Shops are open Monday to Saturday between 09:00 and 13:00/13:30. They open again from 16.00 for another 3 or 4 hours (most are closed on Saturday afternoon).  In the major tourist areas many stay open throughout the afternoon. The big supermarkets are open 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. Apart from the major tourist resorts, shops are closed on Sundays.

Being duty free the main bargains to be sought on Tenerife are perfume, spirits and tobacco. Buy your duty free goods in local shops or supermarkets, which are usually cheaper than either the airport or airline but do remember that you are restricted to the amount you can take back to the UK.


There are banks in every town, village and tourist resort in Tenerife. Opening hours are from 08.30 to 14.00 hours Monday to Friday.  Between October and June some banks also open on Saturday mornings. Outside these hours you can still use the 24-hour cash points.


If you have brought any electrical appliances with you from the UK they will work here but you will have to change the plug, or buy an adapter. (Voltage 220, 240 in the UK. The plugs have two round pins).

The tap water is safe to drink, brush your teeth etc but has a salty taste because of the high mineral content. Most people prefer to drink bottled water, which costs about €1 for a 5 litre bottle.

There are two types of police in Tenerife, the local police "policia local" and the civil guard or "guardia civil". The guardia civil have green uniforms with green markings on their cars, the policia local have blue uniforms with blue markings on their cars. 

Only telephone the police if you need them to stop a crime in progress. The police here speak very little English so simply let them know where you are and they will come straight to you.

To report a crime after the event, or to obtain a police report for any reason, you should go to the local police station. If you don't speak or understand Spanish, take someone with you who does. If the police can't understand you, they won't make a report.  If you are the victim of theft and are covered by insurance, you need a police report to make a claim. 

If you're driving a car, as well as papers for the car you must also carry your driving licence and passport. If you're stopped and can't provide all of these, you will get an on-the-spot fine of about €450.  It is illegal to drive wearing shoes which have no back strap (flip flops eg)

DO NOT lose your temper with either police force, argue with them or shout at them -  you will regret it.

Multi-lingual police central office - 902 102 112
An alternative way of making a report is to call the number above An English operator will go through your report with you and they will send it to the local police station


EMERGENCY General - 112
EMERGENCY Policia - 091
EMERGENCY Guardia Civil - 062
EMERGENCY Ambulance - 061

To dial internationally, the code is 00 followed by your country code and number.

n Tenerife most chemists or Farmacia open during normal shopping hours. It is not difficult to find them as they are marked with a green cross.  There is also a network of duty chemists which open 24 hours a day to provide cover for emergencies. There is usually a list displayed in each chemist that gives the address of the one on duty in the area for any given day.

Over-the-counter medicine is easy to get and most pharmacists will supply the Spanish equivalent of your prescription drugs without a written prescription if you run out. 

If you need to go to hospital, Spanish medical facilities are among the best in the world.  Medical and hospital services aren't free, so be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before you travel.

Hospital contact numbers
Las Americas: 922 75 00 22.
Clinica San Eugenio: 922 79 10 00.
International MEDSERVICE: 922 79 05 63


Tenerife has a hot, tropical climate for about 50 weeks of the year.  January & February are often windy and this is when there might be rain in the south, however it rarely lasts more than a day.

There is the occasional sandstorm called a Calima a cloud of sand blown in from the Sahara and the hot wind that blows from the Sahara is known as the Sirocco and also arrives this time of year.