Where to stay in Tenerife – best region for couples, families and nightlife
The Canary Islands are a huge deal for globe trotters and adventure-seekers but none is as popular as Tenerife. As the largest and most naturally and culturally diverse, it is definitely a place worth travelling to.
The problem, however, is deciding where to stay in Tenerife. This isn’t some puny little island that you can explore on a bike in a day. It is pretty big with a lot of options which makes your job a little harder when it comes to making the choice.
That’s why we’re here. We understand all that the island has to offer and will give you the most useful advice on the best places to stay in Tenerife.
This, of course, depends on your specific travel needs whether it is a family trip, a couple’s getaway, a friend-cation or whatever else.
In this guide you will see
- 1 Best area to stay in Tenerife
- 2 Best region to stay in Tenerife based on the month
- 3 Best part of Tenerife for families
- 4 Best places to stay in Tenerife for couples
- 5 Best beach hotels in Tenerife
- 6 Best places to stay in Tenerife for nightlife
- 7 Where to stay in Tenerife for kite and windsurfing
You can read also
- Best Canary Islands to visit
- The best Spanish Islands [for your type of holiday, with a map]
- Travel guide to the Gran Canaria island – just a ferry away
- The Ultimate Guide to the best areas to stay in Fuerteventura
- Best places to stay in Lanzarote (and where to avoid)
Before taking your flight I suggest to check out the Island Connections website for the latest events and the English version of El Pais for the freshest news from Spain.
Best area to stay in Tenerife
So what is the best area to stay in Tenerife for you?
It really depends on two major factors:
- when you plan the trip (summer, winter or shoulder seasons)
- what kind of trip you are planning (family, couple, nightlife, just some relaxed time)
Here below a map with some great destinations that you do not want to miss out
For an easy understanding of the Tenerife, I have divided the island into 4 areas.
Later in the post, I also suggest the best towns to stay in Tenerife for families, couples, nightlife and other types of holiday
The south coast (best white beaches and weather)
The main Tenerife Internationtional Airport (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur) is located right on the south coast and this is where you will find most of the tourism, doesn’t matter which month you visit.
And is also where you will find the best beaches with white (brownish) sand and shallow water.
One interesting fact is that most, if not all, of the sand have actually been imported from the formal colony of Western Sahara. There is still a debate with the accusation that it was done in an illegal way (read more here).
Either way, the south coast is definitely the destination for white beach lovers.
There are towns for families (Puerto Colon), nightlife (Playa Las Americas and Costa Adeje) and a bit of everything (Los Cristianos).
These are very practical destinations, being just 15-20k from the airport
If you are planning your trip in winter then this is the coast to be, much warmer and sunnier.
In summer it can be, however, really hot and the north coast can be the best solution if you are after some fresh sea breeze
The West Coast (relaxed area with the best black beaches)
The black, volcanic sand, makes this area quite unique. Add also the amazing rocky cliffs of Los Gigantes to make the West Coast an unparalleled experience.
It’s not however for everyone.
Nightlife is very limited, except for some restaurants and a few Irish pubs. This is not the area you should book if you are after a few late nights (go instead to the south coast)
Here you will be able to stay in a relaxed environment to unplug from the busy world.
The black beach is lovely with the cleanest water you have ever seen. However, it has to be said that it gets very warm, especially in spring and summer, probably I should say hot, you need flip flops to go around.
And in this respect, I would not suggest it to families with toddlers or small kids. If you have bigger kids then they may get a bit bored as there is not much to do.
I see the West Coast more for a couples getaway for a romantic and relaxed time, especially if you book your room with a view to the gigantic cliff formation.
You can decide to book your accommodation in Los Gigantes, for the amazing view to the coast, and Playa de la Arena for easier access to the beach
The North Coast (romantic, perfect as summer destination)
The north coast is where you will find the most characteristic villages and towns but, unfortunately, not the best beaches.
If you are after a more traditional area, with more local and fewer tourists, with the possibility of some trekking too then the North Coast is the place to book your accommodation.
