Millions upon millions of travelers are drawn to Tenerife each year. Some come simply for the guaranteed winter sun in December and January. Others are allured by the gorgeous, glinting, gold-sand beaches that string around Costa Adeje in the south. Then you get the partiers and the cocktail drinkers, who infuse Los Cristianos with all-night karaoke and dancing. Back from the coast is the more hidden hinterland of Tenerife. That’s fast becoming an adventure mecca. Spiked by the highest mountain in Spain – monstrous Pico del Teide – it’s a rugged land of mossy laurel forests, magma-carved plateaus and whitewashed Canarian villages. And that’s not even mentioning the black-sand bays and surf beaches further north.
If you’re joining the crowds of holidaymakers in this loveable corner of Spain this year, you might want to consider heading for an Airbnb instead of a conventional hotel. You’ll be able to get private pads with self-catering facilities and living rooms, more seclusion than classic resorts, and even cheaper rates. Tempted? This guide has all the info you need to book, including neighbourhood intros and tips on the hottest properties the island has to offer.
There’s been an ongoing battle regarding the legality of Airbnb in Tenerife for some years now. Local authorities have attempted to pass legislation that would totally outlaw short-term lets on the island. But there’s also been pushback from owners and certain sectors of the tourist industry. The result has been a tightening of the licensing procedures and stronger checks on properties, effectively cutting the number of listings available via Airbnb.
Although fines and repercussions for not being properly registered are all the responsibility of the host, not the traveler (that’s you), it might be a good idea to check that everything’s in order before you book. You can do that using the contact host feature on any individual property page.
Where should I stay in Tenerife Airbnb?
The 2,000 square kilometres of Tenerife hosts some wonderful spots. Sun seekers are likely to be familiar with the uber-popular beaches in the south, where perennial resorts like Los Cristianos(1) and Costa Adeje(2) make their home. Up north, meanwhile, the buzzing capital of Santa Cruz(3) de Tenerife has markets and museums and more. El Medáno(4) has made its name as a watersports hub on the east coast. Then you have the rustic, remote and beautiful mountain villages of Garachico(5) and Taganana (6) – perfect for seeing Tenerife’s more authentic side.
Great for families
Not too many Airbnbs because hotels are more popular around here
Thanks to its long runs of sandy beaches and crystal-clear Atlantic waters, the area of Los Cristianos has risen to become perhaps the most popular tourist destination on all of Tenerife. It’s chock-a-block full of tour providers and family restaurants, so get ready for mornings of jet skiing and banana boat rides, followed by long lunches of Canarian tapas. Hotel resorts dominate the town, but there are also a few Airbnb rentals in the form of villas and condos in the vicinity.
Costa Adeje is almost the same as its near neighbour of Los Cristianos, only it comes with a twist of the A-lister about. Yep, instead of welcoming family eateries, this resort boasts sleek cocktail bars that gaze across the Atlantic and get bustling with beautiful people wearing their Sunday best when the sun sets. The managed beaches in the area are some of the finest on the island – check out Playa del Duque and cinnamon-coloured Playa de Fañabé. In the surrounding hills, you can look for golf courses and luxury Airbnbs with private swimming pools.
Locals call the sprawling, gritty port capital of their island simply Santa Cruz for short. With the sun-and-sea holidaymakers all in the south, it’s a town that thrives on its authentic Canarian roots and modern energy. Rows of multicoloured houses cascade down from the dusty sierras to meet a bubbling harbour where high-rise condo blocks keep watch over the cutting-edge architecture of the UFO-like Auditorio de Tenerife. History museums mingle with tapas cantinas on the plazas, while cruise ships dot the ports and shoppers beep their credit cards down the bustling retail quarter of Calle del Castillo. It’s fizzing with life.
El Medáno is a traditional Canarian fishing village that’s garnered something of a loyal following among windsurfers. That’s thanks to its exposed bays and wild waves, which roll into the points and the rocky headlands all over the town. But there’s plenty to like about it even if you aren’t coming for the adrenaline-pumping waters. Whitewashed seafood tavernas with fresh-caught Atlantic fish abound, there’s a charming promenade with a laid-back feel, and you won’t be hemmed in by the colossal resort complexes that exist further south.
