The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife lies off Africa’s northwest coast in the Atlantic Ocean. The Spanish archipelago draws visitors worldwide for its year-round warm weather, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and blissful beaches. Tenerife beaches are known for their deep-hued, volcanic sand, but a range of shores—from golden stretches to secluded coves—can be found on the island.
Plan which Tenerife beaches you’d like to visit on your next vacation to the Canary Islands with our list of the best.
Playa de Las Teresitas
The curved Playa de Las Teresitas is one of the best beaches in Tenerife thanks to its calm water, perfect for swimming. Near Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital, this mile-long beach is a sultry, honey-colored expanse on the northeast coast. The 18th-century Castillo de San Andrés lies at the southern tip of Playa de Las Teresitas, with a pier connected to a stone breakwater at the opposite end.
Pack your beachwear and spend a lazy day on this family-friendly patch. There are plenty of facilities, including sunbeds and parasols, showers, bathrooms, changing facilities, bars, and restaurants.
Playa El Bollullo
One of Tenerife’s more diminutive beaches, what Playa El Bollullo lacks in size it makes up for in drama. Surrounded by spectacular volcanic cliffs, this pitch-black beach contrasts with the sapphire-blue ocean, making it one of the best beaches in Tenerife.
Venture on the two and a half mile coastal path from nearby Puerto de la Cruz to take in some of the area’s dazzling scenery from the best vantage point. Playa El Bollullo is an easy 30-minute journey from Santa Cruz, with parking facilities if you opt to drive. There’s a cafe, though there are few other facilities immediately by the beach.
After visiting the beach, stop by the family-run winery Bodegas Monje, which has been producing wines since 1750. Bodegas Monje is just a short drive from Playa El Bollullo and—as well as wine, jam, honey, and other delicious delicacies—it offers dazzling views of Mount Teide and the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the best things to do in Tenerife is to visit Playa Jardín, or Garden Beach, a dark-sand beach in Puerto de la Cruz. Designed by Spanish architect César Manrique in the 1990s, Playa Jardin is divided into Castillo beach, Charcón beach, and Punta Brava beach, fringed by pretty gardens filled with palm trees, cacti, and other native flora.
The open water is tamed by a breakwater, though there are areas for surfing. You’ll find plenty of facilities in this central spot, including sun shades, bathroom and showers, bars, and restaurants. To stretch your legs, walk to the square-shaped El Castillo San Felipe on the north side of the beach. A single cannon still stands facing the ocean to ward off enemies. Read about the fortress’s history on the information signs around the site.
Head out on a boat ride from Los Gigantes’s marina to appreciate the dramatic cliffs towering nearly 2,000 feet above this volcanic beach. A boat tour also offers the chance to spot some of the region’s majestic marine life, including whales and dolphins.
Los Gigantes is one of the best beaches in Tenerife for scuba diving and other watersports.
Hire a kayak to discover deserted coves not far from the beach. Visiting this west coast stretch also offers the perfect opportunity to hike the Los Gigantes trail. Look west and you’ll see the sleepy island of La Gomera across the water.
Waterside bars and restaurants line the marina offering local tapas dishes and cold drinks.
Playa de la Tejita
Found next to the Montaña Roja Nature Reserve, between the sleepy southern town of El Médano and the village of Los Abrigos, La Tejita is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife.
Pick a spot and admire the views of Red Mountain, a volcanic crater that dominates vistas to the east of La Tejita. You could also join the locals who descend on this sweep of wild sand to try kite flying and windsurfing. Bathing suits are optional on the eastern patch of La Tejita.
Once you’ve soaked up the sun, stop by La Tejita Street Market, a superb dining and shopping destination a short walk from the beach. You’ll find a choice of restaurants offering both indoor and outdoor seating.
Playa de Benijo
With a laid back and secluded feel, Playa de Benijo is one of the best beaches in Tenerife for escapism. Accessed via a scenic 45-minute drive north from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, zig-zag through Anaga Rural Park for a breathtaking journey to reach your destination.
Before making your way down to the beach from the cliff-top parking lot, take in the views of the emerald-green forest that clings to the craggy cliffs overlooking Playa de Benijo. Vistas of the volcanic land meeting the sapphire-blue ocean stretch for miles in both directions. Ancient sea stacks punctuate expansive ocean views, which adds to the magic of Playa de Benijo.
Once you’ve splashed around in the charcoal-tinged sand, make your way to El Frontón, an unassuming restaurant with more world-beating views to tuck into a plate of fresh fish.
Playa del Duque
Playa del Duque in the popular vacation resort of Costa Adeje is one of the best beaches in Tenerife for swimming and sunbathing. It’s home to soft, sun-dappled sand and shaded patches thanks to rows of palm trees and thatched parasols on the sand.
Take a dip in the turquoise water and enjoy a walk on the waterfront promenade before exploring the nearby shopping and dining facilities.
Playa de Las Vistas
With many Tenerife beaches known for their jet-black shores, vacationers arriving in the buzzy resort of Los Cristianos are often surprised to find a swathe of silky, golden sand at Las Vistas Beach. This Blue Flag-awarded beach offers a range of facilities, with wheelchair/mobility scooter and stroller access, making it one of the best beaches in Tenerife for all ages.
Find a spot to sink your toes into the sand and enjoy the array of watersports on offer. The south-facing shore is ideal for paddling and swimming.
Playa del Camisón
Playa del Camisón is a crescent sweep in Tenerife’s busy resort of Playa de las Américas. This sugary beach offers plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, with palm trees and a pretty promenade skirting the shore. Two breakwaters create a calm pool for swimming and splashing around in, perfect for families.
