2020 saw a sudden rise in the number of people working from home. But, the decision to swap the morning commute for an extra 30 mins in bed has created a boom in flexible working arrangements. And, it looks as if it is here to stay. Digital Nomads were early adopters of this lifestyle choice. Bali, India and Mexico are well travelled, exotic digital nomad destinations offering cheap living costs and a laid back lifestyle. But, since long-haul travel has been put on pause, other destinations closer to home are gaining popularity. If the laptop lifestyle is for you, read on to discover the perks of being a digital nomad in Tenerife.
What is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad, simply put, is anyone working from home from another country. All you need is a laptop and a strong wifi signal and you are good to go. Digital nomads embrace the freedom that this lifestyle provides and split their time between various nomad destinations throughout the year. A digital nomad can be young or old, all that is needed is access to a strong wifi connection and a job that allows online working. Typical digital nomad jobs include:
- Web developer
- SEO manager
- Project Manager
- Virtual Assistant
- Customer Service Agent
- Digital Entrepreneur
- Business of Life Coach
- Social Media Manager
Did You Know? The first reported digital nomad was Steve Roberts, a man that rode a computerised recumbent bicycle while travelling.
Tenerife – One of the Best Destinations for Digital Nomads
In recent years, it has become more popular to find digital nomads in Tenerife. Many escape the harsh weather of Northern Europe. Others enjoy the proximity to major European cities and the convenience of being on Greenwich Mean Time. The all-year-round spring climate, breathtaking scenery and high personal safety score are just a few of Tenerife’s main attractions. This goes without mentioning the textbook perfect beaches, majestic El Teide volcano and luscious woodland. While many people know the Tenerife of holiday brochures, very few stay long enough to scratch under the surface. Those that do, are met with an island of contrasts with a distinctly Latin American charm. Tenerife has come a long way since the package holiday boom of the 60s. Today, the Canary Islands digital nomad culture is hot right now and Tenerife is leading the way.
Being a Digital Nomad in Tenerife
Tenerife is one of the seven Canary Islands. The warm climate and ‘mañana’ lifestyle provide a welcome break from the rat race. And, today it is a top destination for Canary Island remote workers. The question is, ‘Where is the best place to live in Tenerife?’. The island’s volcano, El Teide, is the highest point in Spain. It towers 3,700m over the island, dividing it down the middle into the north and the south. This division not only separates towns and villages but also marks a lifestyle change. Tenerife South is the place to be if you want to end the day sipping sundowners on the beach. The north, however, is ideal if you crave a more authentic, Canarian experience. Both sides of the island have their pros and cons, but since the island is small, travelling from the north to the south only takes one hour on the highway.
Get to Know the Island With a Tenerife Roadtrip
Top Tip: It is worth hiring a car. Using the two highways, the TF1 and the TF5 you can plan a circular route that allows you to stop off at the major towns along the way. Santa Cruz -> La Laguna -> El Sauzal -> Puerto de la Cruz -> La Orotava -> Garachico -> Los Gigantes -> Adeje -> El Médano -> Candelaria -> Santa Cruz is my go-to island tour!
Tenerife Coliving – Live the Digital Nomad Dream
A popular choice for digital nomads visiting Tenerife is to stay at a co-living space. Since a nomadic lifestyle can sometimes feel unpredictable and lonely, this style of accommodation provides instant access to a community of like-minded people. There are many co-living spaces on the island, dotted along the coastline from the north to the south. However, my favourite Tenerife co-living spaces have to be Amarilla Coliving in Amarilla Golf and Nine Coliving in La Orotava.
Amarilla Coliving Tenerife
Tenerife South is home to one of the island’s top coliving spaces, Amarilla Coliving. This modern villa boasts impressive 360º views of the Amarilla Golf golf course plus uninterrupted views of the Atlantic ocean. Guests can stay in private bedrooms with access to super-fast internet, meeting rooms and shared lounges. The villa also offers access to a pool and a large terrace, providing the perfect place to rest and unwind after a long day of work. There is a strong sense of community at Amarilla Coliving which is strengthened by the meet-ups and adventures offered by the founder Marina. Hiking to El Teide, yoga and watersports are just some of the fun things to take part in. Plus, the south offers some of the best beaches on the island, just a stone’s throw away from the villa.
Nine Coliving Tenerife
Located in the beautiful historic town of La Orotava, in the north of Tenerife, Nine Coliving is an ideal destination for those in search of the real Tenerife. The house was constructed in 1852 in the traditional Canarian style. The dark wooden accents and the internal patios provide a picturesque background for zoom calls. Guests can choose to stay in shared accommodation or enjoy the luxury of a private room. The house also boasts a gym, meeting rooms, a roof terrace and an internal patio. It is a social place to work (and play)! Yoga, hiking and surfing are just some of the many activities organised by Nine Coliving. In addition to this, guests also get access to tasty breakfasts, family dinners and free coffee and tea.
