In resort terms, Costa Adeje is a relative newbie but it’s already a bit of an ‘It’-destination on Tenerife’s south coast. All Inclusive holidays to Costa Adeje are all pristine beaches, smart eateries and first-class boutiques. Plus, you’ve got party-hard Playa de las Palmas next door, and one of the world’s biggest waterparks down the road.
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
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.
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.
Puerto de Santiago
Puerto de Santiago is a former fishing village-turned-family resort, sandwiched between the busier Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena. Behind it are brooding 500-metre-high dark cliffs. In front is a bijou beach of black volcanic sand. And across the bay you’ll spy the lost-in-time island of La Gomera. It's a pretty quiet spot, although in the summer locals ramp things up a bit with a handful of al fresco fiestas.
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.
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.