I keep preaching: Tenerife is much more than holiday packages. Unfortunately most people have a kind unflattering image of Tenerife: cheap beach&sun holidays, tipsy young folks from UK, concrete mass constructions and all-you-can-drink sangria parties.
But Tenerife is far more than this. By limiting this little volcanic paradise to the aspects of mass tourism, you'll miss one of Europe's most promising destinations when it comes to natural landscapes and hiking trails.
After living in Tenerife island for several months, I want to show you the best places to stay according to the expectations of your holidays.
After living in Tenerife for several months, I frequently get asked what the best places are to stay in Tenerife. I'd say that it largely depends on what kind of holiday person you are, what you're planning to do during your trip to Tenerife and of course on your budget.
In order to give those queries a detailed answer, I decided to write this in-depth guide on where to stay in Tenerife. Accommodation places are categorized location-wise and budget-wise.
The opinions of this post are based upon my professional experience in the Spanish tourism sector and upon my stay in Tenerife during which I visited several hotels. In total I traveled 3 times to Tenerife, all together I stayed on the island during 5 months.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. They help me running this site and come without any extra cost for you.
Table of Content
b) Costa Adeje
Best Time to Visit Tenerife
Best Time to Visit Tenerife
You may wonder what is the best time to visit Tenerife? Well it's one of the few European destinations that have good weather all year round and offers fun activities throughout the year.
I have visited Tenerife during the winter, summer and autumn months. During the winter, temperatures are mild - around 20 °C. The sea might be cold at that time of the year, but even then I saw several swimmers. During the summer months from May to September, temperatures can get really hot. The good thing about Tenerife is that there's always a slight refreshing wind blowing. Temperatures can remain quite high also in autumn, ranging from 20-26°.
In case you want uninterrupted party and beach time, visit from June - September. Best time for hiking holidays is from October - March when temperatures are mild and nature is blossoming.
Don't miss out Tenerife during the epic Carnival festivities in February.
What To Do in Tenerife
What To Do in Tenerife
In one sentence, Tenerife has got it all: an extensive network of hiking trails, high quality food, outstanding wines, colorful fiestas, luxury resorts, indigenous traditions and of course sun & amazing beaches. And of course warm-hearted, cheerful people.
Beach, sun and parties can be found in the Southern part of the island, whereas stunning nature, mountains, lower temperatures and adventurous hiking trails are in the north of the island.
Both areas are separated by Spain's highest mountain, the volcano Mount Teide.
Where To Stay in Tenerife if you are a party animal
Where To Stay in Tenerife If You Are A Party Animal
1. Los Cristianos
Los Cristianos with adjacent Playa de las Américas area is close to the South Tenerife airport and is one of the two party centers on Tenerife island.
There are also quite a few good beaches for water sports but also for families like Playa de las Vistas, Playa de Los Cristianos, El Camisón... Los Cristianos is also a popular spot for Paragliding activities.
At Los Cristianos you can get all kind of international food and you are very close to the harbor where ferries connect Tenerife to other Canarian islands like La Gomera, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria etc. Get tickets for La Gomera excursion here.
I especially liked the cute little surfer shops on the beach side of Playa de la Américas.
Best Places To Stay in Los Cristianos
2. Costa Adeje
Costa Adeje is THE party hot spot of Tenerife. At first glance Costa Adeje might seem a bit unorganized since the construction of hotels and holiday houses happened quite unplanned during the 60's and 70's.
But you'll get used quickly to this accumulation of tourist shops, international restaurants and huge clubs. Costa Adeje offers ample options for all age of party goers. You will be spoiled with choice from classy restaurants, to live music, to the best beach clubs on the entire island like Monkey Beach Bar, Achaman DiscoPub or Bahia Beach.
Costa Adeje was not my favorite place to stay since it can get quite overwhelming. However I loved to visit my friends there, hang out on Fañabé beach and enjoy the sunset with a strawberry mojito at Le Club.
