If you have already decided to spend your holidays this year in Tenerife, then the next step will be searching for accommodation. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and although the distances between places may not seem long, you should always try to find a spot that best suits your needs. This is our ultimate guide on where to stay in Tenerife and offers information regarding what activities you can do in that specific area, what shopping opportunities you have and also hotel suggestions.
So it all comes back to what you what from your holiday. Do you want a simple place to relax in the sun and enjoy the ocean? Are you looking for a quiet spot for you and your lover? Or maybe your are planning a family vacation and are interested in something fun to do with the kids? Tenerife is the perfect place to do all those things and you will have the most amazing holiday if you just do a bit of research first and choose right.
Tenerife is also called The Islands of Eternal Spring, due to the beautiful weather all year round.
In winter you can expect sunny days with temperatures between 22 - 26 Celsius. In the evening it gets more chilly, but nothing to worry about - average temperatures stay above 18 Celsius even in the evening during months. You can read more details in our article about the warmest Canary Island, but during winter time, we think that the south of Tenerife and Gran Canaria have the best weather and with temperatures a bit higher compared to the other islands. If you're not convinced, check out these imagines of Tenerife in December, the place in Europe where you can spend New Year's Eve on the beach in T-shirt and shorts.
We have prepared an infographic that showcases Tenerife weather, so you can decide when is the best time of year to come for you and your family.
If you do get back luck and the weather is not on your side, don't be upset for too long, because there are lots of things to do in Tenerife when it's raining or it's cloudy.
Best place to stay in Tenerife
Most of the touristic areas are in the South of the island, where the weather is nice all year long and you can make the most of this island's subtropical climate.
So if you are into sunbathing and swimming, then some place in the South would be the right choice for you. Here you have plenty of options for beach relaxation and if you prefer to explore you can choose a new beach everyday.
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The best place to stay if different for everyone, so you must think of what makes the best area to stay in Tenerife for you. Our guide should help you establish what you are looking for in terms of activities during the day and entertainment during the evening. Once you decide on the part of the island that best suits your needs, you can start looking for accommodation in that particular area. Tenerife offers plenty of options, from luxurious resorts, to timeshare clubs and also plenty of affordable private rentals, especially if you choose to rent a studio or an apartment.
Playa de las Americas - the best place to stay for nightlife and party
closest airport: Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport - 17 km distance; 15 minutes drive
what to do
This is probably the most famous place in Tenerife, because of the multitude of restaurants and bars that are open until morning, offering tourists the best chance to do some bar hopping and enjoy the night.
This is not the place to come and complain because of the loud music, since Las Americas is not the dedicated to those tourists who want peace and quiet in order to rest and relax.
If you are tired of restaurants and bars and would fancy a change, you can also try a different experience one night and go watch a show that is a mix of opera and flameco dance at Piramide de Arona. The artists there put a lot of effort and passion into the show and the result if truly wonderful, so this is a MUST SEE if you decide to stay in Las Americas.
During the day you can enjoy the beach and do some shopping, with the best shopping center in Playa de las Americas being Centro Comercial Safari (Address: Av Americas 5, 38660 Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, Spain). This is situated right in the heart of the town, offering both local and international brands. Another tip is to look for the shops that specialize in selling fruits: these are called Fruterias in Spanish. You should try some of the local bananas and other fruits that are grown in the Canary Islands.
where to stay
There are many great hotels in Playa de las Americas that will make your holiday unforgettable, like Tenerife Royal Gardens and Europe Villa Cortes GL, or more affordable options like Marola Park and Endless Summer House.
Los Cristianos - best place to stay in Tenerife for families
Los Cristianos is also situated in the South, very close to Playa de las Americas. This was a fishing town, with the harbour still being one of the main attractions. The place has history and there are also many locals still living and working here. Tourism is now a big part of the town's economy, so you will have plenty of restaurants to choose from.
closest airport: Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport -16 km distance; 14 minutes drive
what to do
There are 2 popular beaches: one is Los Cristianos Beach, which is a sandy beach with amenities like showers and a children's playground, making it attractive for families with small kids. The other beach is Las Vistas, which is man made and also features showers and allows for practicing water sports.
