11 Incredible Beaches on Tenerife
Author Michael Law visited the beaches of Tenerife in the fall of 2022 and enjoyed some fun days of kiteboarding and exploring the island.
Tenerife is one of the top beach destinations in Europe for sun-starved northerners. Consistently warm weather, sunny days, and sandy beaches create an urge that is hard to resist — especially when the days are grey and cold.
Unlike other Canary Islands, Tenerife is not blessed with many natural beaches. Most beaches here are manmade and behind breakwaters, making them calm and pleasant oases from the rough ocean waters. A few are more wild.
I spent time staying at both ends of the island and had a chance to visit many beaches. I ultimately ended up basing myself in the south to enjoy some kiteboarding on El Medano and wasn't disappointed!
Resorts in Tenerife are plentiful and very reasonably priced, especially when purchased in a packaged tour format. Airbnbs are also plentiful and may be more practical for families. This selection makes Tenerife an affordable and popular family vacation destination.
Plan your beach trip to this sunny southern island with our list of the best beaches in Tenerife.
1. Playa del Duque
This stylish beach is located in front of the exclusive beach enclave of the same name. A man-made beach with imported golden sand, this is one of the most beautiful urban beaches on Tenerife.
At the north end of the beach, a beautiful cove ends at a white and grey headland. Perched atop is a stately private residence.
Playa del Duque is protected from the wind and waves by offshore breakwaters, making it safe for small children and those who aren't particularly good swimmers.
Behind the beach is a wonderful, wide walking trail with high-end restaurants, luxury hotels, and private residences stretching up the hill.
Bring your beach chairs and umbrellas or rent from the local vendors but note that chair rentals here are the most expensive on the island.
You may think that parking here would be a challenge, but in fact, it's quite the opposite. A large parking lot is located in the Centro Commercial Plaza del Duque. Rates are very reasonable, and the walk to the beach takes about 10 minutes.
Accommodation: Best Beach Resorts in Spain
Read More: Best Beaches in Spain
2. Playa La Tejita
If you've had enough of people and the rat race of life and just need some space, the ocean, and a sandy beach, Playa La Tejita is the place for you. This two-kilometer-long beach, one of the island's few natural beaches, is usually fairly deserted, allowing you to find your perfect patch of sand in no time flat.
One of the most scenic beaches on the island, Playa La Tejita is instantly recognizable by the large headland at the northern end. Ironically this is the beach that is most commonly found on social media pages but is actually one of the least visited. Most tourists are quite happy to use the beach right out front of their resort.
Playa La Tejita has golden brown sand. Waves here can get large, so if you like playing in the surf and don't mind the chilly water, jump right in.
The beach does have one downside: it can be quite windy. If the wind is kicking up, head to the northern end and tuck in beneath the large headland.
3. Playa de Las Teresitas
Playa de Las Teresitas is a gorgeous beach on the northern end of the island. Clear waters and imported golden sand with towering green mountainsides behind make this place look like a beach from the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.
This man-made beach is more of a locals' beach than one visited by tourists, and that's just fine with the folks who live in the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Although they don't mind sharing their piece of paradise, they won't go out of their way to tell you about it.
Stretching for over 1.5 kilometers, and quite wide, there's space for everyone and everything. Set up your beach gear under a palm tree, or rent a sun lounger and parasol from one of the beach clubs.
For those who need a bit of activity, you are in luck. Most sunny days a game of beach soccer or volleyball will take place, and extra players are always welcome.
Swimming here is easy for most people. The water is shallow and generally calm, owing to the large breakwater just offshore.
Accessing the beach is easy. Free parking is just back from the beach in a large lot. Bring your own lunch and snacks or wander up to one of the beachside restaurants for fresh seafood and other beach treats.
4. El Medano
Just a few kilometers north of La Tajita is El Medano. Another one of Tarifa's natural beaches, this long beach has a split personality: calm and protected at one end and wide-open and windy at the other.
This attracts a diverse crowd. Those that like swimming and lounging about set up their towels and beach toys at the northern end close to town. Those who love being active on the water go kiteboarding, windsurfing, and winging at the southern end. This is where I spent most of my time.
A long boardwalk connects both sections of the beach, and it's along here that you'll find an assortment of restaurants and an array of kite, wing, and windsurfing shops. The Flashpoint Cafe is a great place to grab breakfast and take a break, or watch the activity.
If you've ever wanted to try these fantastic adrenaline-fueled sports, this is a challenging but decent place to learn. If you can learn the sport here, you'll be able to do it anywhere.
5. Playa el Bollullo
If you've ever wanted to visit a true all-natural black-sand beach, then you must visit Playa el Bollullo. Perfectly positioned between two volcanic outcrops, this spectacular beach is one of the best, but least-known, on Tenerife.
Although remote by Tenerife standards, it's still easily accessible on the island's northwest coastline. You won't find any massive hotels here, just a beautiful beach backed by small coastal shrubbery. This is nature at its finest, with the only sounds being the waves crashing ashore and the cry of a seagull or two.