The Digital Nomad Guide to Renting in Tenerife
Once you have decided if you will be based in the sunkissed southern part of the island or the traditional north, it is time to begin house hunting. However, since competition is high, you have to move quickly. Tenerife is a popular destination for winter sun holidays and the island benefits from all-year-round tourism. But, despite the high number of vacation only rentals, it is still possible to find reasonably priced accommodation for remote work in Tenerife. When searching for a place to live in Tenerife, consider the following before signing any contracts:
- Do you want to be based on the coast or inland?
- Do you want a long term or short term contract?
- Will you require public transport?
- Are there other international people in the town?
- Is the neighbourhood quiet enough for video calls?
- Is the wifi speed fast enough?
Having a clear idea of what you are looking for will speed up the house-hunting process. And in addition to this, it will ensure that you can live and work happily from home without disruptions. So, if you are lucky enough to work in one of the many digital nomad jobs, be sure to visit my favourite neighbourhoods in Tenerife while searching for your dream home.
Digital Nomads in the North of Tenerife
The north of the island is home to some of the most impressive woodland in Spain. Driving through the luscious greenery of Anaga is like something from a Disney movie. Hike through the rugged mountain ranges to uncover hidden coves and off-the-beaten-track eateries. The north of the island offers a real taste of local life. Nothing is better than spending the day strolling through the streets of La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before driving to Bodegas Monje in El Sauzal to enjoy a glass of fresh, young local wine. While it helps to have some level of Spanish in this part of the island, the locals are as warm and welcoming as the Canarian sunshine. A polite buenos días, por favor and gracias will go a long way when you are learning the lingo.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The island’s capital, Santa Cruz, is a sharp contrast to the Tenerife of the south. Upon entering the city, visitors are immediately met with the sci-fi style Auditorio de Tenerife, a concert hall constructed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava. Along the waterfront sits the central city square, Plaza España, the perfect meeting spot for locals out on their evening ‘paseo’. Jutting directly off from the plaza is Calle El Castillo, the main shopping street in the city. If you are not in a shopping mood, escape the hustle and bustle and dive into one of the local bars hidden in the side streets. Catch the last rays of sunshine at Las Teresitas, the city beach just a 15-minute drive from the centre. Let the warm sand and gentle Latin music melt your stresses away before heading back to the city to explore Santa Cruz’s nightlife.
Where to Eat: La Noria is a picturesque street lined with colonial houses that are now popular restaurants and bars. La Concepción, in front of the cathedral, offers the best croquetas I have ever tasted and dinner on their terrace is a must. For those wanting to party, start the night at La Guiri, a cocktail and lounge bar popular amongst international residents of Santa Cruz.
Fun Fact: British navy officer, Admiral Horatio Nelson lost his arm in the battle of Santa Cruz on the 25th July 1797. The cannon which is said to have injured Nelson can be seen in the ruins of the Castle San Cristóbal located under Plaza España. A trip to this museum is well worth the visit.
La Laguna is Tenerife’s prestigious university town. This UNESCO world heritage site is also the blueprint for the major towns and cities of Latin America. Arriving at the bus station, the city appears to be nothing more than a ramshackle of run-down buildings. But, a short walk in the direction of La Trinidad uncovers a journey into Tenerife’s colonial past. Plaza del Adelantado is the city’s oldest plaza and a popular meeting place for locals. Stroll down the colourful street Calle Obispo Rey Redondo, which leads directly off the plaza, to enjoy shopping in the city’s quirky boutiques. Pass by the Teatro Leal, an eclectic building that hosts shows and musical productions. A stone’s throw away lies the cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. This impressive building is the final resting place of Spaniard Alonso Fernández de Lugo, ‘El Adelantado’ who was responsible for conquering the islands.
Where to Eat: For those in search of an authentic Canarian Tasca experience, look no further than the historic Bodegón Tocuyo in Calle Juan de Vera. Don’t be put off by the peanut shells strewn across the floor. It is a local custom in this bar to throw the shells onto the floor once finished eating. When it comes to what to order, the almogrote is a must and combines perfectly with their Spanish charcuterie board. For a true Tocuyo experience, sample their ‘Vino con Vino’, a homemade blend of local red and white wine.
Fun Fact: La Laguna is the first capital city to be established in the Canary Islands. It was originally the capital city of Tenerife before the title was later handed to neighbouring Santa Cruz. Today, it is a great spot for digital nomads who want to be based in the north of Tenerife.
Puerto de la Cruz
This is a popular digital nomad town and a favourite amongst Germans. Start exploring the city with a trip to the botanical gardens, founded in 1788. Stroll through the 20,000m2 garden, home to over 4000 species of plants. After, continue into the city where you will find Lago Martiánez, a lido complex designed by artist César Manrique. Once ready for some sightseeing, take a stroll towards the Plaza del Charco, the central square in Puerto de la Cruz. Order a traditional Barraquito coffee at the beautiful Compostelana coffee shop and let the sugar rush provide you with the energy to discover La Ranilla. Independent boutiques and street-art painted, multi-coloured houses line the street. Don’t miss the crochet wall hanging that decorates the craft centre. Beach lovers will be happy to know that next to La Ranilla lies Playa Jardín, a textbook-perfect black sand beach.
