If you’re planning a holiday in Tenerife and you’re looking for the best things to do in Costa Adeje, don’t miss these ideas and tips for your trip.
In this post I’ll give you some ideas for how to spend a week in Costa Adeje and things to do during your stay, along with some tried and tested tips to get the most out of your holiday.
At a glance
- There are easily enough things to do in Costa Adeje to fill a week’s holiday; there’s a lot more to Tenerife than the south coast’s beaches!
- Costa Adeje is a great base for day trips to Mount Teide National Park, the capital Santa Cruz and beautiful villages like Masca, as well as exciting activities like paragliding
- Because the south coast resorts on Tenerife are so close together, this itinerary also works if you’re staying in Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos
I recently visited Tenerife for the second time and had a wonderful time on this beautiful Spanish island off the coast of Africa. Tenerife is famous as a beach destination but it has so much more to offer!
From stargazing on Mount Teide to seeing Tenerife’s answer to Machu Picchu, adrenaline-pumping activities and world-class culture, you’ll be amazed at the wide variety of things to do in Costa Adeje and on the island of Tenerife.
My hotel in Costa Adeje and flights to Tenerife were provided by Jet2 but, as always, all views are my own. I put this Costa Adeje itinerary together myself based on my own experiences.
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Things to do in Costa Adeje: 1 week itinerary
In this Costa Adeje itinerary I’ve suggested activities for each day of a week-long holiday, but you don’t need to do them in the order suggested.
While most of the things to do in Costa Adeje on this list can be done on any day of the week, there are a few activities where the day does matter, or which are dependent on weather conditions:
- Costa Adeje’s market takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays between 9am and 2pm, so you might want to have one of those days as your shopping day.
- In the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, most shops and restaurants are closed on Sundays (although there is a Sunday market). If you can only visit on a Sunday then you can still see the city and visit the museums, but the city does feel quiet on Sundays.
- Tenerife is a wonderful stargazing destination but if you’re visiting Tenerife on or close to a full moon, then it can be more difficult to see the stars.
With that said, let’s get into the itinerary for your week in Tenerife!
Day 1 – explore Costa Adeje’s beaches
On your first day in Costa Adeje, I’m going to suggest that you explore the resort and its lovely beaches. You could pick one and stay there for the day, or do what I did and walk along the beachfront path, stopping along the way for regular refreshments!
The wide, well-maintained path runs all the way from Los Cristianos in the far south, past Playa de las Americas, through Costa Adeje and ends at La Caleta in the south west. The full coastal path is just under 6 miles long, so I’m not going to suggest that you do that for your first day relaxing in Tenerife!
What I did was walk a shorter section from Puerto Colon, past Costa Adeje’s main beaches. Along the way, there are lots of nice beach clubs and restaurants where you can pause for a drink or something to eat.
We ended our beachfront walk at La Caleta for sunset drinks at Playa de la Enramada, where you can see paragliders landing on the beach as you sip your cocktail.
If you love the beach, don’t miss my guide to the best Costa Adeje beaches
Day 2 – Mount Teide and Masca tour
On the second day of your Costa Adeje itinerary you should take a trip to see some of Tenerife’s most beautiful places.
Mount Teide, in the centre of the island, is the highest mountain in Spain, and Teide National Park is the most-visited national park in Europe.
If you have a hire car you can visit Mount Teide and see the astonishing Mars-like landscapes on your own, but I’m going to recommend a specific bus tour which also includes some less-visited but truly amazing places to see in Tenerife.
We took a day tour by bus that drove through the lava fields left by previous eruptions, ending up at the Roques de García rock formations at the base of Mount Teide.
After that we headed north-west to see the 1000 year-old Dragon tree at Icod de los Vinos, followed by lunch in Garachico to see the lava pools and pretty village streets.
Our last stop was at Masca, a tiny village in an absolutely spectacular location. Masca is known as the Machu Picchu of Tenerife and it’s right up there with Sveti Stefan in Montenegro and Procida in Italy as one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
The drive along mountain roads to get there is gorgeous but absolutely terrifying – I was very glad to be in the hands of our very experienced bus driver instead of having to negotiate the hairpin bends myself!