A small beach restaurant is set at the back of the beach, and a larger restaurant is located on the bluff above the beach.
Access to the beach is by foot down a walkway leading from the large parking area. Note that the waves can get quite large here, so only confident swimmers should venture into the water.
6. Playa Fañabé
If you are staying in the Playa del Duque area and are looking for a bit of variety, take the pleasant walking trail northwards around the headland to find Playa Fañabé.
This man-made beach has greyish-black sand and is protected from the ocean by large breakwaters. The beach is one of the largest in this area, so if it's a bit of space you crave or you are a beach walker, this is definitely one to check out.
When selecting your perfect patch of sand, bear in mind that the beach gets progressively nicer as you head south. The northern end tends to be quite rocky. Peel yourself from your rental chair or towel, if you can, and take a walk along the beach walkway to the north. Up on the headland is a good place to spot whales and dolphins swimming by.
Playa Fañabé is a mid-range type of place. Affordable hotels and condos fill the hills behind, and well-priced restaurants line the seashore just back from the beach.
7. Playa Torviscas
Playa Torviscas is at the far end of Fañabé Beach. Some people consider it all the same beach, but that's a mistake — Playa Torviscas has a different look and feel. The beach is tucked behind a very large breakwater, ensuring that it's very well protected from the predominant wind and waves.
Its diminutive size makes it feel cozy and fun without being crowded. A beach club is located nearby, and a water sports center will hook you up with water toys, like stand up paddleboards and kayaks; parasailing can also be arranged.
A good selection of restaurants is at the back of the beach as are showers, restrooms, and changerooms.
Access to the beach is easy. A small parking lot is located at the beach. As with Playa Fañabé, hotels rise up from the shoreline all the way up the hillside.
8. Playa de las Vistas
Playa de las Vistas is part of a string of three man-made beaches in the Playa de las Americas, bounded to the north by Playa del Camison and to the south by Playa de los Christianos. The largest of the trio, Playa de las Vistas offers a bit of something for everyone.
Brownish grey sand is washed by calm, crystalline waters, making it an ideal place to swim and frolic. As with other beaches, sun beds and umbrellas are available for rent at a modest price.
The area behind the beach has a concrete walkway that is packed with restaurants offering international cuisines and cold drinks.
Access is easy with extensive street parking on Avenida la Habana. Playa de las Vistas is also known as the Beach of the Views.
9. Playa del Camisón
One of the main beaches in the Playa de las Americas area of Tenerife, Playa del Camison is a man-made beach consisting of a small arc of sand almost completely enclosed by breakwaters.
The crowd here is primarily people from the three large resorts located in behind: the Parque Santiago III, the Cleopatra Palace Hotel -Tenerife, and the Hotel Sir Anthony.
This tiny beach is cozy but not overrun; many of the hotel guests prefer to set up poolside instead of on the sand. Secure a patch of shade under one of the permanent palapas set in the sand and soak up the view.
Not enough action or want bigger waves? Pack up your gear and walk five minutes to Playa de las Vistas.
10. Playa de la Pinta
A tiny arc of beach between two headlands is what you'll find at Playa de la Pinta. Part of the string of beaches that runs from Playa del Duque, Playa Fañabé, and Playa Torviscas, Playa de la Pinta is the southernmost beach.
This man-made beach is almost completely enclosed and protected from the ocean by breakwaters on both sides. Backed by the massive family-friendly HOVIMA La Pinta Beachfront Family Hotel, the beach sees few day trippers; it's mostly hotel guests here.
If you work up a hunger, stroll back from the beach and grab a bite at any one of the restaurants along the pedestrian-only square. Yachties and other folks interested in boats should take a wander past the impressive fleet of private watercraft berthed at the Puerto Colon Marina.
11. Playa de la Arena
Another one of Tenerife's natural black-sand beaches, Playa de la Arena is well worth visiting. Set deep in a cove and quite beautiful, this is a popular and lively beach.
Unlike other beaches in urban areas, this one does not have an offshore breakwater. This means that the full force of the ocean can wash ashore with large waves, ideal for body surfing or boogie boarding.
Easily accessible with lots of parking, this is a good beach for a day trip or as a stop after visiting the Parque Nacional del Teide. The delightful walkway at the back of the beach is jammed full of all kinds of restaurants with sunny patios and shops selling all kinds of beach gear.
When is the best time to visit Tenerife?
The easy answer is any time! The island is located around 300 kilometers off the coast of Morocco, ensuring that it is warm year-round. However, on the island, it's important to note that micro-climates exist. The farther south you go, the warmer it is, and the sunnier. It's no mistake that a majority of the tourist resorts and beaches are located in the far south corner of the island.
Summer temperatures in the south are moderate, with temperatures in the 28 to 30 degrees Celsius range. In the winter, temperatures drop to the low 20s.
The best month to visit is the shoulder month of October. The days are still warm, in the mid to high 20s, and the crowds have yet to arrive. Hotel deals are available, and the restaurants are uncrowded. High season begins in November.