Tenerife is one of the best locations for solo travellers of all kinds. Whether you go for your very first trip all alone or you are already a solo travel pro, this island in Canaries gives you plenty of both adventure and safety. Where to travel solo in Tenerife, what is the best time to visit the place, how to get around without having a car and what places to visit in Tenerife, especially in the north, are topics included in this ultimate guide of your Tenerife solo travel. Are you ready for the ride?
Never-ending sunshine, dramatic scenery, enchanted forests, black beaches, magnificent cliffs, scenic views, mysterious volcanos, sexy surfers, translucent waters, cute colourful houses, banana fields and deep historical and cultural backgrounds – that is Tenerife, one of the most popular isles of the group of Spanish archipelago called Canary Islands.
Visited all over the year by freshly wed couples, families, wild groups of friends, as well as solo travellers, this island attracted around 2.7 million tourists in 2021. The busiest seasons are summer and winter, when Europeans escape to Canary Islands from the cold and dark days and enjoy sunny Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The truth is that the weather in Tenerife, especially in the south, is always or nearly always great. However, that’s not what this article is about! I guess you’re all already super eager to read more about the practical tips for your exciting solo travel to Tenerife. Let’s start the show!
Why to Travel to Tenerife Alone
Long story short. I needed a trip. A trip to a sunny place, as I live in Hamburg, the most beautiful city in Germany with the possibly shittiest weather in the country. I was listening to odes about Tenerife from basically all of my friends around. One of my dearest friends actually travelled to this island on her own and described it as a great place to explore alone.
Next, I love scenic views. To be precise, I love sea views and rocky dramatic scenery. Guess what: Tenerife has it all! I checked the flights and a managed to find a great deal: Hamburg to North Tenerife via Barcelona with Vueling for only 200 euros including carry-on luggage! (That is what I usually pay for a 1.5 hour flight to Vienna). It was clear: Tenerife, I am coming, baby!
Tenerife is Safe, Affordable & Sexy
Alright, these are the reasons which brought me to Tenerife. But why you, an experienced lone wolf or a solo travel newbie, should head to Tenerife? Because it is a safe place which offers you great hiking routes, warm and sunny weather, it has stunning exotic nature – geographically it belongs to Africa, so it looks different from any other European countries and still, you pay there with euros – an easy to get currency.
Moreover, it is relatively cheap, you can surf there, you can party there, you can visit volcanos if you wish so, you can swim if that is what you desire. The food in Tenerife is great, bananas are wonderful (the best bananas I have eaten in my long 35-year-old life!), the people are warm and helpful, and the public transport is literally the best from all the Canary Islands.
To sum it up, you have plenty of things to do in Tenerife, it is pretty easy to get around without a car, and it is safe, especially for female solo travellers. In addition, the climate is great, it is an affordable place and the nature is just stunning. It has the African exotic nature vibe mixed with Latin American architecture vibe. Many Latin American cities were built according to La Laguna, the oldest Tenerife’s capital. It is a piece of real ‘European’ exotica.
Is Travelling Solo to Tenerife Safe, Especially for Female Solo Travellers?
Yes, it definitely is! As I already mentioned, it is a very safe place to visit. That is why I really recommend it, especially for people who would like to go for a trip alone for the first time. The infrastructure is very solid. The most popular and the biggest towns are connected by bus – for example, there is a twice an hour connection from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Costa Adeja in the south.
Throughout my 8 nights & 7 days solo travel in Tenerife I didn’t encounter a single dangerous situation, and I was hiking alone, walking alone at night and travelling alone by bus most of the time. I stayed up the north, but many solo travellers were actually located in the south during my time of the stay – November.
Therefore, I can only assume that both places are more or less the same safety wise. However, there are many more tourists in the south which may, in my opinion, increase the chances of robberies or inadequate drunk behaviours. But a solo travelling girl I met during my trip didn’t experience any troubles in the south either.
What is the Best place to Stay in Tenerife for Solo Travellers?
