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10 Unique Things to Do in Tenerife in January, Canary Islands

January is an excellent time to visit Tenerife. Daytime temperatures hover around a comfortable 20°C (68°F) and skies are generally clear.

The first week of January is the busiest, as many Europeans are on holiday until January 6th. So, if you can, we’d recommend visiting Tenerife after January 6th.

January 1st (New Year’s Day) and January 6th (Three Kings Day) are celebrated in Tenerife, and consequently, all local businesses will be closed on both days. However, restaurants will still be open around tourist resort towns.

If you’re staying in smaller towns and villages, we recommend booking an apartment with a kitchen (during that first week of January).

The weather in Tenerife in January was outstanding, with the exception of a few overcast and windy days. We stayed in Los Gigantes, Arona, Los Silos, La Orotava, and Vilaflor.

The only thing that deterred our travel plans was the wind. When it’s very windy, the cable car in Teide National Park doesn’t operate and hiking is unpleasant, as you’re battling the wind.

On such days, it’s best to head to the coast. Other than that, we had a perfect trip and would head back to Tenerife in January in a heartbeat.

In this guide to visiting Tenerife in January, we’re highlighting our favorite experiences from our Tenerife road trip, tips on where to stay, and what to pack for a winter holiday.

Playa de las Teresitas beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
  • Where to Stay: Base yourself in La Laguna for hiking in the Anaga Mountains, Buenavista del Norte or Los Gigantes for exploring Teno Rural Park, and Vilaflor for hiking in Teide National Park. Learn more: Where to Stay in Tenerife for Hiking.
  • Hiking: Tenerife is an amazing hiking destination in winter. Read our summary of best Tenerife hikes. We suggest buying a guidebook like the Tenerife Rother Walking Guide before arrival. It’s really difficult to find helpful trail guides once you’re on the island.
  • Car Rental: The most efficient way to travel between destinations in Tenerife is with your own car. We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Tenerife. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip. Check car rental rates here

1. Hike in the Anaga Mountains 

Igueste de San Andrés, Tenerife in January

The Anaga massif is a mountain range that stretches across the northeastern tip of Tenerife. Geologically, this is the oldest part of Tenerife as it was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions 7 to 9 million years ago. 

We’d argue that Anaga harbors the most beautiful and varied hiking trails on the island. So, it’s shocking that this corner of Tenerife is often overlooked. 

We recommend spending three full days exploring Anaga Rural Park.

Our favorite hikes in Anaga Rural Park are (1) Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada and Carboneras, (2) Roque de Taborno, (3) Taganana to Playa de Tamadite, (4) Benijo to Faro de Anaga Circuit Hike, and (5) Igueste to Atalaya de los Ingleses. Read Best Hikes in Anaga Mountains for an overview of these gorgeous hikes.

The best base for exploring Anaga Rural Park is the city of San Cristobal de La Laguna (La Laguna). Check out Casa Del Casco Historico (budget), La Laguna Gran Hotel (midrange), Hotel Boutique San Diego – Adults Only (luxury)

Look for accommodation in La Laguna.

2. Bathe in a Natural Swimming Pool

Tenerife in January - Piscina Natural Acantilado De Los Gigantes

A nice alternative to swimming in the ocean is in a piscina natural. These natural pools provide a more sheltered and safe swimming experience.

However, if the conditions are hazardous, these pools will be roped off.

Our favorite natural pools in Tenerife are Piscina Natural Acantilado De Los Gigantes and Piscina natural Punta del Hidalgo

Other natural pools in Tenerife include Piscinas Naturales el Caletón in Garachico, Charco De La Laja in San Juan de la Rambla, Charco del Viento in La Guancha, and Piscinas Naturales Los Abrigos in Los Abrigos.

3. Visit Mercado Municipal De La Laguna

Mercado Municipal De La Laguna - What to Do in Tenerife in January

The Mercado Municipal de La Laguna is the most vibrant marketplace on Tenerife. This is a great place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, dried herbs, local cheese and meat, and all things Canary.

This is where locals shop, so you can expect very reasonable prices and a buoyant atmosphere. 

