Santiago del Teide makes an excellent base for exploring Teide National Park, Los Gigantes,Garachico, Masca and the Teno Mountains. With few visitors lingering for more than a day or two, the town has managed to retain its distinct Canarian culture. Notice that many locals still dress in traditional attire.
Before heading out on a hike, stop at the Señorio del Valle Visitors Center, set in a beautiful 17th-century manor. Check out the exhibit dedicated to the 1909 eruption of Volcán Chinyero. The display includes an interesting collection of photographs, newspaper articles and eyewitness accounts related to the devastating event.
Visit Iglesia de San Fernando Rey, which was originally constructed in 1679. This pretty whitewashed building looks particularly striking against its hillside backdrop. Inside, you’ll find a lovely collection of religious statues and paintings.
Follow one of the fantastic hiking trails that wind through the countryside surrounding the Valle de Santiago. You’ll find more excellent trails northwest of town in Parque Nacional del Teide, one of Spain’s most popular national parks. Hike through otherworldly volcanic terrain or make your way to the summit of 12,000-foot-tall (3,700-meter) El Teide, the highest mountain in the country.
Santiago del Teide is an ideal starting point for visiting beaches like Playa de los Guios. Nestled under the shadow of enormous cliffs, this pretty black-sand beach is a relaxing place to spend an afternoon. You can also take a boat trip to get a different perspective on the beach’s iconic cliffs.
Visit Masca, a charming village nearby that almost seems to defy gravity with its precarious setting on the edge of a rock ridge. For a daytrip, go to Garachico, a once-wealthy town with quaint cobbled streets and natural volcanic coves along the coast.
Reach Santiago del Teide by bus from Puerto de la Cruz, Playa de las Américas or Icod de los Vinos. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit when the cherry blossoms are in bloom along many trails.