An insiders guide to the greenest of all the Cape Verdes
I know it sounds silly, but after visiting so many places around the world your mind automatically references new places with past experiences. So on our first day, exploring the North of Tenerife I heard myself ask out loud “Are we in the South Pacific?” … Fast forward a couple of days and I’m standing on top of Spains highest Mountain El Teide thinking I’m on Mars. You guessed it. Tenerife is as diverse as Gran Canaria but on another scale. The Mountains here are huge and forests real. It’s like nothing we have ever seen before and we have absolutely fallen in love with it!
From our past travel experience we found it most helpful to use Google Maps to finding restaurants, shops or cool things to do. This is why we created personal maps for all of our travel guides. If you have a registered Google Account, you can also follow these maps and we’ll update them on the go whenever we discover new gems along the way!
If you prefer another format, you can download a PDF our Guide here: Canary Islands Travel Guide PDF – available soon
Because of Covid-19, this is bit of a tricky one. We didn’t actually eat in some of these places because some restaurants were closed. BUT we did do the research and so we still think it’s worthwhile to share. If you’ve been and disagree – let us know beause they’re on our list if we go back 😉
La Verdulería, Santa Cruz
One of the best vegetarian restaurants we’ve ever eaten, this place came at a full surprise. We ordered take-out and walked over to the Museo de Bellas Artes for a picknick in the park.
This is not a restaurant but a fun looking neighborhood South of Playa de las Teresitas. Try Restaurante el Surtidor or Los Pinchos and let us know what you think, definitely on our list for our next visit!
Guyadil, La Laguna
With a large pedestrian area and lots of restaurants, cafés and bars the town of La Laguna charmed us on an unexpected stop here. We decided against actually eating here because during the pandemic only outdoor seating was available and it was freezing. Still, the food looks amazing, the place is cozy and we thing it’s worth sharing here.
Casa Nila, Sauzal
Unfortunately closed when we wanted to come here but so high on our list – the place is the perfect mix between laid back surfer shack vibe and fine foods with a twist.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
We liked Santa Cruz for it’s “small-town” feel. There are beautiful buildings, some amazing gardens and parks and a bustling pedestrian street lined with boutiques and restaurants. Definitely worth a visit, and a really short walk from the Marina.
I wanna say it’s the most beautiful area of the island but I haven’t picked my favorite just yet – there’s so much goodness here! This place is definitely out of this world beautiful. It’s a spectacular gorge leading down to the ocean with great views from the village that sits some 600 meters above sea level. There’s a hike that takes you from that village down to the beach but we were there during Calima (hence the orangey glow in the pictures) and preferred to not breathe much of that dusty air.
Anaga National Park
The oldest part of the island, it features a jungle-like laurel forest, the undergrowth covered in moss and probably the most amazing coastal views on the island. There are many great hikes here – we love using the Komoot App to pick out a trail to our current preferences.
El Teide National Park
OK so while I’m writing this I can’t believe all of this is actually on one island. The main feature of Tenerife is Spain’s highest peak and the world’s third largest island volcano (after Hawaii): El Teide at 3.715m. The Nationalpark is at an average altitude of 2.000m and driving up the roads form the coastline the landscape changes drastically, like peeling away layers of vegetation: first palm-trees, then the flowers, laurel forests, cacti until finally pine trees until you’re left with nothing much but petrified lava and some snow on top.
Go crazy! Really, we went overboard with activities so much that I was just too exhausted to move my body for a couple of days. Again, we love using the Komoot App – we’re not paid by them, just sincerely use it a lot. Whether it’s for a 2 hours walk or a proper 5 hour hike – you’ll find everything you want on here.
Because the landscape changes so dramatically after a couple of meters you really need to just get in a car and drive as many roads as possible. They’re all scenic! We loved watching the flora change going up and down fromt he coastal regions to El Teide National Park – so much we went up and down, then up to go down again in one day.
Parador at El Teide National Park
We’ve come to love the Parador Hotels in Spain, they’re state-run 3-5 star hotels and mostly in historic buildings and in really awesome locations. Enjoy sunset with an unspoiled view of El Teide and then snuggle up by the fireplace with a glass of wine – sounds too good right?
Marina Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Contrary to our expectations this marina is pretty quiet and small. It has awesome views of the Northern mountains that frame the city of Santa Cruz and it’s a short walk to the city centre.
Marina San Miguel
Even tough this Marina looks charming, we and our friends had one of the worst stays here. Their mooring line was too short, ours broke and we had to change berth in the middle of the night. The marina office didn’t really care much about our bad experience. Also, without a rental car you’re stranded here, there’s nothing in walking distance.
If you’ve been to Tenerife, of if you’re a local and think that we missed out on something special, please do get in touch with us! The easiest way would be to directly message us on Instagram.
We love learning more about places, we’ve been to – also we will be coming back to the Canary Islands later this year so we’re keen to explore even more!
So, if you liked this post, check out our other guides to some other parts of the Canary Islands like our LANZAROTE TRAVEL GUIDE or our latest GRAN CANARIA TRAVEL GUIDE and if you like what you’ve seen so far add us on Instagram, where we publish more up-to-date stuff on a regular basis:
And if you’ve read this far, you’re the best. Thank you! Seriously. We love you!
Jan & Jessie