Port of Call: Tenerife, Spain

Perhaps you booked your cruise with the intent to visit the Canary Islands, or maybe you just looked at your itinerary and noticed that a stop in Tenerife was on the agenda. Either way, you will be in for a treat when your ship pulls into port at the largest island in Spain.

Here are seven options for your day activities at Tenerife that will give you plenty of time to get back to the boat in time for last call.

Los Gigantes Cliffs

Los Gigantes Cliffs

Sunbathing – Tenerife is a volcanic island, meaning that the beaches are traditionally crushed black volcanic rock instead of the sandy beaches most people look for to sunbathe. The good news for sun-seeking tourists is that there are now resorts and man-made beaches with golden sand all around the island. Depending on where you are, Los Gigantes and San Juan in the west and Fañabe in the South are popular beaches, and sand has been imported for Terasitas beach in Santa Cruz.

Scuba Diving – The warm waters and over 30 dive sites along the coast make Tenerife a great place to scuba dive. Most of the dive shops are along the southern end of the island.

Windsurfing – There are great windsurfing conditions around the island, but the most popular spots are along the southern coast near the resort of El Medano.

Teide National Park – If you’re looking for an opportunity to stretch your legs and go for a hike, you must visit Teide National Park. The main attraction at the park is Mt. Teide, the largest peak in Spain, rising 12,200 feet above sea level and containing a volcanic crater 30 miles in circumference. The park itself is around 6,500 feet above sea level, and can have snow in the winter. The best way to get to the peak is via cable car, and you will be rewarded with gorgeous views and fresh air. If you’d like to hike to the summit, you will need a permit or will have to go with a guide, but the hike is around 6 hours, so get started early or you won’t make it back to the boat in time!  This is worth planning return holidays to Tenerife to see, if your shore time doesn’t allow for it.

Tenerife, Teide Mount

Tenerife, Teide Mount

Golf – Mild temperatures make it possible to practice your golf swing year round. The island has nine courses that range from shorter nine-hole to larger 27-hole courses.

Shopping – If you are visiting the island on the weekend, there is likely a market event taking place. On Fridays, check out the Golf del Sur resort, Saturdays the market is at Costa Adeje, and on Sundays you can find a market at Los Cristianos, all located in southern Tenerife. If you are visiting the north, check out Santa Cruz for well-known stores, and La Laguna for arts and crafts any day of the week.

Boat tours – There are several companies in Playa de los Cristianos and in Puerto Colon in Costa Adeje that offer two, three, and five hour boat cruises to look for dolphins and whales in the waters off the coast. Many of the excursions offer food, drink, and a bit of swim time.