Tenerife Beaches


El Médano (The dune)
Location: South coast, close to Tenerife South Airport
Brief description: Gorgeous golden sandy beach, big hit with adrenalin junkies like surfers, kite-surfers, thanks to its awesome waves and swells. Red Mountain (Montaña Roja) looks great here. Popular with families and swimmers too.
Services nearby: Very cool and trendy cafés and restaurants line the promenade. Think stylish bohemian. Plenty of chilled-out places to while away the hours. Large car park and loads of on-street parking. Good scattering of shops selling surf fashion clothing, boards and loads of other stuff. 
Good for: Surfing and other water sports, swimming and generally lazing about. 
We like: The boho feel to El Médano, the laid-back attitude and its authentic Spanish seaside town vibe. 
We don’t like: Windy at times. 
Driving directions: From Tenerife South Airport, take the TF-1(towards Santa Cruz) and exit at junction signposted for San Isidro & El Médano, go over first roundabout the follow signs for the beach. 
Playa La Tejita
Location: On the south coast close to Tenerife South Airport, nestled against the stunning Red Rock (Montaña Roja).  
Brief description: Unspoiled, untouristy, golden sandy beach (with some shingle). Warning: Naturists frequent this beach! Not obligatory but expect to get an eyeful!
Services nearby: None to speak of...an unspoiled beach, not much around except the señor selling cold drinks and slices of water melon and pineapple.
Good for: Swimming. The waves here can get quite large so keep an eye on them. If you’re careful, it’s a great place to mess around in the sea.
We like: The under development, sun beds are few and far between; you spread out and don’t have that ‘sardine’ feeling. 
We don’t like: Sometimes breezy. 
Driving directions: Take the TF-1 from Tenerife South Airport and exit at Los Abrigos. Follow these signs into the village, go left at the roundabout and drive out of Los Abrigos. Go passed some banana plantations and Playa Tejita is on the right. 
Playa Los Abrigos (Beach of the Coats)
Location: Close to Tenerife South Airport
Brief description: Small, very small, more like a little cove than an actual beach. Volcanic sand with some shingle, especially as you walk into the sea.
Services nearby: Handful of cafés in a local plaza but much more impressive is the quaint little harbour of Los Abrigos, great seafood and fish here. Car park.
Good for: Quick dip and having a beer. It’s a stop gap really before heading onto the harbour for a bite to eat. 
We like: ‘All good things come in little packages’, not at all a tourist beach.
We don’t like: Difficult to get into the water, but once you’re in, it’s great!
Driving directions: Come off the TF-1 at the exit for Los Abrigos, follow the road into the village and take a right at the roundabout where you'll find a car park overlooking the beach.
Playa del Duque (Duke beach)
Location: On the south coast, Costa Adeje.
Brief description: Golden sand and turquoise waters surrounded by a chic promenade. 
Services nearby: High class bars, cafés and restaurants, changing and shower facilities, underground car park and on-street. We especially like the boutique design-label shops in the Playa del Duque Commercial Centre. 
Good for: Treating yourself to a bit of luxury, pampering yourself with a massage on the beach, swimming in crystal clear waters. 
We like: The exclusive feel to Playa del Duque, the extra thick mattresses on the sun beds, the man selling donuts on the beach and the on-beach massage service....nice!
We don’t like: This kind of exclusivity comes with a price.
Driving directions: Come off the TF-1 at Fañabé/Torviscas, come off the slip road and beach is signposted.
Playa la Pinta 
Location: Puerto Colón/San Eugenio 
Brief description: Nice stretch of golden sand in front of a busy promenade. See neighbouring island La Gomera on a clear day. 
Services nearby: Loads of shopping, bars, cafés, restaurants and supermarkets. Tiered shopping centre with fast food outlets and snack bars. 
Good for: Relaxing and swimming because the water is calm, great for kids.
What we like: The fun inflatables and trampolines which are fixed out to in the shallow waters. Great for kids young and old, children get a lifejacket. It costs €5 for one hour or €10 for the whole day.
What we don’t like: Because it’s so popular it can get a bit crowded at times. Surrounding tiered shopping centre looks a bit dated. 
Driving directions: Come off the TF-1 at San Eugenio, take a left over the motorway bridge and follow the road. Go over the first roundabout and you’ll find some on-street parking. 
Playa Bollullo 
Location: In the north of the island, in the Orotava Valley region.
Brief description: Gorgeous dark-coloured sand at the bottom of steep cliffs. Frothy waves hit the shore and spill on to the shore. 
Services nearby: Just the one cool restaurant right on the beach, which gives this place a good edge in our opinion!
Good for: Getting away from it all, especially the tourists, lounging around with nothing much to do.
