Camping in Tenerife is a magical experience. This volcanic island is known best for it’s sandy beaches and blue Atlantic waters, but it’s also a campers paradise. Plus, it’s not touted as the island of a thousand experiences for nothing. Here you can explore ancient forests and climb a volcano in the morning, and be sipping a Piña Colada on the beach by afternoon.
It’s also an island which has embraced camping. Therefore whilst paid campsites exist here (we name a few of our favorites later), there are also free campsites – some situated in some of Tenerife’s most untouched locations. Wild camping in Tenerife is problematic though – we have more on that, and it’s legality, later in this article as well.
So dust down your camping tent, grab your hiking boots, and get yourself a good Tenerife walking book like this one. As it’s time to plan your perfect Tenerife camping getaway!
Camping in Tenerife: Free campsites in untouched Tenerife
While there are several paid campsites in Tenerife, some of which we recommend (more on those later), Tenerife also has over a dozen free Forest Camping Areas.
These sites are run by the local authority, and are situated across Tenerife. Created in order to discourage wild camping, these sites are based in some of the island’s most beautiful areas – in the national parks and biosphere reserves. Some have very basic facilities (such as toilets and water), while others have cooking facilities.
Many sit within walking distance to towns that have bars, and places to shop. So you can be enjoying a starry night in the forest one evening, and eating tapas and enjoying a beer in a boozy bar with locals the next.
However be careful to ensure your belongings are always secure, and cars locked. There have been reports of personal belongings being stolen at these campsites.
Campers are allowed to stay in the Forest Camping Areas for up to seven days in a row. But you must apply for a permit to stay at them. The permit is free, and the process can be done online – we explain how, next.
The location of the campsites, and the application page for the permit, can be found on the website of the Island Council of Tenerife. On that page, find the campsite you wish to stay at, then click on it. That will take you to a separate page for that camping area, and you can then use the calendar to reserve your dates and apply for a permit to camp there.
You have to apply at least seven days in advance of when you wish to stay. If you are struggling with the online application process, you can also phone to apply for a permit. The relevant number is +34922239500.
One of our favorite free campsites is Las Lajas, which is situated high up the slopes of the dormant volcano Mt Teide – Spain’s highest peak. Here you can expect stunning sunrises, and great bird-watching.
These free campsites are also a great way of wild camping in Tenerife without breaking the law. However, considering the free campsites are usually situated in wooded areas, you should avoid making campfires. Instead use a storm cooker for cooking. The Swedish brand Trangia make fantastic storm cookers that are virtually indestructible.
We have more on wild camping and it’s legality later on in this article. However, next we show you our favorite paid campsites in Tenerife!
Some of the best campsites in Tenerife
Whilst the free campsites are a great resource on the island, many lack amenities. Therefore some holidaymakers visiting Tenerife might prefer the comfort of paid campsites, where there’s guaranteed hot running showers, food options on site, and sometimes even a swimming pool! With that in mind, here’s three of our favorite paid campsites in Tenerife:
Nestled in the south of the island and sitting among banana trees, this campsite is a great base if you want to spend time on Tenerife’s southern coastline.
It also has a fantastic big swimming pool on site, and the bar serves good food, and great beer.
This super friendly campsite is located in the north of Tenerife near San Cristobal de la Laguna, and offers a tranquil pitch close to the island’s famous beaches.
Along with the usual facilities, there’s also a fantastic entertainment room here, which includes hammocks and armchairs to relax in!
Campamentos Punta Del Sordo
We’d go as far as saying this is Tenerife’s hidden gem when it comes to campsite options. This site overlooks the sea on the island’s east coast, and as such, is within walking distance of several beaches.
It’s also very cheap – costing just a few euros per person to stay here. The amenities are clean but basic.
Wild camping in Tenerife
Unfortunately, wild camping in Tenerife is illegal. This is mainly due to the authorities wish to stop any threat of a forest fire. In fact, if you are caught wild camping in Tenerife, you could be subjected to a very heavy fine. However people do still wild camp here.
Although we don’t advise it, if you do decide to wild camp, then ensure you camp discreetly. And be careful not to damage the ground where you pitch your tent.
If you do go wild camping in Tenerife, we’d advise sticking to the following guidelines in order to be as considerate as possible:
You should camp in the same place for one night only, and pitch your tent discretely and in a remote place. Therefore don’t camp in or near settlements, someone’s farm or on cultivated land. If you think you’re on private land, always seek out the landowner and ask permission.
Campers should set up their tent at dusk, and take it down at dawn. A tent that is discreet and pitches quickly is best. Therefore a lightweight walking and hiking tent like this one would be a great investment for someone planning to camp in Tenerife.
If you are walking a main trail you should camp away from the path as a matter of courtesy.
When wild camping in Tenerife you must never make a campfire. For cooking, use a storm cooker such as the Trangia brand.
And of course, take any trash with you, and leave your camping spot the way you found it.
Below are our tips for camping in Tenerife
Tips for camping in Tenerife
- Thunderstorms and heavy rain can happen in Tenerife – even during the holiday season. Make sure you have a durable, rainproof tent that can survive heavy rain. A lightweight one-man hiking tent like this or similar would be perfect. For a good value tent that fits more than one person, this mosquito-proof one would work well too.
- Remember to always have plenty of water on you when you’re walking and camping. A space-saving collapsible water bottle would be a good purchase.
- If there is no toilet near your pitch, or on the campsite, then only go to the toilet far from water sources, such as rivers and lakes. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste – don’t just leave it out in the open.
- Like many rugged and wild rural areas around the world, there are flora and fauna to be aware of. So read up and make sure you know what to expect in the region or area you are planning to wild camp in.
Recommended reading for your trip to Tenerife
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