In the evenings you can stroll along the promenade and you can enjoy a quiet dinner and a glass while admiring the beautiful view of the ocean.
For families traveling with kids, you can also make a day trip to Jungle Park, which is a fantastic zoo situated very close to Los Cristianos. Jungle Park offers a free shuttle bus service if you do not have a car. All the family will definitely enjoy the scenery of this park and the shows offered, like the parrots show and bird's of prey show.
There is also Monkey Park, a place specialized in primates, which is now also a breeding center for other animals living in Tenerife.
Another alternative for a special day would be a visit to Siam Park or Aqualand, two aquatic parks situated near Los Cristianos, which offer water slides and many other water attractions suitable for kids of all ages.
On Sundays there is a popular market near Arona Grand Hotel, which is functional between 9 am and 2 pm. Here you can find anything from clothes, to souvenirs and food; just be careful and remember to take care of your belongings when you enter a crowded area.
where to stay
If you you chose to stay in Los Cristianos you may be more interested in a home or apartment rental rather than a hotel, but still there are some nice choices, with one being the one we mentioned earlier, The Arona Grand Hotel and also another option would be Ona Los Claveles, which is further from the beach, but has its own playground for children if you prefer to spend more time around the pool during the day.
Puerto de la Cruz - the perfect place during hot summer months
If during summer you prefer to escape the hot climate in the South of the island, then Puerto de la Cruz is a perfect choice, being situated in the North West coast.
The North of the island is not as filled with tourists now like the South, but things were not always like this. Since the airport in the North was the first ever build on the island, this meant it was easier to get to Puerto de la Cruz than to Adeje or Playa las Americas. Puerto de la Cruz is the oldest resort on the island and it's the perfect place to relax.
Since Puerto de la Cruz is situated in the North, it has magnificent mountain views and also better temperatures during the summer months, when it can get pretty hot on the Peninsula and also in the south of Tenerife.
closest airport: Tenerife North Airport - 29 km distance; 25 minutes drive
what to do
Most people from all over the island come here to visit Loro Park, the world famous zoo park which offers parrot shows and even a unique show featuring killer wales.
There is also an old town center and many Spanish churches, and also a great Botanical Garden, being the second oldest in the country. The official name is Jardín de aclimatación de la Orotava and for the modest price you pay as entrance, you can spend a nice afternoon walking and admiring the plants.
If you are interested in short trips near Puerto de la Cruz, then Orotava or La Laguna could be a nice choice. Both towns are situated fairly close, only a few minutes away by car. You could visit Casa de los Balcones in Orotava or you could take a walk through the old town of La Laguna. You could also go into the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is connected by tram with La Laguna.
In the town center of Puerto de la Cruz you will find mainly small local shops and a daily market for fruits and vegetables which is open until 2 pm. If you would like a more extensive shopping experience then you should better go to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where you will find shopping malls like Centro Comercial Meridiano. Another advice would be to look for Mercado Nuestra Senora de Africa, which is a large market that is opened every day and is not that filled with tourists as you may expect. It's well known in the capital so you could look for the tower that is the market's symbol or ask the locals which will help guide you.
where to stay
There are many 5 stars hotels in this area, so if you are looking for a luxury holiday you can choose between Bahia Principe San Felipe and Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden.
If you are looking for a more affordable options, then Apartamentos Masaru has great reviews and also Apartamentos Casablanca, at a much lower rate.
Best place to stay in Tenerife for couples
Tenerife is a popular destination for honeymooners so there are plenty of romantic hotels which cater towards couples.
One of the best hotels on the island is of course Hotel San Roque situated in the quiet town of Garachico. The building is in a traditional Canarian style and offers only 20 rooms, which means guests will have privacy and will be able to enjoy their stay in the hotel.
Another landmark is the Iberostar El Mirador Hotel, which has a Moroccan design that gives it a romantic feeling. It is an adults only hotel, so it's not the place to bring the kids; instead it's the kind of place where you go to conceive kids.
