Holidaymakers and visitors planning holidays to Tenerife head there for many reasons, but the island's fast winds and clear waters have increasingly drawn water sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
While Tenerife has plenty to offer on land with demanding cycles and flush fairways, playable year-round thanks to constant 23-degree weather, one of its main attractions remains the island’s extensive water sports offerings.
If you’re unsure of what to get stuck into have a look at our video guide to see what sport takes your fancy:
So, whether you’re a complete novice or a water baby, read on for our guide to the best sports the island has to offer.
You can find good surf sites all year round in Tenerife, with water temperatures rarely dipping below 20 degrees, and no shortage of breaks. In the middle of Playa de las Americas you can find La Izquierda, a surf spot that’s perfect for beginners and intermediate-level surfers. Those of you who’ve never touched a surfboard can take individual lessons here or join in with a group – after some stretching and theory, you’ll be straight on your boards in the water (and off just as quick!).
If you’re a more experienced surfer – and as such might look down on beginners and would prefer to avoid surf schools – then head to La Fitenia. Just down the road from La Izuierda, this popular peak is well worth a visit for its right-handed waves. If you’re looking for the absolute best surfing Tenerife has to offer El Confital is famous as one of the best waves in Europe. Be ready for waves up to four metres between September and May. If you want to see the pros in action the World Surf League competes in February at Las Americas Pr0
El Médano is the place to head to if you’re a windsurfer or kite surfer. 300 days of wind with a constant north-easterly sweep attracts some of the best windsurfers and kite surfers in the world. The windsurfing centre provides training courses, you won’t become a pro overnight, but a couple of days practice will have you at least looking passable. Don’t forget the sun cream!. After you’ve finished in the waters there’s plenty of local restaurants, seafood is a local speciality, the prices are noticeably cheaper than other areas and it’s worth spending a few hours marvelling at the pros flying through the water.
Snorkelling is your best bet if you fancy something a bit more relaxed. If you’re staying in South Tenerife companies will collect you from your hotel and take you down to El Puertito, a hotbed for sea turtles. Usually, the tours take you round a few bays where turtles are known to hang out. Turtles need to come up and breathe every few minutes so you can end up close to them.
Tenerife also has a range of diving courses available – catering to beginners and experts alike. The most popular sites on the island are Las Gelletas, Punta de Teno, and Las Eras. A quieter spot is found in Radazul, The Wall is aptly named and has a reef where rays, barracudas and tuna can be found. We’d recommend El Condesito, a 40m cement-carrier ship that’s split in two (20m by 20m now), its teeming with small fish. A quick warning. Diving is popular, if you want a chance to get up close with the marine life, we’d recommend booking in advance.
If you’ve got the budget or are celebrating a special occasion, chartering a yacht to go whale and dolphin spotting off the coast of Costa Adeje is a treat. Some yachts come equipped with sonar tech, so you can hear Dolphin’s squeaking and whales whistling to each other. For those on a budget, jet skis tours are a great way to see the Island’s caves only accessible via sea and can be hired all over Tenerife.
Across the island you’ll find sailing schools in Puerto Deportivo Los Gigantes, Adeje and Las Galletas taking advantage of the year round winds. Short courses are on offer to get to grips with motorboats, crewing yachts or whizzing around in picos.
Tenerife’s cycling provides an entirely different kind of challenge. In the centre of the island is Mount Teide, Spain’s largest volcano, and the summit is the goal for cyclists. The 142 km ride isn’t for the feint hearted, but the rewards of cycling through the lava fields of Teide and the view at the top of the volcano are well worth it. The towns of Granadilla and Villaflor both have restaurants to refuel in during your climb. Don’t forget to pack gloves and a windbreaker as the top of the mountain gets chilly quickly.