Tenerife Solo Travel: The Ultimate Guide

Do you think that Tenerife is just a sangria & sand flop for sun-starved Northern Europeans? Think again,

This Canary Island has a rich and proud cultural heritage, colonial towns to match many in Central or South America and dramatic forested landscapes. Furthermore, Tenerife is a great solo travel destination.

It’s one of my favourite places to travel alone in Europe.

Get the lowdown in this Tenerife solo travel guide. Find out why you should add it to your travel bucket list, where to visit, how to get around and where to stay.

It’s all you need to visit Tenerife alone.

skyline of a colonial town in tenerife spain with one large palm tree and sea on distance

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TENERIFE SOLO TRAVEL AT A GLANCE

Tenerife Solo Travel Itinerary

  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Mount Teide
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • La Laguna
  • La Orotava
  • Icod de Los Vinos
  • Garachico
  • Anaga Forest

Recommended Day Trips

Where to Stay

Friendly and welcoming – Expect typical Spanish warmth and hospitality. Tenerife is a friendly and welcoming destination, making it easier for single travellers to meet new people.

Transport infrastructure –  Not everyone is keen on hiring a car and travelling around Tenerife by bus is easy and cheap. Services operated by TITSA will take you to most of the places that you want to visit on the island.

Plentiful accommodation – As Tenerife is a popular tourist destination, you will not struggle to find somewhere to stay.

waves crashing onto rocks
The Atlantic coastline at Puerto de la Cruz

Affordable – Tenerife is a relatively affordable destination for solo travellers.

Vibrant social scene – There is a vibrant social scene in Tenerife, particularly in Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos. They have activities, restaurants and bars-a-plenty with all of the social opportunities they provide.

Diverse landscapes – Tenerife has a landscape to suit every solo traveller, from beautiful beaches and colonial towns to ancient laurel forests and volcanic peaks.

Warm climate – The island enjoys a balmy climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for solo travellers who want to escape harsh winters or scorching summers.

Is Tenerife Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Tenerife is generally a safe destination for women travelling alone.
 
Serious crime is rare. However, like many tourist destinations, petty theft, including pickpocketing, can occur, especially in crowded tourist areas.
 
Don’t make yourself a target.
 
Keep your belongings safe. Lock away your valuables at your accommodation and use an anti-theft backpack when you are out and about. I use this PacSafe backpack which has anti-RFID technology and a hidden pocket.

Tenerife Solo Travel Itinerary

With just a week in Tenerife, you can easily hit its highlights, from the colonial charm of La Laguna to the cultural attractions of Santa Cruz and the peak of Spain’s highest mountain.

Here is my pick of the best places to include in your Tenerife solo travel itinerary, all of which can be visited using public transport or on an inexpensive day tour.

READ THIS NEXT: The Ultimate 1-Week Tenerife Itinerary

Puerto de la Cruz

I made Puerto de la Cruz my base when I visited Tenerife but it is also a superb destination in its own right.

It has more charm than the bigger and brasher resorts in the south of the island and has retained its roots as a fishing village. There are two fabulous gardens – the Botanical Garden and Orchid Garden – a street art trail and there’s even a small castle.

ochre coloured buildings and mural of womans face

READ THIS NEXT: Top 10 Things to Do in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

snow capped volcanic mount teide in tenerife

Mount Teide

Taking the cable car up Mount Teide is one of the most popular things to do in Tenerife.  

For a more active solo adventure, take one of the waymarked hiking trails in Parque Nacional del Teide. There are paths to suit all fitness levels but permits are needed for some of these hikes.

As El Teide is very popular, I highly recommend booking a cable car fast-track ticket online before your visit. You can cancel the ticket for a full refund 24 hours in advance if the weather conditions look like the cable car could be cancelled.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of Tenerife and its cultural and administrative heart. It is home to a number of good museums and some striking architecture, notably the Auditorio de Tenerife.

modern rooftop of Auditorio de Tenerife against blue sky
Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz
street of ochre and yellow colonial houses with iron balconies in la laguna tenerife
La Laguna, Tenerife

La Laguna

Take a tram from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to La Laguna. This gorgeous colonial town is another important cultural hub on the island and is home to the Museo de la Naturaleza y El Hombre and the Museo de Bellas Artes, as well as Espacia de las Artes, Tenerife’s art & cultural centre.

La Orotava

Day-trippers descend on La Orotava to take a look at the Casas de Los Balcones, a concentration of the finest traditional wooden balconies on the island. But this gem of a town also has first-rate churches, museums and a small botanical garden.

exterior of Casas de los balcones in la orotava tenerife
Casas de Los Balcones, La Orotava, Tenerife
dragon tree in icod tenerife

Icod de Los Vinos

Thanks to Drago Milenario, Icod de Los Vinos is another popular attraction in Tenerife. This dragon tree, the largest of its kind on the island, is thought to be at least 500 years old.

Garachico

One of Tenerife’s prettiest towns, Garachico is known for its historic town centre and its natural rock bathing pools.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the town was largely rebuilt following a volcanic eruption in 1706. Miraculously, some of its buildings survived unscathed, and today’s Garachico was built on the cooled lava.

square with palm trees chucrch and 2-storey colonial buildings in garachico tenerife
Garachico, Tenerife
view of forest and coastline from mirador in anaga forest
View the Anaga Forest

Anaga Forest

Hiking in this primaeval laurel forest was the highlight of my solo trip to Tenerife.

