Our Top 10 Beaches
Our Top Ten Beaches
Playa El Camisón
Our favourite stretch of Tenerife sand with its perfect crescent of tranquil waters fringed by golden sand and its pole position in the heart of Playa de Las Américas. Not only is everything you could possibly want, from kiwis to karaoke, in barefoot distance, but it has one of the coolest beach bar terraces on the island where you can pose with your pina colada and chips.
Playa del Duque
Slip out of your flip flops alongside the well heeled holidaymakers of Costa Adeje in this white sand paradise. Hemmed in by cliffs which add to the air of exclusivity, this is the beach on which to see and be seen. Lie back beneath a straw thatched umbrella and imagine you're on the Côte D'Azure, a fantasy that will become all too real when you find out how much the sun lounger is going to cost you.
To the north of Santa Cruz, this tropical paradise of saffron sand is hemmed in by a breakwater which has created a placid, seawater lake teeming with rainbow fish. Dotted by wafting palm trees, backed by kiosks serving chilled Dorada, and in sandal stretch of some of Tenerife's finest fish restaurants, whole weeks have been known to be lost here.
Playa Las Vistas
An endless expanse of soft, vanilla sand stretches like a mini Kalahari Desert, blurring the boundary between Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Américas. Luckily, there are ice cream parlours, bars, restaurants and shops aplenty on its promenade to keep a fatal thirst at bay. Despite its central position, because it's so big this beach rarely looks or feels full. See, size does matter.
Playa La Tejita
That rarest of creatures on Tenerife, a natural golden sand beach that runs from the base of Montaña Roja beyond the windsurfer's resort of El Médano. When the trademark breezes get up, it's best to keep moving to avoid inadvertently doing a sand sculpture impression. A favourite with nudists, though how they keep that sand out of those important places is a mystery to me.
Playa San Juan
Enjoying Tenerife's sunniest coast and prime position alongside a picturesque marina, this low profile beach is a real favourite with families and with anyone who has a penchant for an elegant esplanade and fabulous fish restaurants. With the neighbouring island of La Gomera forming the backdrop to stunning sunsets, this is a great beach for a sundowner.
Playa de La Arena
A consistent Blue Flag winner and right in the heart of the resort of the same name, the black sand of Playa de la Arena is another family favourite. Tucked into a sheltered bay which creates a natural sun trap, there's a great tapas bar right on the sand, the facilities are immaculately clean and there's free WiFi. Come to think of it, it would make the perfect location for my office.
An untamed, black beauty of a beach at the foot of sheer cliffs, east of Puerto de la Cruz. The fierce Atlantic waves are too daunting for all but the bravest of paddlers but the idyllic cove setting is a magnet for lovers of Tenerife's natural seascapes. A small café on a cliff terrace and some rather basic facilities are all you'll find in the way of creature comforts, nature provides the rest.
A César Manrique-created garden beach that runs from the western edge of the resort of Puerto de la Cruz. Soft, sparkling black sand, palm trees for shade, restaurants and a large cactus garden are all on hand to keep sun-catchers happy while a snow-capped Mount Teide provides horizon drama.
Playa de Los Cristianos
The perfect place for those of us who enjoy the tranquil art of people watching while we work on our tans, this beach in the heart of Los Cristianos is in prime position. The busy port keeps attention out to sea as the La Gomera ferries dock, the fishing boats unload and the pleasure cruises set sail, while behind you a steady stream of happy Tenerife holidaymakers stroll the promenade.
Other Beaches – Garachico
Location: Alongside the harbour in the town.
Brief description: Lovely, small, sand and pebble volcanic cove set below the harbour wall in the picturesque town of Garachico.
Services nearby: Craft shops, restaurants and cafes by the bucket load; the picturesque plaza and churches of the town; a castle and splendid natural rock swimming pools packed to the gills with tropical fish.
Good for: Escaping the tour groups at the rock pools and enjoying Garachico in peace and quiet.
What we like: The tranquil waters of the harbour are great for swimming and in winter, the beach is rarely busy.
What we don't like: It's more pebbly than sandy which makes for some fidgety sunbathing.
Driving directions: On the TF42 north coast road between Icod de Los Vinos and Buenavista.