The room I was born in overlooked the North Sea. I spent my formative years living by the ocean and most days running along the beach. In my middle years the sea was a treat reserved for holidays and now I am happily back where I feel I belong so for me, Tenerife is a kind of paradise. There are beaches everywhere – long, flat, sandy beaches with rolling waves, black volcanic sand beaches with unruly waves, sheltered coves with cliffs and rocks so what we lack in the white paradise beaches of the Maldives or the Seychelles we make up for in choice.
Unless you’re one of those people who hate the sun and get a rash when exposed to the heat, then you too probably appreciate a nice beach with a few palm trees and at least for me some of the best are here in the south as there is something to suit everyone.
The beaches of Costa Adeje are among the best on the island, giving the area the reputation of being affluent, up-market and guaranteed to impress. Starting in the west.
La Caleta in the middle of the old fishing village is visited by relatively few people other than locals. It is a mix of sand and shingle and very calm waters. Next to the beach you will find a couple of restaurant that serve delicious fresh seafood. If you follow the path at the end of La Caleta, it will take you to the next bay the Hippy Bay which is mainly large rocks suitable for sunbathing. Continue past the Hippy Bay and its crystal clear waters and head over the headland to Playa de Diego Hernandez which is sandy. The entire area is a nature reserve of outstanding beauty.
If you want sophisticated rather than rugged beauty, Playa del Duque is another well-kept, man-made affair. Once a black sand beach, it was spruced up with sand pumped from the sea bed and deposited on top although some of the sand has since been washed away and the beach is now grey it is still a very pretty location for unwinding on sumptuous sun beds while listening to the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore. Playa del Duque is made for beach lovers, particularly those who enjoy a calm, classy environment. You’ll also find some of the island’s most exclusive five-star hotels here so the area tends to be a bit on the expensive side.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far another perfect beach is Playa Fañabé. It attracts lovers of water sports who can jet-ski through the open water, ride a banana boat or fly high in a parachute over the resort. This leads through Torviscas to Playa la Pinta a small golden sand beach with its big inflatable icebergs that float alongside expensive yachts in the Puerto Colón Marina. Because of its size it is safe and ideal for families as you can easily keep an eye on little ones while relaxing in the sunshine.
Las Américas boasts several stretches of long sandy beaches, Playa del Bobo and Playa Troya I and II with their sun beds shaded by thatched umbrellas continue to draw the crowds to their calm waters and multitude of amenities to suit children, couples or those feeling energetic. If you want to try out some water sports, there is a wide variety on offer with plenty of shops hiring out equipment like surfboards, wetsuits and snorkelling gear.
As you head along the coast you will find a large area of La Americas that is natural coastline quite rocky and popular with the local surfers. If you love to surf then this is where you will find some of the best waves, your main dilemma is, which break shall I surf?
Then you are back to the palm-tree lined beach scene of the upmarket area of Las Americas around the Safari Centre and where you can step straight out of the Mare Nostrum resort and on to the golden sands of Playa del Camisón.
When people mention the southern beaches the first that springs to mind is Las Vistas. Decried by some as being man-made, yet this wide sweep of golden sand is one of the most popular beaches on the island – families love it and while it does get busy, it never feels crowded. Sun beds and sunshades fill the beach and at the water’s edge a huge fountain keeps bathers cool when temperatures soar. Las Vistas also provides excellent facilities for people with mobility problems giving easy access into the ocean so the less able bodied can enjoy the beach as much as everyone else. The sea is very calm and has a large shallow area, which makes it especially appealing for families with children. The amenities are excellent – dotted all the way along the expanse of coast are bars selling food and drinks. In addition there are several showers, changing rooms, toilets and even lockers. Las Vistas is the neighbour of Los Cristianos.
Los Cristianos boasts not one, but two beaches. The town beach is next to the port so there is always something going on with a variety of boat trips where you can spot dolphins and whales swimming. Ferries also take you to the neighbouring islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. This is one of the safest beaches and ideal for kids as the waters are sheltered. There are also plenty of sports pastimes from free beach volleyball and football during the summer months to snorkelling lessons.
Once away from the pristine beach which is swept daily, you can venture along the lovely promenade that runs for miles and is packed with shops and cafés where you can sit for hours watching the world go by. If you head towards the Arona Gran hotel passing the sand sculptures you will come to the second beach. Walk beyond the ‘peacock’ villa and the beach turns from sand to large pebbles to rocks. Here the shoreline is dotted with stone horseshoe windbreaks. It is supposedly a nudist beach but I have never seen any naked bodies despite how hard I have looked.
It is not that I am a great lover of beaches, I wouldn´t swap my life for that of a beach bum, but I do like to be able to wander along the coast depending on what time of year it is and listen to the waves either lapping the shore or crashing against the rocks. If that sounds like you, or your dream is to spend each day getting a tan and playing in the waves – and who wouldn’t, then the southern resorts of Tenerife are for you, everybody will find their perfect spot.