Firstly, you should decide which part of the island would reach your Tenerife solo travel plans and expectations. The north and the south are different – climate, nature and vibe wise. I stayed in the north as my flights from Hamburg were flying over there, and I heard that staying in Santa Cruz is the easiest way due to the best public transport connections, which is very true.
The South is Sunnier & Commercial
Surfers, travellers and solo travellers who plan to hike Teide, see Los Gigantes and explore La Gomera head usually to the south around El Médano, Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos. However, the last two mentioned are much more commercialized, full of tourists, and people on stag or hen parties. One of the pluses of staying in the south is that you can easily find other solo travellers to mingle with and there are more options to book guided tours or trips, including boat trips to La Gomera. South Tenerife has usually better climate and sunnier weather than the north.
The North is Green & Cute
On the other hand, people like me who prefer greenery and smaller, cosier places should head to the north. The area of Santa Cruz and La Laguna was the first one to be inhabited, and you can find many charming traditional canary houses there with the famous wooden canary balconies. The north has also Anaga Rural Park, the beautiful rain forest and ancient mountain range which is home to many exotic plant species.
Another option is to stay half of the trip in the north and half of the trip in the south, but I’d recommend it only if you stay 10 days and more. I stayed in north Tenerife for 7 days and still didn’t manage to see everything I wanted (however, I really took my time and didn’t rush at all.)
My advice would be to stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the north, from which you have the best connections to surrounding places and from where you can plan day trips. After you explore this area, you can head to the south. Here I can’t recommend any place to stay yet as I didn’t travel there. Although, I know many people usually stay in El Médano, Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos or Arona.
Can You Travel Solo in Tenerife without a Car?
It is definitely doable! Of course, renting a car gives you a great freedom, flexibility and many options to explore more places in a shorter time but the infrastructure in Tenerife; especially in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is very advanced.
Titsa will be your best friend during this time. There you can check all the buses which drive through the island and plan your itinerary accordingly. You can as well download the app and use it to purchase tickets by scanning a QR code on the door of the buses.
The prices for the public transport in the north were very cheap. For every journey around Santa Cruz, I paid only 1.25 euros and some of the routes took around one hour! Also, you can enjoy the most spectacular views from the bus thanks to its elevated undercarriage / high wheels. The north of Tenerife is extremely hilly, which provides you with amazingly dramatic scenery.
Buses to some parts of the island are very frequent – for example you can get to San Andrés or Playa de las Teresitas every 15 minutes, and it takes about 20 minutes to get to La Laguna by a tram.
Yet, there are some routes with less daily connections, so you need to make an extra afford for the planning and timing. It is certainly doable, though! My best highlights of the trip were located exactly on this less frequent routes, and I didn’t experience any issues. Everything is about a great timing, which is an important virtue in life in general. (Take this as an attempt to motivate you.)
What is the Best Time to Travel Solo to Tenerife
This depends on the exact activities you plan to do in Tenerife. The hottest months are July, August and September, so these could be great for a regular beach holidays.
However, hiking during the tropical summer wouldn’t be the loveliest, would it? Therefore, in case that the mountains are the travel trigger for you, I’d recommend January, May, June, November and December. Even though January is still ‘colder’ with an average temperature of 19 degrees (don’t freeze out there!), it is the driest month.
The cable car to Teide might be closed during the winter times due to snow and bad weather conditions. If you plan to hike up Teide and use the cable car, avoid winter months because the chances of the closure are high.
Travelling to Tenerife in November
I travelled to Tenerife in the middle of November and I experienced both sunny and misty weather and even though it was windy at times (the north is always unpredictable due to the mountains), it never rained during my visit. However, this type of weather is very unusual for November, as November tended to be wettish in the past years. The climate change influences this island too.
Tenerife in November was fabulous during my stay. I could hike, and I could swim, I could enjoy the beach and stroll over the city with the warm sunshine cuddling my back.
Fun fact: don’t forget your summer hat. It doesn’t matter if it is 25 degrees in Tenerife, they sell only Autumn and Winter clothes during ‘colder’ months, so it won’t be that simple to get summery items over there! (You can definitely get a sporty cap. It is just not my thing, and I searched for a bucket hat. Found only one. It didn’t fit me. World problems, I know!)
