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Unlike it's neighbouring Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Fuertaventura, Tenerife offers a diverse and expansive public transportation system. Whilst there are no trains running on the island, the combination of buses, taxi's and inexpensive car hire make Tenerife and easy and affordable island to explore.
Tenerife's road network is excellent and covers the length and breadth of the island and almost every village, town and beach. Driving in Tenerife is generally the preferred method of transport for many visitors as it allows for more flexibility and ensures that you can visit every corner of the island whilst saving time and money. However, for those that can't drive or simply don't want to, the bus network is good and covers many popular tourist areas for a reasonable price. Alternatively, if you want to get from 'A' to 'B' without a fuss, taxis are a reliable and relatively cheap option.
Read more on this destination in the AA Essential Guide to Tenerife.
Ways to get around in Tenerife
Bus - The local name for buses is guaguas (pronounced wah-wahs). Stops are called paradas and are indicated by the letter 'P'. A bus station is an estación de guaguas. Most Tenerife buses are operated by TITSA. Services are fairly frequent and inexpensive on main routes; in remote areas, and throughout La Gomera Island, service is intermittent and generally of little use to visitors. Fares are quite reasonable (less than €2 between Tenerife Sur airport and Los Cristianos for example). The Bonobus card is good value if you plan to use the bus a lot. It entitles you to a 30% discount on fares and offers discounted admission at some museums. Many of Tenerife's main attractions operate free shuttle buses to and from the resorts.
Main bus stations
- Avenida Béthencourt, Playa de las Américas
- Avenida 3 Mayo 47, Santa Cruz
- Calle de Cupido, Puerto de la Cruz
Ferry - There are several ferry services linking the islands, and there's also a service to mainland Spain. Trasmediterránea (Estación, Marítima, Muelle de Ribera, Santa Cruz) - Operates ferries to mainland Spain and to the other Canary islands from the port in Santa Cruz.
Other ferry operators / routes
- Estación Jet-Foil: Santa Cruz - Gran Canaria (80 mins)
- Fred Olsen: Santa Cruz - Gran Canaria (60 mins)
- Estación Hidro-Foil: Los Cristianos - La Gomera (35 mins)
- Ferry Gomera: Lost Cristianos - La Gomera (90 mins)
Taxi - Taxis display an SP license plate (servicio público). Some taxi ranks display fares between principal destinations. In addition, taxi drivers offer island tours for up to four passengers; negotiate the fare before you set off.
Car rental - It is relatively inexpensive to hire a car in Tenerife, but will cost more on La Gomera; be sure to book ahead. Major international car rental companies have desks at the airport. There are some reputable and efficient local firms, too, which might give you a good deal, but get recommendations - and make sure you get an after-hours emergency number. The rental companies should provide insurance cover for the vehicle and driver. The minimum age for renting a car is 21 and vehicles drive on the right hand side.