Tenerife Town & City Guides

There is always a reason behind the development of our guides.

Real Tenerife Island Drives, the definitive guide to exploring the island by car

When we first moved to Tenerife in 2003 we spent many happy hours driving around the island, discovering as much of it as we could access by road. Over the months and then years, we began to notice hire cars parked in odd places, an oversized map being glared at and argued over by couples and families who clearly had no idea where to go to see ‘the island’. It struck us that, although car hire is cheap and prolific, what was needed was a driving guide to show visitors the places we had so painstakingly discovered. So we produced Tenerife Island Drives.

Real Tenerife Island Walks, a series of self-guided walking notes that show you the best of Tenerife's walking trails

Passionate walkers for many years, we were amazed and delighted to discover that Tenerife held the promise of good hiking and we set about exploring on foot. We quickly found that routes featured in free leaflets from the various municipalities frequently petered out in eroded cliff paths, had been diverted or superceded by newer paths or had been bulldozed in developments years ago. Having got lost innumerable times, we realised that these brochures were simply updated from time to time without anyone ever actually leaving the office to walk them. That’s when we decided to produce Tenerife Island Walks.

La Orotava, Tenerife's most sophisticated town.

La Orotava
Living in Puerto de la Cruz, it was no more than a short jaunt for us to visit the historic town of La Orotava and we made frequent excursions to it with visitors in the early days. We must have visited 5 or 6 times before we realised we hadn’t even seen the parts most of the tour groups go to, let alone the best bits. It was while researching an In Deep article for the long-defunct Living Tenerife magazine that we discovered various hidden corners in the town – the balconied houses the tour groups don’t go to; the quirky museum; the little botanical gardens; the gofio mills. We decided to write a guide so that others didn’t do what we had done, waste inordinate hours wandering the less interesting parts of the town hoping to discover something good along the way, or even worse join a tour group and get herded through the souvenir shops of the Casas de Los Balcones and the Iglesia de la Concepción.

Santa Cruz, capital city and easy to stroll on foot

Santa Cruz
As our Tenerife websites became more popular, we found ourselves increasingly responding to questions from visitors to the site who seemed to think we were the Tenerife Tourist Office and after a while, patterns began to emerge around the nature of those queries. We already knew that hundreds of thousands of cruise passengers came into Santa Cruz annually and we were frequently asked to either take people on tours ourselves or else recommend what they should do in their short stay. We found ourselves advising people to head to Teide National Park or to Puerto or Garachico. It took us a while to realise that people were completely missing the wonderful city into which they had cruised – its fabulous Parque Garcia Sanabria; its shopping streets; its sculpture trail, museums, market and galleries. There was an authentic Tenerife experience literally on the shoreline and people didn’t have to waste precious time travelling for hours on end. So we wrote the Santa Cruz guide.

Puerto de la Cruz, nestling on the north coastline at the foot of the La Orotava valley

Puerto de la Cruz
You know how sometimes it’s the thing right under your nose that you’re most likely to miss? I guess when you know a place as well as you know your home, you stop seeing it through other eyes. We were certainly guilty of that and it took us years to get around to writing our Puerto town walk but when we did, it was a joy to put together, including all those quirky corners we took for granted but which visitors rarely saw, not least its green credentials. Everyone knows about the Botanical gardens but few people seemed to be aware of the water gardens or the Park Taoro or even the Sitio Litre gardens, all of them outstanding examples of how lush and fertile this town is. Since publishing our Puerto guide it has quickly become our best selling town walk.

La Laguna, former capital and now a Unesco World Heritage Site

La Laguna
Although we had long talked about producing a guide to the Unesco World Heritage site of La Laguna, it took a plea from one of our regular customers to shift us from empty promise to action. Again, like La Orotava, we had visited La Laguna on countless occasions and considered that we knew the city better than most, so when we decided to write the guide, it was as much simply for directions and timings that we headed back there to do our research. The great thing about knowing somewhere really well is that you can concentrate on the ‘out of the way’ places, knowing you’ve got the big stuff covered, and that’s what we did, in the process uncovering some amazing, little-known (in the English language) facts about the place. Did you, for example, know about the body of the 87yr old nun that when exhumed three years after burial had not decayed one iota? Or that today, over 15,000 people queue to see her body on one day a year? No, neither did we until we wrote our city guide.

Each Town & City Guide includes details on where to park; suggested venues for lunch or a drink; full walking directions; and extensive notes on the main sites not to miss, including all those hidden away and quirky corners. We hope you enjoy using them as much as we did writing them.

Real Tenerife Town & City walking guides for Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, and La Laguna are now available to buy online as an automatic download for just €8.

