Tenerife Undercover: Lesser Known Gems Off the Beaten Track

If bustling off the airplane and sharing one of the busy Tenerife transfers from the airport is about as much contact as you can handle with the package holiday, beer-and-chips British tourists who flock to the island every year, then my advice is: head north. While more than five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, around three quarters of these take their Tenerife transfers straight to the busy resorts in the south, leaving the beautiful north a wonderfully unspoilt place to visit.

A trip to any of the quieter towns in the north will feel like stepping into a slower, island way of life which is far more authentic to the Canary Island culture than the loud bars and 24-hour lifestyle in the south. Here are just a few towns worth spending time exploring: there are plenty more.

San Cristóbal de la Laguna

The capital of Tenerife until 1723, San Cristóbal is a beautiful historic town on the northern tip of the island. Its 17th- and 18th-century villas and pretty cobbled streets have led to it being listed (deservedly) as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite its historic status, La Laguna is a thriving city today and a great place to get a taste of modern Canarian life.

Icod de los Vinos

Savour the taste of traditional Tenerife cuisine and history in the town of Icod de los Vinos. First established in the 16th century, the town has a plethora of historic sites from the ancient Dragon Tree to the Plaza de la Pila. But the real star here is the food. Plenty of dishes served in the restaurants here are unique on the island and reflect a very distinct Tenerife cuisine.


Formerly the island’s main port and a popular social hub (until the harbour was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 18th century), the town of Garachico is now a sleepy backwater and is once again drawing a sophisticated, discerning crowd. Now instead of trade ships there are sail boats and yachts moored offshore and the glamorous town houses and pretty pastel fishermen’s cottages have been converted into boutique hotels, restaurants and villas.

El Puertito

Not on the north coast, but still worth a mention as it is usually bypassed by the tourist hoards, the sleepy little fishing village and harbour of El Puertito has managed to avoid the popularity and development of many of its neighbouring resorts. Instead the little beach attracts a small number of visitors who enjoy the excellent swimming and snorkelling here before relaxing in the harbour-side bar.

Getting There

One of the benefits of the popularity of Tenerife is the large number of budget airlines flying to the two airports here from the UK. Flights take around four to six hours and Tenerife transfers are available from the airport. To avoid queues following busy flights, my advice would be to book your Tenerife transfers online before you leave home. (A shared group transfer is not only a good cheap option but a great place to quiz fellow travellers about any hidden gems they might have discovered on the island.)

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Tenerife transfers Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely. 

This article is copyright free.


Author: Desiree Michels

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