There are plenty of things to do in North Tenerife, especially for those who want more adventurous and natural tourism to connect with the authentic essence of the island.
The changing nature of this part of Tenerife, the popular architecture, the gastronomy… All this and the endless list of places to visit in the north of Tenerife, such as its cities full of history and its beaches of volcanic sand, make it an unforgettable experience when you visit.
For me, if you ask me whether South or North Tenerife is best, there is no question that the North is where it’s at. And when you finish reviewing the main attractions in North Tenerife that I’ve selected in this article, I’m sure that’ll be clear to you as well.
Are you wondering which Canary Island is best for you? Check out our guide!
There are also a lot of things to do in South Tenerife, although the type of tourism on this part of the island is aimed at families and travelers looking to relax, go shopping, enjoy good restaurants, etc
If you come to Tenerife looking for breathtaking trails, wonderful beaches, and forests, then Tenerife North is your ideal destination.
Anyway, you can have a look at this other article I’ve written on the best things to do in Tenerife that will help you to make your mind up.
1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a must-see place in Tenerife North
Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been the capital city since 1833 and is one of the best places to visit. There are a thousand things to do in the North of Tenerife. You can go sightseeing, go shopping, taste the local cuisine or take one of the best excursions from Tenerife here.
The combination of historical and modern buildings in this city is the best of northern Tenerife. You can visit the San Juan Bautista castle from the 17th century and also enjoy contemporary art in the city’s many parks and avenues.
In addition to combining several of the best sights in Tenerife North, Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts several beautiful beaches, such as Las Teresitas, Taganana or Benijo, which are perfect for taking a dip.
The city’s museums and art centers are some of the best things to do in Tenerife North when it rains, so if a storm comes, you’re covered. It’s also one of the best places to stay in Tenerife.
2. San Pedro and other overlooks to visit in North Tenerife
Visiting overlooks is the best free thing to do in North Tenerife. The San Pedro Overlook is in Los Realejos and is a beautiful natural setting from which you can enjoy some amazing views. For me, it was one of the best overlooks we saw during our trip to Tenerife.
You can take the path that passes through the San Pedro church or head to the one that goes through the Hacienda del Castro and reaches the Fortín de San Fernando, another recommended place to visit in the north of Tenerife for the beauty of its landscapes
There are other overlooks near El Teide, such as Chipeque, from which you can see the sunset. On sunny days, it is also worth going up to the Jardina overlook, on the Anaga road, to seee San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
3. Bathing in Garachico, the best thing to do in North Tenerife
Taking a dip in the natural pool formed by lava in Garachico is one of the most popular things to do in North Tenerife.
The Calentón de Garachico is one of the most popular places to go, so it’s better to go early to avoid the crowds.
Also, I recommend touring the picturesque and quiet streets of the town so you can get to know one of the most charming tourist spots of Tenerife North. You will see the arch that once gave access to the port, the fortress of San Miguel surrounded by volcanic lava, the statue of Simón Bolívar, and the houses and towers that used to be pirate lookouts.
4. Teno Rural Park, the most traditional place in Tenerife North
Punta del Teno is one of the most beautiful places of interest in the north of Tenerife. While we were there, we enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen over a vast ocean. In addition, next to the old lighthouse, which is at its end, you can enjoy an incredible landscape that will change color as the sun sets.
In this area, there are villages and houses such as Teno Alto, El Palmar, or Los Carrizales, which are maintained thanks to local agriculture and livestock that are raised for self-consumption. You will discover old bread ovens, as well as shelters and communal areas used to care for livestock. If you are interested in learning about other ways of life, this is the perfect place to visit in Tenerife North.
5. San Cristobal de la Laguna, a must-see place in Northern Tenerife
San Cristóbal de La Laguna is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its colonial architecture and intact preservation of its original 15th-century layout. It is undoubtedly one of the places you cannot miss in Tenerife North.
Some of the most interesting places in San Cristobal de La Laguna are the cathedral, the Leal theater, the Adelantado square, and the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church.
The stately buildings, such as the Salazar palace or the Casa del Corregidor, are also very remarkable since they form a very important part of the city’s history.
