Why Costa Adeje Beach is Tenerife’s sweet spot
By Helen Wright
We have returned to Tenerife a few times now and I’m really starting to get a feel for the island. For a family holiday destination, Tenerife really does have everything you need – including that all-important winter sun! This time, we stayed in the Costa Adeje Beach area and I discovered there is a totally different side to Tenerife – a stylish, almost Marbella-like energy.
Costa Adeje, in the south-west of the island has some of the best views, beach cafes, restaurants and shopping in Tenerife. It has a definite Spanish feel with quaint, colonial buildings draped in pink Canary Islands balm. One thing you will also notice, is that despite Tenerife being a volcanic island, the beach at Costa Adeje has lush golden sand stretching into the blue Atlantic ocean. There is also a choice of beach clubs and stylish hotels and Costa Adeje’s sweet location on the south of the island almost guarantees year-round sun.
Despite being only a 10-minute drive from the better-known tourist areas of Los Cristinios and Playa Da Las Americas, the Costa Adeje beach area has a completely different feel. If you have previously considered Tenerife to be a garish, ‘Brits-abroad’ destination, read on. Costa Adeje hits different and I think you’re going to like it.
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Best beaches in Costa Adeje, Tenerife
The volcanic origin of Tenerife is the reason many beaches on the island have darker or black sand. The sand isn’t dirty, in fact, it’s almost exactly the same as golden sand, with just a slightly coarser texture. Thing is, black beaches just don’t look quite as idyllic in those Instagram photos, do they?! You will be pleased to hear there is, in fact, a good choice of golden sand beaches in Tenerife and the Costa Adeje beach resorts are some of the best.
Playa del Duque beach in Costa Adeje
For me, Playa del Duque is the best Costa Adeje Beach. It’s in a little cove, meaning the water is gentle and has gorgeous soft sand, a great view across the coast and lots of fabulous beach cafes and bars along the pedestrianised promenade. There are a lot of luxury hotels near Plata del Duque, which usually means the area is a good place to stay.
If you want to spend the whole day in Playa Del Duque, you can rent umbrellas and loungers by the hour, half day or whole day ($20). Playa del Duque is a Blue Flag Beach, meaning the water is clean and safe and the area is suitable for tourists. There are public beach facilities (toilets and showers), activities like beach volleyball, and lifeguards on duty between the flags. We found it really family-friendly with a lively atmosphere all day.
Playa Torviscas is another beautiful Costa Adeje Beach with golden sand, similar facilities and perhaps a slightly calmer, more upmarket vibe. If I was a couple visiting child-free, I would probably head here as it’s a bit quieter and more sophisticated. However, that doesn’t mean Playa Torviscas isn’t family-friendly and the calm waters are actually ideal for children to play and swim in.
Beaches in Costa Adeje: Puerto Colon beach
One of the best beaches in Costa Adeje for families is Puerto Colon beach. It’s perhaps not as idyllic-looking as the other Costa Adeje beach resorts, but Puerto Colon has lots of fun stuff for kids to do, such as a playground, inflatables in the water and watersports equipment for hire. Along the promenade there are cafes, bars and tourist shops to keep everyone entertained. It’s also on the marina, so if you are planning on taking a boat trip or dolphin excursion, then it’s the perfect location.
All the beaches in Costa Adeje are family-friendly, but worth nothing that the beach at Playa Fañabé has playgrounds behind the beach. This is also the best place to do watersports, rent jet skis, banana boats and go parasailing.
What to do in Costa Adeje beach, Tenerife?
The Costa Adeje beach scene is probably the area’s biggest draw with a long, beautiful coastline, offering so many lovely areas to stay and enjoy. This area may be calmer and less obviously touristy than Los Cristianos and the more southern Tenerife beach destinations, but there is still a lot to do in Costa Adeje.
The most famous tourist attraction in Costa Adeje is Siam Park, which so many people visit even when not staying in this part of Tenerife. Siam Park is a huge, Thai-themed beautiful water park that is perfect for families, teenagers and adult groups. As well as some epic water slides, there is a massive beach area, music and – of course – lazy rivers (my fav). If you are planning a visit to Siam Park, definitely allow for a whole day as there is so much to do and once you have paid for entry, you’ll want to make the most of your entry fee.
TOP TIP: For the best deals, always buy your tickets for Siam Park in advance as there is a shuttle service to the resort but only with advance purchases. For those visiting with younger children, you can also buy a combined ticket with Loro Parc, a beautiful zoo and top tourist attraction in Tenerife (although Loro Parc is in north Tenerfie (Puerto de la Cruz).
Whale and Dolphin boat trips in Costa Adeje
Tenerife is one of the best places in the world to go whale and dolphin spotting. In fact, Europe’s first Whale Heritage Site is the Tenerife-La Gomera Marine Area, off the coast of Tenerife. Due to the deep and often, warm water around the Canary Islands, over a dozen whale species have been spotted in Tenerife, including pilot whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, humpback whales, fin whales and blue whales.
Taking a boat trip from Costa Adeje, you are 99% likely to see a pilot whale. That is because Tenerife is home to an estimated 400+ pilot whales who here live year-round.
This whale-watching eco tour picks up from Costa Adeje and takes you on a three-hour sail, whale and dolphin-spotting, swimming and snorkelling around an idyllic cove and includes lunch. Book in advance to secure your place on the excursion.
Shopping in Costa Adeje
Costa Adeje is one of the best areas to go shopping in Tenerife. You can choose from high-end shopping boutiques, street markets, outlets and general high street shopping malls.
