Luxury villas in Tenerife

Best known for lively tourist resorts in the south, Tenerife villa holidays are much more than sun, sea and sangria – with dramatic landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage towns, and excellent hiking and diving.

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Royal Garden Resort

Set in a stunning location with mountain and sea views, Royal Garden Villas offer the privacy of a villa holiday with the convenience of a resort, in beautifully designed Asia…

Tenerife villa holiday guide

The largest and most populated of the Canary Islands, Tenerife attracts around five million tourists annually, drawn by its year round sunshine and stunning blue flag beaches. In the south, Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos provide stretches of black and yellow sand, restaurants, family entertainment and buzzing nightlife, while in the north, the capital Santa Cruz and UNESCO World Heritage Site town La Laguna offer a more traditional Canarian experience. And of course no villa holiday in Tenerife would be complete without exploring its natural wonders, from volcanic peaks and lava tubes, to its abundant marine life. Our luxury villas in Tenerife are the perfect base to discover the myriad attractions of this stunning destination.

Towns and cities in Tenerife

Tenerife’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, shouldn’t be overlooked in the rush to reach the beach resorts of the south. A bustling city not short on culture, it also boasts Playa de las Teresitas, a golden crescent of sand dotted with palm trees and one of the finest beaches in the north of the island. Pretty San Cristóbel de la Laguna, awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999, is a delightful town to while away a few hours exploring streets lined with colourful houses and dipping into the museums, churches and of course the tapas bars.

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City street view with church tower in La Laguna town on Tenerife

Explore Tenerife's history  

Formed by a series of eruptions, which began over three million years ago, Tenerife is a rugged volcanic island with an interesting history. Originally inhabited by the indigenous people of the Canaries, the Guanches, the island was ruled over by a succession of kings and, when ruling king Tinerfe el Grande died, was split into nine regions each governed by one of his nine sons. This system prevailed until the island was conquered by the Spanish in 1496. You can visit the Museo de la Historia de Tenerife in La Laguna for more in depth information on the island’s history. 

Ramblers hiking at Pico de Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain which is a volcano in El Teide National Park and is a World Heritage Site

Tenerfie sightseeing

In Santa Cruz, don’t miss the Auditorio de Tenerife, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrave and reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, or the city’s oldest church, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. There are also a variety of museums and art galleries to explore. San Cristóbel de la Laguna has the oldest university in the Canary Islands as well as a pretty cathedral, while the beautiful little village of Masca, dramatically perched on the edge of a rock formation, is worth the hair-raising drive. The Canary Islands are one of the top spots in the world for stargazing, and a tour of Teide Observatory will be of interest to budding astronomers. 

 

Auditorio in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Eating and drinking in Tenerife 

Being an island, Tenerife has an abundance of fresh seafood, with everything from dorada to moray eel on the menu. Meat lovers are also well catered for with rabbit, goat, pork, beef and poultry all widely consumed. Local specialities to try are papas arrugadas, or wrinkled potatoes, with mojo sauce, or if you’re feeling brave, Gofio, a milled grain which was a staple of the original islanders’ diet and which comes in a number of interesting varieties! Bienmesabe is a traditional dessert made with honey, almonds, eggs and rum, but if you prefer a cheese plate to pudding, Tenerife is renowned for its goats’ cheese. 

Canarian potatoes (papas arrugadas) with mojo sauce

Shopping in Tenerfie 

Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos have an excellent range of high street and designer shops, notably at both the Siam Mall and Safari Shopping Centre. For a more exclusive shopping experience, Plaza del Duque in Costa Adeje is Tenerife’s only luxury shopping mall. If you prefer a more traditional experience, the two biggest markets take place on Saturdays in Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos, where you’ll find colourful local produce, clothes, jewellery and a wide range of souvenirs. Don’t forget, Tenerife is a duty free zone so many goods are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. 

Products of the island and flowers at a festival in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Discover Tenerfie's nightlife and entertainment

The tourist hotspot of Playa de las Americas is famous for its vibrant nightlife, and with cabarets, karaoke and clubs, as well as plenty of live music, there should be something for almost everyone here. Los Cristianos offers a slightly quieter but still lively scene, while in Costa Adeje you’ll find a range of more sophisticated bars and restaurants. 
For those looking for some more adventurous daytime entertainment and a break from the beach, Siam Waterpark can’t be beaten. With a range of slides and pools to suit all ages, this Thai-themed park is a great day out. 
Panoramic view of the Illuminated Las Americas at night with clubs, hotels and bars

Nature in Tenerife

No villa holiday in Tenerife is complete without a visit to Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain and the third largest volcano in the world, particularly in early spring when it is still prettily snow-capped. Take the cable car to the top, or if you’re feeling energetic obtain a permit and brave the hike. Macizo de Anaga, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015, has the largest number of endemic species in Europe, while in Icod de los Vinos one of the largest lava tunnels in the world is not to be missed. Tenerife is one of the top spots in the world for whale and dolphin watching, with resident pods of bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales.

Tenerife national park with the volcano Tiede

Arts and culture of Tenerife

Each February Santa Cruz de Tenerife plays host to the week-long Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, an extravaganza not to be missed, and second only to the carnival in Rio. Throughout the week there are parades, music performances and participants dressed in masks and brightly coloured outfits dancing in the streets. Santa Cruz also has a number of museums which are worth a visit, the most popular being the Museo de la Naturaleza el Hombre, while the Auditorio de Tenerife has an impressive programme of music, opera and dance. 

Woman in carnival costume

Active pursuits in Tenerfie

There is excellent diving to be found in the waters around Tenerife, with stunning underwater landscapes formed by the island’s volcanic activity and a huge variety of sea life, including, if you’re lucky, turtles and dolphins. There are a number of good spots for rock climbing, many with the stunning Mount Teide as your backdrop, as well as a huge variety of walking trails, golf courses and surf beaches. You’ll also find the usual array of motorised and non-motorised water sports on offer at many resort beaches. 

Surfers and boat in Sunset, Santa Cruz de Tenerife