There are a few companies offering day trips to Teide, Garachico and Masca, but I did a lot of research before I booked and can definitely recommend the one that I took. You can book the Mount Teide and Masca tour I took here.
Day 3 – see dolphins and whales on a boat cruise
The sea waters around the south coast of Tenerife are a rich marine ecosystem where in 2018 Whale Watch Tenerife saw 17 different species of whales and dolphins.
One of the most popular things to do in Costa Adeje is to take a boat tour out into the strait between Tenerife and La Gomera island to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures.
I took a catamaran whale watching tour on my first trip to Tenerife and we had such a lovely time. We saw dolphins and pilot whales on our trip and there was plenty of time for relaxing.
When looking for a whale watching tour, there are a few things to consider. I prefer tours which respect the animals and have a no-chase policy, even if that means I see fewer animals; this tour with Bahriyeli No Chase meets that criteria.
I’m a terrible swimmer, but if you love to swim you might want to choose a tour which includes a swimming stop. Most tours take between 2 and 3 hours but some longer tours include lunch. A few companies run sunset cruises.
Day 4 – visit Santa Cruz
On day 4 of your Costa Adeje itinerary I’m going to recommend that you take a trip to Tenerife’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Santa Cruz is in the north-east of the island, around 55 minutes by bus from Costa Adeje. Comfortable inter-city buses run regularly between Costa Adeje’s bus station (Google Map link) and the main bus station in Santa Cruz (Google Map link). Sit on the right hand side of the bus for beautiful ocean views.
Santa Cruz has lots of big-city cultural attractions. The highlight is the amazing Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín which you’ll see on the sea front as soon as you arrive. If you’ve been to Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences you’ll recognise the style immediately; both were designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Other things to do in Santa Cruz include visiting Tenerife’s main art gallery, shopping at the Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa market and visiting some great museums including one dedicated to the Santa Cruz Carnival, which is the biggest in the world after Rio de Janeiro!
I do recommend visiting Santa Cruz on either a weekday or a Saturday, as on Sundays shops and restaurants in the city tend to be closed. If the only day you can visit is Sunday then it’s not the end of the world; you can still get there and attractions like the Auditorium, art gallery and museums are still open to see.
Day 5 – shopping and stargazing
Costa Adeje has some fabulous shops so for day 5 of this one week itinerary I’m going to recommend that you spend a bit of time indulging in a bit of retail therapy before going stargazing in the evening.
Shopping in Costa Adeje
The Costa Adeje market takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9am to 2pm next door to the GF Fañabé hotel (Google Maps link). There are a lot of stalls selling fairly dubious bags, football tops and jewellery, but there are a few selling more local items and crafts too.
The glitziest shopping centre is Centro Comercial Plaza del Duque, where you’ll find high end brands.
If you’re interested in perfume then there’s a shop here that you shouldn’t miss – appropriately named The Niche Corner, it specialises in unusual fragrances and hard-to-find brands.
There are a few other shopping centres in Costa Adeje but by far the biggest is Siam Mall. It’s a little bit out of the way on the other side of the TF-1 motorway but free shuttle buses run every day from four bus stops in Costa Adeje.
Stargazing on Mount Teide
In the evening, I’m going to suggest seeing another of Tenerife’s natural wonders – the night sky. Tenerife’s location, climate and clear skies make it one of the best places in the world to go stargazing.
Stargazing tours from Costa Adeje depart in the early evening and head up to Mount Teide, away from the light pollution on the coast. Once up there, you can look through telescopes as an experienced guide shows you stars you’d never dreamed of seeing and even perhaps the Milky Way.
Day 6 – challenge yourself to do something exciting
As well as being a brilliant beach destination, there are tons of options for exciting things to do in Costa Adeje, many of which require no experience.
If seeing the paragliders landing at sunset at Playa de la Enramada has made you want to take to the skies, there are several companies offering tandem paragliding. I wasn’t covered on my travel insurance to do it this time round but it’s definitely on my list for my next trip to Tenerife!
If the open skies don’t appeal, how about the ocean depths? You can try out scuba diving on a beginner-friendly trial dive in a spot where there’s a good chance of seeing turtles. You can also learn to surf or take a jet ski safari.
