If you’re going to spend 5 days in Tenerife and you’re wondering what’s the best route to take around the island, this guide will show you the perfect itinerary.
There are many interesting things to do in Tenerife in 5 days, so you should have enough time to explore the most important sites, like Mount Teide. Of course, to make the most of your time, I recommend renting a car at the Tenerife airport, so you can travel the island at your own pace. We always use Rentalcars since they offer great service and the cheapest prices.
If you prefer not to drive, don’t worry. The public transportation throughout the island is very good, plus there are lots of tours you can take to do this 5-day Tenerife itinerary.
Best Tenerife 5-day itinerary
To start, this is the itinerary I suggest you follow if you want to make the most of Tenerife in 5 days:
- Day 1: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Teresitas
- Day 2: San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Anaga, and Benijo
- Day 3: Mount Teide
- Day 4: Puerto de la Cruz and Icod de los Vinos
- Day 5: Masca, Los Gigantes, and Playa de Las Américas
Day 1: Santa Cruz Tenerife & Las Teresitas, the start of the 5-day trip to Tenerife
♦ 38 km (54 mins by car) from Tenerife North Airport
♦ 81 km (1 hr, 15 mins by car) from Tenerife South Airport
First, I recommend picking up your rental car as soon as you land at the airport. This way, you can drive to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the island, and my preferred starting point for this 5-day Tenerife itinerary. We always use Rentalcars to get the best prices and vehicle options. Moreover, you can book your rental car before your trip so it’s ready to go once you arrive at Tenerife airport.
If you fly into Tenerife North Airport, it’s only about 20 minutes to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, while it’s about 40 minutes from Tenerife South Airport.
When you get to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, you can take this free tour to get an overview of the city’s highlights. You’ll visit the top attractions in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, including the Castle of San Cristóbal, Our Lady of Africa Market, and the Plaza de España.
In the afternoon, grab some lunch and head to Las Teresitas, one of the best beaches in Tenerife. This beach is about a 15-minute drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife and is one of the few white sand beaches in the northern part of the island. It also has a breakwater, so the waves are calm and ideal for swimming.
Later, I recommend going back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife to spend the night. These are the best accommodation options depending on your budget:
- Luxury: Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey, which is one of the best 5-star hotels in Tenerife
- Mid-price: Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz, which is where we stayed
- Budget: Hotel Principe Paz, a cheap and beautiful hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Day 2: La Laguna, Anaga & Benijo, must-sees on a 5-day Tenerife itinerary
♦ 74 km (2 hrs, 5 mins by car)
For day two of this Tenerife 5-day route, I suggest rising early to go to San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which is about a 20-minute drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Once you get to San Cristóbal de La Laguna, you can take this free tour to explore the city. It will introduce you to the best places in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, like Plaza del Adelantado, the Santa Catalina de Siena Convent, and the Casa de La Alhóndiga.
Afterward, head to Anaga Rural Park, a spectacular laurel forest you can’t miss during your 5 days in Tenerife. This beautiful forest looks like something out of a fairytale, and to make the most of your visit, I recommend reading our guide to Anaga Rural Park before you go. It’s free to visit, although you won’t regret taking this guided tour. During our visit, we walked along the Trail of the Senses, one of the most popular trails, and it was magical.
To end the day, spend some time at Benijo Beach, which is just a 30-minute drive from Anaga Rural Park. Benijo Beach is considered one of the most beautiful wild beaches in Tenerife, so it’s worth a visit. Just be careful while swimming since the waves are usually quite big.
Day 3: Mount Teide, the best thing to see during your 5 days in Tenerife
♦ 119 km (2 hrs, 36 mins by car)
The third day of this 5-day Tenerife itinerary is dedicated to Mount Teide, one of my favorite places on the island. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the most beautiful national parks in Spain.
During our trip, we got an early start at around 6 am and went to Puerto de la Cruz, about 35 minutes from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Since our next hotel was in Puerto de la Cruz, we went there first to drop off our things and the rental car before taking this tour, which departs from Puerto de La Cruz at 7 am. There are many other excursions from Puerto de la Cruz, so this town is an awesome place to stay.
We really enjoyed this tour because it included access to the Teide cable car, which is 2,356 meters above sea level and takes you to La Rambleta, at 3,555 meters. The tour also includes a permit to ascend the summit of the mountain peak. So, if you prefer exploring this impressive landmark with a guide, this is definitely one of the best Mount Teide tours.
Of course, you can choose to hike Teide on your own. If you prefer this option, you can also go straight to Mount Teide from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is about 1.5 hours away. Just be aware that you’ll have to request a permit and get a cable car ticket in advance, which you can do here.
For the last 200 meters leading to the summit, you’ll have to go by foot. The permit to access this area is a bit exclusive and can run out in advance, so I recommend reserving it up to three months before your trip.
