Get ready for a sun-kissed winter in Tenerife

The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is popular with tourists all year around. Famous for all-inclusive resorts and gorgeous weather, this island has plenty to surprise and delight visitors.

Want to soak up the rays on volcanic sand beaches, eat like the locals in seasonal restaurants, party during annual festivals or go whale watching? Look forward to all this and more on your winter sun trip to Tenerife.

Beach all day

If the beach is calling your name, we’ve got plenty of stunning options for your next trip.

With 1.3km of golden sands stretching along the coast, Playa de las Teresitas is one of the most popular beaches in Tenerife. It’s just 20 minutes away from the capital Santa Cruz by car. With sun loungers, cafes and free parking, it’s perfect for an easy beach day.

For a completely different experience, head to Playa El Bollullo. Walk from Puerto de la Cruz through banana plantations to reach a volcanic beach surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Remember to pack a picnic though – there are no amenities on here.

Other wonderful choices include Playa Jardín, an urban black sand beach edged with gardens bursting with local plants. Or keep the kids amused at Playa Fañabe – they can try out watersports while you enjoy spectacular sunsets.

Sky high hikes, deep water dives

The towering El Teide volcano is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and thrill seekers. This is the highest summit in Spain and it’s a gruelling five to six-hour hike to the top. Not up for the climb? Hop on a cable car to one of the spectacular viewing points. This is also a stargazer’s paradise, with incredible views of the constellations.

Of course, the water is always a huge draw on this island. From whale watching on Costa Adeje to windsurfing at El Médano, there’s no shortage of activities for water lovers. Or why not try snorkelling or scuba diving to see turtles, jellyfish and more in their natural habitat.

A taste of Tenerife

If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love Tenerife. Local dishes like mojo sauces and papas arrugadas salt-crusted potatoes feature in restaurants throughout the island. And there are many more gastronomic experiences to discover…

For a truly authentic Tenerife evening, grab dinner in a guachinche. These rural restaurants only operate for a few months of the year (usually between October and April) and exist to sell local wine direct from vineyards to customers. So when the harvest is over, the guachinches shut down for another year. If you can visit one during your trip, jump at the chance.

Santa Cruz has the most diverse selection of restaurants and eateries in Tenerife. Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África is a great example of this, offering up a taste of the island and beyond. From banana wine to cactus marmalade, you’ll find many delicious delicacies here. It’s a great spot to stock up on foodie souvenirs and sample food from a whole host of restaurants.

With a unique mix of Atlantic winds, volcanic soil and year-round warm weather, Tenerife produces some fantastic wines. While there are lots of wineries to visit, Bodegas Monje is an excellent place to start. Treat yourself to a tasting on the terrace or pick up a picnic and dine in nature.

Annual fiestas

There are lots of brilliant festivals and feast days to watch out for throughout the year. And in Tenerife, they sure do know how to party…

In late November, locals look forward to the Fiesta de San Andrés. Mainly celebrated in the northern regions, this ushers in the new season wine. Join in and enjoy wine tastings served alongside regional snacks like roast chestnuts, sardines and sweet potatoes.

If you visit for Christmas, it’s well worth extending your trip to catch Día de los Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day, which falls on 6 January each year. The day before, there’s a big traditional parade in the major towns and cities in Tenerife. It’s a spectacle worth checking out for sure.

However, there are few parties in Spain bigger than Tenerife’s Carnaval in February. Santa Cruz is awash with colour and glitter during the event, with raucous song and dance contests and the elaborately decorated Carnaval Queen reigning over proceedings. Just don’t forget to book your hotel well in advance!

Ready to soak up some winter sun? Find great value flights direct to Tenerife from Cork and Dublin.