The top 10 stunning views on Tenerife

What have forests that have disappeared from most of the world, the Earth's third highest volcano, valleys where people still live in caves and a surreal landscape that looks like it belongs on another planet got in common? 

The answer is you can find them all on Tenerife

Our top 10 stunning views of Tenerife take in the island's most dramatic and surprising scenery. Discover them all on your holiday to a Tenerife villa.

From the top of Mount Teide

Pico Viejo from Mount Teide, Tenerife

The ultimate view on Tenerife is from the summit of Spain's highest mountain, Mount Teide; a gigantic presence in the centre of the island. On a clear day, you might not be able to see forever, but you can notch up most of the other Canary Islands, and in the evening, Mount Teide is home to one of Tenerife's most beautiful sunsets.

You need a permit to get to the top of the volcano but a cable car travels to within 500 metres where the views will really take your breath away (the air is very thin up there). It's a toss-up which direction offers the most astounding vistas; La Fortaleza to the north, Teide National Park to the east or the crater of Pico Viejo to the south-west. 

La Orotava Valley

La Orotava Valley and Mount Teide, Tenerife

It's a myth that there are great views of Mount Teide from all over Tenerife. From the south of the island the mountain is almost anonymous, hidden behind a crater wall. Once you head away from the south in almost any direction, Mount Teide starts to impose itself on the scenery so there isn't just one outstanding view, there are lots. 

The difficulty is picking the top one. To help out, let's call in famous explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who reckoned the view across the La Orotava Valley was one of the best he'd witnessed anywhere in the world.

Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes, Tenerife

A wall of rock five hundred metres high, Los Gigantes (the giants), stretches from the resort of the same name all the way to the most westerly point of the island at Punta de Teno. They are mythical in appearance, which is probably why they were used as a backdrop for the Clash of the Titans. 

The cliffs seem even more dramatic up close from one of the whale and dolphin watching boats that sail the cetacean-rich waters between Tenerife and La Gomera. Landlubbers will probably enjoy them more accompanied by a sunset G&T at Mirador de Archipenque.

It has to be Masca

Road to Masca, Tenerife

You can't have a list of the best views of Tenerife without including Masca. Usually it's the classic image looking down from the car park above the village. However, I like the aspect you get from mirador on the road leading into Masca. It's a very different scene from there and you get a much greater sense of the location. Plus, it gives you an idea of the narrow twister road you're going to have to nervously negotiate to get to Masca.

Playa de las Teresitas

Playa de las Teresitas, Tenerife

Many people will be familiar with this shot of the golden sands of Playa de las Teresitas and Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz, beyond. It's used in countless travel articles even when the article doesn't mention the beach. 

It doesn't matter that the sand is imported from the Sahara, Las Teresitas looks fabulous against the turquoise water, especially when viewed from above at the Los Órganos viewpoint.

El Palmar and the pie

El Palmar, Tenerife

Very few visitors venture this far into Teno National Park, therefore most people miss out on seeing one of Tenerife's prettiest agricultural valleys at El Palmar. The 'pie' in the middle was excavated to help build some of the surrounding houses but the earth was unstable and too many 'accidents' brought mining to an end. Now it sits there, adding its curious shape to the verdant valley.

The Anaga Mountains

Chinamada, Anaga Mountains, Tenerife

The early morning view of these remote mountains in the north east of Tenerife is simply magical. With a combination of the spray from the crashing Atlantic rollers and the rising sun shielded by the mountains themselves, they take on an enchanting misty blue hue. 

A coastal track leading from Punta de Hidalgo leaves the coast to ascend into the heart of the Anagas. You don't have to go all the way of course, a 15 minute stroll will get you in position for a ringside seat on a rock.

The Valle de Santiago

Valle de Santiago, Tenerife

As well as being postcard pretty, especially when the area's almond trees are in bloom around January/February, the Valle de Santiago shows signs of Mother Nature's occasional volatile moods. The island's last eruption in 1909 left tell tale rivers of lava that ran perilously close to one of the hamlets in the valley whilst the area above Valle de Arriba still hasn't fully recovered from devastating forest fires in 2008.

The Anaga Mountains and the troglodytes

Anaga Mountains, Tenerife

I could fill this top 10 list with different views of the Anaga Mountains, the scenery there is so captivating. However, I'll restrict it to two. Mountain paths through laurisilva forests and past tiny agricultural terraces on steep slopes lead to the hamlet of Chinamada where many residents still live in caves. Don't expect chicas wearing little goat skin numbers or chicos gnawing on bones though, these are modern troglodytes. You can cheat by driving there but the greatest visual rewards are given to those who journey by foot.

Teide National Park

Minas de San Jose, Teide National Park, Tenerife

Although Mount Teide draws the crowds, it's setting eyes on the weird and wonderful rock formations that make up the crater floor that truly rams home what an unusual and special place Teide National Park is. 

The endless lava plains and gently undulating copper green hills, blue stone and rock needles that turn from red to orange as the sun tracks across the sky seem both ancient and futuristic. Suggesting the best spot for a view is totally subjective; my favourite is the Minas de San José because the landscape always make me think of Star Trek and it's less crowded than other parts of the park.