Where to Eat: When in Puerto de la. Cruz head straight to La Marea (La Copacabana) in Plaza del Charco. It is everything a restaurant should be. Delicious food, excellent service and friendly staff. Most importantly, the cocktails are superb too! What is even better is that they speak good English, making it even easier for those who stumble when speaking Spanish. For those in search of good quality, home-cooked food with an international flair, this is the place to eat.
Fun Fact: Tourism arrived in Puerto de la Cruz in the 1950s however, its most famous visitor arrived in 1927. Agatha Christie travelled to Puerto de la Cruz after she was diagnosed with severe depression. The fresh sea air and warmer climate helped her to recover and even inspired her to write again. After that, it became internationally recognised as a popular tourist spot.
Digital Nomads in Tenerife South
What Tenerife South lacks in greenery, it makes up for in beaches. In addition, the almost guaranteed sunshine and proximity to the island’s main airport makes Tenerife South a top choice for digital nomads. However, don’t be mistaken into thinking that the south offers nothing more than lazy beach days. On the contrary. From the nail-biting hike through the Barranco del Infierno (The Ravine of Hell) to the ancient ruins of the Güímar Pyramids, the south has so many stories to tell. Are you ready to explore?
Located just a stone’s throw from the TF-1 southern highway, El Médano is home to the longest beach in Tenerife. What was once a small fishing village has now turned into a surfer’s paradise and hippy enclave. The beach of El Médano is a great place to start when getting to know the town. It is also the destination of the International Windsurfing Championships and it can get pretty windy at times. Take in the views of the beautiful Montaña Roja, a solitary volcano overlooking the beach, and head into the town centre to explore the restaurants and independent boutiques. If you are lucky to be in El Medano on a weekend, check out the farmers market. It is famous for being one of the top places for buying local products such as Almogrote, a Canarian spiced cheese paste – delicious on top of freshly baked bread.
Where to Eat: Who doesn’t love a spot of fine dining in flip-flops? Embrace island life and head straight to Le Penon in Calle Tarajal. Expect creative presentation, attentive staff and food that melts in your mouth. In addition to this, their selection of wine is extensive and the staff are not shy to suggest a variety of wine pairings to fit your meal. Le Penon offers a warm and friendly dining experience with good quality food and is a must if visiting El Médano.
Fun Fact: El Médano, which means sand dune in English, is home to the Montaña Roja Special Nature Reserve. This means that the mountain and the surrounding area are protected. Because of this, over 136 plant species can be found here, despite El Médano’s barren appearance.
If you plan to stay in Tenerife as a digital nomad, Los Gigantes provides the perfect balance between town and nature. Situated at the end of the earth, the town is famous for the 600m high cliff face that stretches from Los Gigantes to Punta Teno. The best way to catch a glimpse of these magnificent cliffs is on a boat tour. Look out for sustainable options which combine whale watching for a fun and educational day out. Of course, one of Los Gigantes’ top attractions is the beach of Los Guios. This 180m long stretch of sand is a popular place to destress and unwind and it has all the amenities for a comfortable day a the beach. For a taste of local life, stroll through the winding streets and be sure to stop off at one of the local bars for a tapas of fresh seafood.
Where to Eat: Imagine dining in an animal print bar, complete with a twelve-foot giraffe called Geraldo. It sounds like fun, right? The Tipsy Terrace offers a wild ‘Out of Africa’ inspired decor, expertly mixed cocktails and delicious Spanish food to match. It is the go-to watering for locals and the British staff make you feel at home. What’s more, the bar and restaurant are located share access with a tennis court, heated swimming pool and luscious green gardens making it the perfect place to spend a lazy day in the sunshine.
Fun Fact: If the impressive cliffs and secluded sandy cove were not enough, Los Gigantes also offers a natural swimming pool. Isla Cangrejo, Crab Island, is situated is a must-visit. Dive into the refreshing water and swim in this volcanic rock pool. However, take care when the sea is rough as swimming could be dangerous.
With almost 300 days of sunshine a year, this corner of Tenerife is a beach lovers paradise. Therefore, it is no surprise that the 26 kilometres of coastline have become a thriving tourist hotspot over the last few decades. However, in recent years, Adeje has also attracted digital nomads in search of the Tenerife of Instagram. Start discovering Costa Adeje and head to the white sand beach of El Duque, overlooked by the island’s most sought after hotels. Enjoy a spot of luxury shopping in The Duke Shops shopping centre before heading into the town of Adeje where the local architecture provides a unique photo opportunity. Plaza España, the curch of Santa Úrsula and the Casa Fuerte are just a few reminders of Adeje’s historical past.
Where to Eat: For a tasty, well-priced meal head to Barrio Los Menores where you will find Meson Asador Casa Rodrigo. The food is the typical Canarian cuisine but the presentation, quality and top service make it an unforgettable dining experience. Be sure to order the Paella which comes fully loaded with fresh seafood.
Fun Fact: Adeje was the home of the last Guanche king before the island was divided up into kingdoms. In addition to this, Adeje is an aboriginal word for a mountain range, given to the town because of the area’s jagged coastline.