I was apprehensive about visiting Tenerife – I thought it was going to be a bit too touristy and not enough culture for me. However, we stayed in Puerto de la Cruz in the North rather than Palaya de las Americas and it was a great combination of relaxing and leisure time plus culture. The botanical garden and the outdoor street art museum in Puerto de la Cruz were amazing. I spent a week there in total and it was a lovely holiday. The island is quite small and easy to get around with regular tours running. Tenerife is also in the Canary Islands, making it a great place for winter sun! It is actually one of my favourite Spanish holiday islands. In today’s blog, I am sharing with you my Tenerife packing list for one week.
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When to go to Tenerife
I went to Tenerife in September and it was the perfect time to visit – still quite hot but less tourists! The temperature year round is usually between 20-25 degrees C, but it can be colder (15-20 degrees) in the winter months of December and January.
Bear in mind that Mount Tiede has its own microclimate and the temperature up there is substantially colder than on the Tenerife coast. It can even drop close to freezing in the winter months, so you will need to amend your packing list based on where you want to go, what time of year you are visiting and whether or not you will include hiking or cycling activities on Tiede.
Tips for Cyclists
If you are a dedicated cyclist and want to enjoy Mount Tiede by bike then you will need to add any of your own personal or specialist cycling gear to this Tenerife packing list (e.g. lycra, cycling gloves) There are 5 cycling routes that take you 2,360m up Mount Tiede before the Asphalt turns to volcanic rock (where you will have to switch to hiking to complete the last bit!) There are places there where you can hire bikes and helmets.
My Tenerife Packing list for one week
So, here’s what to pack for Tenerife…I’ve also split it into two lists one for hand luggage and one for checked baggage. This is literally everything I took to Tenerife and would manage a one week or 10 day trip (just add in a few extra undies and one more dress for 10 days).
What to pack for Tenerife – hand luggage
- Deuter 32L Backpack – I love this backpack because it has side pockets, a separate laptop compartment and a mesh back system for built in comfort.
Tenerife Packing List – Hand Luggage
- Passport and printed boarding flight tickets, boarding passes and hotel details. It’s also an OK size for cheap airlines and suitable if you are going hand luggage only. I’ve used it before on both Ryanair and Easyjet.
- I like to keep my travel documents in one of these A5 plastic wallets.
- Walking boots (worn on the plane not packed) – mine are Karrimor Weatherlite Bodmin for ladies.
- Phone, charging cable plus fully charged battery pack (mine is an Anker power pack).
- Lightweight wind and shower proof jacket (worn on plane) – for windy coastal walks and Tiede.
- €300 cash spending money (we booked all inclusive so this did not need to pay for the transfer, hotel or food other than the odd meal out).
- Credit and Debit cards (My Barclaycard and Nationwide Visa Debit both worked in Tenerife).
- Sunglasses – If you have prescription glasses I recommend polarised lenses with light reactivity so that your usual pair will darken in the sunlight – no need for switching!
- DSLR Camera and battery with charger for photography of Mount Tiede, the botanical gardens and the street art around Puerto de la Cruz. If you find a DSLR bulky or difficult to use then you can opt for a nice point and shoot such as the Nikon Coolpix or Canon Powershot (this is my backup).
- Macbook and Macbook charger and Macbook sleeve – I use the Macbook Air as it’s so lightweight and easy to travel with.
- Small packet of tissues and small packet of anti-bacterial hand wipes (or hand gel if you prefer).
- Small clear see through make up bag (mine is Lily England) containing – small toothpaste and tooth brush (handy for the flight!) and basic make up kit. This means no stress at security transferring all your make up and basic small toiletries into one of those ziplock bags. Remember that toiletries that you have in this inside hand luggage must be smaller than 100ml.
- Travel sized toothpaste – This Sensodyne travel toothpaste comes in a 2 pack with a travel toothbrush and is ideal.
- Tinted Moisturiser – this Estee Lauder Daywear (lightweight tinted moisturiser) is a must for Tenerife – it is not too heavy and so it won’t cake like some foundations. It also comes out white but then adjusts to the colour of your skin, meaning that the colour will change with you when you tan! No worrying about a miss-match here!
- Catkin Moonlight Lip balm – I go for the CO5 dusty rose as it is very moisturising but also has a nice tint and so this is the perfect substitution for a separate lipstick and lip balm.
