Los Cristianos is the main port town on Tenerife’s south coast. Until the Seventies, its harbour was teeming with shipping boats loading up rum and salted fish. Nowadays, it’s yachts, ferries and glass-bottom boats that come and go, while luxury apartment blocks and restaurants have sprung up along the picturesque seafront.
Los Cristianos has a pair of beaches to its name. On one side of the harbour is Los Cristianos Beach, a curl of dark golden sand tucked into a wide bay. The sea is sheltered by a long pier, so it’s really calm to bathe in. And with the volcanic peak of Mount Guaza in the distance, it’s got good looks on its side, too. On the other side of the harbour is Playa de las Vistas, which lines up tonnes of watersports, a cocktail bar and a fountain on a rocky outcrop that shoots water into the sky.
Running behind the beaches is a long promenade brimming with authentic local restaurants, vibrant bars and pavement cafés. And once the sun’s gone down, it's the focal point for Los Cristianos’ laid-back nightlife scene. Behind the prom, meanwhile, are the car-free streets of the town centre where old-school Canarian buildings sit cheek by jowl with designer boutiques and air-conditioned shopping centres.
Follow the promenade westwards and Los Cristianos blends into Playa de las Americas. It’s been dubbed the party capital of Tenerife thanks to its brash nightclubs, but it’s also got a standout selection of shops. For something more subdued, hop on a ferry to the island of La Gomera – it takes about 70 minutes – where you’ll find virgin rainforests waiting to be explored.