Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Island archipelago, which is part of Spain.
By: Douglas Holaday

Playa de las Américas is a series of contiguous beaches in the towns of Arona and Adje on the south shore of Tenerife Island. Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Island archipelago, which is part of Spain. The beach there is protected by an artificial reef and features an attractive yellow-grey sand and shallow water.

Getting There
The nearest major international airport is Reina Sofía International. Most tourists arrive on flights from Madrid (2 hours.)

Airport transportation
Buses make the 10-mile trip to Las Américas every hour. Car rentals are plentiful and their prices reflect ample competition.

Tenerife's tradewinds and proximity to the equator make the weather there remarkably stable -- visitors are attracted to the island year-round.

Temperatures range from 68F to 77F, and the water temperatures range from 66F to 72F. The island receives about 29 days of rain each year, although the South is far more arid than the North. The beaches are busiest at Christmas and Easter, when northern Europeans flock to the sun, and during August when the Mediterranean countries are on holiday. May and November are the slowest months.

The hotels start at the waterfront, and neither selection nor availability pose a problem. Las Américas has hotels, apartment complexes, and rental homes to suit virtually any taste or budget, and still the construction continues.

Canarian cuisine is known for featuring locally grown tropical fruits: banana, guava, mango and papaya. Fish specialties also figure prominently. Ask for sancochio canario, a blend of stewed salted fish, bananas and potato with a spicy sauce. Olive oil sauces are popular: try mojos verdes, (made with coriander), or mojos rojos, (made with paprika). Eat these with gofio, which is a roasted blend of wheat, corn and barley. 

Travel Tips
The southern shore is the most developed area in the Canaries, but also offers the most attractions and the best dining and nightlife. The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment so don't expect peace and quiet. Tenerife is a duty-free island, and you can find all types of products for less than the duty-free sections of airports in their countries of origin. Liquor, perfume, cosmetics, and cigarettes are least expensive in the large supermarkets. Cameras, watches and specialty crafts from Africa and elsewhere are readily available at low prices, especially if you haggle.

Although the local drinking water is safe, its mineral content is very high and bottled water is suggested.

Remember that the sun's rays are far stronger at these southern latitudes than in North America or Europe. 

While you are there
Join a tour or drive to the National Park of the Teide volcano which, at an elevation of 12,200 feet, dominates the island.

Take the short hydrofoil ride to the lush neighboring island of La Gomera where Columbus last provisioned his ships in 1492.

Lighten your pockets at the Casino Playa de las Américas in the Hotel Gran Tenerife.

To fake that you've been there
Nonchalantly refer to the (typically European) topless nature of the beaches.

Linking for a better vacation
Budget Travel Tenerife contains contact information for tourism-related businesses such as hotels and cybercafes.

That's Tenerife provides a basic survey of the island.

Doug Holaday is the Mining Co. Guide for the 'France for Visitors' site and enjoys visiting beaches around the world.


Next Up

7 Hours in Barcelona

How to make the most of very little time in the Catalan capital city.

What to Know About Moving to France

Are you about to pack your bags and move to France? Get the information you need before you make the move.

What to Miss in London

Madame Tussauds and Big Ben are just a couple places it's OK to miss if you're visiting London. Get the details about these tourist spots and more.

Barcelona, Spain

Visitors to Barcelona can have their urban sightseeing and big-city fun, with a little beach time thrown in on the side.

9 Hours in Paris

How to see the most of the City of Lights in the least amount of time.

Tuscany Should Be Your Next Adventure Travel Destination

Under the Tuscan Sun has given us a certain vision of idyllic Tuscany. But beyond its pretty looks and tasty food, there's outdoor adventure for everyone.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam for the Best Canal Views

Find picturesque, waterfront digs at every budget.

France's Sexiest Beaches

France's beach towns spoil visitors with endless days of sunshine, welcoming stretches of beach and stunning women in teeny bikinis along the Côte D'Azur.

Europe's Beaches

Some of the world's most gleaming sands, sparkling waters and glamorous coastal getaways line the edges of Europe.

The Ultimate Dublin Bucket List For U2 Fans

9 unforgettable restaurants, cultural hotspots and natural wonders to discover in Ireland's capital.

More Creepy Content

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.