Costa Adeje's anchored on one of the most upbeat strips of Tenerife’s coastline. Big hotels link arms with the seafront, and the offering of cafés, restaurants and shopping centres will leave you spoilt for choice. Next door, there’s a spot of friendly holiday competition in the form of Playa de las Americas. This place plies its trade in pulse-pounding nightlife, live music and tip-top waterside scenery.
Playa de la Arena
Resort-wise, Playa de la Arena is a bit of a quiet customer on the west coast of Tenerife. It doesn’t party hard like full-throttle Playa de Las Americas, 30 kilometres away – and, frankly, that’s the appeal. You get all the bars and restaurants you need without the non-stop pace. And with its craggy coastline and mountain views, the place looks pretty good, too.
Playa de las Americas
You’ll find Playa de las Americas in the sunniest part of Tenerife. It’s nabbed a spot on the south-western tip, which means it’s bang on for some winter sun. That’s not all it’s good for, either. This place deals in lots-of-laughs breaks, thanks to its mob of beaches, jam-packed strip and a giant waterpark.
Sleepy and Tenerife don’t usually get thrown together in a sentence. But this pocket is just that. A trio of coves is cut into its shoreline, and there are a couple of shops, bars and restaurants in the centre. Other than that, you’ll need to head to nearby Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas, who are more than willing to help out.
Puerto de Santiago
Puerto de Santiago slots into the sophisticated west coast of Tenerife. Its neighbours Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena are the slices of bread and this place is the filling. The fishing village still bangs the traditional drum, with a laidback, family-friendly vibe. And you can easily walk to the connecting towns for something extra.
A century ago Los Cristianos was little more than a sleepy fishing village. Now, thanks to a swanky new harbour built in the 1970s, it’s one of the busiest ports on the island. Ferries run gaggles of tourists across to neighbouring La Gomera, and the bay has become popular with sun worshippers and shoppers alike.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz was first off the blocks when it came to selling itself as a holiday hotspot. Visitors from mainland Europe flocked to the then-tiny fishing village way back when in the late 19th century. It was seen as a stylish spa break destination by the Victorians. But the secret was well and truly out by the 1950s, when sun-seeking tourists cottoned on in their thousands. That being said, it’s not a jam-packed, bucket-and-spade situation here. Puerto de la Cruz has used its moxie to stick to the classy roots that put it on the map – think chic boardwalks, pretty plazas, and a booming restaurant scene.
Golf del Sur
The little resort of Golf del Sur sits on the coast. As the name suggests, it’s most famous for golf – the 27-hole course here comes with volcanic-sand bunkers and giant cacti plants. It’s a fairly quiet spot, with a handful of bars and restaurants, a shopping centre, and a small rocky beach backed by dark, dramatic cliffs.
You won’t find any gimmicks around this neck of the woods. Las Caletillas is slice of old-fashioned Spain at its best. You’ll find sleepy tavernas mixing up jugs of sangria, a peaceful promenade stretching along the coastline and chilled out live music playing as the sun goes down.
Set on the south coast of Tenerife, El Medano used to be a little fishing village but now it’s grown into a middleweight resort. It’s got an easy, laid-back vibe – probably something to do with the surfer set who hang out here. They’re not the only ones who love the beach, though – with a long, white sandy stretch, this place gets the family vote, too.