If you are wondering what to see in North Tenerife at night, this city is ideal for enjoying the atmosphere of street nightlife after sightseeing, shopping and enjoying the local cuisine.
6. El Sauzal, the quietest village to visit in Tenerife North
What makes El Sauzal one of the most beautiful villages in the north of Tenerife are the beautiful views of the Teide from there, as well as the sunsets that you can enjoy in a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
It is a place that is worth visiting, since its location on a cliff allows you to see excellent views. Also, it is a perfect place to escape the crowds.
7. Anaga Rural Park, the best hike in North Tenerife
Anaga Rural Park is one of the unmissable places to visit in Tenerife North. It has been a Natural Reserve of the Biosphere since 2015 due to the large number of endemic species you can find there.
If you visit it, you can’t miss hiking into the laurel forest. The most popular one is the “Sendero de Los Sentidos”, one of the best hikes in Tenerife, where the fog condenses between the trees and the sun’s rays sneak between the branches, creating a magical aura, undoubtedly the most beautiful of the north of Tenerife.
To me, it was one of the places that I liked the most. If you are a nature lover, it’ll also be one of the best places to go in Tenerife North for you. Check our guide to Anaga, Tenerife to plan your visit to this wonderful place.
8. La Orotava, an interesting place to visit in Tenerife North
La Orotava has an important colonial past that is visible in its architecture, especially in the houses of its historic center. The most famous and typical house is the House of Balconies. It was built in the 18th century, and the wooden frameworks of the patio and the exterior balconies have been preserved. There are embroidery, basket making, and lacemaking workshops inside.
The Concepcion Church is one of the most interesting buildings that can be visited in Tenerife North. It is the highest expression of the Canary Baroque. You shouldn’t miss the Marquesado Gardens of La Quinta Roja either.
This town is one of the most interesting corners of the island for the beauty of its streets, as well as the valley in which it is located and which has the same name.
9. The best beaches of Tenerife North
As there are many nice ones, in this selection, I recommend those that, from my point of view, are the best beaches in Tenerife North.
The Benijo beach is characterized by its quiet and magical atmosphere, which is perfect for relaxing while thinking about what to do next in northern Tenerife after sunbathing.
The beach of El Bollullo, in Orotava, has a semitropical climate with banana trees and beach clubs, so you can have a drink while enjoying the weather.
The Socorro beach, in Los Realejos, is the best for finding activities to do in the north of Tenerife, since it allows you to do water sports.
The Las Teresitas beach is a volcanic sand beach. Here, you can do water sports, try the Canarian food in the restaurants, or just disconnect.
10. Icod de los Vinos, a place you can’t miss in North Tenerife
Icod de Los Vinos is a small town that deserves a visit to explore its streets and to see the Millenary Drago. This tree, which is the largest of its kind known to date, was declared a National Monument in 1917. It can be seen from the Plaza de San Marcos, although if you want to see it up close, you’ll need to pay the entrance fee that will allow you access to the Drago Park.
The town is also known for its wines, so you can join a wine tasting at one of the city’s wineries, one of the most popular activities in Tenerife North.
11. Hiking up Mount Teide, the best thing to do in Tenerife North
Teide Volcano is not part of Tenerife North since it’s just at the middle of the island, but it is still a place that you shouldn’t miss if you’re touring the area.
Mount Teide is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of the Natura 2000 network, besides being the highest peak in Spain. If you are wondering what to do in Tenerife North, go here so you can enjoy the scenery and hiking at the same time.
You can take a cable car ride and hiking up the rest of the way to reach the peak, which is about 200 meters above where the cable car drops you off. However, you do need to make sure you request the mandatory permit. If you want to know everything about how to climb up Mount Teide, check or guide. You may also want to check the best tours to Mount Teide.
We didn’t take the cable car and instead walked up the White Mountain trail, which takes about four hours. We then spent the night at the Altavista refuge. If you stay at this shelter, you won’t need a permit to hike to the top. Of course, even if you are determined to only visit Tenerife North, I recommend you not to miss the Teide Volcano.
I hope you find this list with the best 10 + 1 things to do in Tenerife North useful.
Even better, you can download the map of Tenerife that I’ve created to help you plan your trip. It will be very handy for you when you’re exploring Tenerife North.