Tenerife has them all - beaches of golden sand lapped by the gentle water of the Atlantic; secret inlets where the surf pounds against the rocks; small coves where you can dive into the blue waters of the ocean, and stretches of dramatic black sand created by the volcanoes that once erupted on this glorious Canary Island.

Playa de las Américas, South Tenerife

Playa de las Américas is a great sun, sea and sand destination in Tenerife for a fun family beach holiday

If you're looking for an upbeat destination with fabulous beaches and a lively nightlife, Playa de las Américas is where you need to be. The beaches are plentiful, whether you want relaxation under an umbrella, family activities, or speeding across the sea on a jet ski, there will be something to suit you.

Let's start with the most famous resort in Tenerife - and the most popular. Luckily, you'll find a whole string of beaches stretching along the coastline, mostly built especially for the large resort of Playa de las Américas that hugs this part of south west Tenerife. Sun and sea lovers can relax on the golden sandy beaches, take a sun bed and colourful umbrella, or sit in the shade of palm trees.

Lined up behind the fabulous beaches in Playa de las Américas is a string of restaurants, bars and nightclubs so the party can go on, and on

Behind the glorious beaches, stretches miles of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to keep you well fed and entertained on your holiday.

Head for the beach and find your spot, flop down and gaze out at the sparkling sea. When you've soaked up enough sun, you can try a little sporting activity. Pitch up at one of the volleyball nets for a shot of practice with like-minded friends. Many of the beaches offer wind-surfing which lets you scud along the sea or scuba-diving that takes you into the marvels of the underwater world.

Playa de Torviscas and Fañabé, Costa Adeje, South Tenerife

Families flock to the beautiful beaches of Playa de Torviscas and Fañabé on the sunny Costa Adeje

Playa de Torviscas is a pretty beach in the town of Costa Adeje, and one definitely worth a visit. Brilliant for families, it is backed by a lovely promenade which is lined by shops and restaurants.

Families flock to these two adjoining beaches, Playa de Torviscas and Fañabé, for the day, either sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters or trying out any of the wide range of water sports. Take a sunbed or gently swing in a hammock, before trotting off to the restaurants surrounding the beach for a variety of tapas or just a quick snack. Sports for every age means children scramble onto the brightly coloured banana boats that bounce them around the bay; teenagers zoom around on jet skis or take to the skies, landing on exactly the right spot on the beach. There's never a dull moment.

The warm shallow waters of Playa de Fañabé are ideal for the children to splash about in

Right next to Playa Torviscas is Playa de Fañabé, which is perfect for those with children. The water is shallow and tapers off slowly, so is great for the little ones to splash around in.

Playa del Duque, Adeje, South Tenerife

In a quiet and peaceful corner of Tenerife's Costa Adeje lies Playa del Duque, which is so close to the shops, you can roll  off the beach and into your favourite boutique

Playa del Duque is located in a quiet area of Costa Adeje and is fantastic for water sports. When you've had your fill of sand and sea, hit the shopping centre, a few minutes' walk away, for a little retail therapy.

This is the chic beach; the place to sit under a straw umbrella on the white sand, sheltered by a rocky headland topped with gently moving palm trees, plus a castle wall that isn't real but looks the part. The beach is fringed by a long wooden boardwalk. When you need a little relaxed refreshment, you can eat in one of the stylish hotel restaurants along the boardwalk, or sit by the pools that lie at different levels. This is the closest to the south of France that you'll get on an island which sits in the balmy Atlantic off the coast of Africa.

La Caleta, Costa Adeje, South Tenerife

If its the wonders of the underwater world you seek, look no further than La Caleta on Tenerife, where you will meet some of the most amazing marine life

La Caleta is a gem of a location, as rather than miles of sand, this is a brilliant area for snorkellers. The sea here is home to some of the most beautiful marine life, so pop on your goggles and dive in.

Although La Caleta is not a beach destination, I cannot resist mentioning this as a complete contrast. La Caleta is still a small fishing village and the place to escape to, being tucked away from the larger resorts. The sea dashes against the rocks making this the place for snorkellers who relish the chance to dive into crystal clear waters and discover some of the best marine viewing they could hope for. Don't expect all the facilities of the larger places; do expect the freshest fish meals in traditional restaurants, plus rough trails along the coastline to Playa de las Américas that give you sweeping views out to sea. La Caleta is a small treasure of a place.

Playa San Juan, Guía de Isora, South Tenerife

In complete contrast to the larger resorts, the cute and quaint fishing village of Guia de Isora with its Playa San Juan beach has retained its traditional Spanish feel - there can be few better places to sample a local fish dish.

The small village of Playa San Juan, Guía de Isora, makes for a complete contrast to the bigger resorts. With a harbour close to the beach and fantastic restaurants, this place has a very local feel.

Time for another fishing village on the west coast of Tenerife which has kept its local feel. Nestling along the inlets of the seashore and sheltered from the trade winds, thriving banana plantations climb up the hillside and black sand, volcanic rock and pebbles offer a true Tenerife feel. You have the added advantage of a full view of the small harbour where little boats bob up and down. There is a diving school here, but the main activity is to soak up the sun and feel the peace.

Los Cristianos Beach and Playa de las Vistas, Arona, South Tenerife

Boat trips out to sea to make friends with the dolphins are popular along this coast. You can cruise out with your expert and friendly guide from Los Cristianos and Playa de las Vistas, to name just a couple of starting points for these truly moving and memorable excursions.