Without a doubt, Mount Teide is a must-see during your 5 days in Tenerife, so even if you can’t get a permit, you can do one of the excursions that include it. Another option is to spend the night at the Altavista Refuge, then head out at dawn to reach the summit at sunrise. During one of our trips, we hiked up Mount Teide and stayed at the refuge, which was an incredible experience. I share all the details in our guide on how to climb Mount Teide.
If you plan on continuing your journey in Puerto de la Cruz, these are the best accommodations:
Day 4: Puerto de la Cruz & Icod de los Vinos, two places to visit in Tenerife in 5 days
♦ 77 km (2 hrs by car)
If you stayed overnight in Puerto de la Cruz, you could spend the morning getting to know this northern Tenerife city.
To see the most important places in Puerto de la Cruz, I recommend this free tour (in Spanish). You’ll see interesting sites like the Plaza del Charco and the Church of Our Lady of Peña de Francia, so it’s a must-do during your 5 days in Tenerife.
After your tour through Puerto de la Cruz, stop in La Orotava for lunch, which is just 15 minutes away. Here, you can take some time to get to know the best attractions in La Orotava, like La Casa de los Balcones, the Plaza de la Constitución, and the Gardens of the Marquesado de la Quinta Roja.
That said, I suggest leaving enough time to visit Icod de los Vinos, which is about 30 minutes from La Orotava. One of the must-see places in Icod de los Vinos is the famous Drago Milenario, the oldest living dragon tree in the world. To see this legendary landmark, you must book a ticket here.
Then, you can spend the day in Garachico, another beautiful town that’s just 15 minutes from Icod de los Vinos. There are lots of fun things to do in Garachico, like going for a swim in El Caletón, a lovely natural pool. If you have enough time, you can visit the Punta Teno Lighthouse, which is about 30 minutes from Garachico. It’s a gorgeous sunset spot, although I recommend giving yourself enough time to drive there since the roads aren’t in the best condition.
To finish up day four of this 5-day Tenerife itinerary, get a good night’s rest in Garachico. We stayed at the Hotel La Quinta Roja, which is well-located and made it easy to travel around the northern part of the island.
Day 5: Masca, Los Gigantes & Playa de las Américas, the end of your 5 days in Tenerife
♦ 72 km (1 hr, 45 mins by car)
If you didn’t have enough time to watch the sunset from the Punta Teno Lighthouse, you can get up early to see the sunrise. Remember, it’s about a 30-minute drive from Garachico, so make sure you wake up early.
To round out your 5 days in Tenerife, I suggest going to the Masca gorge. During our trip, we did the descent down the gorge to the pier, where we took the boat to Los Gigantes. Unfortunately, the jetty is closed now, so the entire round-trip route must be done on foot, which takes about 7 hours.
If you have enough time and you’re in good physical shape, it’s worth hiking the Barranco de Masca, as it’s one of the best trails in Tenerife. It’s free to access the Masca gorge, but you’ll need a permit, which you can request here.
If you’d rather not spend the entire day hiking the ravine, you can still see the Masca Gorge from above. The view is just as beautiful, and you can even see the small nearby village. Then, drive to the Los Gigantes cliffs, which is the departure point for some of the best tours to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife. This is one of the best things you can do during your 5 days on Tenerife, and I recommend the tour we took, which was fantastic.
If your plane home departs that same day, you’ll want to go to the airport from Los Gigantes. It’s about a 30-minute drive to Tenerife South Airport and an hour and 15 minutes to Tenerife North Airport.
However, if your flight doesn’t leave until the next day, you can make the most of your time here by visiting Playa de Las Américas, one of the liveliest areas of Tenerife. Alternatively, you can stay at one of the best hotels in Los Cristianos.
We opted to spend our last night in Playa de Las Américas, and these are the best accommodations there:
- Luxury: Sir Anthony, one of the best luxury hotels in Tenerife
- Mid-price: Olé Tropical Tenerife, one of the best all-inclusive hotels in southern Tenerife
- Budget: Catalonia Oro Negro, one of the best cheap hotels in Tenerife
How to get around Tenerife in 5 days
The best way to get around during your 5 days in Tenerife is by renting a car. This way, you can maximize your time, and you’ll have total freedom with your schedule and where you want to go.
Tenerife does have a public transportation network, and it’s well-connected to all the cities and towns. The downside is that it’ll take much longer to get to each place, so you may not be able to hit all the destinations in this itinerary.
If you don’t want to drive, you can book a transfer from the airport to Los Cristianos or Playa de Las Américas through this link. From there, you can book day tours around Tenerife to visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz, Mount Teide, and many other places.
If you choose to drive, I highly recommend Rentalcars. This website offers the best deals and conditions, and you can reserve a vehicle ahead of time so it’s ready for you at the airport. In my opinion, it’s the best way to see Tenerife in 5 days.
5-day Tenerife itinerary map
To help you organize your trip and to give you a better idea of what to see in Tenerife in 5 days, here is a map with all the attractions and accommodations I recommend:
I hope this 5-day Tenerife itinerary helps you enjoy everything this island has to offer. If you have any questions or you’d like to share your experience, leave me a comment below. Enjoy your 5 days in Tenerife!