Miles of sandy beaches, year-round sunshine and dramatic volcanic scenery, holidays to Tenerife offer plenty of unforgettable experiences.
Beaches, beaches, beaches
Resorts like Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de la Arena boast large, sandy beaches that have attracted holidaymakers for hundreds of years – starting with Britain’s Queen Victoria in the 19th century and continuing to today, when 450,000 tourists a year travel to Tenerife. The year-round sunshine, tonnes of watersports and beachfront cafes, bars and clubs make the beaches of this island hard to beat.
Although the beaches of Tenerife understandably get most of the good press, the island also boasts the tallest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, which just happens to be an active volcano. Topping out at 3,718 metres the summit of this gigantic peak – which has taken a break from eruptions for over a hundred years – is accessible via cable car. As you can imagine, the views from atop Mount Teide are nothing short of breathtaking. And, the surrounding volcanic landscape of Mount Teide National Park is a dramatic, barren lava wasteland begging to be explored.
Colonial towns filled with history
Many people might not realise it, but Tenerife is an island that possesses a rich and exciting past – evidence of which can be seen in its beautifully preserved colonial towns and villages. For example, Garachico is well worth a visit. As you walk through its cobblestoned streets, you can soak in some of its colourful history dating back to 1496, including bouts of the bubonic plague, volcanic eruptions and pirate attacks. Also, check out the university town of La Laguna with its lively social scene and typical Canarian architecture.
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Playa de las Americas
Set on Tenerife’s southwest coast, Playa de las Americas is the party capital of the island. Year-round sun and full-on nightlife pull in the Brit crowd, and the duty-free shops and golden beaches don’t do any harm either. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the classy resort of Los Cristianos just next door, plus windsurfing capital El Medano a 15-minute drive away.
In resort terms, Costa Adeje is a relative newbie but it’s already a bit of an ‘It’-destination on Tenerife’s south coast. Backdropped by volcanic Mount Teide, it’s all 5-star hotels, high-end villas and luxury boutiques – the Beckhams are regulars here, apparently. It’s a fairly laid-back place, but you’ve got party-hard Playa de las Palmas next door plus one of the world’s biggest waterparks right on your doorstep.
Playa de la Arena
Resort-wise, Playa de la Arena is a bit of a quiet customer on the west coast of Tenerife. It doesn’t party hard like full-throttle Playa de Las Americas, 30 kilometres away – and, frankly, that’s the appeal. You get all the bars and restaurants you need without the non-stop pace. And with its craggy coastline and mountain views, the place looks pretty good, too.
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