How to Get Around Tenerife, Spain
Two airports serve the island of Tenerife.
Tenerife Norte is the older and smaller of the two, located on the outskirts of the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Although relatively small, it has good facilities including an exchange booth, several car-rental agencies, a bar and a helpful information booth (8am to 7pm).
The flashier Tenerife Sur is located around 20km east of Playa de las Ámericas and handles international flights.
Getting From Tenerife Sur Airport
Bus 343 goes to Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos (one-way €3.70, 45 minutes) roughly every 40 minutes from 8.25am to 11pm, continuing to Tenerife Norte airport (€9.70, 50 minutes) from 8.25am to 11pm daily.
A taxi from Tenerife Sur to the centre of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Ámericas will cost around €26 and €28 respectively.
From Tenerife Norte Airport
Bus 102 goes to Santa Cruz de Tenerife roughly every 30 minutes from 12.30am to 11.30pm (one-way €2.65, 20 minutes), continuing to La Laguna (€2.45) and Puerto de la Cruz (€4.75).
The express bus 343 goes to Tenerife Sur airport (€9.70, 50 minutes) roughly every hour from 7am to 9.45pm daily.
A taxi from Tenerife Norte to the center of Santa Cruz will cost around €20. A ride to the Tenerife Sur airport will cost around €70.
How to Get Around Tenerife
Getting around Tenerife on a bicycle
Wind in the hair, building up those calf muscles and enjoying the freedom to explore at exactly your own pace. Cycling around Tenerife is an extremely pleasant way to see the island and you can rent mountain and city bikes at all the main resorts and larger towns. Expect to pay a minimum of €12 a day with a standard deposit of around €50.
Be wary on the roads. Bicycle lanes in the urban environment are sadly minimal although beach-side boulevards are increasingly incorporating space for bike riding. Drivers are not always as courteous as you would like.
Getting around Tenerife on a Bus
The bus line is very inexpensive especially on the longer routes. The first thing you should know about the buses here is their Canarian name: guagua (pronounced ‘wa-wa’), although if you ask about autobuses, you will still be understood. Aside from Santa Cruz, services in most towns and even resorts do not operate out of a dedicated bus station, but a street with a kiosk where you can purchase tickets and pick up a bus timetable.
Buses are operated by TITSA (Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife SA;) and cover the entire island. The bus service is fast, comfortable and inexpensive. The website, in English and Spanish, includes a comprehensive list of routes and times.
Getting around Tenerife on a Car
Car rental is the only option if you want to get away from the main tourist resorts and really explore the island.
Renting a car in Tenerife is highly recommended; the bus service is good but restricts you time-wise and exploring inland is only really possible with your own wheels. All the major international car-rental companies are represented in Tenerife and there are also plenty of local operators.
To rent a car you need to have a driver’s license, be aged 21 or over and have a credit or debit card; prices start from around €20 per day. Speed limits are 120km on motorways, 100km on dual highways, 90km on country roads, 50km in built-up areas and 20km in residential zones. Generally you can’t take a hire car from one island to another. Cicar, a Canary Islands company, is an exception as they have offices located throughout the archipelago.
Rent your car online before you travel to both save money and also avoid being in a situation where there are no available cars for rental (it can happen in high season). Third-party motor insurance is a minimum requirement when renting a car in Tenerife.
Unless you are intending to settle in Tenerife, there is no advantage whatsoever in bringing your own vehicle. Gasolina (petrol) is much cheaper in Tenerife than elsewhere in Spain because it is not taxed as heavily. Sin plomo (unleaded) and diesel (diesel) petrol are available everywhere with generally two grades on offer for each.
Getting around Tenerife on a Taxi
Always use official, and easily identifiable, taxis at the airport. If you can’t locate your hotel, ask a local taxi to lead you there.
The tram is by far the most convenient mode of travel between between Santa Cruz and La Laguna due primarily to its frequency: every 12 minutes. Tranvía de Tenerife is the most enjoyable and comfortable way to travel between Santa Cruz and La Laguna. There are two lines. The main line, Line 1, is 12.5km long with 21 stops and connects with Line 2, which is 3.6km long and has 6 stops, two of which are transfer stops. Most visitors will take Line 1, however, which connects Santa Cruz with Avenida de la Trinidad (a five-minute walk from the historic center of La Laguna).
Tickets are bought from a machine and cost €1.35 for a single ride, €6 for five trips and €45 for a month pass; note that you cannot buy tickets on the tram. ATrams run from 6am to midnight daily and the journey from Santa Cruz to La Laguna takes around 35 minutes. Don’t forget to punch your ticket in the machine when you get on the tram, as failure to do so can result in a €100 fine.