TENERIFE

Tenerife with your dog

Tenerife offers unique options, like a visit to Teide National Park. The landscapes that surround the highest peak in Spain will transport you to Mars. And at night, don’t miss the starriest sky you will ever see.

I was in Tenerife in December 2018 as part of my trip through Spain. I flew there from Madrid. When they measure me in my carrier, all together it weighs less than 8 kilos, that way I can fly with my human companion in the passenger cabin of the plane. 

We stayed in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but we had to stay in an apartment because there is a real scarcity of pet-friendly hotels in this city. You will find more options in areas like Puerto de la Cruz or Playa de las Americas through web pages like www.bringfido.com

The best part of the Canaries is that with the good weather you can rest assured that you can eat outside in nearly all of the many patios and terraces. Although there are a few establishments that permit dogs inside (see the list below).  We were in Strasse Park, a super cool café that is located in the Garcia Sanabria park, a kind of botanical garden that is the largest urban green space on the island. Strasse Park was the first restaurant on Santa Cruz de Tenerife to offer water bowls to their client’s dogs.  It is really worth it to eat there – it is super dog-friendly. If you like vegetarian food, try La Verdulería, also in Santa Cruz, where dogs are welcome (best to go mid-week because when it is full it is quite noisy).

Also I recommend that you head to Makika & Co, in the nearby and precious city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. Dogs are welcome there in their interior covered patio and the food is really good (the location is perfect for breakfast or to eat something light). In addition, the waiters are very pet friendly. 

GETTING AROUND THE ISLAND

To get around the island, the best thing to do is rent a car. There are a lot of companies and the prices are good. Some of them will penalize you if you return the car full of dog hair, therefore, in order to return the car in good condition and to avoid this issue, it is best to be prepared with a blanket to cover the back seat, and to use a lint roller to remove the hair. And don’t forget the car safety harness for your dog!

If you are going to take a taxi, it’s best to request one by telephone, especially if you are bringing your dog (one day when we tried to get a taxi in the street, 5 taxi drivers turned us down). For this exact reason, some 200 taxis in the capital of Tenerife have just put in place a service called TaxiCan, which guarantees transportation to all dogs regardless of their size.

Inconceivably, Santa Cruz de Tenerife only permits small dogs to ride the tram in a carrier, while other cities, like Barcelona, allow dogs to ride this mode of transport as long as they are leashed and wear a muzzle.

The inter-city buses (called “guaguas” in the Canaries) only admit dogs who weigh 10 kilos or less and they must be in a carrier (60 x 35 x 35 cms).

A DESTINATION FOR EXCURSIONS, BUT NOT FOR THE BEACH

If you are thinking about going to Tenerife with your dog to enjoy the sea, you might want to reconsider your plan because there are only 2 cities on the whole island that have dog-friendly beaches, and it’s not like these are the most idyllic beaches that you can imagine. One is in Güimar (El Puertito beach, 25 minutes to the south of the capital by car) and the other is in Granadilla de Abona (El Confital and El Cabezo beaches, which are 45 minutes to the south of the capital.) We didn’t go; Tenerife offers better opportunities.

Without a doubt, the star excursion is a visit to the Las Cañadas del TeideNational Park. It is one of the most visited national parks in the country. The martian-like scenery of this dormant volcano will leave you astonished. And you will be able to ascend the highest peak in Spain (3,718 meters).

Families with dogs are banned from the cable car, which means that you will only be able to go as high as 2,356 m by car and then will have to hike up to the top (9 hours of walking to get there and back using the Montaña Blanca path.) If they decide to open the cable car to tourists with well behaved dogs, like they have in other countries, you will be able to arrive comfortably to 3,555 m of altitude and can then walk for half an hour to cover the remaining distance to the peak (this last part is done with a free permit that must be sought months in advance through the national park website).

HIKING UNIQUE LANDSCAPES

Las Cañadas del Teide has a ton of hiking paths that you can enjoy with your dog (on leash, like in all natural parks). Be careful with your pup’s paws because volcanic rock can cause damage (consult your veterinarian so that you can be prepared for this excursion and know how to treat and protect their pads on this walk). They didn’t let me do anything too crazy but later I got some aloe vera cream. 

We visited a totally different landscape in the Anaga Rural Park, which is near San Cristóbal de La Laguna. In the area called Cruz del Carmen there is a lookout from which you can see Mount Teide and a visitor center with information about the routes and hiking paths that you can take in the laurel forest. One of the images that you will always carry with you from this cloudy, subtropical forest is of the fog rising over its slopes. We did a circular route that left from Cruz del Carmen and arrived at a wooden lookout point with views of the sea.

With respect to dog-friendly monuments, the only one we found was Parque Etnográfico Pirámides de Güimar. We would have liked to see it, but we decided to return to Mount Teide for more hiking. When we came back, we passed through La Orotava, where we tried to have a coffee in various places, but none of the places would let us, even though they were empty.

THANKS TO SHANA AND JEFF MINTZ FOR TRANSLATING THE ORIGINAL TEXT 

WHERE TO EAT OR HAVE COFFEE

STRASSE PARK (PARQUE GARCÍA SANABRIA. SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE)

LA VERDULERÍA (SANTIAGO, 4. SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE)

MAKIKA & CO (CALLE SAN JUAN, 15. SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA) 

CAFÉ SIETE (CALLE EL JUEGO, 7. SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA)