If you’ve chosen Tenerife as your next holiday getaway you’re in good company. As one of the most populous and popular islands in the Canaries, you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t be disappointed with the range of things to do – or not do, as your heart desires. Because, in a place as lovely as this, nobody’s going to judge you for just kicking back and lying on the beach all day!
The Not So Wild West of Tenerife
For those looking for something a little quieter and more laidback than the pumping southern resorts of the island, heading west is the answer. The beaches, nature, culture and relaxed ambience of Los Gigantes, Puerto de Santiago and Playa de la Arena could be just what the holiday doctor ordered. So sit back, relax and enjoy the vibe…
The village of Los Gigantes sits at the bottom of a dramatic cliff, from which it gets its name. Part of the 7-million-year-old Teno Mountains, the unusual colours and textures of the volcanic rocks look different from every angle and it’s a pleasure to admire them from any part of the resort. For the best view, you can head up a short walk behind the village to the Archipenque Mirador viewing point and admire them in all their glory.
Top Tip: Go at sunset and don’t forget your camera.
One of the best attractions of Los Gigantes is a little bit of a local secret. If you’re looking for authenticity, the open-air rock pool at Crab Island, at the resort’s southern end, is a gem of a find. You can get in some quiet sunbathing and swimming while enjoying fabulous views over to La Gomera.
Aside from lying on the beach topping up the tan, the most popular activity in Los Gigantes is whale and dolphin watching. You’re almost guaranteed multiple sightings, as a plethora of species live or pass through the waters around the resort, including minke and sperm whales.
Where to Stay
Vista Los Gigantes: Situated in a dramatic cliff location just a short walk from the beach, Vista Los Gigantes offers fantastic self-catering accommodation in an apartment with a garden, sun-drenched terrace and pool with a view. This cool, comfortable apartment has all the comforts of home but with views to make you feel like you’ve woken up in Paradise.
Puerto de Santiago
Just a hop, skip and a jump south of Los Gigantes, Puerto de Santiago appears untouched by time and still retains its old fishing village ambience. Lying on the coastal road that links Los Gigantes with Playa de la Arena, it’s the ideal place to escape for a week (or more) and simply forget the rest of the world exists. It is still, however, a tourist resort, so there are enough decent restaurants and shops to keep you occupied on the downtime from downtime.
For anyone interested in learning a little about the fishing heritage of the region, the Museo del Pescador (Fisherman’s Museum) provides an interesting place to while away a few hours. As well as being an historical record of the local industry, it also houses some really great fish-focused artworks.
If you’re lucky enough to time your visit with the annual Puerto de Santiago Fiesta (actual dates vary but usually in July or August) you’re in for a treat. This week-long party features a host of events including fireworks, open-air cinema showings, dancing, music and, of course, lots of eating, drinking and generally being merry!
Where to Stay
Arena del Sol: The cool, contemporary apartments at Arena del Sol are just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and 200 metres from Playa de la Arena. Featuring well-equipped kitchens with an oven, microwave and coffee machine, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the complex, there’s also a fabulous pool and sun terrace to enjoy.
Playa de la Arena
Playa de la Arena is quickly growing in popularity, so get in quick before the crowds take over! Seriously, though, it’s no surprise the secret’s out, because it’s home to the best beach in the west of Tenerife. The beach is easily accessible right off the main promenade, Avienda Maritima, and its Blue Flag status means safe swimming for all ages. But the real beauty is that, while a lot of the more popular beaches on the island have imported sand, Playa de la Arena retains its unusual black volcanic sand. (Kids love it!) Combined with the iconic swaying palms and the backdrop of mountains it provides a dramatic setting.
Any decent beach resort has to have a good selection of restaurants, and Playa de la Arena punches well above even its own considerable weight in terms of quality and quantity. While there are too many to mention, the elegant Pancho overlooks the beach and offers a menu fit to match the views, while for those who enjoy things a little more laidback, the Blarney Stone’s friendly Irish atmosphere speaks for itself.
Where to Stay
Aparthotel Los Dragos del Sur: With stunning views over the Atlantic and only a 2-minute stroll to the beach, Aparthotel Los Dragos del Sur is situated overlooking all the sun and fun of Playa de la Arena and is just 5 minutes from Los Gigantes. The spacious air-conditioned apartments all feature a private terrace with views over the pool or ocean, and you’ll enjoy free use of Wi-Fi and the onsite gym.
How to Get to Western Tenerife
Getting to any of these resorts in on Tenerife’s west coast is simple, with British Airways and Ryanair offering a regular timetable of direct budget flights into Tenerife South Airport (TFS). With a flight time of around 4.5 hours, even a short and sweet getaway is feasible.
Once you land at the airport, no matter where you’ve chosen to stay in the beautiful western region of Tenerife, a convenient pre-booked Shuttle Direct service will get you right to the door of your accommodation in around half an hour.
About Shuttle Direct:
Wherever you need to get to in Tenerife, Shuttle Direct can get you from the airport to the door of your accommodation in comfort and for a competitive price. We’re the most trusted provider of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa, and our easy-to-use online booking system allows you make your ground transport arrangements in just a few clicks. With both shared and private transfers, we’ve got something for everybody and every budget!