Day 1. Mount Teide, La Orotava and Isla Baja
Mount Teide and La Orotava
The trail starts at Mount Teide, which you can reach by car from the north or south on a number of roads. You can explore the entire Valley of Ucanca, a huge open plain made of volcanic lava, and get a picture by the incredible Roques de García stone formations, with the Teide towering high in the background. There is a lookout point in Los Roques with fabulous views of the ravines of Las Cañadas. If you would like to reach the summit of Mount Teide, you will need permission from the National Park's office. A modern and safe cable car will drop you off just 200 m (650 ft) away from the top and you can finish your climb to the peak on foot. Needless to say, the views from 3,718 m (12,198 ft) high are breathtaking.
Heading north from Mount Teide, you can start by visiting La Orotava, a town with a pretty historic quarter. Don't leave without seeing the churches of La Concepción and San Agustín, the Casa de los Balcones and the Town Hall. You can also buy some of the Island's typical hand-crafted products.
This is the northernmost tip of the Island, where you will find the wonderfully charming towns of Los Silos, Garachico and Buenavista del Norte. The road that runs through the area will take you all the way to Teno Country Park, a unique setting with a surprisingly steep, mountainous landscape.
Day 2. Santa Cruz, La Laguna, Las Teresitas and the laurel forests
Santa Cruz and La Laguna
Santa Cruz and La Laguna are two separate cities that have merged over time, but which each preserve their individual essence. La Laguna is lively and modern; Santa Cruz is more stately and majestic. In Santa Cruz, we recommend a visit to the Auditorium or a stroll along the streets surrounding the La Concepción church.
In La Laguna, you simply must explore the historic quarter, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. Its most emblematic landmarks are the Cathedral, the tower of the La Concepción church and the Tenerife History Museum.
To get to this beach you will need to drive about five kilometres (just over three miles) out of Santa Cruz. First of all, you will come to the fishing village of San Andrés, which is full of lovely restaurants serving delicious dishes of fresh fish, squid and other seafood. Don't expect any frills; the real beauty here is the fresh, traditionally prepared cuisine. You know the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover'. The people around you may not look much in their flip flops and swim suits but they certainly know where to grab a bite before they head back for more fun in the sun.
The golden sand of Las Teresitas spreads for miles along the shore. That's what makes it so idyllic for a seaside stroll. Many choose to spend the whole day here, soaking in its calm, pleasant waters listening to the rustle of the wind in the tropical palm trees.
From Las Teresitas on the coast, it's easy to find your way into Anaga Country Park. As you drive up the road, the sea view is a rewarding sight. Your next destination: one of the oldest laurel forests on earth. A lush natural laboratory full of plants and animals the likes of which you won't find anywhere else in the world.
Day 3. Whale and dolphin watching, the cliffs of Los Gigantes and Masca
Whale and dolphin watching
The crystal clear waters off the south coast of Tenerife are alive with cetaceans. A popular option among tourists involves hopping on an organised boat trip and heading out to see them. The experience will provide you with some of the most treasured and long-lasting memories of your stay thanks to the peaceful beauty of these great mammals.
They can be seen here all year round, which is rarely the case elsewhere, and they swim very close to the coast, barely three miles out. To enjoy this experience to the fullest, embark on one of the boats that set out on this very mission every day from Los Cristianos, Puerto Colón and Los Gigantes.
The Cliffs of Los Gigantes
The cliffs of giants rise from the sea shore to an impressive hight. They tower up to 600 m (1,970 ft) tall. This is one of Santiago del Teide's natural treasures. Another is the blue-flag beach of La Arena on the city's stretch of coast. Its remarkable beauty makes it one of the Island's most popular beaches. An ideal place to take a dip with a view towards La Gomera.
This small hamlet on the TF-436 road from Santiago del Teide is hidden from view at the very top of a ravine, making it a favourite spot for hikers and nature lovers. A high-difficulty trail leads expert hikers all the way down from the hamlet to the sea.