Gorgeous Garachico is a symphony of Spanish church spires, whitewashed villas and red-tiled roofs that clutches the clifftops of northern Tenerife. Cobbled streets and pastel-painted façades ensure it looks every inch the authentic Canarian village. That’s actually very much the vibe here: Zero resorts; zero manmade beaches. Wild swimming in volcanic tide pools are what you get instead of sands, and charming B&Bs and tavernas serving mojo potatoes replace the Irish bars.
Taganana promises to whisk you just about as far as it’s possible to go off the beaten track on Tenerife. Vaulted high in the sierras of the Rural de Anaga Park on the northern fringes of the island, it’s a small and compact place beset by lush forests and serrated mountain ridges. The setting is certain to take the breath away, especially when you factor in the soaring cliffs and the wave-smashed coastline that’s just below. Airbnbs might be in short supply here, but they can hardly be trumped if you’re truly looking to get away from it all!
Fling open your balcony doors in the morning and you’ll be greeted by visions of volcanic cones and the sloshing swells of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s if you book this lovely condo-apartment in the enchanting fishing town of El Medáno. Watersports aficionados are sure to love it for its proximity to the windsurfing points, but couples and families should also be comfy thanks to the presence of a large bathroom and kitchen-diner with breakfast bar.
Perched somewhere up on the volcanic ridges between the charming village of Garachico and the soaring heights of the Pico del Teide, this traditional Canarian finca is a true escape from the bustle of the resorts. It’s got whitewashed walls and cacti-sprouting gardens, but there’s extra spice in the mix thanks to that enticing eight-shaped pool and ocean-view balconies.
There’s no question that the southern end of Tenerife is the place to head if you’ve got the kids in tow – it’s filled with watersports outfitters and protected sand beaches. This house sits just on the edge of the region, near the resorts of El Medáno and charming Los Abrigos. When you’re not out exploring the coast or dolphin watching, you can laze by the walled-in pool or gather in the spacious lounge-diner. The place has three individual bedrooms and capacity for up to seven guests.
Enjoying the privacy of its own estate in the hills above chic Costa Adeje, this traditional Spanish villa boasts a flower-packed garden and a private pool. There’s lots of outdoor eating and seating ground, along with plenty of sunbeds around the pool itself. Inside, exposed volcanic-stone walls decorate an L-shaped lounge, while a total of eight bedrooms and three bathrooms make it a comfy stay for bigger parties.
Isolated on the east coast in the district of rustic Güímar, this stoop fisherman’s cottage has been converted into the perfect pad for any loved-up duo on their first Tenerife jaunt. You’ll bed down in a cosy studio with rope chairs and a boho-cool feel about it, all while the Atlantic waves wash against the black-rock shores just over the road.
The price of an Airbnb in Tenerife all depends on what you’re after. Lux villas with private pools will usually cost the most, while simple rooms for rent in shared lodgings can be super-easy on the travel budget. Generally speaking, these sorts of lettings will set you back a little less than classic resort hotels. That’s not just down to the nightly rate, though. It’s also because they tend to be in more remote locations on the island, but also often have multiple rooms that let you share the price of a stay with all the other people in your group.
Of course, if you’re keen to be pampered and looked after from check-in to departure, it’s probably better to stick to hotels. Somewhere like the Jardin Tropical Hotel is a prime example. It carries that fun-loving resort vibe with its gorgeous outdoor pools and half-outdoor gym area. Meanwhile, you also get frills like buffet breakfasts and direct access (within 600m) to the nearest beach.
Glimmering beaches, year-round warmth, rugged interior mountains – they’re all part of the deal in Tenerife, one of Europe’s most popular holidaying spots. Welcoming Airbnb rentals with pools and ocean views are just another reason you might want to make the Canary your next destination!