Playa San Juan
Regional Guide to Playa San Juan
They say the sun shines somewhere on Tenerife every day and if they were to put that to the test, my money's on the south west coast for where they'd find it most. And that's where you'll find Playa San Juan. More sunsets and wine than beer and Karaoke, Playa San Juan is one of Tenerife's up and coming resorts and is best suited to families and to couples who can still gaze into each other's eyes over an intimate dining table.
Characterised by its chic marina, its board walk promenade and its handful of choice restaurants, Playa San Juan has its roots firmly in its fishing village origins. Behind the smart, new seafront life goes on in the old town much the way it has done for the past 50 years, which means if you're looking for a lively night life, you're in for a disappointment. The most excitement you'll see around here is when a local puts down the last double six in dominoes.
Either side of the marina, golden sand and shingle beaches with shallow waters protected by the port attract a cosmopolitan variety of visitors and there are plenty of English voices to be heard amongst them. With views over to the neighbouring island of La Gomera and the comings and goings of the marina to watch, it's an idyllic spot in which to soak up those generous sunshine hours.
When it comes to hotel accommodation, it's not the quantity that counts in Playa San Juan, it's the quality, which is just as well as there's only one hotel. The five star deluxe Abama Golf and Spa Resort occupies the entire headland above the resort and is a short taxi drive or a cliff top stroll away. With the resort's focus firmly on self catering holidays, there are plenty of shops and a good sized supermarket catering for all your needs.
Evenings are devoted to the enjoyment of Playa San Juan's best assets – its sunsets over La Gomera and its seafood restaurants. You can combine the two perfectly at Marlin restaurant alongside the marina where chic décor, fusion Mediterranean and Galician seafood specialities and outside dining hit the romantic spot. Head a couple of streets back to find more traditional seafood with a smaller price tag but without that moon on the water view, or stroll along Avenida Emigrante where a range of good cafés, tapas bars, Italian restaurants and pizzerias are perfect for family dining.
For family fun, swap life beside the sea for adventure on it by heading the short distance along the coast to Los Gigantes to take a dolphin and whale watching trip or go south to Siam Park for one of Europe's newest and best water parks. Golfers may never go home once they've discovered the Abama Golf course with its infinite ocean views and its lakes and palm trees, and their partners will forgive them those hours of being abandoned once they try the spa facilities on offer.
Oh, and if you see a celebrity lookalike enjoying a beer on the board walk or strolling the beach, do a double take, with the Abama Hotel's penchant for entertaining the famous, it might just be the real thing.