Explore the natural wonders of the Canary Islands on this 9-day itinerary that celebrates the beauty of Spain’s remote Atlantic paradise. Your adventure begins on Tenerife, where volcanic mountains, black sand beaches, and ancient woodlands beckon. Continue to the neighboring island of La Gomera to explore its aboriginal culture, see diverse marine life, and discover rare, subtropical rainforests. Return to the mainland to spend a final night in the lively capital of Madrid.

Highlights

  • Hike through the spectacular landscapes of Tenerife
  • Climb Mount Teide, Spain's highest peak
  • Spot whales, dolphins and sea turtles
  • Get lost in the forests of Garajonay National Park
  • Spend an evening exploring Madrid's bustling center

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tenerife La Laguna
Day 2 Visit Anaga National Park La Laguna
Day 3 La Laguna to Santiago de Teide Santiago de Teide
Day 4 Climb Mount Teide Santiago de Teide
Day 5 Tenerife to La Gomera Playa de Santiago
Day 6 Whale watch along La Gomera's coast Playa de Santiago
Day 7 Explore Garajonay National Park Playa de Santiago
Day 8 La Gomera to Madrid Madrid
Day 9 Depart Spain from Madrid  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tenerife

The pastel old town of San Cristobal de la Laguna.
The pastel old town of San Cristobal de La Laguna

Welcome to Tenerife, the “Island of Eternal Spring.” Make no mistake, Tenerife abounds with as much energy and excitement as it does tradition and amazing landscapes.

Upon arrival, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel. Settle in before heading out to explore the ancient capital of Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) or nearby San Cristobal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Start by visiting the many palaces and stately homes in the heart of the historic center. Check out the Palace of Salazar with its sumptuous baroque style door, or the Casa de Lercaro, Casa del Corregidor (town hall), and the Palacio de la Nava.
 

Day 2: Visit Anaga National Park

Trails through the ancient laurel forests of Anaga National Park.
Trails through the ancient laurel forests of Anaga National Park

Day two is devoted to exploring the magnificent landscapes of Anaga National Park, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Embark on a rugged full-day hike to experience a wild paradise of prehistoric forests, hidden mountain villages, dramatic clifftops, and black sand beaches. 

Set off from the panoramic lookout of Mirador de Cabezo del Tejo, which offers magnificent views of the Cordillera de Anaga from Los Roques to Punta del Hidalgo. You’ll then cross through a rare, primeval laurel forest to discover the beautifully situated hamlet of Chamorga. Continue towards El Draguillo before finally reaching Roque Bermejo, where a lighthouse stands at the island’s remote northeastern tip.

Day 3: La Laguna to Santiago de Teide

Buenavista del Norte
Buenavista del Norte

Today you’ll head west with a drive along the island’s northern coast. Pass stunning coastline dotted with picturesque coves, stopping at the charming village of Buenavista del Norte and winding through steep gorges and cliffs to reach the pretty hamlet of Masca. Your day ends in the seaside town of Santiago del Teide, a gateway to the 18,000-acre Teno Rural Park.

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Day 4: Climb Mount Teide

Views From the Summit of Mount Teide
Views from the summit of Mount Teide

A full-day of adventure lies ahead, starting with a thrilling ascent to the top of Spain’s highest peak. Follow a knowledgeable English-speaking guide on a custom climb up the rugged Mount Teide, culminating in magnificent views from the 12,198 foot (3,718 m) summit. For a gentler hike, walk to the base station for lunch, then jump on the cable car for a spectacular ride to the top.

Looking out across the sweeping expanses of Teide National Park, you’ll understand why the 47,000-acre preserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the sun sets over the otherworldly volcanic landscape, you’ll head back to Santiago del Teide for the evening for a well-earned rest.

Day 5: Tenerife to La Gomera

La Gomera's lush, mountainous coast.
La Gomera's lush, mountainous coast

Today you’ll bid Tenerife hasta luego and set sail for the magical island of La Gomera. This hidden gem is the second smallest island in the Canaries and known as a paradise for nature lovers. Its wild, mountainous landscape is full of contrasts; within a few miles, you’ll go from palm-covered valleys to vast canyons, arid coastal areas to dense, ancient forests. 

Catch a ferry from the southwest Tenerife port of Los Cristianos to arrive in the island's capital of San Sebastian de la Gomera, then head south down the coast to reach the quiet seaside town of Playa de Santiago. Settle into your accommodation and get some rest—tomorrow, you'll set out to explore  “La Isla Magica” in depth.  

Day 6: Whale watch along La Gomera's coast

Searching for Sea Life
Searching for sea life on a yacht trip

See La Gomera from a different vantage point with a guided yacht trip to the north coast. Step on board at Playa de Santiago and spend the day searching for the area’s diverse sea life—in good weather, you’ll spot whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and plentiful seabirds. Enjoy a locally prepared lunch of Canarian specialties onboard, and choose an inviting cove or bay for a swim stop along the way. 

Continue north up the coast to Vallehermoso to catch sight of the natural monument of Los Órganos. These breathtaking basalt cliffs were formed by cooling lava from ancient volcanoes, giving the impression of giant organ pipes falling vertically into the sea.

Day 7: Explore Garajonay National Park

Dense Laurel Forests of Garajonay National Park
Dense laurel forests of Garajonay National Park

Venture inland today, into the fairytale forests of Garajonay National Park. The warm mists and fertile volcanic soils of this subtropical rainforest create a remarkable ecosystem, home to rare birds, lush laurel woodlands, and iconic rock formations.

Arrange for a guided hike to learn more about the park’s biodiversity, and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture and history—including a primer on the ancient Silbo language. This vast vocabulary of whistles originated with La Gomera’s aboriginal Guanches people and is still used today to communicate across the island’s deep ravines and narrow valleys.

Day 8: La Gomera to Madrid

Madrid's central Plaza Mayor
Madrid's central Plaza Mayor

This morning you'll leave your island paradise behind with a ferry from San Sebastian de La Gomera to Los Cristianos. After catching a departing flight from Tenerife, land in Madrid for your final evening in Spain.

Settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore this diverse marvel of a city. Take in some of the popular sites (if you didn't catch them at the start of your trip), including the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, and Campo del Moro. After a quiet week in nature, enjoy the busy energy of the capital with an evening "Paseo" through bustling streets, and a late dinner at one of its many world-class restaurants. Sample food at Mercado de San Miguel and grab some famous churros at Chocolatería San Ginés.

Day 9: Depart Spain from Madrid

Bustling, Vibrant Madrid at Night
Bustling, vibrant Madrid at night

In the morning a driver will meet you for a private transfer to the airport. This concludes your great journey through Spain. Adios!