A quiet fishing village
Puerto de Santiago sits between Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena on the west coast of Tenerife. The quiet, whitewashed town sits on a rugged hillside that tumbles down to a tiny black sandy beach. It’s very laid-back here, with just bars, restaurants and a little fishing museum. And its neighbours are in walking distance, so you get rather a good 3-in-1 deal here.
Soft black sands
Puerto de Santiago’s own beach is on the small side, so most people walk 10 minutes to Playa de la Arena. Like all the beaches around here, the shores are made of black volcanic sand. It’s been a Blue Flag holder since 1989 and comes with sunloungers, umbrellas and a couple of beachside restaurants. Or there’s the beach at Los Gigantes, 10 minutes’ drive away. Set under massive towering cliffs, it has a marina, watersports and diving centre. It’s less crowded than Playa de la Arena.
Daytrips to Mount Teide
It’s about an hour’s drive from Puerto de Santiago to Mount Teide, the world’s third highest volcano. Hikers can do the 5-hour hike to the fuming sulphurous summit, or there’s a cable car that takes you to the top station, just short of the summit. Bizarre rock formations and views of the other Canary Islands are just astonishing. Closer to home, Los Gigantes has cave cruises that let you explore the volcanic caves hidden in the crags and folds of its massive cliffs.