Are you a Tenerife beach lover? Then don’t spend your next holiday on the nearest strip of white sand. Get in the hire car, and explore a little more of this beautiful island. From man-made, golden sand beaches – to volcanic black sand bays overlooked by majestic, rugged cliffs – we’ve picked out ten of the best beaches in Tenerife, where you can work on that holiday suntan.
10 Best Beaches in Tenerife
1. Bollullo Beach
If you enjoy the feel of seclusion, without being secluded. If you want to be at one with nature, without taking your clothes off, then head for one of the nicest beaches in Tenerife, Playa El Bollullo.
Snuggled on the north-west coast in the La Orotava Valley, and close to Puerto de la Cruz, this spectacular beach has remained unspoilt for hundreds of years.
As with hidden gems the world over, a little walking is required, but it’s not far, and it’s not hard. Narrow, windy roads will get you close to the beach by car or public transport. Then it’s a pleasant stroll on paths that meander through the plantations, before reaching the steps to take you to the beach.
Amenities are scarce, although there is a small beach-side café where you can get the basics. For those who want to enjoy a meal with a view, there is a popular restaurant sitting on the cliff top, and the city of Puerto de la Cruz is just four kilometres away.
For those who enjoy an all over tan there are two small secluded beaches around the headland popular with naturists, but on Bollullo Beach, going au-natural is banned.
2. Benijo Beach
Playa de Benijo is one of three natural beaches close to the town of Taganana, and sits on the north-east coast in the southern area of the Anaga Rural Park (Parque Rural de Anaga).
The drive to Benijo Beach itself, produces some spectacular views as you wind your way up the Anaga Mountains, before dropping down the other side to the rugged north shore coast, and one of the locals favourite beaches in Tenerife.
Like most of nature’s prized possessions, Benijo remains virtually untouched by man. Except that is, for the local population, who enjoy their weekend downtime with picnics and barbeques on the beach.
Naturism is also allowed on Benijo, and it is a popular destination with some of the German visitors. If you have a hire car, visiting mid-week is the best option, as the very limited parking is taken up by the locals during weekends.
Take everything you need for your time there, including water, soft drinks, snacks and a sun brolly, as there are no facilities anywhere on Benijo.
For the photographers, Benijo Beach is famous for shooting some of the best sunsets on the island. For the swimmers, few natural beaches such as these have lifeguards. Currents can be strong and treacherous and even in the shallows, young children should be supervised at all times.
Read also: Best places to stay in Tenerife
3. La Tejita Beach
Playa de la Tejita is reputedly one of the longest beaches in Tenerife. In the sunny south-east between Los Abrigos and El Medano, its golden sands shimmer in the all-day sunshine.
The large car parking area behind the beach, its proximity to the local tourist areas, and the nearby camping and caravanning site, make it a favourite with visitors and locals alike.
The almost continuous strong breeze that blows along the beach ensures it is a popular venue for wind and kite surfers, but some sun worshippers may find it off-putting.
Staying closer to the Montana Roja (Red Mountain) end, and near the reed beds, affords some respite from the wind. The same end is also a popular venue for visiting and local naturists to enjoy the sunshine.
Sitting between a nature reserve on one side, and banana plantations on the other, the beach area is very un-commercialised, and has one small café-bar where you can pick up the basics when you want a snack.
That said, the villages of El Medano and Los Abrigos are just minutes down the road in either direction, and full of cafes, bars, and shops, with some of the best fish restaurants you’ll find in the south.
4. Las Teresitas Beach
Most visitors to this beautiful island, no-matter where they are staying, have at least one day in Santa Cruz. Next time you consider visiting the capital, put a towel, some sunblock, and flip-flops in your backpack, and leave a little earlier.
Playa de las Teresitas is arguably one of the most attractive beaches in Tenerife, and often overlooked by visitors staying in the south. Just eight kilometres from Santa Cruz, the picturesque, golden sand beach of Las Teresitas nestles on the edge of the village of San Andrés.
With its golden sand and sunshine, the Anaga Mountains rising from the sea, and palm trees growing on the beach, you could be in the Caribbean or the Seychelles.
A family-friendly beach because of its breakwater and lifeguards, it attracts locals and tourists from all over the island. Its commercialisation has been very low-key. At over a kilometre long, there are bars, cafes, shops, and restaurants stretching along the front.
Yet visit during the week, and you’ll find plenty of empty beach from which to pick your spot. Visit during the weekends or Spanish Bank Holidays however, and the entire area will be alive with locals arriving from near and far.
5. Los Guíos Beach
From one of the largest – to one of the smallest. At less than 150 metres in length, this tiny beach has a big reputation.
Situated on the south western coast, along the edge of the coastal town of Los Gigantes, you can be forgiven for feeling a little nervous when you sit on the beach, and look up at the Acantilados Los Gigantes (the giants of Los Gigantes) towering up to 800 metres above you.
Playa Los Guios is very popular with those who enjoy water sports. Especially with scuba divers, who spend their time exploring the base of the Los Gigantes cliffs.
Families are well catered for with sunbeds, parasols and calm waters for the little ones. Tour boats cruise in and out, with whale watching particularly popular. All amenities are available, with local bars, shops, and restaurants just a short stroll away.