Address | Plaza de El Cristo, 38201 San Cristóbal de La Laguna | Google Maps

Opening Times | 7 am – 2 pm

4. Photograph Punta de Teno

Things to Do in Tenerife in January - Visit Punta de Teno

Punta de Teno is a rocky headland that forms the northwestern tip of Tenerife.

Venture here for sunset and you’ll be treated to a natural light show featuring the mighty Los Gigantes cliffs (Acantilado de Los Gigantes).

Getting to Punta de Teno requires a bit of planning, as the road to the point is restricted throughout most of the day.

Use our Punta de Teno guide to determine whether you want to drive (at certain times), take the bus, or hike to Teno Point.

5. Hike the Roques de García Circuit Trail

Roques de García Loop Trail, Tenerife in January, Canary Islands

Roques de García is a fascinating rock formation located in the Las Cañadas del Teide caldera in Teide National Park.

A relatively easy trail wraps around the rock formation, delivering spectacular and varied views of Mount Teide and the sculpture-like García rocks.

The trail is 4.2-km-long, mostly flat, and takes about 1:30 hours to complete. Head to Mirador de la Ruleta, near the Parador de Cañadas del Teide hotel, to start this scenic hike.

6. Summit Pico del Teide, the Highest Mountain in Spain

Mount Teide, Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain

Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain.

Reaching a lofty height of 3,718 meters, this imposing volcano is usually a bucket list item on people’s Tenerife itineraries.

To summit Pico del Teide you need a permit, which you should secure as soon as possible (a few months before your arrival date). If you can’t get a permit, you can always book a guided tour like this one, which includes the permit. See all Teide guided tours

In January, it’s possible that there’s snow, and/or ice at the top of the volcano. If that’s the case, the park authorities will close the trail to the summit and the cable car will not operate.

When we visited Teide National Park in January, the weather was generally outstanding and there was no snow at the summit. However, there were a few days when it was extremely windy.

On windy days, they will also close the trails to the summit and the cable car will not operate. 

Learn More: Best Hikes in Teide National Park

7. Watch the Sunset at Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes, Tenerife in January

The best two places to watch the sunset in Tenerife are Punta de Teno and Los Gigantes.

Both reward spectators with outstanding views of the Los Gigantes cliffs, which light up in shades of mahogany and crimson.

While watching the sunset at Punta de Teno can be a bit tricky, because of the road restriction, there’s nothing complicated about enjoying the sunset in Los Gigantes. 

The best places in Los Gigantes to watch the sunset are Piscina Natural Acantilado De Los Gigantes and Mirador Archipenque.

8. Hunt for the Best Local Canary Food 

Bar Los Castillos in La Orotova - Tenerife in January
Bar Los Castillos in La Orotova

You’d think that finding delicious Canary food would be easy on the largest Canary Island, but sadly, it isn’t.

Though our focus was primarily on hiking, we did find a few places we’d gladly return to.

We’ve weaved these restaurants into our Tenerife road trip itinerary. Here’s a quick summary of our favorite no-frills Canary restaurants: Restaurante La Cueva in Chinamada, Bar Los Castillos in La Orotova, Bar-Restaurante Paraiso in Los Gigantes, Fuente Hermano Pedro in Vilaflor, and Restaurante El Cobijo in Arona.

9. Walk from Santiago del Teide to Masca Village

Santiago del Teide to Masca Walk, Teno Mountains, Tenerife in January
Santiago del Teide to Masca Walk

The Masca Gorge is the best-advertised hike on Tenerife.

A great alternative hike in the Teno Mountains is the ridge walk from Santiago del Teide to Masca.

This point-to-point hike is 9.2 km and takes 4 hours.

It took us a lot longer, because the views are to die for. Read Hiking in the Teno Mountains for all the trail details and directions. 

Important | This trail was closed for a while due to construction. Please consult the local tourist offices for trail updates.

10. Soak Up the Sun at Playa de Las Teresitas and Playa Jardin

Playa de las Teresitas, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Playa de Las Teresitas

The South West Coast of Tenerife is where everyone goes when they want a winter sun beach holiday.

The funny thing is that you won’t actually find Tenerife’s most beautiful beaches there.

