Whilst it’s fair to say that the beaches on the Canary Islands get better the further east you go, Tenerife has invested a great deal of time and money in the importing, sifting and general manicuring of sand to create beaches which, whilst they may not be the best in the world, are exceedingly pleasant places to be.
1. Las Teresitas, Santa Cruz ““ Archetypal golden tropical beach backed by palm trees and the Anaga Mountains. Great parking facilities; kiosks on the beach have good tapas and cold Doradas; water is gently shelving and perfect for swimming/snorkling and there’s always great people watching.
Downside; if it’s breezy you need a sunbed to escape the fine sandstorm at surface level.
2. Playa Del Duque, Costa Adeje ““ Tucked into a sheltered bay with views of the over developed coast screened off by cliffs. Immaculately clean, soft white sand; elegant changing booths; stylish Hawaiian-style parasols; quality sunbeds and good restaurants in easy flop flop reach.
Downside; quality doesn’t come cheap and your wallet will get burned.
3. El Camisón, Playa de Las Américas ““ Small, sheltered bay located right at the heart of the resort but without that mass tourism feel. Gently shelving golden sand; stylish backdrop provided by the fabulous Sir Anthony Hotel; nice beach bar with shady terrace and grassy knoll for sand-phobes.
Downside; location means it gets very busy in high season.
4. El Puertito, Playa ParaÃso ““ Greek-style bay tucked away in a sheltered cove where a sprinkling of white buildings creep down to the shore. Tiny, golden sand beach shelving into crystal, turquoise water where fishing boats gently bob.
Downside; in summer the bay is a magnet for illegal campers and all solitude is lost.
5. Playa Bollullo, La Orotava ““ Idyllic, natural, black sand beach hidden away at the foot of the cliffs and frequented mainly by locals. Way off the radar of most visitors with only a handful of sunbeds for hire, a simple beach café with terrace on the cliffside and plenty of space to stretch out.
Downside; on most days the Atlantic rollers turn paddling into an extreme sport.
6. Las Vistas, Los Cristianos ““ Probably many people’s number one choice; a vast, golden sand beach bridging the join between Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Américas. Easy access from hotels; backed by shops, bars and restaurants; good range of water activities; disabled access and enough space to swing several very large cats.
Downside; regimented rows of sunbeds hog the shore-line leaving a hot gauntlet of Sahara Desert-sized sand to negotiate to the promenade.
7. Playa JardÃn, Puerto de la Cruz ““ Long, black sand beach backed by César Manrique-designed gardens, at the foot of the La Orotava Valley. Stunning setting with Mount Teide in the background; good mix of locals and visitors; well served by bars, restaurants and facilities and great people-watching.
Downside; A lack of breakwater means swimming is only for the brave and the stupid and black sand gets blisteringly hot in summer.
8. La Tejita, El Médano ““ Natural, Robinson Crusoe-style, endless white sand beach lapped by azure waters and favoured by those who have an aversion to white bits. Accessible by car and big enough to take every resident of El Médano and still have that away-from-it-all feeling.
Downside; It’s a long walk from El Médano and on windy days (of which there are many) sun bathing is out and sand blasting is in.
9. Playa El Médano, El Médano ““ Natural, golden sand beach right in the centre of the town and the pulsating heart of the community. Buzzing with activity on all but the rarest of bad weather days, El Médano’s town beach is just a deck chair’s width away from a plethora of excellent places to eat, drink and shop.
Downside; Small and busy, space is a premium and then there’s that wind…
10. Playa La Arena, Playa de la Arena ““ A sheltered, black sand beach with a permanent European Blue Flag flying and stunning sunsets. Family-friendly beach in the centre of the resort; super clean facilities; great tapas restaurant with shady terrace right on the beach and a stroll away from shops, bars and restaurants.
Downside; Gets crowded in high season and other than sun bathing, there’s little to do or see.
Apologies to all those beaches that didn’t make my cut ““ you’ll no doubt feature on someone else’s list