- Clinique travel sized high impact mascara – they come in packs of two and are perfect for travel.
- Rouge – I like the Boujois little round pot blusher (Rose Frisson) as it’s a great size for travel.
- Personal medication – I pack my inhaler in my clear make up bag so that it can be seen when going through security. I also keep paracetomol and my regular daily vitamins (Vitamin D) and regular medication handy in a side or front pocket so that it is accessible.
- Lonely Planet Pocket Tenerife – Despite being able to find a lot of information online, I always like to have a paperback guidebook to read on the plane or flick through when I am out and about with no internet signal. This Lonely planet pocket Tenerife is definitely the best out there that focuses on the island.
- 1 set of spare pants and socks and a vest top (I always put one set of these in my hand luggage in case my main bag goes missing on the way over!)
What to pack for Tenerife – Main Checked Luggage
In my main checked luggage I have a second toiletry bag for the larger toiletries including shampoo and conditioner.
- Shampoo and conditioner (I like Moroccan Argan oil shampoo)
- Deodorant – for air travel pack a roll on and not a pressurised spray deodorant.
- Travel sized Clinique 3 step skincare kit (I use number 2)
- Travel sized shower gel (your hotel may supply this so could be worth checking).
- Small amount of cotton wool and ear buds just for one week.
- Sun cream (I use Ambre Solaire factor 30) and soothing after sun.
- Disposable razor x 1.
The rest of the bulk of your main packing for Tenerife will be clothes and beach wear…
- 3 pairs of medium weight loop hole walking socks for hiking on mount Tiede (mine are Storm Bloc which are great value and were comfortable for Tenerife)
- 5 pairs normal socks and 7 changes of underwear.
- 1 Sports bra and 1 underwired bra (I took this New Balance sports bra for hiking Tiede and it was perfect)
- Gimbal for making videos – I use the DJI Osmo.
- 2 pairs of cycling shorts and one pair of leggings – I like these Yoga Naked Feeling cycling shorts as they have pockets which is great for slotting your phone in!
- Hiking trousers (lightweight cotton from Eurohike).
- 2 vest tops and 3 T-shirts – You can grab these on Amazon for less than £10!
- Denim shorts (it’s usually too hot for jeans in Tenerife).
- A long sleeved linen top (I like tunics that are light and comfortable for the evenings).
- Short day dress – cotton or floaty is ideal.
- Long Maxi dress for evening meals – mine is stretchy jersey material from Oasis.
- One pair of comfortable flat shoes and flip flops for the beach.
- Foldable backpack or soft material beach bag (fabric so it can fold away)
- 2 X bikinis (it’s nice to have more than one option for Tenerife because you will spend a lot of time by the pool!) – I get properly fitted at Leia for my bikinis.
- Sarong that can be worn as a wrap around skirt for the beach and also as a shawl for the evening.
- Large beach towel – the hotels provide towels but sometimes they are not big enough or soft enough! Some hotels don’t like you to take their towels out.
- Sun hat – a fabric one is ideal as it will fold in your luggage.
What to pack for Tenerife – for Men
For men, you may want to switch in the following items
- Baseball cap.
- Short sleeved cotton shirts x 2.
- Cargo trousers.
- Beach shorts that can double up as day wear or swimming shorts.
- Mens walking sandals.
- Shaving cream and after shave or after shave balm (don’t pack any razors in hand luggage).
What to wear in Tenerife
Shorts and T-shirts are the most popular option for holiday makers in Tenerife and most bars and restaurants don’t have an enforceable dress code. However, it’s nice to have a smarter outfit or two for the odd nice dinner. The Spanish do tend be dressier than people in the UK and USA. So women should pack a couple of dresses and a cardigan and men should pack a shirt, smart trousers and dress shoes.
Packing list for Tenerife in Winter
In winter months (particularly December and January) then adding a pair of jeans and a fleece to your Tenerife packing list is a good idea. I like my Tog 24 zip down Fleece. If you intend to hike Tiede during the winter you will also potentially need gloves, a beanie and a more rigorous wind and waterproof jacket (I recommend a Berghaus Gortex jacket).
Further Reading on Tenerife
If you found this blog helpful and you are heading to Tenerife, you might also like to read…
- Places to visit in Tenerife
- Street Art in Puerto de la Cruz
- What is the best Spanish holiday island?