Tenerife Beach Guide
Discover a choice of black- and golden-sand beaches that indent the 342km-long coastline of Tenerife. Head to the highly organised and mainly man-made resort beaches of Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos in the south.
Or discover the natural golden sands of Playa de las Teresitas in the north near Santa Cruz as well as the secluded clothing-optional beaches of Playa de la Tejita and Playa de las Gaviotas.
Playa de las Teresitas (Santa Cruz) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this gorgeous 1.5km-long crescent of golden sand. Playa de las Teresitas sits in a picture-perfect location beneath the towering peaks of the Anaga Mountains and the whitewashed fishing village of San Andrés, which sprawls across the mountain slopes.
Relax in the shade of Canary Island palms that dot the sand and swim in the calm turquoise waters of the lagoon, which is perfect for families and small children as it is protected by a long breakwater.
Facilities on this natural beach – much improved by the addition of golden sand imported from the Spanish Sahara – include parasols and sun loungers for hire, toilets, showers and lifeguards. Beachfront food kiosks and a number of great seafood restaurants can be found in the nearby village of San Andrés.
Playa de las Teresitas is located on the northeast coast of Tenerife, just 7km north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Playa de las Gaviotas (Santa Cruz) – Unwind on this black-sand beach that nestles beneath soaring cliffs. Facilities include food kiosks only. The beach lies a few kilometres north of Las Teresitas and is accessed from a mountain road turn-off along the San Andrés to Igueste de San Andrés road. The beach is popular with naturalists.
Playa de Las Americas – Unwind beneath a parasol on this broad crescent of golden sand (imported from the Sahara Desert) that sits between a calm turquoise sea and a palm-fringed promenade lined with hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants. The main beach is best for swimming and sunbathing in sight of the often snow-capped peaks of the southern mountains.
A string of smaller beaches, separated by long rocky breakwaters, offer better opportunities for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. Facilities on this man-made beach include parasols and sun loungers for hire, toilets, showers and lifeguards.
Rated as one of Europe’s most famous holiday resorts, the purpose-built resort of Playa de Las Americas offers attractions galore for families, couples and singles. Kids should love the water parks of Aqualand and the Thai-inspired Siam Park, with their array of flumes, pools, slides, waterfalls and dolphin shows.
Adults have a huge choice of after-dark treats with numerous bars, discos and nightclubs open for all-night action. As part of a 16km-long stretch of beach resorts, Playa de Las Americas offers a wide range of accommodation, including the upmarket Hotel La Siesta and Hotel Gala.
Playa de Las Americas is located on the southwest coast of Tenerife, just north of Los Cristianos and south of Costa Adeje, around 15 minutes drive from Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.
Playa de las Vistas – Unwind on this kilometre-long crescent of golden sand that shelves into a calm bay protected by low, man-made sea walls. Facilities include parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire, as well as toilets, showers and lifeguards.
A range of cafes, bars and restaurants are just a short stroll away on a beachfront promenade that links Playa de las Vistas with Playa de las Americas to the north and Playa de Los Cristianos to the south.
Playa de Los Cristianos – Relax on this long crescent of golden sand that faces a small fishing harbour and the calm waters of a protected bay. Behind the beach lies a palm-fringed promenade lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. Facilities include parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire, as well as toilets, showers and lifeguards.
Away from the shimmering sea, wander the picturesque streets of the Old Town, lined with quaint shops and restaurants serving tasty seafood dishes.
Check out the water parks of Aqualand and Siam Park for a choice of white-knuckle rides and the 3m-high artificial wave. Visit Jungle Park for tree-top walks and the chance to get close to lions, tigers and hippos, or climb the slopes of nearby Mount Teide for views overlooking Los Cristianos.
The resort of Los Cristianos is built around an old fishing village and is more laid-back than the bustling neighbouring resort of Playa de Las Américas. Choose from a range of accommodation that includes the seafront 5-star Hotel Arona Gran.
Los Cristianos is located on the southwest coast of Tenerife, just south of Playa de Las Americas, around 15 minutes drive from Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.
Costa Adeje – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on two beaches that sit either side of twin rocky promontories separated by a narrow sea-swept inlet; one promontory is topped by an ancient castle and the other by the 5-star Hotel La Plantacion Del Sur.
The 900m-long Playa Fanabe sits to the south and the smaller 400m-long Playa del Dugue lies to the north of the resort town. Facilities on both beaches include parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire, as well as toilets, showers and lifeguards.
The purpose-built resort of Costa Adeje offers a wide selection of 4-and 5-star hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants that sit close to the beach. Splash out at the turreted 5-star Gran Hotel Melia Bahia del Duque, arranged in a village-like setting just metres from Playa del Dugue, or try the equally luxurious Hotel Riu Palace Tenerife.
Costa Adeje is located on the southwest coast of Tenerife, just north of Playa de Las Americas, around 15 minutes drive from Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.
Playa de Abama (Guia de Isora) – Unwind in comfort at this small golden-sand beach that lies almost hidden along the rugged Guia de Isora coastline on the southwest coast of Tenerife.
The cliff-framed beach faces a sheltered cove protected by rocky headlands and a small reef. Facilities include parasols and sun loungers, with a range of creature comforts just a short stroll away at the luxurious Abama Golf and Spa Resort, set atop a cliff overlooking the beach.
Playa de Abama is located 34km north of Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.
Playa Jardin (Puerto de la Cruz) – Relax on this classic black-sand beach that sits beneath the whitewashed houses of the Old Town and stretches in front of a lush palm-fringed garden, just a short stroll from cafes, bars and restaurants.
The beach is popular with kite and windsurfers when the wind picks up, with the nearby Lago de Martianez, a protected man-made beach lagoon, an alternative for swimmers. Facilities include parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire, as well as toilets, showers and lifeguards.
Away from the beach at the nearby Loro Parque wildlife park, see more than 1000 parrots as well as penguins, sharks and killer whales.
Puerto de la Cruz is located on the west coast of Tenerife, around 90km (or an hour's drive) from Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.
Playa El Médano – Sunbathe on this 2km-long, off-white sand beach or join kite and windsurfers in the turquoise waters of this world-class windsurfing destination. Playa El Médano is located on the east coast of Tenerife, around 5km from Tenerife's main airport, Reina Sofia.