Tenerife is always a good idea. With its crystal-clear waters, fine sands and beautiful surroundings, it’s a place to kick back, relax and soak up the sun.
The island is home to some fantastic areas to stay in. Think the north coast for some lovely beaches, the historic centre for excellent attractions and the south of the island for some of the best resorts around. Wherever you choose, you won’t be stuck for where to stay in Tenerife. If you’re tempted for a sunshine-filled stay, take a look at our Tenerife holidays.
The north coast of Tenerife is home to some fantastic spots. One of the pioneering resorts of Spain, and the oldest in Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz is a mix of high-rise blocks and, in the centre, handsome old buildings. Gently lit at night, the promenade wanders beneath palm trees and beside black rocks and beaches where white-crested waves pound. From the black beaches of Playa Jardín to Playa Martiánez, the seawater pools of Lago Martiánez and the small fishermen’s quarter, it is a delight at any time of the day. The lively heart of the town is just inland from the harbour around the Plaza del Charco de los Camarones, named after a pool full of shrimps that was once here. There are café tables, kiosks, bands and the general hum of the town’s life.
The historic centre of the island’s most attractive town, La Orotava, is one of the best areas to stay in Tenerife. There are many highlights in the area. Find the church of San Agustín, which belonged to a former monastery, which has a beautiful wood ceiling and a handsome retable. The adjacent Jardínes Marquesado de la Quinta Roja, also known as Jardín Victoria makes for a perfect afternoon stroll. These formal gardens were laid out in the 19th century. Wilder and lusher are the Hijuela del Botánico gardens just beyond.
The northwest of the island is one of its richest and most diverse areas. Deeply rural, it has many hidden corners as well as popular spots, none of which are ever very crowded. Much of the area is covered by El Teno Rural Park, a conservation area of more than 80sq km (30sq miles) based on the Teno massif, one of the geologically oldest parts of the island. There is a range of vegetation between the hills and valleys, and wildflowers are in abundance. Bird life is also plentiful, both in the hills and around the northern coastal plain, and seabirds can be seen from Punta de Teno. Isla Baja is the name given to the region that covers the districts of Buenavista, Garachico, Los Silos and El Tanque. Its capital is Garachico, which makes a good base. It’s the best neighbourhood to stay in Tenerife as you can find a number of traditional houses and fincas (country estates) throughout the area which have been converted into places to stay.
Served by Reina Sofia airport, the south of the island is where it is hot, so this is where holidaymakers go, mainly to the resorts in the municipios of Adeje and Arona, in the merged touristopolis of Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos. Hotels, apartments and villas continue to spread along the coast, bringing greenery to the malpaís, the badlands. Near the airport is the longest beach on the island, El Médano. All along the shore back towards Santa Cruz are rocky bays and small fishing ports such as Los Abrigos and Abona. An upper road, from Granadilla de Abona to Güímar, where Thor Heyerdahl discovered mystic pyramids’, passes through some small villages with views all down the coast. Some 15km (10 miles) before Santa Cruz the road drops to the coast around Candelaria, the most important pilgrimage town in the Canary Islands.
Most of the seafront belongs to the four and five-star hotels. On the seafront you can see the spectacular hotel fantasies that make up various people’s ideas of heaven. Most ambitious is Mare Nostrum, a ‘resort’ of five-star hotels that look like something out of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. It includes the Mediterranean Palace, the Cleopatra Palace and Sir Anthony hotels - all three offering pools, bars and restaurants. The large Playa de las Vistas lies between here and Los Cristianos but the main beaches of Playas de Troya and Playa del Bobo are to the north of the Barranco del Rey. There is a tourist information point at this gully, which is near the rowdy Veronicas strip, a hub of more than 100 nightclubs. Technically the barranco marks the municipal boundary between Arona and Adeje. The coast north of here is the rapidly developing Costa Adeje, which drifts seamlessly into the giant hotels of San Eugenio, Torviscas, Fañabe, Playa del Duque, Playa Paraiso and Calle Salvaje. The small harbour of Puerto Colón in San Eugenio is the centre for water activities, dolphin and whale watching boats, and diving.