Accommodation in Tenerife

Accommodation in Tenerife
Updated 2023-07-30 12:22

Tenerife is the largest and most populous of the seven Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that is geographically closer to Africa than Europe. While billed as a sun and sea vacation spot attracting millions of visitors yearly, Tenerife also boasts historic towns, rural villages, mountains and expansive countryside. If you're looking for a change of scenery and a different lifestyle, Tenerife could be your ideal destination.

With approximately 330 days of sunshine per year and a relaxed lifestyle, moving to Tenerife can be a wonderful experience. The island has a wide range of accommodations for all tastes and plenty of attractive and welcoming neighborhoods.

Why live in Tenerife?

As well as the fabulous weather, here are some of the top reasons to relocate to Tenerife:

The scenery: You don't have to travel far in Tenerife to be amidst beautiful scenery, whether it's long, sandy beaches, green-covered hills or dramatic volcanic landscapes.

Low cost of living: Compared to the USA, Canada, the UK and several other European countries, Tenerife's cost of living is low. You can eat a delicious three-course restaurant meal for around 10 to 15 euros outside of the main tourist areas, and utility bills are generally lower. Expect to pay approximately 50 to 100 euros monthly for electricity, heating, cooling and water.

A relaxed way of life: Tinerfeños enjoy life, and when it comes to living on the island, work takes second place. Like many Spanish people, Tinerfeños take a daily siesta.

A safe environment: While crime is not non-existent, Tenerife is generally safe and has low crime rates.

Plenty of things to see and do: With luxury spas, high-end resorts, botanical gardens, beaches, national parks, water sports, wineries and theme parks, there's never a chance to get bored on the island.

The locals: Warm, friendly, authentic and incredibly charming. You will feel at home straight away.

Good to know:

The population stands at approximately 930,000 people. Among the many expat nationalities living in Tenerife are British, American, Moroccan, Italian, German, Austrian and Dutch.

Tenerife's neighborhoods

Tenerife comprises 31 municipalities or counties spread across three areas - the Northern area, the Southern area, and the Metropolitan area. The island's capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, commonly abbreviated as Santa Cruz. This bustling and attractive port city flanked by hills is home to fascinating galleries and museums, gorgeous architecture, commercial areas and intense nightlife.

The city is divided into five districts: Anaga, Centro-Ifara, La Salud-La Salle, Ofra-Costa Sur and Distrito Suroeste.

Sites of interest include the Palmetum of Santa Cruz (botanical garden), Playa de las Teresitas, the Auditorio de Tenerife, Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Palacio Insular de Tenerife.

The average price per month for rented accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is around 11.29 euros per square meter.

Expats live across Tenerife, especially in popular coastal tourist areas. In addition to the capital city, the most popular areas include San Cristóbal de La Laguna and Bajamar.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna - lays claim to being one of the most beautiful cities in Tenerife, and it's easy to see why, with pastel-colored historical mansions and streets that retain their 16th-century layout. The old town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as the first non-fortified Spanish colonial town, was the model for many colonial towns in the Americas. In addition to its well-preserved ancient charms, this northern Tenerife city is an important commercial hub.

Sites of interest include the Cathedral of La Laguna, Plaza del Adelantado, Iglesia de la Concepcion and Calle San Agustin. This street is the location of important historical buildings, such as Casa Salazar, a 17th-century baroque-style palace.

The average price per month for rented accommodation in San Cristóbal de La Laguna is around 8.83 euros per square meter.

Bajamar - this quiet resort sits at the foot of the Anaga Mountains on the island's north coast. With the blue sea in front of you and the lush green mountains behind you, it is a place of exceptional natural beauty. This is a beautiful part of the island to live if you enjoy nature, hiking and tranquillity. Although a resort town, it is much more laidback than the frenetic and continuous buzz of southern resorts.

The average price per month for rented accommodation in Bajamar is around 8.73 euros per square metre.

Adeje - this historic inland town is located on the southwest of the island, close to some of Tenerife's most awe-inspiring scenery. Adeje is next door to the 12,200-foot Mount Teide, which towers above it and is within easy reach of more than a dozen beaches. Also nearby is the Barranco del Infierno (Ravine of Hell). A popular walking trail through this rocky area leads to Tenerife's tallest waterfall.

The cost of living in Adeje is generally lower than many of the coastal resorts, and there is a variety of private and public Spanish-speaking schools in the area.

Arona - is the name for a town and a municipality that sits on Tenerife's southern tip and encompasses some of the busiest tourist beaches on the island. Other highlights include water sports and the lunar-like landscapes of the Guaza and Amarilla mountains. Arona is home to an international melting pot of residents, with many living in luxury housing developments or traditional rural Canarian homes. Several schools are in the area, including Wingate School, a British international school.

Playa De Los Cristianos – this beachside resort in southern Tenerife is popular with holidaymakers and expats, especially British families drawn to the excellent climate and wide beach. Water sports, such as kayaking and windsurfing, are popular here, and from the harbor, there is easy access to the neighboring islands of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.

Thanks to the well-developed tourist infrastructure, shops, bars, restaurants and golf courses are all within walking distance. The town is more expensive than many places in the north, but you can enjoy a very high standard of living as a result.

Other popular places to live in Tenerife include:

Punta del Hidalgo – a small, attractive fishing village in the San Cristóbal de La Laguna municipality.

Tacoronte - a small town perched on hills in the northeast of the island. Highlights include historical monuments, a 17th-century church and a park in the center of the old town.

Puerto de la Cruz - a popular tourist destination on the north coast known for its beautiful beaches, historic quarter and water sports.