Read also: Best things to do in Tenerife
6. Diego Hernandez Beach
Also called Playa Blanco, Playa Diego Hernandez is tucked away in the southwest of the island, between La Caleta and El Puertito. With the only access a 40+ minute walk through a nature reserve and along narrow coastal paths, it is not really suitable for families with young children, or those with walking disabilities.
Although it has a unique charm, calling Diego Hernandez a beach, is maybe pushing things a little far. It has little sand and would be better called a cove. Nonetheless, it makes the list due to its magnificent vista and unique ambience.
Visitors and residents stretch out on the large boulders and flat rocks to sunbathe. Or, if the tide is in, scramble over them to swim in the clear blue water.
Diego Hernandez was for many years one of the secret beaches of Tenerife. It has its own commune of young, and young at heart naturist hippies, who live in the huts and caves, or under strung-together canvas shades, enjoying the laidback lifestyle.
If your thing is nostalgia, sit above the beach for a few minutes, and look down. It can conjure up visions of how adventurous life must have seemed for those trail blazing backpackers, in the days before package holidays. They are a friendly bunch, and welcome visitors with open arms.
Just remember, there are no amenities at Diego Hernandez, so be sure to pack snacks, soft drinks, and anything else you might require in your backpack, before starting out.
7. Montana Pelada Beach
Follow the coast road from Los Abrigos, past La Tejita beach, and through El Medano, Playa Montana Pelada is located in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona. A tiny secluded rocky beach, it is more shielded than most from the cooling breezes which so often seem to plague the east coast beaches.
The whole nature reserve area of Montana is popular with naturalists due to its unique flora, and the composition of its red hued rock.
A limited car parking area is available which will leave you with just a short walk to reach Pelada Beach. The small black sand beach with its rocky outcrops, is used by local naturists because of its quiet location, and favoured by beginner surfers, due to the calm waters.
The area can be refreshingly quiet, and is devoid of any tourist infrastructure, so be sure to carry water. If you do require any provisions, the small nearby village can provide additional snacks and drinks.
Although the majority of visitors are in the younger age group, it is a beach that attracts all ages to enjoy the atmosphere, and photograph the distinctive, rocky coastline.
8. El Duque Beach
It was way back in the 1990s that Andrés Piñeiro, then a little known Tenerife architect, proposed changing a part of Costa Adeje from the classic bucket and spade package holiday destination, to a resort for the rich, famous, and well-heeled.
Now, situated on the south coast of Tenerife, El Duque (the Duke) or del Duque (of the Duke) as it is more often called, is an area of luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, visited by professional sports people, film stars, and A to D list TV celebrities.
Although these sumptuous hotels have their own spas and pools, the beach area has also been upgraded, to one of the cleanest, most attractive beaches in the south of the island. And it is available to everyone.
A blue flag beach from the day it was opened, it is designed to add a certain something extra to the age old practise of slapping on the sunscreen and catching some rays. Relax on your 5-star sunbed. Do a little people watching to see who you recognise. Or strut your stuff along the prom in designer shades and Gucci bag.
As you would expect from a 5-star beach, full facilities are available including toilets, showers, changing rooms, bars and restaurants. Playa del Duque has ample parking for your hire car, and is easily reached by taxi or public transport.
If you’re feeling energetic, from Los Christianos to Costa Adeje is a nine kilometre beach front stroll, with plenty of watering holes along the way.
9. Playa de la Arena (Puerto de Santiago)
On the west coast of Tenerife, just south of Los Gigantes and Puerto Santiago, lies the small coastal town of La Arena. As the tourist industry in Tenerife began to expand, the town watched as its larger neighbours began to grow and prosper with loud lively bars and late night clubs. They carried on watching, and decided to do it differently.
La Arena prides itself on being called a family resort, attracting families and couples young and old, who enjoy the more relaxed, more laid-back atmosphere. Certainly La Arena has some great bars, but they tend to be a little quieter. A little less in your face, and not open till six in the morning.
The cuisine is great, with tapas bars, fish restaurants, and international eateries. Another thing the planners didn’t forget was La Playa (the beach).
With a backdrop of the west coast’s characteristic high cliffs rising almost vertically from the shore, the view of the surrounding area is stunning. The black sand beach is maintained in pristine condition, holding the European Union’s blue flag for excellence and water quality, and making it one of the favourite beaches in Tenerife.
10. Fanabe Beach
As one of the better known beaches on Tenerife’s south coast, Playa Fanabe has it all. Its infrastructure, facilities, amenities, golden sand, and quality of the water and surrounding area, make it a beach that stands out from the crowd.
Stretching over 500 metres in length, and with a prestigious blue flag for water quality and beach cleanliness, Playa Fanabe sits between Del Duque and Playa Torviscas in Costa Adeje.
Singles, couples, or families, Playa Fanabe has something for everyone. Mini-golf, trampolines and play areas for the kids. Water sports of all description, boat excursions, jet skis, para-gliding, and peddle-boats for the whole family.
With its large rocky breakwaters, lifeguards, and a gentle slope into the sea, even the youngest of children can safely splash about in the shallows.
With boutiques for mum, bars for dad, fast-food outlets for the kids, and restaurants for the whole family dotted along the promenade, a day out at Playa Fanabe, means a day of happy children and tired parents.