There are some amazing hikes on Tenerife, including a very challenging one from the village in Masca through the gorge to the sea and back. There are lots of easy hikes in the Mount Teide National Park and in the magical laurel forests in the far north of the island which are reminiscent of the island of Madeira.
Day 7 – relax
Phew! On the final day of this packed 1 week Tenerife itinerary you could relax, make a return trip to somewhere you really enjoyed, try another beach or just chill out around the pool.
Alternatively, if you’re like me, you’ll try to squeeze in one last excursion – I’ve got my eye on a day trip to the neighbouring island of La Gomera for my next visit to Tenerife!
Top travel tips for your Costa Adeje holiday
Where is Costa Adeje?
Costa Adeje is a large resort on the south west coast of Tenerife, next to Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos.
It’s 10 miles from Tenerife South Airport and can be accessed by the TF-1 highway, making it a really quick transfer to and from the airport.
Getting around during your Costa Adeje holiday
Costa Adeje is pretty walkable, and of course there are lots of bars and cafes where you can sit down and rest! The resort is set on a hill which slopes up gently at first and then more steeply, so if you think that might be an issue for you then it’s worth checking the location of your accommodation on a map and perhaps on Google Street View.
We mostly walked around the resort during our trip, but we did use local buses to get to the bus station for our trip to Santa Cruz and to get to Puerto Colon on the border with Playa de las Americas.
Taxis are easy to find and relatively cheap; if there are two or more of you a taxi might be cheaper than taking the bus.
Costa Adeje is a great base for day trips around Tenerife. Hiring a car is easy and its location near the highway means that even getting up to the north of the island does’t take too long.
If you’d prefer not to hire a car then there’s a wide range of organised day trips by coach that will pick you up from your hotel in Costa Adeje. There’s also a good local bus service and a bus station with regular services to Santa Cruz and other places around the island.
What are the beaches like in Costa Adeje?
Costa Adeje has some of the loveliest beaches in Tenerife. Each has its own distinct character, from lively Playa de la Pinta in the south of the resort, to upmarket Playa del Duque and Playa de la Enramada, where paragliders land right next to the laid-back beach bar.
Some beaches like Playa de la Pinta and Playa del Duque are sandy, while others are more pebbly or rocky. The southern part of Playa del Duque has the most golden sand.
Read my complete guide to the best beaches in Costa Adeje
When to go to Costa Adeje
Tenerife is known as the island of eternal spring and the weather in the south of the island (where you’ll find Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Christianos) is close to perfect all year round.
The coolest months are January and February but even then, temperatures in Costa Adeje average 22°c during the day. The hottest months are July, August and September, when daytime highs get close to 30°c.
If, like me, you live somewhere that’s cold, dark and damp all winter, a winter trip to Tenerife is a wonderful break from relentless grey skies. I loved getting a bit of winter sun with Jet2holidays and can definitely imagine making it an annual event.
How to get to Tenerife
Because Tenerife is such a popular holiday destination, it’s easy to get here from the UK and many other countries in Europe. I travelled on one of the many Jet2 flights from Manchester Airport – flights from the UK take between 4 and 5 hours.
Most flights to Tenerife land at Tenerife South Airport (TFS). If you’ve booked a holiday package then transfers to your accommodation will probably be included, but if not, the airport is well served by local buses as well as taxis.
There are car hire places inside the airport but it’s a good idea to reserve your hire car in advance, especially if you want an automatic or a particular type of vehicle.
Where to stay in Costa Adeje
Because Costa Adeje is a large resort, there’s a wide range of accommodation choices. The area closest to Playa de las Americas has some good value options with plenty of bars nearby offering happy hours.
The closer to Playa del Duque and La Caleta you get, the more likely you are to find laid-back luxury hotels, fancy shops and elegant restaurants.
We stayed at the Meliá Jardines del Teide which is a lovely relaxing option for all inclusive holidays to Tenerife. The hotel was exactly what I was looking for; comfortable and chilled out, with easy access to the resort centre, Playa del Duque and to bus stops for day trips.
I hope you’ve found this itinerary for 7 days in Costa Adeje useful and interesting.
If you’ve been to Costa Adeje before and your favourite activity is missing off this list of things to do, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your trip!