If you’re asking what would be the best time to visit Tenerife for surfing, I’d lead you to this article I found: Surf in Tenerife because I am not a surfer myself and won’t pretend here that I know answers for all questions. (Both modesty and honesty are honoured virtues, too.)
Best Restaurants in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for Solo Travellers
I will throw out here my top 5 favourite restaurants I enjoyed my food at in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna. To be honest, dining out was and actually always is one of the things I don’t really like during my solo trips. If I do it three nights in a row, it is completely fine, but being a lonely eater for a week is kind of tough. I had a dinner company only once during my 8-night trip in Tenerife.
People and stuff usually check you up, and you can see their pity looks. Come on, guys. I had a blast! (I even tried Tinder to find some ‘drinks and dinner’ dates but 90% guys took it as an ONS chance, so my naïve imagination of a company over tapas was demolished. This is definitely the most practical advice for female solo travellers in Tenerife…).
My TOP 5 Favourite Restaurants in Santa Cruz
D’Tapas,26 – Tapas with a twist. Great service, lovely wine and tasty food. I had a cold salad of shrimps and octopus as a starter and a beef cheeks as main.
Patio Canario La Laguna – A traditional Canarian cuisine with a classic ‘casa alta’ look. The food was just on point and the portions were huge. I met another solo traveller, and we shared a cheese board (super large one, take the medium portion. It was a cheese overload!), Pimientos el Padrón and Papas Arrugadas .
Restaurante La Posada – Offers traditional Spanish cuisine and tapas with an excellent service. As I dined alone, they gave me a glass of wine for free! (Dining alone has its perks, after all). I took a delicious seafood tostada and my favourite Solomillo de Pimientos steak. Heaven.
Cayote Restaurant – This was my hotel’s restaurant. It is a high cuisine with high prices but the food was spectacular. I had scallops, pumpkin soup (on the house) and incredible chocolate dessert called Chocolate en Texturas.
La Tasca Rebotica – Traditional and touristy place at Plaza San Francisco. I didn’t expect much as it is located in one of the most visited plazas of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. However, the food was yummy! I took Pulpo Rebotica and Chipirones.
7 Things to Do in North Tenerife when Travelling Alone (and without a Car)
Trust me, guys. There is like hundreds if not thousands of things to do and places to see in Tenerife. To answer your curious question on which places to visit in (mostly north) Tenerife, I will use my daily itinerary.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to visit all the places I wanted. All the guided tours to volcano Teide were booked out, and I didn’t feel comfortable to hike there alone, plus it was kind of far from Santa Cruz. Don’t make the same mistake as me and book everything in advance, it sells like freshly baked bread in the morning!
The second place, which was on my list as I have an OCD: Obsessive Cliff Disorder, were Los Gigantes. I managed to see them only from the back on a guided tour through Masca and Parque Rural de Teno. The plus is: I have already 2 reasons to visit beautiful Tenerife again! But let’s move on to inspire you with a list of places you can visit during your solo travel in Tenerife.
1. Strolling over Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Tenerife’s capital is a cute city with a welcoming vibe, lovely parks and great connections to other parts of the island. It doesn’t have a beach, only a big industrial port, but you can easily get to Playa de las Teresitas by bus. Here are four things I enjoyed in Santa Cruz de Tenerife the most, and I believe they can be part of your solo travel itinerary too.
Absolutely gorgeous botanical garden specialized in palm trees from all over the world. Lovely sea views and a view to the Auditorium are only a plus. You can walk through Melanesia, Madagascar, Australia, Asia, Caribbean etc. and explore the most beautiful palms and other exotic trees.
This is a signature plaza of Tenerife. I didn’t do much over there to be honest, but it is quite a charming place to have a drink or just chill around.
This is another cool signature building of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Don’t forget to watch over the sea rocks painted with faces of celebrities.
