Tenerife resorts - Which resort is best for me?


Tenerife has been a holiday hot spot for many years not just for its year round sunshine but also because there are plenty of activities and sightseeing tours to keep even the youngest holidaymakers entertained for hours.   

One of the first things to consider before booking an all-inclusive holiday to Tenerife is ‘which resort is most suitable for your needs’.  Each resort has something different to offer, however some of them are very low key and somewhat isolated, which is great if you want a relaxing holiday, but may not be so great if you want to enjoy a vibrant nightlife or get out and about without having to rent a car or spend too much on public transport.  Another thing to consider is the location of the hotel.  Tenerife is quite rugged and hilly which may cause problems for people in wheelchairs, those who are infirm, or those who have small children or babies in pushchairs.  Most of the front-line hotels are easily accessible for all, the further inland you go the steeper it gets.

ResortsTo help you decide which resort is best for you we have put together a brief description of some of the most popular resorts.

Most resorts are between Golf del Sur in the south (3), and Los Gigantes in the north (1). The resorts of Fanabe, Torvisca, Del Duque, Puerto Colon and parts of Las Americas come under the more general region of "Costa Adeje (2)"

Golf Del Sur (locally known as ‘the Golf’)

Shown as location "3" on the map

Factors to consider: Close to airport. Generally windy. Not many shops/bars/restaurants. Relatively flat. Approx 20 mins by car to the main resorts.

Golf del Sur is a pretty resort on the south coast of Tenerife and as the name suggests, is a golfers paradise and home to one of the most prestigious golf courses on the island.  The resort attracts couples and families who enjoy a relaxing holiday as well as those who enjoy a round of golf.  This is a quiet resort with a small selection of all-inclusive hotels, low-key entertainment and a choice of bars, restaurants, and gift shops.  The nearby ‘San Miguel Marina’ offers sailing and fishing trips as well as an underwater safari on Tenerife’s very own Yellow Submarine!   

Although Golf del Sur is situated on the south coast and enjoys the same lovely sunshine as Playa de las Americas, it isn’t for everybody.  There are no night clubs and because the resort is tucked away from the main resorts, the only way in or out of ‘the Golf’ is by car, taxi or bus.  Aircraft noise can also be a problem as the resort is quite close to the airport.  On the plus side there are no very steep inclines in this resort.

El Medano

Factors to consider: Generally windy. Not many shops/bars/restaurants. Relatively flat. Approx 30 mins by car to the main resorts.

El Medano was once a small Canarian village that has evolved into a small holiday resort on the south coast of Tenerife and is still largely untouched by commercialism, which means you get a real sense of the traditional Tenerife including the great weather.  The beautiful beach is the largest natural beach on the island and is a magnet for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts, in fact El Medano beach has played host to international windsurfing championships on more than one occasion.   Montana Roja (Red Mountain) is a popular rock for sunbathers and a great vantage point for those who enjoy watching the surf.  There are a small number of hotels that offer an all-inclusive package for couples and families who want a relaxing holiday in peaceful surroundings.  Entertainment is low key and confined to the restaurants and bars.  You can still stock up on your duty free and enjoy bartering at the local market.  Car hire is recommended if you want see more of the island independently, however there is a reliable bus service and taxi service.

Los Cristianos

Between (2) and (3) on the map

Factors to consider: Lots to see and do. Plenty of shops/bars/restaurants. Relatively flat. Good local transport (bus / taxi) Approx 20 mins by car to TFS airport.

Los Cristianos is the second most popular resort in Tenerife.  Here you will find many of the hotels offer an all-inclusive holiday package that is suitable for couples and families.  The resort used to be a tiny Canarian fishing village many years ago and has now grown into a large town and vibrant seaside resort that has managed to hold on to many of its traditional features.  This is an area of business and commerce, where locals brush shoulders with holidaymakers as they go about their daily lives.  This resort is ideally situated for those who want to enjoy the night life in Las Americas but don’t want to be disturbed by party revellers in the middle of the night.  It is also a good base to stay if you want to visit the other resorts along the south coast or if you want to explore further afield.    

By day the town centre is bustling with shoppers, people enjoying lunch or relaxing in the church square.  The beach is a sea of sunbathers, children having fun and a myriad of water sports including jet bikes, scuba diving, parascending and pedalos.  If you fancy a spot of deep sea fishing or dolphin and whale watching you won’t be disappointed by the choice on offer.  You can even catch the ferry over to the neighbouring island of La Gomera.   If you enjoy bartering, you’ll love the Sunday market which is held near the Arona Gran Hotel.  Most of the merchandise is locally hand crafted and makes a lovely reminder of your stay in Tenerife.

