Tenerife - north and south

Out of all the Canary Islands, the biggest – Tenerife – arguably has the most going on. Travel to the island’s top half and you’ll find no end of greenery to get lost in – banana plantations, pine forests, you name it. Head south, meanwhile, and you’re in holiday central, with everything you could possibly want at your fingertips.

Buzzing beach resorts

Take Playa de las Americas. The top attraction in this purpose-built resort is the white-sand beach, but its waterpark, 18-hole golf course and string of places to dine out are the other plus points people tend to reel off. As for its buzzing strip of bars and clubs, it’s turned the place into a bit of a party Mecca. It's got some stylish new cafes and shopping centres, too. Next-door Los Cristianos, meanwhile, is home to two beaches, some sleek shopping malls and plenty of al fresco eateries. It’s the quieter of the two, but there’s plenty going on, including a busy Sunday market.

Laid-back Tenerife

For proper peace and quiet, try Playa de la Arena on the south-west coast. It’s got a more traditional feel, spotless sands and some of the best tapas bars around. Equally mellow is compact Playa Paraiso, home to a really popular lido. And for a happy medium, go for Costa Adeje. A modern resort with Mount Teide as its backdrop, it’s got a clutch of chic shops and eateries to its name.

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Playa de las Americas

Set on Tenerife’s southwest coast, Playa de las Americas is the party capital of the island. Year-round sun and full-on nightlife pull in the Brit crowd, and the duty-free shops and golden beaches don’t do any harm either. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the classy resort of Los Cristianos just next door, plus windsurfing capital El Medano a 15-minute drive away.

Costa Adeje

In resort terms, Costa Adeje is a relative newbie but it’s already a bit of an ‘It’-destination on Tenerife’s south coast. Backdropped by volcanic Mount Teide, it’s all 5-star hotels, high-end villas and luxury boutiques – the Beckhams are regulars here, apparently. It’s a fairly laid-back place, but you’ve got party-hard Playa de las Palmas next door plus one of the world’s biggest waterparks right on your doorstep.

Playa Paraiso

As resorts go, Playa Paraiso is a bit of a wallflower. Set on Tenerife’s southwest coast, it’s a small, quiet, purpose-built resort where you won’t find much beyond a few restaurants, shops and bars. You can really dip in and out of the action here, though, because just down the road you’ve got party-mad Playa de las Americas and one of the world’s top waterparks, Siam Park.

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