A calm place
You can leave the hustle and bustle behind at Playa de la Arena. This small, quiet place on Tenerife’s west coast takes things gently, from the uncrowded beach to the low-key bars and restaurants. You’re also well placed for some great walks along rugged coastline and through volcanic landscapes – and close to some of the island’s best sights.
Not all the beaches along this side of the coast come with natural sands, but Playa de la Arena’s does – as you’ll see from the volcanic colour. The small sweep is Blue Flag rated, and there’s a palm-lined promenade with plenty of eating places. As for the sea, there can be a bit of a current – but flags and lifeguards keep you posted on how things are doing.
Walks around here are popular, and a great local one is along the dramatic cliffs of neighbouring Los Gigantes. It literally means Giant Cliffs – which is exactly what you get with this vertical wall rising out of the sea. And there are hiking trails through Teide National Park, which is filled with wildflowers, pine forests and some rather stunning volcanic scenery.
Daytrips to Tenerife’s towns
If you’re on your way to Teide National Park, there’s a great stop-off at Vilaflor. This almost Alpine-style town is the highest in Spain, surrounded by pine forests and fir trees. The aristocratic town of La Orotava is about 70 minutes away – it’s filled with Renaissance mansions and beautiful churches and convents. And half an hour more gets you to the capital, Santa Cruz, for shopping.