‘Centro historico’ is located between the street of Calle La Noria, Plaza de España Plaza de Candelaria and Plaza de Weyler. You can spot here many beautiful cute little houses bursting in colours, restaurants, bars or churches.
Parque García Sanabria
This is a gorgeous park to walk around and enjoy some lovely shadow on a sunny day. There is even a nice ice cream place over there.
2. Getting Dramatic at Almáciga, Roque de las Bodegas & Benijo
The northern shore of Tenerife is incredible! The views from the city of Almáciga absolutely took my breath. Not only absolutely but as well literally as it was windy as hell and I couldn’t catch up my breath afterwards!
Almáciga – a little tiny hilly village with a rocky beach, Roque de las Bodegas – one of the busiest beaches in the area and Benijo – one of the most remote beaches in the north are definitely one of the best places to see in Tenerife on your solo trip. As these three are located next to each other you can visit them during the same round, or you can at least enjoy the fantastic views from one beach to the other ones.
I chose a blustery, cloudy and grey day to come to this place which gave it a dark dramatic vibe, but it was one of my highlights of the whole Tenerife trip. It is not easy to get there because you need to drive across the Anaga Mountains; the road is very curvy and narrow. Walking around the mentioned beaches is also not that easy as there is no pedestrian pathway, only a curvy road for cars.
However, there is a direct bus number 946 from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which operates 8 times a day on weekdays and 6 times a day over weekends. It is not the greatest schedule per se, but it is completely doable with the right time management (it is a virtue to learn, do you remember?).
In addition, the bus ride is a great experience on its own! You pass directly through the Anaga Mountain Range through a narrow road where you think about the little things of your life because you are actually scared that the bus slips off the road and rolls down to the coast. I loved it! And this rollercoaster costs only 1.25 euros.
3. Enjoying Views from Playa Las Gaviotas and Playa de Las Teresitas
Would you fancy an isolated black sandy beach under a huge cliff? Or is your taste more in favour of an artificial but still charming white sandy beach with amenities and chirringuitos (beach bars). Why not to try both?
I didn’t personally beach on the Las Gaviotas, but I got some superb views to this remote beach which is not that easy to access but still attracts people due to its secluded nature and mysterious vibes. You can get there by car; the beach has even a dedicated parking space. Or you can take a bus number 945 which doesn’t operate that often – but again, with a proper timing everything is possible.
The beach is definitely reachable also by bike and by walk. I walked from the Las Gaviotas bus stop to Playa de Las Teresitas. All drivers hated me, of course because the road is once again super curvy and narrow, but people usually walk there because nobody every even bothered to think about pedestrians when building it up.
If you don’t watch your phone all the time, focus on the road and make it easier for the drivers by stepping aside a bit when they pass around, it is fine. I’d say that doing this route is much easier for the walkers and drivers than for the bikers. (Yet, many people bike through there!).
Anyway, the views from the road are just spectacular and once again – pretty dramatic. Once you move lower to already closed Mirador de Las Teresitas, drama changes into a colourful bliss. The views to the beach, which is yet fake (the sand is fake, not the view!) are gorgeous. My level of endorphins jumped very high – seeing a dark drama and a sweet candy afterwards was like a dream!
After the long walk you can settle on the Playa de Las Teresitas, rent a beach chair with an umbrella for only 5 euros, have a swim, catch some sun and even watch the sun setting down the San Andrés. What a romance!
4. Hiking through Anaga Rural Park
Visiting the ancient rainforest of Anaga was one of my first things on the list. This range of mountains is definitely a place to visit in Tenerife, not only for solo travellers.
The forest offers you plenty of hiking trails, remote corners to hide from the crowds, there are incredible views and mostly, it is home of stunning plant species. There are not many wild animals in Anaga and on the island in general, only lizards. (Mia, my dear friend, I am thinking of you right now. Note: She hates lizards!).
I wasn’t brave enough to hike through Anaga alone. Not that the forest would scare me, I don’t trust my orientation skills that much, and getting lost in the middle of a 119.6 km² rainforest doesn’t sound like a great idea to me. It may make a great and catchy newspaper titles though: Slovak woman out of her mind found in Anaga. Survived, but may not talk ever again.