El Rosario - like many other municipalities in Tenerife, El Rosario offers a mixture of lush countryside and dazzling beaches.

Playas de las Americas - a lively resort with a party atmosphere located on the island's south coast. The area is also known for its manmade and artificial beaches, water sports and golf.

Güímar - a municipality in eastern Tenerife with quiet beaches and archaeological sites, such as the Pyramids of Güímar.

Rental prices in Tenerife

Rental options across Tenerife include apartments, studios, apartment hotels and individual houses. Prices vary from region to region, but rent is generally more affordable here than in many places on the Spanish mainland. 

The average rental price for Santa Cruz, the capital, is 700 euros per month for a one-bedroom city center apartment and 540 euros for a similar property outside the center. The average rental for a three-bedroom city center property is around 1, 100 euros a month, while outside the center, it's 850 euros.

Renting in Tenerife first gives you a chance to see if you really enjoy living abroad before committing to buying a property. You can give yourself six months to a year or more to see if you like the lifestyle and ensure Tenerife is giving you everything you hoped it would. Meanwhile, you can search for your ideal home without time pressure.


Expect to pay a refundable deposit equivalent to one month's rent. This will be returned to you in full at the end of the lease, provided there's no damage or other losses to the property.

Some rentals will include a small amount to cover utilities, with the tenant paying any extra money when the bill arrives. Typically, the landlord covers costs such as community fees and local taxes. Be sure to check precisely what your monthly rent covers with your landlord or rental agent.

How to find accommodation in Tenerife

Make the internet your friend if you prefer to look for and secure your accommodation before leaving your home country. There are plenty of online property portals, such as Idealista and Tucasa, as well as the websites of estate agents (inmobiliarios). If you are already in Tenerife, you can hire a real estate agent to help with your search.

Although it may seem tempting to bypass estate agents to avoid paying their commission when purchasing a property in Tenerife, dealing directly with the owner can be risky if you're unfamiliar with Spanish property laws. For example, you could be stuck with debts on the home, such as unpaid taxes.

Property hunting in any country can be exhausting; the more you search, the more tired you'll get. And it may result in you signing a rental contract or buying a less-than-ideal home just because you want to end the search process. This is why it is so important to have a clear idea of where you want to live and the type of property you want to live in. Therefore, before you start your search, draw up at least two checklists, one for your prospective neighborhood and one for your home.

Your neighborhood checklist:

  • If you have young children, are there good schools nearby?
  • Is there a good selection of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés in the neighborhood?
  • Do you want to be close to the city center, in the countryside or by a beach?
  • What sort of lifestyle do you want? Would you prefer to live a traditional Spanish existence among Spanish locals or in a community of expats?

Your property checklist:

  • What type of property interests you? For example, you can pick from a traditional farmhouse, penthouse, duplex or apartment in a gated urbanization with shared facilities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • Are there good street parking facilities, or does the property have its own garage/parking space?
  • Will you have far to commute to work?
  • Is there good internet connectivity?
  • Is there enough storage?
  • Are utilities connected to the property, or will you have to deal with that?
  • What will your ongoing obligations be (i.e., community charges)?
  • If you plan to do any developments, such as an extension or a pool, are they realizable?

How to find cheap rentals in Tenerife

Whether you're looking for a studio apartment or a spacious villa, the following tips will help you navigate the Tenerife rental market to try and secure a great deal:

  • Use online rental property search engines and compare prices from different websites;
  • Look for properties located away from tourist areas, as they tend to be cheaper;
  • Use social media groups and forums to connect with locals and ask for recommendations on affordable property rentals;
  • Negotiate with landlords to lower the rental fee or request additional services to be included;
  • Consider renting a property that requires some minor repairs or updates, as these are often cheaper;
  • Look for long-term rental agreements, as landlords are often willing to lower the rental fee for extended contracts;
  • Share a property with roommates or friends, as this can significantly reduce rental costs;
  • Keep an eye out for special offers and promotions that are often advertised online;
  • Contact real estate agents who specialize in rental properties and inquire about available discounts and incentives.

Rental agreements in Tenerife

Property rental agreements are crucial legal documents that outline the terms, conditions and obligations of the landlord and tenant regarding the rental of a property. These contracts protect the rights of both parties and reduce the chances of misunderstandings and disputes.

Typically a rental agreement in Tenerife includes the rental period, rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit and any other fees or expenses. It will also outline the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant, such as maintenance, repairs, utilities and any restrictions on the use of the property. Both parties should read the contract carefully and understand their rights and obligations before signing it. Having a lawyer review the contract to ensure it complies with local laws and regulations is also advisable.

Property buying tips in Tenerife

So what if you're in the market for buying a home in Tenerife? Purchasing a property is a big deal, more so when it is in a foreign country. There is a lot you will have to think about when searching for your dream property, so here are some useful tips to help you on your way:

Work out an affordable budget. You don't want to stretch your finances to breaking point. Take into account that mortgage payment interest rates will fluctuate over the years. Will you still be able to meet your monthly payments if interests go up by 2%, 3% or 5%?

Take your time researching suitable locations. Although, if you have been renting on the island or have holidayed here before, you may already have a good idea of where you want to live.

Create a shortlist of properties to view. Contact the agents of each one and arrange viewings. Try and view several properties in the area you want to live.

When you have chosen your home, have a property survey carried out so you know precisely what you're buying.

Check the property has the correct permissions for sale and that the person selling it is the legal owner. Your estate agent will most likely do this, but it's worth mentioning to them to ensure they do.

Good to know:

When buying a property, the cost per square meter in the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is 2,080 euros, whereas the cost outside the city center is 1,500 euros.

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