Follow the Sendero de los Sentidos (Path of The Senses) to miradors overlooking Punta del Hildalgo and the beach at Las Teresitas. Trails are waymarked and it’s an easy hike.

When is the Best Time to Visit Tenerife?

Tenerife has balmy temperatures year-round but visit in spring or autumn (fall) for milder temperatures, clear skies and less chance of rain. In the height of summer, the higher temperatures are moderated by the trade winds but these cooling winds also bring cloudy skies.

There is a north–south divide in Tenerife in terms of the weather. It is cooler and wetter in the north of the island with November and February the rainiest months.

I visited Tenerife in January. Although it wasn’t bikini weather, I enjoyed blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the 20s, perfect for sightseeing and hiking.

Getting Around Tenerife

people getting on a green TITSA bus which is perfect for tenerife solo travel
TITSA bus in Tenerife

The most flexible way of exploring Tenerife is by car but this can be expensive and is not for everyone.  

Hiring a car isn’t for me and I used public transport to explore the island. Thanks to an extensive network and cheap fares, it’s easy to get around Tenerife by bus.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Explore Tenerife by Bus

Tours of Tenerife

Although you can visit most of the places included in my Tenerife solo travel itinerary by bus, it can be tricky to reach Mount Teide on public transport. For this, a day excursion is your best bet.

An organised excursion may also suit you if you want someone else to take care of the arrangements or simply want to maximise your time on the island. By way of a bonus, day trips are also an excellent way of meeting other people as a solo traveller. 

I book my day tours through GetYourGuide. I like the booking interface, there’s an easy-to-use app and their tours usually come with a generous free cancellation window.

Here are a few Tenerife day tours that are worth considering:

Mount Teide Tour with Cable Car Ticket & Transfer

Think of this as a visit to Mount Teide made easy. This guided day trip includes a transfer from the north and south of the island and cable car tickets.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Teide National Park Stargazing

Did you know that Teide National Park is the 3rd best place in the world to view stars, so much so that it has been described by NASA as a window to the universe? For an unforgettable Tenerife experience, join this tour that includes an optional transfer from resorts in the south.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Grand Tour of Teide and Northern Tenerife

This tour is perfect if you are short on time and want to hit the highlights of Tenerife in a day. However, it does not include the cable car to Mount Teide.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Full-Day Gastronomy and Wine Tour

Now this is my type of day trip. If you love food and wine you will love this full-day tour that visits bodegas to taste the best that Tenerife has to offer. It includes a stop in La Laguna and a 4-course lunch.

Pick-ups from southern resorts.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

READ THIS NEXT: The Top 10 Tenerife Excursions

Where to Stay in Tenerife as a Solo Traveller

Choosing a hotel and the right base is key to the success of a solo trip. Where you stay in Tenerife will depend on your interests and itinerary.

For a lively vibe and plenty of nightlife, opt for one of the southern resorts: Playa de las Américas, Costa Adeje or Los Cristianos. If you are planning to take day excursions around the island, there is a greater choice from the south of the island.

Stay in Puerto de la Cruz, the largest tourist town in the north, for a more authentic experience. Quieter and more Canarian in character, this is also an excellent base to explore the island on public transport.

READ THIS NEXT: 10 Factors You Cannot Ignore When Choosing a Hotel (Especially as a Solo Traveller)

Where to stay in Puerto de la Cruz

The relative abundance of accommodation in Puerto de la Cruz keeps prices affordable. However, as the majority of hotels and apartments are built on a cliffside – a lung-busting climb from the sea and bus station – stay in or near the old town.

Miranda Penthouse AI

I stayed at this wonderful apartment in the heart of the old town of Puerto de la Cruz. This is an excellent option if you are looking for a comfortable and affordable apartment that is close to some great restaurants. It also has a terrace overlooking the ocean.

lounge with table with fruit bowl and terrace overlooking sea
bed with white bedding and brightly coloured cushions

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS & PRICES

Here are a few alternatives that I have found that may suit other tastes and budgets:

4Dreams Hotel Chimisay

If you prefer a comfortable hotel in the heart of the old town, take a look at this 3-star option. It has a roof terrace with a plunge pool and breakfast is available for a small additional charge.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden 

But perhaps you are looking to stay in the swankiest place in town? You can’t go far wrong with this 5-star luxury hotel. Although it is not located in the old town, its three 3 outdoor pools, attractive gardens and extensive spa facilities more than make up for this.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

Travelling Alone to Tenerife: Why You Should Do It

Choosing a solo travel destination is no mean feat, especially if you are taking your first solo holiday.    

As a starting point, you want somewhere that is affordable, fits your interests and has a good transport infrastructure (or inexpensive day excursions). As a female solo traveller, safety is always a priority for me.

Tenerife fulfils this wish list. 

Don’t be put off by its popularity as a package tour destination for sun-starved Northern Europeans. It’s very easy to escape the big and brash resort towns for a taste of Canary Island life.

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

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