Therefore, I booked a guided tour with World Travel Tenerife – a short but sweet hike or rather a walk through more secluded parts of the forest, including El Pijaral, the Enchanted Forest. Our guide Angel was great! He shared with us many fun but as well scary stories. I strongly recommend his guided tours!
According to Alltrails there are 114 trails in the Anaga Mountains alone! That means you could spend all your Tenerife solo travel only by exploring the ancient forest itself. It is really an exceptionally beautiful range of mountains with incredibly fresh air and tall tilted green bushes and trees. Love at first, second, last sight. All sights!
5. Visiting San Cristobal La Laguna
This is such a cute city! The centre of La Laguna is full of narrow streets with charming colourful canary houses, bars, restaurants, shops and more. It was hard for me to believe that La Laguna is the second most populous city in Tenerife and the third in the Canary Islands after Santa Cruz, as the centre has such a rural vibe!
La Laguna has a long deep history as it was one of the first settlements and cities of Tenerife after being conquered by the Spanish conquerors. Therefore, it became the cradle of the Enlightenment in the Canary Islands.
You can get there easily from Santa Cruz by a tram which costs only a few euros, and it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach it. There are several tram stops in Santa Cruz, and it drives until late, so you have plenty of chances to get to La Laguna.
I would devote La Laguna an afternoon or an evening. You can stop at Mirador de San Roque from where you get a lovely view to La Laguna and surrounding Anaga Rural Park. You definitely should have lunch or a dinner as this town. The centre is full of lovely restaurants. As mentioned above, we dined at Patio Canario with another solo traveller and the food was damn tasty! If you wish to experience some authentic Canarian architecture and feel hundreds of years of history, visiting La Laguna is definitely one of the best things to do in Tenerife.
6. Exploring the Western Shores
One of the perks of going for a guided tour with a native guide is that you can see many places in a short time. Many stunning places to be precise, without spending too much time on doing your research and with many ‘off the beaten path’ places included.
As I felt comfortable with Angel in Anaga, he was a native guy with a great hiking experience and tremendous knowledge about Tenerife, I booked another guided tour with him. This one was called Northern Secrets, and despite the name we explore not only part of the northwest shore, but we entered the warmer and drier southwest too.
This tour was full of spectacular views and even when we were in the car most of the time, it was a lovely experience to explore new places and see the differences between the north and the south. I am not saying you need to take the very same guided tour as me. Many of the places mentioned below are reachable by public transport. Take this rather as an inspiration to make your own Tenerife solo travel itinerary.
Mirador de Humbolt
This is a wonderful view point in Orotava with stunning views to the northwest scenery – Orotava village, banana fields, sea, volcano Teide. It was named after the famous German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who visited the island before his journey to South America.
Orotava is one of the oldest towns in the Canary Islands, founded in the early 16th Century. It is known for its spectacular architecture, full of classic Canary houses and wooden balconies.
Rambla de Castro
Citing World Travel Tenerife, Rambla de Castro is the largest wild palm grove on the island overlooking the entire north coast. The views to this protected field are an absolute bliss! One of our co-visitor whose family comes from Barbados said herself that this could be easily a scene from her home island! This is definitely a must-see place in Tenerife!
Charco del Viento
This is apparently the most popular natural bath in Tenerife and hell yes, it looked like a dreamy pool one would jump in within a second. There are instructions on how to enter the bath, which you should read carefully. It is indeed a natural bath in the middle of rock and as the water can get wild, it is better to respect the rules at least this time.
Santiago del Teide
Santiago del Teide is a tiny and cute village with a super mini plaza and a church on the southwest of the island. We stopped here for a coffee. I needed some sugar, so I took the very famous Barraquito – multi-layered coffee drink with espresso liquor, condensed milk, frothed milk, lemon or lime zest and cinnamon.
