For a full disconnection the best length for a van trip in Tenerife is 7 nights. Here we have a full 7 days plan to enjoy Tenerife to the fullest. Tenerife can be discovered in many different ways and you could actually explore it for much more time. But let’s go for the musts-to-visit of the sunny island!
Day 1: El Médano, the Water Sports Place
Your day starts with the pick up of the camper in El Médano, let’s say around 3pm. You are probably tired after your flight and want to relax: So staying where you pick the camper and not needing to drive is the best plan!
El Médano is one of the most international but also local places in the island. The mixture is just perfect: young people, surfers, locals and some nice terraces, restaurants and pubs. El Médano is definitively the place for the first night! Here there is a caravan parking right on the beach with a good vibe.
Go surfing or snorkeling! If you are learning surfing this is your place. There are 3 nice surfing spots, 2 for beginners and one for beginners and intermediate surfers, El Cabezo beach. El Médano is also a great place to snorkel.
After exploring El Médano streets, you can go for a sundowner beer! The sunset in El Médano is soooo stunning. From the terraces like Manfred’s Soul Café you will enjoy super colorful sunset sky.
When you wake up in the morning, the best is to go for a nice breakfast in one of the cafés in front of the beach like Bliss Café, Flash Point, Cafe M or Calima Café. You will easily find them on a walk along the beach.
Day 2: Abades, the White Village
After lunch we recommend you to drive a bit east to Abades, it’s just 20 minutes away. Abades is a small alternative town with one of the most quiet coast of Tenerife. Many small beaches will bring you privacy and a nature surrounding that will make you start disconnecting.
Abades is like a small version of El Médano, also young and with some terraces. Here you have to go snorkeling, it’s one of the marine reserves of Tenerife and the underwater is like ocean paradise! If you need a snorkel and mask – you can book a set for 2 people on your reservation page.
In Abades you will find what we consider the best Vegan restaurant of Tenerife, Samelo Veg. It is not food, it’s a flavour full experience. Not pricy at all and very welcoming staff. Make a booking, they are very successful and normally fully booked a couple of days in advance.
Abades is surrounded in both sides by an amazing nature full of hikes, small beaches and bays. Going for a hike is a great idea. Remember not to leave the path when hiking! Here a link to our blog post about how to be a visitor and not a tourist in Tenerife with some rules to respect the fragile nature. If you walk like half an hour to the west you find Tajao, a small fisherman village. To the east you find El Porís, our recommendation for the next day!
Day 3: El Porís, the Sunrise Place
El Porís its also very close and the landscape is a bit similar to the one before, buuuut it has one of my favourite beaches in Tenerife, Playa Grande. Here there is one of the best places to park the campervan with ocean views. In this parking you will find some other campers but is normally quite empty. Enjoy the social camper live and invite the others to some beers!
You will be parked one minute walk from the the beach and it’s a really good learner and intermediate surfing spot. The parking is unpaved, so remember that entering these type of parkings is okay but not to drive on unpaved roads! This is probably one of the most important rules to respect the nature of Tenerife.
For breakfast and lunch in El Porís we recommend you to do a small shopping before or just have a walk to the main town center. It has some diverse options for food. A coffee and bocadillo (a baguette bread sandwich, panini) is normally a cheap and tasty start in the day!
Day 4: Puerto de la Cruz, The Northern Back Sand Beaches
Puerto de la Cruz is a city in the north of Tenerife with beautiful colorful old center. There you can enjoy good food, a nice atmosphere and open terraces pubs. Its the place to take a Mojito and try some canarian food.
Here starts one of my favourite coast hikes in the island, Puerto de la Cruz to Rambla de Castro. Just visualize a black sand beach with a waterfall falling on a big stone next to a canarian palm tree. The waterfall you find at the end of this amazing hike! Here some info about the hike. You can start it from Puerto de la Cruz in the parking where you can sleep here.
Having a walk through the center is amazing and a good insight to the canarian architecture. The city is full of art, graffitis. old balconies and nice gardens.
It is also a good place to try canarian cousin. In Los Gemelos Restaurant you will find a good selection of the tasty local food. Try the potatoes with mojos and the wines. They are really great!
A visit to the Botanic Garden is always a good idea, even more if it’s a hot day. Its like a piece of rainforest in the city blooming all year around.
In Puerto de la Cruz are also some surfing spots, not for learners and a bit more local. S take care if you are not an experienced surfer or just take a lesson in a surf school.
Day 5: La Orotava, the Garden City
La Orotava has got the title of ‘Villa’ from the Felipe IV. Normally kings are useless but they really knew about two things: good food, good wine and good architecture and that would be the perfect definition of La Orotava!
On the way to La Orotava when you come from Puerto de La Cruz you can find one of the best guachinches I know, La Cernidera . You don’t know what is a guachinche, here you have the explanation and a list of them! They are the best representation of the traditional canarian cuisine.
In La Orotava center you will find steep and narrow streets where driving a campervan is not a good idea at all. So just park outside and go for a walk. It’s the best and only possible way to discover the city. Here an easy parking very close to the center.
In La Orotava you have to go to Victoria Gardens, Hijuela del Jardín Botánico de La Orotava, Plaza del Ayuntamiento. They are all close to each other and during the walk between them you will discover beautiful corners like La Casa de Los Balcones and Casa de Eladia Machado. Explore the old part around Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
Day 6: Los Silos, Volcanic Pools
Los Silos is an old small village surrounded by one of the oldest forest of Europe. They have an amazing market (every sunday from 9am to 2pm) where you can find the best bananas, avocados, papayas and cheese!
The village is quite alternative place full of hikes around and with good local cheese and wines. Having a walk on these quiet place is sooo relaxing!
Around the town you will find very impressive hikes, they are usually a bit more steep and dificult, but really beautiful. The forest there is very humid, green and full of water. Go for a hike if you still have energy!
For the night, we highly recommend you to go close to the ocean. You will find here the ‘charcos’ or the volcanic natural pools. There are two nice ones: charco de Los Chochos and charco Don Gabino. They have warmer and really calm water. Mind the tide, if it’s high and the ocean is wavy it might be not the moment for a swim.
Around this sleeping place you will find the public pool, nothing especially nice but a good place to get a shower and a toilet!
Day 7: Back to El Médano
Being back in time to El Médano will provide some extra relaxation not to miss your flights and to return the van on time. You have a super nice drive back where you can stop on places you saw before. We recommend you to do that: Going back the same way or passing by Santiago del Teide. That will give you two options to discover:
Going back you can stop in La Laguna, a very vibrant student city. A bit cold in winter but with many places to go for a coffee and very easy to walk. If you liked La Orotava you will love La Laguna! It has a similar architecture but much younger. This city has so many places to visit and so much history that we recommend you to just walk and discover the center as much as you can.
If you go through Santiago del Teide just mind the road if you are not used to curves! There you can have a great panoramic view of Teide Volcano!
We hope you liked this guide, use it as you like! And let us know in a comment how you liked the spots and where your favorite places in Tenerife are.