It’s the perfect spot for couples looking for some seclusion and a romantic spot to spend a few days
In summer it tends to be a bit cooler than the south making it ideal if 30 degrees is not your thing
Garachico is a lovely place for couples or even honeymoon, meanwhile, Puerto de la Cruz was the first tourist destination on the island, much closer to Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte (in the north)
The capital (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
Unless you have some business in the capital I would probably not suggest a stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
If you have the car, you can, however, have a short tour there, always interesting.
If you have an early flight from the Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte you may want to consider spending the night in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, between the capital and the airport. It’s a nice small and characteristic town with a pedestrian centre.
In saying all of this, the capital is the place to be for the world-famous Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, second only to Rio de Janeiro in popularity
Playa De Las Teresitas is a lovely and picturesque beach north of the capital, with amazing sand (imported from the Sahara) and beautiful shallow water.
Where to stay: North or South Tenerife?
This is a subject of discussion for which it’s always hard to find a definitive answer.
Let me try to answer these two questions.
Why South Tenerife is better than North?
- Because it has the best beaches on the island, you either like white or volcanic black.
- The weather all year round is mostly sunny and in winter even if you may experience some rain, it will be for a short time, usually in the afternoon.
- From late June to early September you will be almost 100% sure to have experience only sunny days with the peak temperature between 25C and 30C (18-22 degrees at night).
- You will be a stone away from the international airport, basically, you land and you will be in the pool in no time.
- It has the most organised resorts
- You can find the best nightlife for both the young crowd and the more mature one
- It has a great beach for kite and windsurfing (El Médano)
Why North Tenerife is better than South?
- Because the coast is more dramatic and spectacular
- The summer on the North Coast is cooler. If you can’t stand the hot temperature then the north is the place to be between late June and September. However, in winter you will be very likely to experience rain, on a daily basis.
- The villages are more “true” to a Spanish experience. They are not purpose-built for the visitors.
- You want to do some trekking. The north is the best base to start the daily walks
- You are after a romantic experience in a small village for a truly local experience
Best region to stay in Tenerife based on the month
This table below will give you a rough idea of the area to stay based on the month you visit the island.
Take as a rough indication as the weather is nowadays quite unpredictable.
For example, if you want to check what is the best region to stay in February in Tenerife, just scroll down on the table below to select the month and you will see the suggested places.
|Months||Best area||Expected weather||Notes|
|December, January, February||South||20-24C degrees during the day, cooler at night||Expect periods of rain but mostly it will be sunny or cloudy|
|22-28C degrees during the day, still cool at night||Rain is rare and you will experience mostly sunny days|
|June, July, August, September||South
|24-35C degrees, it can be hot. It may be too warm
24-30C degrees, cooler than the south. Nice sea breeze at night
|It typically does not rain in these months. June is a great time for trekking. July and August can be really hot in the south|
|22-28C degrees during the day, still cool at night||Rain is rare and you will experience mostly sunny days. More likely to experience wet afternoons in the west coast|
Best part of Tenerife for families
In 2017, Tenerife was voted one of Europe’s most family-friendly islands.
With all their outdoor attractions and variety of kid-friendly activities, it is not so hard to see why.
However, given its reputation as somewhat of a party island, not all parts of this beautiful Spanish Canary are perfect for a family vacation.
Below are two of the best places to consider when looking for where to stay in Tenerife with family.
Puerto Colon (with small kids)
This is one of the best part of Tenerife for families with small kids and you will understand why in a little bit.
It is a high class yet quaint little marina with a beautiful calm beach 4km north of Playa de las Américas, that is the perfect combination of modern amenities and laid-back beach life.
It is a very popular tourist spot but is surprisingly quiet and calm which makes it perfect when you are exploring with the little ones.
The beach is definitely somewhere you will want to visit with them. Most beaches in the area are kid-friendly including easy access to amenities like washrooms and snack bars are well as lifeguard patrols.
In addition to the beach, you might want to set apart some time to treat the little ones to some playground fun.
In this case, the best option is Parque Infantil which is a 5-minute drive north of Puerto Colon Beach on Playa De Fanabe. It also happens to be right on the water and features numerous swings, slides and play items for the little ones to enjoy.
