Our ‘Cheapskate’s Guide’ series does what is says on the tin – as a team of bargain hunting travel experts we’d be ashamed if we didn’t have a couple of tricks up our sleeves for saving money whilst on holiday! Feel free to ask any burning questions below in the comments below, or better yet, impress us with some of your own hard-earned knowledge!
For any lucky souls on their way to Tenerife’s warming winter rays, here’s how to eat, drink, and have fun whilst spending less than on a supermarket sweep through Poundland.
Got some tips of your own? Share ’em below!
If you’re on a serious budget in Tenerife book a self catering apartment and cook your own. BUT avoid the local mini market on your complex, you’ll be paying a premium for the convenience of shopping there. For dirt cheap prices stock up at Lidl. There are branches at Chafiras, Adeje and Puerto de la Cruz.
You’ll also find value for money at the bigger supermarkets on the island: Al Campo (in La Laguna or La Orotava) or Carrefour (Santa Cruz or Santa Maria del Mar). If driving out of town for food isn’t an option then shop in Hiper Dino, this smaller supermarket has branches all over the island.
Visiting the farmers’ market is another great way of getting a bargain on fresh produce. You’ll find the stalls setting up on Saturday, Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons in Las Chafiras and Saturday and Sunday mornings in San Isidro.
At the other end of the spectrum you could opt for an all inclusive package. This is the option for you if you think a holiday isn’t a holiday if you’re still doing the dishes. Scout out the right offer and you could save a fortune and have all your food and drink worries taken care of for you.
Treating yourself to a meal out? These are some of our top picks for great value for money:
Buzzin Bar, Callao Salvaje – English pub where you can always catch the footie. Serves massive breakfasts for surprisingly few euros.
The Breeze Inn, Los Cristianos – Friendly British pub with a varied menu, low prices and a view of the beach – what more could you want?
The Olive Garden, Los Cristianos – Generous portions of home cooked food, including fresh baked bread, at bargain prices.
El Cine, Los Cristianos – Fresh fish, an unpretentious attitude and incredible value make this restaurant something of an institution in Tenerife. Go early, this place is so popular that queues of up to an hour in peak season.
Tip: The Menu del Dia (menu of the day) concept from mainland Spain is catching on in Tenerife – if you’re feeling hungry this is the best way to fill up on three courses of food at lunchtime, usually with no sacrifice to quality.
In Tenerife you can drink at a different themed pub each night. Want an Irish knees up? A German pint? An English boozer? You can find them all here. But which nationality serves the cheapest cerveza?
Happily, these last a lot longer than one hour in most places. But be sure to scout out where has the longest hours, and who has the biggest choice of cocktails on offer.
The big resorts like Los Cristianos and Las Americas are swimming in touts trying to get you into their bars. They’re very happy to use a couple of cheap drinks, or free shots as encouragement. Play the game wisely, spending the night hopping from bar to bar and you could enjoy a very cheap night out indeed.
The local beer in Tenerife is Dorada, and if you’re determined to get the cheapest pint on the island then the lowest prices of all are to be found in the authentic Canarian bars – The ones you’ll find outside of the resorts where the locals go to sip a quiet pint. They won’t suit everyone. Loud hen parties may not feel welcome, but if you want a quieter evening away from The Strip you will get to see another side of Tenerife life.
Irish Rover, San Eugenio – Is among the cheaper bars for places with entertainment.
Kandi Lounge, Puerto Colon – Great chill out bar for during the day, with cheap offers on cocktails.
Leonardo’s, Playa de las Americas – This is where everyone meets for a couple of drinks before heading into the more expensive clubs in town.
Days out for no Dosh
Life’s a Beach
Playa de La Tejita
There are literally 100s of solutions to a spend-thrift’s daytime dilemma: Tenerife’s beautiful beaches are not only beauties, they’re a wallet friendly way to pass the day. Stretch your towel out on the sand (no splashing out on sun loungers), remember to pack plenty of water and you’ll only need to take a bit of pocket money for a mid-afternoon ice-cream treat.
The main beaches along the Costa Adeje and the other southern resorts offer wide sands and plenty of facilities. There are plenty of secluded beaches to explore too; Playa de La Tejita is well known – it’s near the airport and so big and broad that you’ll have plenty of space for yourself. For something more off the beaten track try the black volcanic cove of Playa Bollullo on the north coast near Puerto de la Cruz.
Swim in Lava Rock Pools
A volcanic eruption 300 years ago filled in the harbour at Garachico with lava, creating one of the most enchanting attractions on Tenerife today – a collection of salt water rock pools which are great for swimming. Some are shallow, so kids can have a splash, whilst others would take some deep diving to reach the bottom. The tides change the water daily, but whilst the pools are cut off the water is nicely warmed by the sun. Take a snorkel because the pools are filled with sub-tropical fish.
Picture Perfect Masca Village
Reckoned to be the prettiest village on Tenerife, Masca ranks up there among Tenerife’s tourist attractions. It’s set in the stunning Masca valley, which can mean a scary drive – might be worth paying a bit for a tour if you’re not keen on tackling the narrow roads yourself.
Take a Hike
Tenerife is an island of many unique landscapes, from the more humid and fertile north to the dry volcanic valleys, and the towering cliffs at Los Gigantes. Best way to see it is by foot. Nice and cheap too. You can trek through the volcanic Mount Teide National Park (there’s a charge to take the cable car to the top of the volcano), hike along coastal paths, or journey into the scary-sounding Hells Ravine, the deepest gorge in the Canary Islands (entrance fee applies).
Warning: Tenerife’s climate can be harsh, with freezing temperatures at high altitudes at night and soaring 40°C heat during the day. Make sure you’re fully prepared and know where you’re going before taking off on any walk. Check whether a guide is needed for some routes.