About Andy 46 Articles
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites and travel guides. Author of the Pocket Rough Guide Tenerife & La Gomera, and co-author of The Real Tenerife and Walk This Way Tenerife, Andy is an award-winning member of the British Guild of Travel Writers; former Tenerife destination expert for The Telegraph and has been widely published in the UK travel media including The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Easyjet Traveller and DK Guides.


  1. Any events happening in Costa Adeje area 24-31 January?

    Any recommendations for reasonably priced restaurants in Costa Adeje area?

    Thanks. Steve

    • Unfortunately you’ll just miss the Fiesta de San Sebastian on 19 and 20 at Playa de la Enramada. When it comes to restaurant recommendations though it depends on what you like and what you consider reasonably priced.

  2. Hola
    My husband and I would like to come to a nice part of Tenerife in January/February 2019 to play golf and attend a local language school. Costa Adeje has been recommended although it looks quite busy?
    Any ideas would be much appreciated, somewhere with a garden would be perfect! Your thoughts would be much appreciated please?

    • Hi Alison, you’re looking at two things that are not necessarily compatible on Tenerife – a language school and golf 🙂
      You might have to compromise on that and travel to one or the other. Costa Adeje will certainly give you access to golf courses and is considered one of the more ‘upmarket’ parts of the island although not all of it falls into that category so be careful where you choose. You might want to stay closer to the Del Duque and La Caleta end of the resort if you want quiet and golf but I don’t know of any language schools near there. Alternatively, look at the west coast (Playa San Juan/Alcalá/Calleo Salvaje) where you can access the Ritz Carlton Abama golf course and you’ll find it generally quieter than the south/southwest although you’ll probably need to hire a car if you stay anywhere other than at the Abama itself.

  3. is walking easy in puorto de la Cruz are there any level pathways we like to walk 2 or 3 ks but find steep hills too difficult these days!

    • Simply walking along the seafront as far as you want from Playa Martianez on the eastern edge of town to Punto Brava on its western edge should give you plenty to see and it’s flat. The total distance is 3km one way. There are a few nice parks and gardens as well but you have to climb to get to them. Like most places on Tenerife, once you head inland the terrain rises quite steeply.

  4. Coming to Tenerife first week of January. Looking for somewhere that had more a fishing town feel rather than towns with strips of bars etc. Any recommendations? Thanks.

  5. Hi Andy
    What bus do we catch from Playa de Americas to Puerto del a Cruz? We are hoping to go on the 27th Sep 18 and how long will the journey take?

    • Sorry for the late reply, we’ve been travelling for most of September. I hope you found the answer elsewhere. For future reference the 343 departs at various times from Costa Adeje bus station (formerly Playa de las Americas bus station) and takes around an hour and forty five minutes.

  6. Hi My Husband and I early 50s are planning a week of sunshine in December! Have visited other Islands but not Tenerife! I’m not wild on overdevelopment or high rise! So thinking more North ish, will hire a car for the week. Would like a sandy beach ? as always love at least 3 beach days, of course don’t mind travelling! Although haven’t decided where to stay, wanting smallish hotel La Laguna looks lovely! Not sure if location may be noisy San Cristobal, or los Gigantes we also love to explore and walk we looking forward to explore the island ??????????????????open to suggestions and really appreciate. Thank you for so much valuable information will come in very handy.

    • Hi Julie, we really like La Laguna but it is very different from Los Gigantes in many, many ways – it’s the former capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site whereas Los Gigantes was built as a holiday resort in the 1970s. On the other Los Gigantes on the coast enjoys some of the sunniest weather on Tenerife whilst La Laguna inland and at 600m, well, doesn’t 🙂 Here’s a link to a bite-sized guide to Tenerife coastal towns and resorts designed to help people choose the right town/resort for them. I’ve given you a link to the one for the south east coast as it has links to both the south and south west coasts as well as the north so should give you a rounded idea of what there is.

  7. Hi Guys, we have booked 10 days in Puerto de la cruz, mid January but people now telling us that it can be too cool to sun bathe because of Atlintic breeze. Is this the case. We were also considering car hire. Are there hire firms in the town or are these all at the airport? Thanks

    • ‘People’ say a lot of things. When it comes to weather and Tenerife, most are repeating off the peg stuff they’ve heard elsewhere or something based on limited experience. Generally, apart from the east coast, Tenerife isn’t a breezy island. You can sunbathe any month of the year in Puerto de la Cruz. But, like anywhere on the island, if there’s a spell of bad weather then obviously sunbathing wouldn’t be on the cards. In our experience January is often a sunny month in Puerto de la Cruz. But the weather is the weather. There are plenty of car hire firms in the town.

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