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How long to drive around Tenerife

Ever wondered how long it would take to drive around the largest Canary Island, the magnificent Tenerife? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This diverse island, brimming with lush forests, sun-drenched beaches, and breath-taking mountains, is a true paradise for road-trippers.

Overview of Tenerife and Its Roads

Tenerife’s size and topography

Tenerife, with an area of 2,034 square kilometers, is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. Its unique topography, shaped by volcanic activities, presents a fascinating mix of flat coastal areas and mountainous terrain, especially the majestic Teide – the highest peak in Spain.

The island’s road network

Tenerife boasts a well-maintained road network, with the main artery being the TF-1 motorway, circling the island’s southern and eastern part. This network extends into smaller, picturesque roads meandering through the mountains and along the coastline.

How Long to Drive Continuously?

drive around tenerife
How long to drive around Tenerife

The quickest route

If you stick to the TF-1 motorway, a quick whip around Tenerife covers roughly 345 kilometers. This doesn’t include detours or stops – just pure driving.

Estimated driving time

Driving continuously around Tenerife might take you about 3.5 to 4 hours. But, don’t be deceived! This is merely a direct route, and Tenerife is so much more than a quick drive.

Considering Scenic Routes

Popular scenic routes

Tenerife is dotted with scenic routes that warrant a slower, more deliberate pace. From the serpentine mountain roads of Masca to the ascension into Teide National Park, these routes are peppered with photo-worthy stops that make your drive an unforgettable experience.

Time adjustment for scenic detours

It’s the journey, not the destination, right? Allowing time for these scenic detours adds a bit more to your travel time, but the enriched experience and the awe-inspiring vistas make it worthwhile.

Stops Along the Way

Towns and Cities

Cities like Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the UNESCO World Heritage site of San Cristóbal de La Laguna add cultural richness to your trip. Taking the time to explore these cities, their unique architecture, and vibrant lifestyle can easily consume a significant portion of your journey.

Natural landmarks

Natural landmarks, such as the Anaga Rural Park and the Cliffs of Los Gigantes, are inviting spots for short breaks, refreshing your senses and stretching your legs. Therefore, when you factor in these stops, your driving journey around Tenerife could easily stretch over a couple of days.

Road Conditions and Traffic

Road conditions

Tenerife’s roads are well-maintained and safe, but mountain roads can be a bit challenging due to their steep and winding nature. This could slow you down if you’re not accustomed to such terrain.

Traffic and timing

Traffic also plays a role in determining your total travel time. During the peak tourist season, roads can get busier, especially in popular tourist spots, potentially slowing down your progress.


While you might be able to drive around Tenerife in about 3.5 – 4 hours, to fully immerse in the island’s beauty and rich culture, consider a road trip that spans several days. This way, you can fully appreciate the scenic routes, engage with the local culture, relax, and savor the Tenerife experience. Remember, it’s not about ticking off a bucket list; it’s about creating memorable experiences that last a lifetime.


  1. What is the quickest route to drive around Tenerife?
    The quickest route is sticking to the TF-1 motorway, which circles the island’s southern and eastern part.
  2. How long does it take to drive around Tenerife without stops?
    Driving continuously, it would take roughly 3.5 – 4 hours.
  3. What scenic routes are there in Tenerife?
    There are many scenic routes, but some of the most notable ones include the drive through Masca and the route up to Teide National Park.
  4. What factors can slow down my drive around Tenerife?
    Factors like taking time to explore scenic routes, stopping at towns and natural landmarks, road conditions, and traffic can add to your total driving time.
  5. How much time should I allot for a comprehensive Tenerife road trip?
    While it depends on your preferences, a road trip spanning several days allows a more relaxed and comprehensive exploration of Tenerife.
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Joséluis Velázquez

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