Take a boat trip out to see the dolphins and the whales - it's a brilliant excursion. The beautiful creatures are used to having boats filled with tourists come by in their waters, so they will often show off so you can get a few good pictures!

The Tenerife coast is home to some wonderful marine life. If you're a keen diver, or happy to get on a boat especially to get a glimpse of the dolphins, it will make your holiday even more memorable.

The main post on Tenerife's southern coast has two wonderful beaches which curl around the bay. Los Cristianos Beach is sheltered and with a long shallow area, making it perfect for families with small children who just want to paddle safely in the warm water. It's near the port so you can idly watch the ferries that ply between Tenerife and the neighbouring islands of El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera. Or try a boat trip out to sea to spot dolphins and whales swimming. They play with the boat, weaving around you and jumping out of the water in a show they seem to have put on especially for you. The beaches are very similar, but Playa de las Vistas offers more water sports and an unusual fountain on a rock in the sea that shoots water up into the sky - another picture perfect opportunity.

It is so easy to island hop while in The Canaries, visiting some of the lesser-known gems off the coast of Africa. Take the ferry out to La Palma, known by the locals as the 'Pretty Island', and it is easy to see how it got its name!

If you're looking for something a little different, take a ferry to La Palma, another of the Canary Islands. Known to the locals as La Isla Bonita (the Pretty Island), it's clear to see why. Stunning coastlines and lush green landscapes make it a hikers' dream.

Playa de la Tejita, Granadilla de Abona, South Tenerife

The surf's up at Playa de la Tejita! Adrenalin junkies mingle with naturists on this beach - beware, it does have a nudist section. Accessible by car only, this is a hidden gem.

Playa de la Tejita is fantastic if surfing is your activity, so this is where you need to be if you want a more active holiday. It is also known for being a nudest beach, so it might not be for everyone!

The majestic Montaña Roja is the red volcanic mountain that originally spilled its lava down to the sea and is not a nature reserve. At Playa de la Tejita, odd, mis-shapen rock forms, created from the pumice millions of years ago, make a strange background to the sandy coves. Playa de la Tejita has a long coastline and is only accessible by car, making it a peaceful, less crowded place to come to in the high season. And if you want to go skinny dipping, walk to the furthest end and enjoy the sea along with the other swimmers baring all.

Playa del Médano, Granadilla de Abona, South Tenerife

If you want to live like a local and sample Spanish traditions at their best, then come to Granadilla de Abona in south Tenerife.

If you prefer to sample the real Spanish culture, then the town by Playa del Médano is best as ii is a very 'local' town. The beach is beautiful, family-friendly, and great for windsurfers too.

The towns and villages of Granadilla de Abona are pretty, colourful, and perfect places to soend an afternoon wandering about just taking in the sights.

The villages in Granadilla de Abona are pretty and laid back, and are lovely places to wander if you want a break from the sand.

To the east of Montaña Roja and sharing the same strange almost moonscape, Playa del Médano borders a little village and stretches along a boardwalk. It may seem remote, but this is the place where wind and kite surfers will always find enough breeze to skim across the top of the waters, testing their skills against the elements.

Playa de las Teresitas, Santa Cruz, North Tenerife

Close to the fascinating capital  of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Playa de las Teresitas in north Tenerife is one of the best beaches on the island. It benefits from the softest Saharan sand shipped in especially to create this beachy paradise.

Playa de las Teresitas is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Fringed with palm trees, the water is calm, so it is a perfect beach for families looking for a great day out with the children. A definite must-visit.

Very near the delightful capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this is one of the best known beaches in Tenerife. Playa de las Teresitas' beautiful soft sand was imported from the Sahara and with its palm trees, you'll feel as if you're in an oasis, with the city skyline seeming like a distant shimmering illusion. The mountains of northern Tenerife tower behind you; the clear blue waters of the lagoon sparkle in front of you. And there are plenty of kiosks selling chilled drinks and snacks dotted about for refreshments.

A rugged coastline provides a dramatic backdrop to the stunning Playa de las Teresitas sands.

The stunning, rugged coastline makes for a stunning backdrop to Playa de las Teresitas Beach. A picture-perfect view.

Playa Jardín Puerto de la Cruz, North east Tenerife

The 'Garden Beach', as Playa Jardin is known, is a work of art - quite literally - having been designed by Lanzarote's architect and local boy, César Manrique. Pretty pools and bathing areas wind down to the seafront.

If there is one beach to visit in the north of the island, Playa Jardin is the one. It has black sand with incredible views of Mount Teide and is surrounded by beautiful gardens too, so it is definitely one of the most picturesque beaches on the island.

The 'Garden Beach' was designed in the 1990s by César Manrique, an artist and architect who transformed Lanzarote but whose vision for north Tenerife was to create a beautiful man-made coastline. And it really is exceptional. You stroll to the beach through paths lined by plants, palm trees and cacti, stone walls and waterfalls. Arriving at the beach, there are three separate sections: Castillo, Charcon and Punta Brava beaches. It's windy here in the north, so there is good surf. The superb views of Mount Teide rise in the distance behind you; in front of you is a perfect shiny black volcanic sand beach. This is a pure Tenerife experience.

Playa Jardin's shiny black sand is framed by colourful gardens and cascading rock pools and bathing areas.

The beautiful beach has lovely surrounding gardens, which include a stunning waterfall which cascades over the dramatic volcanic rocks. Make this beach one of the stops on your holiday.

If you're a member of RCI and want Tenerife to be the destination for your next sun, sea and sand holiday, you should know that there are 61 RCI-affiliated resorts to choose from. To see what there is on offer, check out our Resort Directory below.

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