Once you are all knocked out and starving from a fun-packed day, stop by at Miishi Restaurante. This is a high-class Asian cuisine spot famous for the amazing ambiance and fresh catch dishes.
Los Cristianos (with grown-up kids)
Los Cristianos on the other hand is ideal for families with bigger kids or teenagers. It is also more economical which is convenient for budget travelling and it is very close to the airport.
Convenience, however, is not all that this part of the island has to offer.
First off, it is a watersport hub with its two beaches being wildly popular for everything from snorkeling to sport fishing that the whole family will enjoy.
You could also visit the Jungle Park which is just 5 minutes away from the town. Here, you will get to truly appreciate the island’s natural beauty with everything from breathtaking waterfalls to rare animal species.
When you all get hungry, you have a number of options the best being L’italiano Trattoria. You really can never go wrong with Italian food when you have a family and this one does not disappoint with their artisanal pizzas and fresh pasta dishes.
Another great family option is Arte Del Gusto which is a gourmet restaurant that serves a wide variety of dishes with the island-famous fresh seafood. However, it is their deserts that they are best known for so make sure to try some of their homemade ice-cream while there.
Best places to stay in Tenerife for couples
There is something simply enchanting about island life for couples. From romantic walks down the beach to sunset dinners on the water, it is no wonder that you and your beau are planning an island vacation.
And where better to do it that the most popular island on one of the most popular Archipelagos on the planet?
Deciding where to stay in Tenerife for couples depends on the experience you are looking to have.
Do you want something laid back and quiet for some time alone or do you want a wild and lively scene to feed your energy?
Below are the best options in either case so you get exactly what you want from your bae-cation.
Garachico (for a romantic stay)
Sometimes you just want a quiet and secluded place where you can truly enjoy each other’s company and get to bond.
On Tenerife, Garachico is one of the best places to get this romantic ambiance.
It is a charming, colorful little village nestled along the foresty northern coast of the island.
It promises a unique and charming experience with the laid back vibes and attractions like natural volcano swimming pools.
However, there is not much of a nightlife save for the amazing restaurants to try out.
One great option is Restaurante Arístides. This restaurant has it all from the great food and quaint ambiance to amazing service and friendly prices.
Another great option is Restaurante Anturium. Located in a beautiful traditional Spanish building, this restaurant is ideal if you are looking for that high-end fine dining experience. It is particularly breathtaking at night where you get to eat by the romantically lit swimming pool.
Los Gigantes (lovely view, relaxed town with some night action)
For the most part, Los Gigantes is a pretty quiet and relaxed part of Tenerife that offers amazing cliff-side views of the ocean during the day.
It is also home to the island’s unique volcano beaches which will definitely be something worth seeing for yourselves.
Los Gigantes is not certainly the nightlife place to be, however, it does offer a few options for a nice dinner, a few cocktails and also late-night drinks. All mostly catered for grown-up couples and not really a young crowd.
One great option here is The Wine Bar and Terrace. As the name suggests, these guys have a great wine collection and nothing makes a night more romantic than a tall glass of red with your partner.
If you want to go out on a romantic dinner date instead, try the KV Bar Gourmet. This continental cuisine spot has amazing ambiance with the dim lighting and wooden décor theme. They also serve amazing cocktails if you want to make your night that much more interesting.
Best beach hotels in Tenerife
Depending on where you stay in Tenerife, you will either get the big luxury hotel experience or a more laid-back casual stay.
It all, of course, depends on your budget and travel preferences.
Here are a few amazing options you could consider for a great stay next to the beach
For a couple’s getaway
The Royal Hideaway Corales Beach in Adeje is a high-end hotel which is truly an aesthetic dream with its beautiful architecture and breathtaking views.
So what makes it perfect for couples?
Well; the fact that it is an adults-only facility.
This is one place you will not want to leave once you settle with things like the fitness and spa amenities, amazing in-house restaurants and quality accommodations to keep you happy and comfortable.
