Tenerife is famed for its beautiful beach resorts, packed full of restaurants, hotel complexes, shops and cafés, designed to ensure all tourists in the area have everything at their fingertips. Purpose-built resorts like Playa de las Americas are ideal for holiday-makers seeking hassle-free travel to Tenerife, with everything they need within minutes from the beach front. However, those seeking a more authentic Canary Islands experience need to head for the hidden gems of the island, free of tourist development, for the quiet and tranquil holiday of a lifetime. Here’s our guide to the top tourist-free resorts on the island.
The natural beaches and rocky cliff faces of El Medano are ideal for sunbathing and exploring, while the constant breeze in this part of the bay keep tourist agencies from focusing on the area, while wind-surfers and kite-boarders can enjoy the waves and the free space to get out on the water. With 2km of soft sand and crystal clear waters, it’s perfect for paddling and sandcastle-building, and the nearby town centre offers a variety of market stalls and small shops to purchase refreshments and souvenirs from. The promenade has a particularly bohemian atmosphere, with cafés and small beach bars offering open-air tables from which to watch the world go by.
Boasting three beautiful beaches and a laid-back nightlife, Los Silos is ideal for those looking to take their Tenerife holiday a little more slowly than usual. Popular activities here are fishing and water-sports out in the bay, while the beaches themselves promise soft golden sands, plenty of scenic footpaths, and a number of cafés and shops along the promenade. The area is also home to the Black Caves walking route, and the Nuestra Senora de la Luz, a lovely 16th-century church, ideal for history lovers. Freshly-caught seafood and local wines are available from the cafés and bistros, for a true taste of Tenerife.
A town of contrasts, Garachio’s volcanic rock pools still attract day-trippers to the area by day, but when the sun comes down the atmosphere becomes one of tranquility and peace, with small restaurants and bars dotted across the area, and a slow, contented way of life. There’s no real beach here, thanks to the development of several lava rock pools in the 1700s, which means that while there are plenty of sunbathing spots, many of the tourists in the area head to neighbouring Puerto de la Cruz. A craft fair can be found in the central square on weekends, and a number of small shops offer hand-made souvenirs throughout the week, for those all-important Tenerife holiday memories.
While Las Caletillas is considered a place of great historical and religious importance on the island, it doesn’t attract many British tourists at all, which makes it ideal for those seeking something more authentic and cultural from their holidays. The resort is part of the larger town of Candelaria, home of the Basilica of Candelaria, where the island’s patron saint is worshipped, attracting hundreds of pilgrims each year. The square beneath the basilica features fantastic sculptures and artwork, definitely worth looking out for. In the Las Caletillas district itself, the black-pebble beach is perfect for walking and stretching out in the sun, while the nearby national part at Mount Teide promises several afternoons of scenic exploration and beautiful wildlife.
Alcala is perhaps the least-known of the resorts on this list, a small village with a market square and natural beach, home to some of the most luxurious hotels but without the noise and glitter of the larger resorts. It’s perfect for the ultimate getaway – no crowds, no hustle and bustle, and definitely no fighting for space on the rocks and pools of the seafront. Visitors love it for the quietness and the authenticity – you won’t find any nightclubs here, but there are plenty of restaurants serving regional, home-made dishes, as well as bakeries and terraced bars to discover. The rock-pools are ideal for bird-watching and fishing, while the footpaths around the village make for a fantastic day excursion, for an idyllic island holiday in Tenerife.