Tenerife is a popular island destination with nearly year-round sunshine, pristine beaches and a fun seaside atmosphere. In addition to the top attractions, Tenerife has some off-the-beaten-path sights and places that you must see during your trip. Here are 9 places to visit in Tenerife for a new experience.
If you're looking for adventure, you have to visit Cueva del Viento. Located on the north end of the island, Cueva del Viento is a massive lava tube and cavern that you can explore with the help of an expert guide. During the tour, you can find out about how the volcanos formed this delicate subterranean network thousands of years ago. You'll also pass some fascinating rock formations along the way, so be sure to bring your camera.
The Ancient Dragon Tree is one of the most unusual places in Tenerife and a must-see on your visit. Located at Icod de los Vinos on the northwest part of the island, the legendary tree is rumoured to be 1,000 years old and stands in honour of the local culture. The trees themselves are fascinating to see with their twisted branches and spiked foliage, as well as the red resin that's become known as 'dragon's blood'. The Ancient Dragon Tree is a famed landmark and protected within its own park.
One of the most intriguing attractions in Tenerife is the Sunken Crosses of Malpique, an underwater graveyard with 40 grave markers. The graveyard itself has been around for over 400 years, back when pirates routinely attacked the trading colony on the Canary Islands. The islands weren't safe, but Portuguese missionary Inácio de Azevedo led 39 Jesuit followers to the island when they were attacked by French pirates. The pirate captain threw the men overboard and watched them sink. In 1742, the Pope declared them martyrs, and crosses were later dropped into the sea to create a cemetery and honour these men.
The rugged landscape of Tenerife gives it plenty of natural sea pools where you can safely swim and relax. Formed by volcanic activity, the sea pools have deep and shallow areas for all levels of swimming skill, and you can enjoy stunning views of the striking rocks and cliffs while you cool off. One of the best spots to visit a natural sea pool is at Garachico, a charming town with small shops and restaurants.
Tenerife's natural landscape is one of its best features. Located atop a volcanic peak, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is an excellent spot for stargazing on the remote part of the island. Though it's difficult to get time with the observatory's massive reflective telescope yourself, the observatory and surrounding grounds are beautiful places to explore.
If you like water sports and adventure, there's no shortage of either in Tenerife. If you prefer to have fun out in nature, the best place is Masca Valley Bay. The picturesque bay is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and charming villages that you can explore before taking a dip in the cool, clear waters of the bay. According to legend, the bay was once a haven for pirates to stay hidden from the people onshore.
Fuencaliente Saltworks is a fascinating salt farm at the base of a volcano. It's not only one of the last remaining salt fields on the islands, but it's also organized and showcases the remarkable process of allowing seawater to drift into the soil to evaporate, leaving the salt behind. The spot was chosen for its flat landscape and when the volcano erupted in 1971, the lava stopped just shy of the salt pans. As a result, the salt at Fuencaliente is named Teneguia Sea Salt after the volcano.
Before the Canary Islands were settled by the Castilians, the islands had a thriving community of native people with complex societies and different judicial regions with their own leaders. The Belmaco Cave belonged to the king of the region and was used as a spiritual meeting place. Before the conquest of the Castilians, the last residents of Belmaco Cave were 2 brothers, Jariguo and Garehagua, who ruled the region. The cave was forgotten for years before it was part of an archaeological dig in 1762. Now, you can tour the cave to learn about the history and heritage of the native people, and there's a museum that showcases the archaeological artefacts recovered from the site.
La Orotava is a charming village in Tenerife that showcases the area's more traditional culture, away from the buzz of the tourist areas. The village has many unique attractions all its own, such as the Latin American Craftwork Museum and an array of tranquil gardens, but its local architecture is one of its top draws. You can spend hours strolling through neighbourhoods to see the unique architecture and ornate balconies. You should also stop at House of the Balconies, a museum that showcases La Orotava and Canarian culture and craftsmanship.
From mysterious graves and pirate lore to quaint seaside villages and hidden swimming spots, there's plenty to visit away from Tenerife's popular attractions. If you're planning a trip, take a look at Tenerife holidays on Expedia to get a great deal on your travel!