Los Gigantes

Few cannot failed to be wowed by the colossal cliffs of Los Gigantes, an impressive ridge 6 miles long and 1,600 feet high plunging into the Atlantic. At the foot of these mountains is a purpose-built resort, which, for lack of any other direction to grow, has fanned out from the harbour up the steep hills and beyond. Although not for the mobility-impaired, Los Gigantes has become a firm favourite with the older set and those who like to be away from the hubbub of Playa de las Americas 25 minutes further south.

The focal point is a pretty marina lined with a handful of quayside bars and restaurants. Watching the comings and goings of the excursion boats and private yachts is always worth the price of a beer or a coffee. If you’re tempted to be less of a spectator, diving trips and deep-sea fishing excursions depart daily. If you want something even more adventurous, get talking to the yacht-eratti in the harbour – you never know, you might land a job as crew and set sail to the Caribbean.

There is a small beach in Los Gigantes, but it’s no tropical paradise. You’ll find it by walking down the street running parallel behind the harbour bars and cafes.

To the south, the resort mingles into Puerto de Santiago, which in turn slides seamlessly into Playa de la Arena - an up and coming favourite with UK holidaymakers. The impressive 4-star Hotel Playa la Arena offers the best place to park your suitcase. You’ll notice a distinct difference with the beach at Playa de la Arena. It’s black. This is the natural colour of sand on the island. All of the others have either imported the golden stuff or dug it up offshore from the sea bed and piped it back to the shoreline.

From Los Gigantes, it’s not far to Tenerife’s Shangri-La – the hidden village of Masca. It’s also but a short hop to one of the newer golf courses on the island – Buenavista Golf.

One of the best ways to discover all the best bits of this area is to visit the unique village of Masca which is a small, unspoilt village hidden away in the Western valleys of Tenerife. Trek down the deep Barranco (valley) all the way to the coast where a glass bottom boat will be waiting to take you back to Los Gigantes port. On the way back to Los Gigantes, you will be able to watch the whales and dolphins while traveling past the huge cliffs of Los Gigantes (aptly named - the Giants!).

NOTE: One word of warning in Los Gigantes. Driving involves narrow streets and a frustrating one-way system that seems to keep throwing you out of town. Parking is even worse. Bear that in mind if you plan on hiring a car in Los Gigantes... of course you could always take a helicopter tour of the area, now there's a thought! Should you wish to keep your feet firmly on the ground but still want to try something different, why not go quad biking?!