Check availability at the Hideaway
For the boutique experience
The Hotel La Quinta Roja The Senses Collection in Garachico offers a one of a kind experience in more ways than one.
First off, it is located in what used to be a 16th Century Mansion and contains the perfect combination of modern luxury and traditional architectural aesthetics.
It also offers easy access to volcanic pools. These are natural swimming pools that will definitely make for great memories.
In addition to these boutique experiences, you get access to handy amenities including Wi-Fi and spa facilities as well as quick access to the historical town of Garachico.
Check availability at the La Quinta
For a luxurious stay
The Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife in Playa Paraiso screams luxury from a mile away and you will love it if you are looking for that ritzy experience.
It features ultra-modern designs both in the architecture and décor and incorporates technology to ensure a most comfortable stay for you as the guest.
So what do you have to look forward to in addition to the magnificent towers and curated décor pieces?
A lot. The hotel offers beautiful beachfront views and water access, spa and fitness amenities, gourmet meal options and so much more.
Check availability at the Hard Rock Hotel
Best places to stay in Tenerife for nightlife
As earlier alluded to, Tenerife has a reputation as a party island with its numerous nightlife hubs.
Now don’t get all excited this is no Ibiza or Mykonos but it does have a lot to offer you if you are a proper night owl.
In order to truly enjoy this part of the island, you need to figure out the best places to stay in Tenerife for nightlife. Here are two options and what makes them each worth considering when planning your trip.
Playa de Las Americas (for the young crowd)
This small southwestern community has earned a solid reputation as being the center of nightlife on the entire island.
With all the night clubs, bars and late-night eateries it is not so hard to understand why.
For the most part, Playa de las Americas hosts a pretty young crowd.
This means things tend to get rowdy both in and out of the party establishments.
If you are the kind of night owl who loves to party all night and go to sleep at sunrise then Playa de Las Americas is the place for you.
One must-visit spot is Papagayo Beach Club. This waterside cocktail bar offers the perfect combination of amazing drinks and breathtaking views. However, it is a little more chilled out than other clubs in the area.
Another nightlife spot to check out is Tramps Tenerife – The King of Clubs. Now, this is where you go when you really want to get an authentic feel of Tenerife nightlife.
It can get pretty wild there with the karaoke, wild music, and ever-flowing drinks. But, if this is the fun you are looking for, then you will be in for a night to remember.
Costa Adeje (for the more mature crowd)
If you are looking for a nightlife hub with all the fun but not the madness then the Costa Adeje is the right destination for you.
It boasts a more mature crowd which is also reflected in the ambiance in the different night time establishment.
In sharp contrast to the rowdy clubs in Playa, Adeje has more laid back bars and pubs with great live and DJ music to enjoy as you kick back a cocktail or two.
Here, St. Eugen’s is the perfect option. The spot features amazing live music, numerous drink options and a lively yet controlled vibe to keep you excited all evening long.
Costa Adeje has also numerous late-night restaurants with a lot to offer if you are looking for a laid-back night out.
A great option here would be Gran Maison. This high-end option serves a variety of dishes but is best known for fresh seafood and amazing steaks. They also have a nice wine collection for those nights you want to get toasted but still remain classy.
Where to stay in Tenerife for kite and windsurfing
Tenerife, in general, is popular for the numerous watersport-friendly locations.
None, however, can hold a candle to El Medano.
El Medano (if you are looking for wind)
El Medano is a natural beach particularly popular with windsurfers and for kitesurfers due to its location which puts it in the perfect spot to catch all the wind.
If you would like to rent or buy equipment, a great place to check out would be Surf Center Playa Sur.
In addition to being a shop, it serves as a surf school which is perfect if you want the adventure in but you have no experience. The proximity to the beach also makes hauling rented equipment back and forth very convenient.
El Medano is also known for having some pretty awesome eateries. One of the best is Restaurante Veinte 04 Surf Cafe. This establishment is ideal for all your surfer needs offering both pre-workout options like smoothies and acai bowls as well as heavy meals for those post-surfing munchies.
Photo credits on a few photos in this post