Don't forget the new Hard Rock Hotel in Playa Paraiso, which is amazing and provides great entertainment, so it's a good option if you like music and party atmosphere, since this is not really the hotel for a quiet holiday. Some say that this hotel is geared more towards young couples visiting Tenerife, but it ultimately depends on each person's personality and older couples may enjoy it as well.
There's also the new Royal Hideaway Corales Suites, the 5* hotel under the Barcelo brand that is set to open by the end of 2017, hopefully in December if everything goes as planned. This hotel will have a section for adults only and another section for families, so it's a great option for a luxury holiday even if you decide to bring the kids with you.
Playa San Juan, Puerto Santiago and Callao Salvaje are all great options for couples who want to spend a romantic holiday in Tenerife, away from the busy streets of Playa de las Americas.
El Medano - the perfect place for windsurfing
El Medano is situated on the east coast of the island, very close to the Reina Sofia Airport.
closest airport: Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport - 8 km distance; 10 minutes drive
what to do
This is the perfect place in Tenerife for windsurfing, since the are constant winds during the summer and the area has many beaches to choose from. You can go to El Medano beach and Playa de la Tejita, which offers great views to Montana Roja. If you are into nude sunbathing then this could be the right beach for you.
El Medano is a more relaxed choice and here you can find many restaurants that serve fresh fish caught that day in the ocean.
There are no big commercial centers but there is a local market every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. El Medano Market is situated in Plaza del Principe and consists of handmade jewellery, clothes and souvenirs. This a good place to come and buy something special and different as a memory from the island.
where to stay
Apartamentos Rocamar is a beach front property with good reviews at an affordable price. For couples looking for a romantic getaway you can try Hotel Arenas del Mar, which is an adults only hotel.
Where to stay in Tenerife for a quiet holiday
Besides the popular Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, there are many other places you can choose for your holiday in Tenerife. Some are more private and well suited for self catering tourists and this includes places like Callao Salvaje or Playa San Juan and Garachico. All have their unique charm and are not packed with tourists. These are great options if you are on a budget and are looking for a cheap place to stay in Tenerife. The rental prices are lower than in other areas, but this also means that you will not find as many restaurants and facilities as you can get in the most popular resorts. Another alternative is Los Gigantes, which features a majestic beach with volcanic rocks, which is nice for relaxing or admiring the view, but is not that comfortable if you choose to lie down and just the sun.
Los Gigantes Puerto de Santiago - a great place for a quiet and romantic holiday in Tenerife
Puerto de Santiago is located very close to Los Gigantes and here you get the lovely sunny weather of the south, combined with the chill and relaxation of this part of Tenerife
closest airport: Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport - 42 km distance; 40 minutes drive
what to do
Playa la Arena is one of the best volcanic beaches in Tenerife, being awarded the Blue Flag distinction due to its cleanliness and lovely location. One piece of advice though: don't forget your water shoes or flips flops, as the sand gets really hot and it will literally burn your feet. Otherwise, the beach is great and there are lifeguards on site all year long.
But what makes Puerto de Sanatiago a great place for a romantic holiday?
It's the incredible view of the cliffs of Los Gigantes, where you can see one of the best sunsets on the island.
Depending on where exactly you are staying, you may get a room with a view towards the cliffs and it's totally worth it.
Also, one thing you need to keep in mind about this side of Tenerife is that it's hilly and not the best for people with mobility problems.
There are no big commercial centers but there is a Mercadona, a Lidl or a Hiperdino in case you go self catering.
where to stay
Hotel Barcelo Santiago is a great option and their rooms and pool have a view towards the cliffs of Los Gigantes, so it's ideal for a quiet and romantic holiday.
Still, this island has the perfect place for everyone, no matter what you look for. If you are planning your own vacation, then take the time to do some research. If you are buying a package from an agency, tell your agent what your needs are. In the end you will most definitely find where to stay in Tenerife and it will be the ideal place for you.
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