A huge convenience of Costa Adeje are its proximity to the South Tenerife airport and to the "most spectacular water attraction in Europe": legendary Siam Park.
Best Places To Stay in Costa Adeje
Where To Stay in Tenerife fo Luxury Holidays
Where To Stay in Tenerife for Honeymoon or Luxury Holidays
Alcalá is a former fishermen town which has several lovely beaches. It has delicious eateries specialized on fish and seafood. Alcalá has also one of the few sailing schools on Tenerife where you can get private lessons.
Located at a 30- min drive from South Tenerife airport, you'll definitely avoid the party animals of Costa Adeje. But the main reason for staying in Alcalá is that it hosts one of the top hotels on Tenerife, which in itself is worth choosing Alcalá for your stay.
Red Level at Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora - Adults Only with personalised butler service, lagoon-style infinity pool, Ritual de Agua Spa Circuit and direct access to the beach. And as a round-up of your luxury holidays, a private Motor-Boat Tour!
2. Abama Beach
The other dream place for your honeymoon or luxury stay on Tenerife is Abama beach at San Juan municipality. It's located outside a town so that you'll need a car or ask for the hotel's transfer service.
The Ritz-Carlton Abama is THE place to stay in Tenerife. The complex overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has stunning views on La Gomera island. It's architecture is inspired by the Tuareg and it's surrounded by a lush tropical park. Counting 7 (!) outdoor pools, a tennis court and a huge golf course, you don't want to leave the resort. It comes with its own beach (open to public) which as a cute beach bar serving only the best seafood. Definitely the best way to treat yourself when staying in Tenerife.
A very romantic experience on Tenerife is a sunset and star-gazing on Mount Teide. It has some of the best star-gazing conditions in the world due to its low light pollution.
Where to Stay for Quiet Beach Holidays
Where To Stay in Tenerife for Quiet Beach Holidays
1. Puerto Santiago
Puerto Santiago is my favorite place to stay when it comes to stay in Tenerife. It's quite remote because a bit far away from the South Tenerife Airport, but this cute little fishermen village knew how to preserve its very authentic character.
Narrow streets, cafeterias with local Canarian people, delicious fruit shops, clean and mostly quiet beaches... all this and much more is Puerto Santiago. I particularly liked this area for its top restaurants like Fisherman's Inn or La Pergola and, of course, because of its breath-taking views on La Gomera island.
Best Places To Stay in Puerto Santiago
2. Los Gigantes
Los Gigantes is the neighbor village of Puerto Santiago. It's the last village on the South coast and thus the furthest from the South Tenerife airport.
This former fishermen village has turned into a little tourist hot spot with live music bars and some lovely artesan shops. But tourism still hasn't spoiled this village. When you are sitting on a terrasse on the main plaza, you'll feel like in a Canarian village where time never has passed.
The views to the highest canyons of Europe "Los Acantilados de Los Gigantes" are breath-taking and it has good connections to Masca, the most popular village and hike on Tenerife. Make sure to book your boat back to Los Gigantes in advance since there are only a few per day. You can get tickets here.
The marina of Los Gigantes is located at a short walk from the city centre, where you can arrange loads of fun activities and excursions such as Catamaran Cruises, Whale & Dolphin Watching, Jet Ski Safaris ... This makes Los Gigantes particularly popular among families traveling with kids.
Unfortunately Los Gigantes has only one beach which is right next to the marina.
Best Places To Stay in Los Gigantes
Where to stay in Tenerife for trekking holidays
Where To Stay in Tenerife for Hiking Holidays
Yes, you can go hiking in Tenerife!
Many people are surprised when they get to know that Tenerife is not all about beach & sun, but has an extensive trekking trail network too. The northern part is particularly suited due to its milder temperatures. On top, a refreshing wind is blowing constantly.
