A scenic giant
Los Gigantes is a pretty seaside town on Tenerife’s southwest coast – it’s nestled into the rock face, with the dramatic 300-metre cliffs called The Giants running off to the north. Life moves at a leisurely pace here, with the marina being the hub of the town – you’ll find relaxed bars and restaurants here, with views over the black volcanic sand of Los Guios Beach.
The town’s Los Guios Beach is a small black-sand number with sunloungers and umbrellas for hire. Jet-skiers, water-skiers and paragliders take to the choppy waters, while those looking for a calm swim head for the nearby lidos. Other options are Playa de San Juan, 15 minutes’ drive away, which comes with a diving school, plus Playa del Duque, a Blue Flag beach 40 minutes away.
Dolphin tours and trips to the capital
This area is good for spotting dolphins, and there are tours out to sea from Los Gigantes’ marina. Or you might want to spend some time in the capital, Santa Cruz, about an hour and 20 minutes away. The Plaza Iglesia has chic bars and cafés next to the grand 17th-century church. Plus there’s the Castillo de San Juan, a waterside fortress built 300 years ago – today it stands in the shadow of the modern Auditorio de Tenerife, Spain’s answer to Sydney’s Opera House.