If you’re seeking out Tenerife’s most gorgeous beaches, you’ll need to head to the golden Playa de Las Teresitas just north of Santa Cruz, or the black Playa Jardin in Puerto de la Cruz.

Where to Stay in Tenerife in January

How to use this map | Click on each accommodation to display further information. Click on the “expand” icon on the top right to open this map in a new window. Each color signifies a different Tenerife destination:

  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Andres: coral red
  • Taganana: wine red
  • San Cristóbal de La Laguna: plum
  • Tegueste, Tejina, Punta del Hidalgo: orange
  • La Esperanza, La Orotava: yellow
  • Teide National Park, Vilaflor, Arona, San Miguel de Abona: light green
  • South Coast: dark green
  • Los Gigantes: teal
  • Santiago del Teide: purple
  • Los Silos, Buenavista del Norte, Icod de los Vinos: grey

For a Beach Holiday

Travelers seeking the warmest possible weather and a traditional beach holiday congregate around Tenerife’s South Coast (e.g. Playa San Juan, Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraíso).

They also gravitate towards Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas, Costa Adeje

For a Hiking Holiday

La Laguna is the best base when hiking in the Anaga Mountain Range. Check out Casa Lagunera (budget), Casa Del Casco Historico (midrange), and Sogno Di Gio (luxury).

Stay in Los Gigantes or Buenavista del Norte when exploring the Teno Mountains.

The best base for exploring Teide National Park is Vilaflor, which is located a 30-minute drive away from the heart of the park.

We stayed at Hotel Spa Villalba. If you want to stay directly in the park, check out: Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

Learn More: Where to Stay in Tenerife for Hiking

For a “Non-Touristy” Holiday

Base yourself in La Orotava and/or La Laguna if you want to stay somewhere that feels local, but also offers lots of dining and accommodation options.

Other places that you might like are Arona, Vilaflor, and Santiago del Teide.

Keep in mind that January 1st and January 6th are holidays. All local restaurants and stores will be closed on both days.

So if you want to stay in smaller villages and towns (like Arona, Vilaflor, etc…) during the first week of January, either stay in an apartment where you can cook for yourself on these holidays. Or, plan on driving to the closest tourist hub for food and meals.

If you stay in Santiago del Teide, you’ll need to drive to Los Gigantes for food. If you’re in Arona, you’ll need to head to Costa Adeje, La Caleta, etc…

What to Pack for Tenerife in January

In general, we packed way too many layers, expecting it would be a lot colder in Tenerife in January. That being said, it’s always good to have a warm sweater, especially if you’re staying in towns, situated at higher elevations. One thing we didn’t use once was our rain jacket.

If you’re planning on visiting Teide National Park, definitely bring a lightweight puffer jacket, hiking pants, a sun hat, a beanie, Cat 3 sunglasses, a fleece, and even gloves. If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking in January bring sturdy hiking shoes (e.g. Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady / Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX). 

On our next trip to Tenerife, we’d bring our Keen water shoes. Our exploration along the coast was limited because we didn’t have proper footwear. If you want to swim and explore lava pools around the Anaga Peninsula and the North Coast, water shoes are essential. 

Spain Trip Planning

Use our Spain Travel Guide and Spain blog archive to plan a unique and memorable trip to Spain. 

When to Visit Spain

Spain is an all-year-round destination. 

In summer, we recommend visiting Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain. 

In spring and fall, we recommend traveling to Mallorca. Read April in Mallorca

In winter, we recommend visiting the Canary Islands.

Getting around Spain 

We always rent a car when traveling in Spain. Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:

Car Rental 

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Spain. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Check car rental rates here

Hiking in Spain

We love hiking in Spain, because of the country’s varied alpine, coastal, and volcanic landscapes. Read these region-specific hiking guides:

What to See & Do in Spain

January in Tenerife Travel Guide, Canary Islands

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

1 thought on “10 Unique Things to Do in Tenerife in January, Canary Islands”

  1. Thank you Sabrina, very helpful. You’ve answered so many questions, even ones I hadn’t thought of. I’m sure we’ll be better prepared now for our holiday in a fortnight. Really looking forward to it!!


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