The north of Tenerife, called Anaga Rural Park, has a breath-taking mountain landscape, deep rutted valleys with lovely vistas on the Atlantic Ocean. Anaga also hosts some of the most remote, but most picturesque beaches on entire Tenerife. You shouldn't miss Benijo Beach or the freshest seafood on Playa Santiago. Book here tickets for a guided visit of Anaga massif.
1. La Laguna
Located at a 15-min drive from the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Laguna is the main town of Anaga Rural Park. With its narrow streets, colorful house fronts and impressive history, La Laguna is a popular destination for excursions and for hobby photographers.
Should you consider a trekking holiday in Tenerife, then La Laguna is the best place to stay since it is very close to most trekking departure points.
On top, you'll get some student vibes, since La Laguna holds Tenerife's only university.
Best Places To Stay in La Laguna
2. La Orotava
La Orotava was one of my favorite towns on Tenerife.
This cute colorful town is known all over the Canarian archipelago for its huge flower carpets for Corpus Christi Day which are made of blossoms of thousands of bright flowers.
But also throughout the year, La Orotava is a popular destination for excursions due to its scenic views on volcano Mount Teide and its photogenic church dome.
La Orotava is a good option to stay during your trekking holidays on Tenerife since it's quite close to the legendary Masca Canyon Trail and all the trekking trails around Mount Teide. But there are much more trekking trails in its surroundings.
Best Places To Stay in La Orotava
Where to stay in Tenerife for city life
Where To Stay in Tenerife For City Life
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is literally the only "city" of the entire island. Here you can find shops of every international brand, large shopping malls, cultural life and of course the typical Spanish lifestyle in its streets and bars.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is famous for its legendary Carnival festivities in February. They are the most important ones in the world after Rio de Janeiro. During 1 week the capital goes absolutely crazy: party in the streets, latin-inspired music groups at every corner and carnival queen contests all day, all night long.
Besides the Carnival, Santa Cruz is well worth a visit when you are spending your holiday in Tenerife. It has several lush parks, stunning architecture and narrow colorful streets which are filled with testimonials of its colonial history.
Best Places To Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Puerto de la Cruz
2. Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz is the second largest town of Tenerife. Once it was the first and only tourist hub on Tenerife. Now Puerto de la Cruz is now particularly popular among German and UK tourists.
Thus the city is geared towards tourism and the opining of the famous Loro Park makes Puerto de la Cruz a popular destination for family travelers.
Puerto de la Cruz wasn't my absolute favorite on island. There were just too much concrete and German menus. But I loved its Botanical Garden which hosts the first plants brought over from the "New Continent".
Puerto de la Cruz is also very close to pretty, non-touristy beaches.
Best Places To Stay in Puerto de la Cruz
Where to Stay for Digital Nomads
Where To Stay In Tenerife as Digital Nomad
Canary Islands are on the way to become a very popular destination among Digital Nomads (people being able to work location independent). Most islands, especially Gran Canaria and Tenerife have all the facilities and services that Digital Nomads are looking for: a great natural setting, security, a vibrant international scene and of course good internet connection.
The big advantage of Tenerife though is relatively low costs. During low season apartments are still cheap and food is cheap but fresh. Read here 7 Reasons Why Tenerife is perfect for Expats.
Canarian towns offer cultural events and shopping malls but are still small enough to cycle around. Most also have direct access to a beach. Read here 10 more reasons why Digital Nomads should visit Canary Islands.
The recommended locations have been selected according to the following criteria:
a) Internet connection
c) Natural setting
d) Proximity to urban services
Best Places To Stay for Digital Nomads
Puerto de la Cruz
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Of course you can also consider the local Spanish apartment sites:
Accommodation Sights map
Accommodation & Sights Map of Tenerife
I hope this article helps to find your place to stay on Tenerife.
You still have doubts? Please do not hesitate to contact me, I am sure there will be a place on Tenerife that perfectly meets your needs. Just remember that Tenerife's got it all!
Have you already been on Tenerife? I would love to hear about your favorite places to stay.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. In case you purchase one of the items, I'll receive a small commission which helps me running this site at no extra cost for you.