What we like: Large expanse of sand, plenty of space to spread out. Blissful isolation.
What we don’t like: The trek just to get to isolated Playa Bollullo is pretty long and a little shaky in places; make sure you travel light.
Driving directions: Head towards Icod de los Vinos. (If you're coming from the south take the TF-I north, then get onto the TF-5. The beach is signposted.
Playa Jardín (Garden beach)
Location: Puerto de la Cruz, in the north of the island
Brief description: Dark coloured sand stretching as far as the eye can see. Lovely sub-tropical gardens back onto the beach, hence the name. 
Services nearby: Loads of places to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, absolutely loads! 
Good for: Easy on the eye, partly due to its creator Lanzarote-born artist César Manrique. 
What we like: The lovely palms that line the beach, the ‘sophisticated’ feel to the place and the amazing view of the sea; immerse yourself in the Atlantic and look up at a volcano....pretty amazing! Breakwater protects the swimming area.
What we don’t like: A beach like this is bound to be popular, go early to grab a sun bed. 
Driving directions: Take the TF-1 northbound towards Santa Cruz, exit the TF-1 for the TF-5 towards Puerto de la Cruz (a good tip here is to follow signs for Loro Parque) Once you're in this area, Playa Jardín is signposted. 
Playa los Gigantes (Beach of Giants)
Location: South west coast
Brief description: Stunning scenery, gigantic cliffs, beautiful waters, soft sand and lovely marina. 
Services nearby: Beautiful marina lined with shops and restaurants. Boat trips available including a bargain €10, 90 minute trip for guaranteed dolphin spotting and diving off the boat (James Bond eat your heart out). 
Good for: Everyone! Especially those who want to sit back relax and take in the stunning vistas.
What we like: Small and cosy, a good place to catch some rays. Known as one of the sunniest destinations on the island. Awesome cliffs make for a striking backdrop to this beach. 
What we don’t like: Fairly hilly in places, can be hard going in the heat.
Driving directions: Take the TF-1 towards Playa Los Cristianos from South Airport, go to the end of the TF-1 and follow signs for the brown coloured signs for Los Gigantes which continue all the way into the resort. 
Playa Fañabe & Torviscas
Location: Southwest coast
Brief description: Known as ‘the golden beach’ it stretches through two popular resorts, lovely calm waters, plenty of sun beds and other facilities. 
Services nearby: Several shopping centres, restaurants, fast food outlets.
Good for: Water sport activities, people who like to ‘do stuff’.
What we like: Blue Flag beach means it has excellent facilities, including access points for wheelchair users, has pristine waters and sand. 
What we don’t like: The sun beds get snapped up quickly, expect a far few people on any given day, especially in high season. 
Driving directions: Exit the TF-1 at Fañabe/Torviscas. Come off the slip road and follow the signs for the beach.
Playa Teresistas 
Location: A few miles from Santa Cruz, on the north east coast.
Brief description: Very large stretch of golden sand that says ‘feel me between your toes’.
Services nearby: On-beach facilities are basic. Cafés and loads of parking. 
Good for: Water sports. Breakwater fences of high waves so water is always calm. Very child friendly. Widely considered to be Tenerife’s ‘jewel in the crown.’
What we like: Views of Anaga Mountains with their laurel forests and meadows (they also shield the wind). The weird pink haze light of the place. 
What we don’t like: Everyone in Santa Cruz (the locals) comes here!
Driving directions: Take the TF-1 northbound towards Santa Cruz. Come off and the beach is signposted.
Playa San Juan (Beach of Saint John)
Location: West coast. 
Brief description: Dark sand, good few palms, clean and pristine calm waters that start off shallow.
Services nearby: Beach kiosk, loads of sun beds, shops, restaurants and bars nearby. Parking. Picturesque fishing harbour. 
Good for: Really safe beach for kids, nice walk along the promenade.
What we like: Chilled-out atmosphere, lots of palms give it a tropical feel. Night parties during the summer solstice with bonfires and drinking on the beach. 
What we don’t like: San Juan is undergoing somewhat of a makeover; only a matter of time before the masses descend on the beach; we fear for its ‘unspoiled’ feel. 
Driving directions: Take the TF-1 towards Los Cristainos from Tenerife South Airport, go way passed this exit and come off at the TF-47 for Armenime, which is almost at the end of the motorway. 
Playa San Marcos (Beach of Saint Mark)
Location: North coast, close to Icod de los Vinos. 
Brief description: More than 500 metres of dark coloured sand fringed by rocks, beach runs just below a lovely promenade, clean calm water.
Services nearby: Good restaurants, typical Canarian dishes and fresh fish and seafood, bars and shops, on-street parking and car park.
Good for: People who don’t like their beaches too crowded and un-manicured. 