Once you’ve enjoyed a paddle, relax with a drink and bite to eat at People Beach Restaurant & Bar. Fried squid, tuna tartare, and ham and cheese croquettes are among the typical dishes you’ll find, along with fresh salads, pasta dishes, paella, and whole fish. It’s a good spot for fussy kids—with pizzas, toasted sandwiches, hamburgers, and fries available, right on the beach.
Playa del Médano
This seductive south Tenerife beach is popular among islanders for its shallow water, blond sand, and pretty palm trees. If you’re interested in trying windsurfing, this is one of the best beaches in Tenerife to give it a whirl.
You can rent boards or book a lesson from the beachside surf school. Kitesurfing and other watersports are also popular. There’s a lovely coastal walk if you head south from Playa del Médano to the next beach, Playa de Montaña Roja, lying just north of the island’s southern tip, Red Mountain.
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Playa de Los Cristianos
Many of Tenerife’s beaches are sensational, and Playa de Los Cristianos is no exception. Taking up a glistening stretch of the coastline, Playa de Los Cristianos is a marvelous beach to unwind on.
Watch the ferries that operate to La Gomera and Santa Cruz coming and going. You could join a thrilling boat ride to get a glimpse of pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins cruising through the waves. Canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling are among the watersports available.
Hike to the Montaña Chayofita lookout point above Los Cristianos for spectacular views if you still have energy to burn. Alternatively, Los Cristianos is full of bars, restaurants, and souvenir stores if you’re happy to eat, drink, and shop before or after your stint on the beach.
Playa de Barranco Seco
Tenerife beaches are rarely secluded, though the west coast’s Playa de Barranco Seco has the feel of a secret, undiscovered cove. This hard-to-reach pebble beach is located at the foot of Los Gigantes’ volcanic cliffs, reached via an arduous hike from El Molledo or a kayak or boat ride from Los Gigantes.
There are no facilities on Playa de Barranco Seco—or close by the beach for that matter—so go prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
Playa La Jaquita
With its velvety charcoal sand and cozy feel, Playa La Jaquita is a soothing beach on Tenerife’s east coast with sun loungers and shower facilities.
A short walk south of the beach, you’ll find a series of natural swimming pools carved into the volcanic coastline. If you don’t fancy taking a dip, take a seat at the beach club bar by Playa La Jaquita, with shaded seating outside overlooking the pretty cove.
Playa de Antequera
Accessed via a 30-minute drive north from Santa Cruz de Tenerife—into the green, laurel-covered Anaga Rural Park—followed by a strenuous off-the-beaten-path hike, Playa de Antequera is both isolated and beautiful.
If you take a taxi or drive, head for Igueste San Andrés, a small town of whitewashed houses. You can take one of two popular hiking tracks from there, through Anaga’s vine-draped canyons. If you prefer a less strenuous journey, take a boat from the capital. Either way, as you breathe in lungfuls of fresh ocean air, you won’t regret visiting Playa de Antequera.
Go barefoot on Fañabé, a sweep of buzzy beach in Puerto Colón, Playa de las Américas. Several watersports vendors are dotted around the beach, offering everything from jet skis to banana boat rides and parasailing.
A rocky outcrop divides Fañabé from the much smaller La Pinta Beach, where you’ll find Puerto Colón’s action-packed marina. From here, you can join a whale- and dolphin-watching tour or a glass-bottom boat ride to view more of the impressive marine life found in the Canary Islands.
Fañabé and La Pinta waterfronts are filled with bars and restaurants offering everything from pizza and pasta to tapas and fast food.
Playa de San Juan
Surrounded by palm trees and a scattering of beach bars and restaurants, with soft sand and calm water, Playa de San Juan is one of the best beaches in Tenerife. This pristine foreshore is also the perfect antidote to the island’s busier beaches.
Join languid, sun-worshiping locals on the beach and get settled on a lounger, making forays into the turquoise ocean to cool off. Afterward, choose a local restaurant to sample authentic Tenerife cuisine.
Playa de San Juan is known for its fishing industry, particularly tuna, and you’ll find some excellent little seafood restaurants here, offering everything from fragrant paella to fresh clams and garlic-slathered shrimps.
Playa de La Arena, West Coast
One of Tenerife’s volcanic beaches, Playa de La Arena lies in the town of Puerto de Santiago on the west coast of Tenerife. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, particularly around the rocky ledges on each side of the beach.
Playa de La Arena might be one of Tenerife’s smaller beaches but it has all the usual facilities, including a lifeguard, parking, public transport connections, restaurants, showers, and bathrooms. Clamber over the low-lying rocky cliffs to the south of Playa de La Arena to Charco El Diablo to explore the natural pools carved into the ochre-tinted lava rocks.
El Socorro Beach
Characterized by big Atlantic waves lashing at the gray-ish shoreline, El Socorro is a surfer’s dream in Los Realejos, north Tenerife. The best way to reach El Socorro is by car, stopping at the San Pedro lookout point to capture the fabulous far-reaching views from just above the beach.
If you don’t surf, El Socorro is still worth a visit for the peerless panoramas alone. If you plan on swimming or surfing, remember to follow local guidance, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the area. There’s a handy kiosk for refreshments and a parking lot if you’re driving.
Tenerife’s dramatic shores lay claim to some fantastic beaches. Browse our luxury cruises to Tenerife and book your beach getaway today.