Miles of sandy beaches, year-round sunshine and dramatic volcanic scenery – holidays to Tenerife take getaways up a notch.
Beaches, beaches, beaches
Tenerife’s big-name resorts, like Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de la Arena, boast XL sandy beaches that keep package holiday crowds returning year after year. It all started with Britain’s Queen Victoria in the 19th century, and – despite the hotels and resorts looking newer – it’s still one of Europe’s top picks. The year-round sunshine, plus watersports, seafront cafes and bars, make this Canary Island’s beaches hard to beat. Flights from Ireland’s Dublin Airport don’t take any longer than a box set binge, either.
Although the beaches of Tenerife understandably get most of the good press, the island also boasts the tallest point in Spain – Mount Teide. Topping out at 3,718 metres, the summit of this gigantic peak – which has taken a break from eruptions for over a hundred years – is accessible via cable car. As you can imagine, the views from the top are nothing short of breathtaking. No Tenerife holiday’s fully complete until you’ve snapped pictures from the summit. And when you’re back at ground level, the surrounding volcanic landscape is a dramatic, lava-scarred scene that’s begging to be explored.
You might not realise it, but Tenerife’s got plenty of history to go with its sunbathing set-up. Colonial towns and villages crop in some of the island’s quieter corners. For example, Garachico is well worth a visit. As you walk through its cobblestoned streets, you can soak up sites that date back to 1496, when the town had to deal with pirate landings and volcanic eruptions. Also, check out the university town of La Laguna, with its lively social scene and typical Canarian architecture.
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Los Cristianos is the main port town on Tenerife’s south coast. Until the Seventies, its harbour was teeming with shipping boats loading up rum and salted fish. Nowadays, it’s yachts, ferries and glass-bottom boats that come and go, while luxury apartment blocks and restaurants have sprung up along the picturesque seafront.
Guia de Isora
Guia de Isora, on Tenerife’s west coast, is an up-and-coming resort with an old-school Canary Islands feel. The main town is a quiet affair up in the mountains, with sweeping views of the Atlantic. Down by the sea is Playa San Juan, home to a small harbour and a chic prom. And next door is Alcala, a fishing village with a pretty main square.
You’ll find the sleepy town of Las Caletillas on Tenerife’s north-east coast. It’s a 15-minute drive from Santa Cruz, and it offers a more peaceful atmosphere than the busy capital. There’s little here, save for a clutch of hotels. That said, a café-lined promenade connects you to the larger village of Candelaria.
Puerto de Santiago
Puerto de Santiago sits between Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena on the west coast of Tenerife. The quiet, whitewashed town sits on a rugged hillside that tumbles down to a tiny black sandy beach. It’s very laidback here, with just bars, restaurants and a little fishing museum. And its neighbours are in walking distance, so you get rather a good 3-in-1 deal.
Playa de la Arena
You can leave the hustle and bustle behind at Playa de la Arena. This small, quiet place on Tenerife’s west coast takes things gently, from the uncrowded beach to the low-key bars and restaurants. You’re also well placed for some great walks along rugged Canary Island coastline and through volcanic landscapes – and close to some of the island’s best sights.
Apparently the Beckhams are big fans of Costa Adeje, on Tenerife’s south coast in the Canary Islands. It’s hardly surprising, what with the luxury villas, five-star hotels, designer shopping and waterfront restaurants. And the place has even got its own waterfall. It’s all about laidback sophistication here – though the party bars and clubs of Playa de las Americas are just a stone’s throw away should you want them.
- Guayarmina Princess Hotel - Adults Only
- Parque Del Sol - Half Board
- GF Fanabe
- GF Victoria
- Labranda Isla Bonita
- OLE Tropical Tenerife
- Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa
- Hotel Riu Palace Tenerife
- Royal Hideaway Corales Beach
- El Duque Aparthotel
- Hotel Bahia Princess
- Baobab Suites
- Hotel Royal Garden Villas
- Iberostar Sabila
- Royal Hideaway Corales Suites
- GF Gran Costa Adeje
- Iberostar Grand Hotel El Mirador
- Parque Del Sol
- Playa Real Tenerife
- Hotel Riu Arecas
- Hovima Hotel Costa Adeje
- Adrian Hoteles Colon Guanahani Hotel
- Panoramica Heights
- Hotel H10 Costa Adeje Palace
- Vincci Selección La Plantacion del Sur
- Adrián Hoteles Jardines de Nivaria
- Iberostar Hotel Bouganville Playa
- Iberostar Anthelia
- GF Isabel
- Hotel Jardin Tropical
- Melia Jardines del Teide
- Bahia Del Duque
- Iberostar Las Dalias
Playa Paraiso – on Tenerife’s southwest coast – is a relaxed sort of place, with a laid-back mix of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s got a couple of great neighbours – Playa de las Americas has the all-night clubs, while stylish Costa Adeje comes with a Cartier shop. There’s a couple of top-notch waterparks in the vicinity too – Aqualand and Siam Park waterpark. All this, and volcanic Mount Teide waiting in the wings.
Playa de las Americas
Set on Tenerife’s southwest coast in the Canary Islands, Playa de las Americas is a purpose-built resort that comes with great clubbing credentials. The year-round sun and multiple sandy beaches also pull in the Brit crowds. And then there are the duty-free shops, some great tapas restaurants, a waterpark on the doorstep and the upmarket resort of Los Cristianos just next door.
- Vanilla Garden
- Las Piramides Resort Hotel - Half Board
- Hotel Best Tenerife
- Gran Oasis Resort
- Hotel Villa Cortes
- Hotel H10 Gran Tinerfe
- Hotel H10 Conquistador
- Villa Mandi and Siam Park
- Parque Santiago III Apartments
- Coral Compostela Beach
- Columbus Aparthotel - Self Catering
- Hotel La Siesta
- Hotel Gala
- Hotel Troya
- Parque Cristobal Bungalows & Siam Park
- Colon II Apartments
- H10 Las Palmeras
- Spring Hotel Bitacora
- Garajonay Apartments
- Las Piramides Resort
- Spring Hotel Vulcano
- Parque Santiago IV Apartments
- Aparthotel Columbus
- Compostela Beach Golf Apartments and Siam Park
- Aparthotel Granada Park
- Andorra Hotel Apartments
- Sol Tenerife
- Spring Hotel Bitacora - Half Board
- Marylanza Suites & Spa Resort
- Hotel Catalonia Oro Negro
- Mediterranean Palace
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz differs a little from Tenerife's classic beach-based resorts. It’s the joint capital of the Canary Islands, and delivers a bustling city feel in place of the usual laidback vibe. The harbourside’s always buzzing, with cruise ships dropping anchor and ferries setting sail for neighbouring islands. Dig into the centre, and you’ll find museums, pretty botanical gardens and high street fashion brands balled together.
Los Gigantes is a pretty seaside town on Tenerife’s southwest coast. It’s nestled into the rock face, with dramatic 300-metre cliffs called The Giants running off to the north. Life moves at a leisurely pace, with the marina being the hub of the town – you’ll find relaxed bars and restaurants here, with views over the black volcanic sand of Los Guios Beach.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz sits on Tenerife’s north coast, amid a landscape of tropical fruit plantations. There’s a traditional feel to the place, with its quaint harbour and pretty old town, but it does sophistication well, too. Nouveau cuisine's served in Colonial-style restaurants, while the bars mix cocktails with singers from across the Canary Islands. As for the coastal scene, you’ve got a duo of architect-designed beaches to enjoy.
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