I think that this town is really not a must-visit place, but it is a great start point for hiking to the Parque Rural de Teno. There is no direct connection from Santa Cruz to Santiage del Teide, but it takes only two buses with a stop at Estación Icod, and it takes 2 hours by bus.
Parque Rural de Teno & Masca Valley
Natural Park of Teno or Teno Rural Park is a range of mountains located at the very southwest of Tenerife. Both Los Gigantes and Masca Valley belong to this rural park. This is definitely the greenest part of the south and even though it is drier than Anaga, it has its western and exotic charms.
Masca Gorge is also known for being the Machu Picchu of Tenerife, and there are several viewpoints in this area. The Natural Park of Teno offers its visitors breathtaking scenery and dozens of trails – unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information on how many exactly. If you appear to know, tell us in the comments below. The drive through this park was just fabulous. As I said, nature in Tenerife is just spectacular.
7. Getting Lost in the Northeast – Hiking up to El Semafóro
Don’t worry, I didn’t really get lost out there! It is more a metaphor, as this part of the island is more remote and less touristy. This was probably my most ‘isolated’ or remote experience during my whole Tenerife solo travel, as I didn’t meet many other hikers on the trail. Even though it is very difficult to choose the best place I visited during this trip, if I really had to choose one, it would be El Semafóro.
Hiking up El Semafóro – an old ruin of an abandoned traffic light. It was pretty brutal to get up there, but the constant views were pretty brutal too! It was on the second last day of my trip when I decided to go for this hike I’d discovered on Google only the night before. Furthermore, it is not such a famous hiking trail – the route is not even on Google and I found it only thanks to the beach I followed the first and then the cemetery which is nearby the trail.
How to Get to El Semafóro
I took bus number 945 from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Igueste de San Andrés. Yes, it is the very same bus which takes you to Playa las Gaviotas. I got off at the last bus stop which is called exactly as the town itself and which was located next to a tiny plaza with a church. Here I needed to use Google Maps because there were several tiny pathways I could follow. However, if you carry on straight from the plaza towards the seas, you’ll notice a sign with El Semafóro on the left.
As Google wasn’t really able to help me find the exact way to El Semafóro, I searched for Playa de Igueste, which was close to the trail. I walked to the beach, took some pictures and headed north to the cemetery – as I thought the trail could start somewhere around it. As I was walking up the concrete stairs which lead to the cemetery, I noticed another sign on the left – and this was actually the start point of the trail.
The surface of the trail is very slippery, made of soil and rocks. The route is quite steep, and the elevation is advanced. However, you can’t really get lost there because there is one and only trail which goes up and down. Once you find the entrance to the trail which is before the cemetery, you don’t need to worry about following any direction as there is only on – up!
A Few More Tips for the El Semafóro Hike
You should take with you good hiking shoes, lots of water, some snacks, sunglasses and hat because there is barely a shadow up there and a device to make picture of the tremendous 360 degrees beauty what’s around you!
I made a mistake and hiked around 1pm, and this happened to be a very sunny and warm day. I’d suggest you do this hike in the morning or in the late afternoon, as it is basically a melting pot up there. After hiking up for 1 or 1.5 hours, depending on how many breaks you take, you reach the old abandoned traffic lights – El Semafóro.
I didn’t have the balls to go any closer to this ruin, as I was hiking alone, and it looked very creepy. I doubt there are some monsters, criminals or aliens hiking, but it just didn’t feel right. This was one and only moment when I felt a bit scared during my whole Tenerife solo travel.
The way down takes obviously much less time because you move quicker but is a bit dangerous because the surface is once again very slippery so be careful out there!
Have Fun on Your Tenerife Solo Travel
That’s it folks! I believe that at least one paragraph of this +5000 word piece of a Tenerife solo trip guide has given you a piece of practical advice. I recommend this island to all nature and history lovers. The options to explore places over there are limitless. I wish you a great journey and countless fabulous adventures, drama, fun and views on your solo travel trip to this beautiful Canary island. If you have any further questions about travelling to Tenerife alone or in general, or you just want to say a few warm words, write a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer any curious enquiries!