see such as buzzards, egrets, herons, the blue chaffinch, parrots and Cory’s shearwaters to name a few.

There are lots of wildlife excursion you can enjoy during your time in Tenerife and if you want to see orcas and other beautiful animals up-close, Victor Tribunsky, who shared his trip to Tenerife on the Victor Travel Blog, recommends heading to Loro Parque.

“I highly recommend visiting Loro Parque. Why? Because this is one of the few places where you can see these beautiful animals (orca whales, dolphins and sea lions) so close.”

Loro Parque is home to lots of other animals including chimps, hippos, lions, tigers, red pandas, gorillas, alligators and tortoises.

Lounge on the beaches

Tenerife Beaches

The island is a sun seekers paradise as there are a plethora of world-class beaches you can lounge on during your stopover on the island.

Many of Tenerife’s beaches have been awarded blue flag status, which is an award given out to beaches that fulfil the minimum requirement to satisfy visitors such as cleanliness and infrastructure.

Here are some of the top beaches you should visit:

  • Playa de las Teresitas – the golden sand that makes up this beach near the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was imported from the Sahara. The artificial reef also makes it a perfect location to go snorkelling as shoals of fish frequently visit it.

  • Playa de las Americas – the most famous of Tenerife’s beaches due to it being located in the party capital of the island, its golden sand and calm waters make it ideal for bathing.

  • Playa Del Duque – this beach is Costa Adeje’s most popular beach as exclusive resorts and high-end boutiques flank this trendy beach. The clear waters and cleanliness are just some of the reasons why this beach has been awarded a Blue Flag.

Try your hand at some water sports

Tenerife is a mecca for water sports enthusiasts as not only does it offer sunshine and beaches, it offers water-based activities all year round. This can be put down to the fact the ocean temperature remains warm from January to December (around 19C to 26C).

Pauline told us that she’d recommend having a go at the different water sports on offer, “If you love water sports, you'll enjoy Tenerife a lot.”

Here we’ve listed just some of the water sports you can enjoy:

  • Surfing/Bodyboarding

  • Windsurfing/Kitesurfing

  • Scuba Diving/snorkelling

  • Stand up paddle boarding

  • Flyboard

  • Kayaking

  • Jet ski

  • Sailing

  • FlyFish

  • Parascending

If you are interested in renting a jet ski or would like to find out more about some of the other water-based activities you can try, check out the Water Sports Tenerife site for prices.

Why people love Tenerife?

There’s a reason why millions of Brits head back to Tenerife year-after-year and here we asked some travellers who have visited the island to tell us why they love it.

You won’t ever get bored

Tenerife Landscape

As we’ve already touched on, Tenerife might be a small island, but it is home to a great mix of stunning natural beauty and thriving seaside towns.

Carmen Edelson from Carmen's Luxury Travel says, “Tenerife holds a special place in my heart because I have family from there. Not only that, but there’s absolutely no chance you’ll ever get bored on this island. From quaint seaside towns to lush parks and rugged coastline, there’s so much to see and explore.”

Monica from Not A Nomad blog also loves the fact that Tenerife is full of things to do and that there is something for everybody.

“What I love most about Tenerife is that there is something for everybody, that no matter what kind of trip you are looking to craft for yourself, you can find a slice of that in Tenerife. For example, if you are an outdoorsy type of person, you are in luck -- there are laurel forests, gorgeous hikes, and an incredible diversity of landscapes. Do you prefer to just relax and treat yourself? Well, there is also an unlimited supply of space on the beach and great weather year round. If food and culture is your thing (I'm in this camp), then you’ll find no shortage of those things in Tenerife either. So it’s hard to go wrong when you have somewhere so diverse at your fingertips.

“I'm still trying to figure out how I can live in Tenerife for part of the year! This place has me hooked.”

The locals and their food are great

Food in Tenerife

Another couple of great aspects about visiting Tenerife on a cruise are the locals and their food. Canary Islanders are renowned for their warm welcomes, while the local food varies from potatoes to wine!

Pauline, says, “I love Tenerife because of several reasons. First, the atmosphere is very laid-back. You can really feel that you are between Europe and the Caribbean. The Canarian people are extremely warm-hearted and love to celebrate life. Second, food is amazing and very diverse: from bananas, avocados, mangos, potatoes and wine... everything seems to grow on this island.”

There is so much to do in Tenerife with the island full of history, incredible beaches and wildlife. So if you want to experience a trip of a lifetime, then you should take a look at our Canary Island cruises and voyages.

The Canary Islands don't end at Tenerife, of course, you also might be interested in our memorable cruises stopping at Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Santa Cruz de la Palma

Image Credit: Bertrand Borie, Guillaume LORAIN.

Featured Cruises

Recent Articles

Dubrovnik, Croatia at dusk

Seven Things to do in Croatia

Croatia has seen a sort of transformation recently, one that has taken it from a hidden gem of coastal delights to one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe. What makes this small Balkan nation so appealing? It could be the brilliant sapphire waters of the Adriatic and spectacular white beaches. Or maybe it’s the medieval architecture and walled towns steeped in history begging to be uncovered. Or perhaps it’s the friendly, welcoming people and unique folk culture.

aerial shoreline view

Highlights of the 2025 Azamara World Voyage

155 nights. 37 countries. Explore every corner of the globe on Azamara’s 2025 World Voyage. A leader in Destination Immersion® experiences, Azamara continues to bring guests to bucket-list destinations, providing immersive travel moments while delivering service excellence. 

shimmer background woman holding gift

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travel Lovers

Just like every snowflake is unique, so is every individual and their approach to travel. Some people value staying connected while they travel, while the fashionista in your life might prioritize wardrobe changes. The aspiring photographer might have a carry-on filled with camera equipment, and someone drawn to wellness may need their portable workout gear on every trip!