What we like: No facilities or sun beds, we think this is actually a good thing, makes it feel ‘real’. Authentic Canarian ambience. 
What we don’t like: Can a little cloudy in this part of the island.
Driving directions:
Playa Socorro (Relief Beach)
Location: Between Icod de los Vinos and Puerto de la Cruz
Brief description: Picturesque, great sunset. Waves crash on the shore, good swells. 
Good for: Waves pack a punch, ideal for surfers.
Services nearby: A cosy and cool beach bar. Other cafés and stuff nearby.
What we like: Playing in the waves can be fun as long as they are not too big and there are not too many surfers doing their thing.
What we don’t like: Lack of parking, particularly difficult on weekends. The sun disappears behind the mountains in the late afternoon. 
Driving directions: Follow the signs for Playa Socorro from the TF820 between Puerto de la Cruz and Icod de los Vinos, just beyond the San Pedro mirador.
Lago Martiánez/Playa Martiánez 
Location: Calle de las Lonjas, Puerto de la Cruz
Brief description: Incredible outdoor water park alongside the beach with huge saltwater pool, lakes, waterfalls, islands, bars, restaurants...the works!
Good for: A cheap day out for all the family. Fun guaranteed.
Services nearby: Everything you need is on this complex, even more stuff nearby.
What we like: The beach experience is next to the outdoor water park.
What we don’t like: The sea here is a little unpredictable. 
Driving directions: From the TF-312, Lago Martiánez and the beach next door are both signposted. 
Playa las Gaviotas
Location: 10km outside of Santa Cruz 
Brief description: Lovely little beach at the foot of the Anaga Mountains in the north of Tenerife. 
Good for: Chilling out and for those of you who like to get your kit off completely....go for it. 
Services nearby: A few shops, restaurants and cafés.
What we like: Intimate beach that gets overshadowed by its neighbour Las Teresitas. 
What we don’t like: Limited parking, it gets very busy, especially in the summer.
Driving directions:  About 10 kilometres beyond Santa Cruz. Access is from the TF-121. 
Playa de la Arena (Sandy Beach)
Location: In the resort of the same name, close to Los Gigantes on the west coast  
Brief description: Set in a lovely cove which enjoys plenty of sunshine. A haven for sun worshippers.
Good for: Sun, sun and more sun.
Services nearby: Bars, restaurants and shops. On-street parking. 
What we like: Picturesque, idyllic setting, views of La Gomera and a stunning sunset.
What we don’t like: Beach facilities are rudimentary.
Driving directions: On the west coast, near Los Gigantes, in the centre of the small resort of Playa de la Arena
Name of beach: Playa el Camisón 
Location: Playa de las Américas
Brief description: Golden sand beach backed by palm trees. Lovely turquoise water sheltered by the break waters means that it's calm most days. Sunbeds with straw umbrellas to take a break from the sun available for hire.
Good for: Safe bathing with the added security of lifeguards. The flat surroundings make for easy access for mobility scooters and prams. Ideal for families with kids.
Services nearby: Promenade is lined with restaurants, bars and cafés.
What we like: In the heart of Las Americas. Great beach restaurant for a leisurely luch. Grass verge to sit on in the shadow of the palm trees for those who don't like getting sand between their toes.
What we don’t like: Free on street parking can be difficult although there is an undergound carpark close by as well as a taxi rank and bus service.
Driving directions:
Playa las Vistas 
Location: Los Cristianos
Brief description: Long golden beach linking Los Cristianos with Playa de las Américas. Rows and rows of sun beds, huge fountain in the middle of the beach sprays out water, access into the sea is smooth and easy. 
Good for: Fun-filled day out on the beach with loads to do to keep the kids entertained. Boat excursions on offer here. 
Services nearby: Surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars and fast-food places. 
What we like: This Blue Flag beach has pristine waters and excellent facilities for disabled people. 
What we don’t like: Gets overcrowded and a bit noisy at times.
Driving directions: Exit the TF-1 at Los Cristianos, follow the road straight down to the seafront. Loads of free on-street parking plus underground car parks. 
El Puerito 
Location: In between Playa las Américas and Playa San Juan on the south coast. 
Brief description: Charming little fishing village with a small but cosy bay with pale golden sand. Pristine sea, good for a dip.
Services nearby: A small selection of places to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing cool drink. Some on-street free parking. 
Good for: Peace and tranquillity, getting away from the crowds. Scuba diving and snorkelling. 
What we like: Old fashioned, understated bay which reminds us of an authentic Tenerife fishing hamlet. Good fish served here. 
What we don’t like: Very basic facilities. 
Driving directions: Watch out for a small signpost directing you from the TF-47 just outside Armeñime on the way to Los Gigantes (via the TF-1)