Canary Islands Guide - Tenerife
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Spain Site Map - Canary Islands - Tenerife, page 3
Tenerife beach

Tenerife Island, page 3 - Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Los Gigantes
By Lucy Corne

Once a quiet fishing village, Los Cristianos has long since been consumed by southern Tenerife’s tourist boom. But while huge hotels and bustling bars spring up, the town has not lost all of its charm and retains more of a Spanish feel than its neighbour a little further along the coast. The port, although smaller than in days gone by, still welcomes a number of inter-island ferries and a small fishing fleet, offering possibilities for photographers.

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As you head west you reach the mammoth and perpetually expanding resort of Playa de las Américas. Purpose built in the 1960s for the rapidly expanding tourist population, Las Américas is big, brash, noisy and makes no apology for it. Its beaches are largely fake (the black sand that’s native to this part of the coast was deemed unsuitable for the tourist masses) and its skyline is less than pretty, but if there’s one thing that Las Américas does well it’s nightlife. The party happens every day of the year and centres around the multi-storey Veronica’s Strip. This is also the golfing centre of the island, with five 18-hole courses to choose from.

Those looking for a quieter time would do well to head to the island’s northwest coast and the resort of Los Gigantes. Like Los Cristianos the town had humble origins, but the towering cliffs along the coast proved a popular tourist draw and so the hotels began to spring up. The cliffs, shooting up to 800m from the ocean, gave the town its name (meaning The Giants) and a boat trip along this stretch of the coast is an unmissable part of any Tenerife trip. Once you’re back on dry land, Los Gigantes has some exquisite black sand beaches and more than a handful of good seafood restaurants.

Parque Rural de Anaga and Parque Rural de Teno

If the beaches, karaoke bars and English pubs of the large tourist resorts are getting too much, it’s easy to escape.

Photo below - sunset at Los Gigantes
Tenerife has some marvolus sun sets
laurel forest on the island of Tenerife
Occupying the north-eastern and north-western points of the island, the parks of Anaga and Teno offer an experience that most people would never expect to find in Tenerife. Both regions are covered with healthy doses of cloud-enshrouded laurel forest that provide delightfully shaded spots for hikers. The ravines of the Parque Rural de Anaga, northeast of Santa Cruz, make for a challenging landscape for walkers, but if you begin your hike in the mountains and head down towards sea level you’ll certainly get the best of the park without too much difficulty. Aim to end your hike in the truly delightful hamlet of Taganana, a tiny settlement of cobbled streets and well-preserved traditions. The restaurants here serve only the most typical of Canarian foodstuffs, washed down with locally produced wine – quite a potent brew!
Continue to: Tenerife Island Page 4 - Continuation of the Parque Rural de Teno
 
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Canary Island photographs provided by Lucy Corne.
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