At the end of a busy day, when the sun goes down the resort takes on a more relaxed ambience as diners are serenaded by local singers and the sound of the sea gently laps the shore. 

Playa de las Americas

Shown as location "2" on the map

Recommended hotel: Columbus Hotel, Las Americas.

Factors to consider: Lots to see and do. Plenty of shops/bars/clubs and restaurants. Relatively flat. Good local transport (bus / taxi) Approx 25 mins by car to TFS airport.

Playa de las Americas is the most popular resort and the party capital of South Tenerife.  Here you will find nightclubs that stay open long after the bars have closed.  This resort may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you don’t want to be disturbed in the middle of the night by loud music and party revelers.  However, Las Americas is a large resort with many all inclusive hotels that are not close to the nightlife, so if you want the atmosphere without the disturbance avoid hotels that are near ‘The Patch’, ‘Starco’ and ‘Veronicas’.  

During the day the resort is bustling and the black sand beaches are busy with holidaymakers topping up their tan, swimming or taking part in one of many activities that are available.  By night when the sun goes down and lights come up, the resort takes on a party atmosphere that continues well into the small hours. 

The central location of Las Americas makes getting around easy without the need for transport, however if you do want to venture further afield there are plenty of taxis and buses.   Free buses are available to some of the nearby attractions including Siam Park and Jungle Park. 

Costa Adeje

Shown as location "2" on the map

Recommended hotel: Guayarmina Princess, Fanabe.

Factors to consider: Lots to see and do. Many different resorts close by and within walking distance. Plenty of shops/bars/restaurants. Relatively flat on the coastal side of the TF1 motorway. Good local transport (bus / taxi) Approx 25 mins by car to TFS airport.

Costa Adeje is a collective name given to the resorts between Playa de las Americas and La Caleta which are San Eugenio, Torviscas, Fañabe, Del Duque and La Caleta.  However, the area is also well known for its 18 hole championship golf course and numerous prestigious villas that overlook the course.

San Eugenio and Torviscas are small resorts compared to Las Americas and Los Crisitianos and it’s difficult to see where one resort stops and the other resort starts.  However these two resorts are on either side of the motorway.  The coastal side is where you will find the best of the activities, evening entertainment, restaurants and bars and most of the all inclusive hotels.  The other side of both resorts are quite hilly and may not be suitable for people who have walking difficulties.  However there are a small number of bars and restaurants with nightly entertainment and you can always get a taxi back to your hotel if you don’t fancy the walk up the hill.

Fañabe and Del Duque are Tenerife’s most prestigious resorts.  This is where you will find a myriad of luxury 5 star hotels and brush shoulders with celebrities if you are lucky enough. 

Fañabe has a beautiful beach with plenty of activities and water sports to choose from, enough sun beds and parasols for everyone and a beach bar, so you don’t even have to go far for refreshments.  The split level promenade is lined with shops, bars, restaurants, amusements and beautifully adorned with palm trees and other exotic plants.  Most of the hotels in this resort offer an all-inclusive package including the front-line hotels which also have easy access to the promenade and beach.  Evening entertainment is low key, with most of the bars and restaurants offering live music, cabaret acts, comedy shows, karaoke and quiz nights.

From the top level of the promenade in Fañabe, you can walk to Del Duque.  This resort is even more prestigious than Fañabe.  The outside appearance of the all-inclusive hotels give this resort away as being somewhere for the rich and famous and the small but perfectly formed golden sand beach has an air of exclusivity about it with its large straw parasols and quality sun beds.  The beautiful promenade which is adorned with palm trees, tropical plants and flowers is lined with exclusive restaurants and cafés with beautifully furnished terraces overlooking the sea and a 5 star service.  Here you can relax with refreshments whilst soaking up the atmosphere of this most prestigious of resorts.   If its shopping that ticks your boxes then the Del Duque Plaza is not to be missed.  This is an exclusive designer shopping centre with numerous shops selling such brands as Cartier and Rolex. 

Further along the coast is La Caleta, a sleepy Canarian fishing village that has been tastefully updated but has avoided becoming too commercialised.  The village has a lovely natural promenade with a good choice of bars, bistros and restaurants with outdoor terraces that overlook the sea and neighbouring island of La Gomera.