Plaza del Duque has designer shopping from Hugo Boss and MaxMara to Desiguel. Both the Centro Comercial Gran Sur and the Siam Mall offer recognisable shops such as Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear and Swarovski. Personally, I think the Siam Mall is nicer to explore, since it has an outdoor terrace and food hall.
For local vendors and budget souvenirs, the Costa Adeje Market is on every Thursday and Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM and is located in Avenida de Bruselas. Watch out for designer fakes, but we were able to haggle for a low-cost knock off football kit for Finn here (which he was thrilled with and saved us money on the £70 real one at the Manchester United shop!).
Costa Adeje Golf
Rumoured to be one of the best golf courses in Europe, you can play on the Costa Adeje golf course for around 98 Euros (for 18 holes, a buggy and buffet lunch). The course has beautiful views across the coastline.
Check out the stone towers
One thing my kids loved were the stone towers near to El Beril beach, a short walk from Costa Adeje. No-one is sure how the stone stacking trend started, but the beach here is decorated with hundreds of man-made towers, created with stones collected from the beach. It looks pretty awesome when you see them all together and ponder how they manage to withstand the coastal winds.
However, environmentalists say this trend for stone stacking could actually be damaging to the environment, so we opted to enjoy the stones that were already there, rather than make our own and contribute to any damage.
Lunch with a view
Starting at Playa del Duque and heading north, there are so many little cafes and bars, it’s so relaxed to wander along and just find a seat and order a delicious lunch – no reservations required (unless you want to go somewhere with ‘cult’ status). We opted for the Beach Club Bahia del Duque, which was right on the beach. Afterwards, the grown-ups got to enjoy a few cocktails while the kids played on the sand in front.
We also had morning coffee at El Chiringuito, a sandy café with perfect beach views (next to the stone towers).
Try a Barraquito
When in Rome… The Barraquito is a Canary Island speciality coffee, made with layers of espresso, frothed milk, condensed milk and a touch of Licor 43 (Spain’s number 1 liqueur). The waiter recommended it and I wasn’t sure at first but – it’s delicious! Probably made even nicer by sea views at Beach Club Bahia del Duque and the sunshine, I imagine.
A stroll at Sunset
One of the best things to do in Costa Adeje is enjoy what nature provides for free. A wander north along the seafront will take you along a series of beaches, with a choice of cafes and bars complete with sunset and sea views. Unless you pick somewhere ultra-luxe, a glass of Spanish-made Cava will set you back 5 Euros and the view is priceless.
Where to stay in the Costa Adeje beach area:
Tenerife’s Costa Adeje includes the areas of Puerto Colón, Playa del Duque, Playa Fañabe, San Eugenio and Torviscas. We stayed in Playa del Duque and I really liked the location.
Is Plaza del Duque a good place to stay?
From our hotel, we could easily walk to Plaza del Duque and the market in a few minutes. The beach was a 7-10 minute walk downhill, but the wider Playa del Duque area stretches right down to the seafront with some impressive five-star hotels.
Staying with my children and their grandmother, we booked into a more budget, family-friendly all-inclusive hotel in Playa del Duque called Hotel El Duque. We actually booked a package through Jet2Holidays for this trip, which included luggage on the aircraft and transfers in Tenerife. The total cost for five days was £2000 for five people, two rooms, all-inclusive, staying in January, which I thought was really good.
The hotel itself was basic but comfortable, very friendly staff and genuinely good food on the all-inclusive buffet, so I would definitely recommend for anyone wanting to stay in Tenerife on a budget. Just be aware, that even though the pool is ‘heated’, the heat is generated by solar panels and so if the weather is cloudy, you may find it too cold (as we did on a few days).
For a fancier stay in Costa Adeje, there are some impressive four and five star hotels along the ocean. The Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort has luxurious grounds, a lagoon-style pool, kids club and a choice of bars and restaurants.
For a similar price to the bed and breakfast option at Dreams Jardin Tropical, a great choice is the Iberostar Las Dalias which offers all-inclusive rates at the same price point.
Is Playa Fañabe a good place to stay?
Playa Fanabe and Torviscas are actually part of the Playa de las Americas resort and so offer a link between classy and calm Costa Adeje and lively Los Cristianos. Hotels in this area are ideal for families and couples looking for a good beach and plenty of restaurants and nightlife within walking distance.
Is Puerto Colón a good place to stay?
The southernmost tourist area in Costa Adeje, has a lively marina with bars and nightlife. It’s not the quietest place on the island, but it’s a lot of fun here with a beautiful golden sand beach and views of the ‘Below Deck’ style yachts pulling into the marina. I would probably choose between here and Playa del Duque if I was visiting Tenerife with friends.
Is San Eugenio a good place to stay?
San Eugenio is much quieter and more residential, but within walking distance to Puerto Colon. I love this chilled out locale, perhaps best for older guests, or return visitors that want to dip in and out of the fun and lively Tenerife nightlife.
How far is Costa Adeje from Playas de las Americas?
Costa Adeje is about just over a mile from Playas de las Americas. There is picturesque ocean-front promenade between Costa Adeje and Las Americas and it takes around 20 minutes to walk directly. Better still, spend the day gently making your way down the coast, stopping for food, drinks and a paddle in the sea.
Is Costa Adeje beach area lively?
Despite being the more serene area of the Tenerife beach resorts, Costa Adeje still has a lot going on, from laid-back beach bars to exclusive clubs, fine dining and late nightlife. The Puerto Colon area is the most lively, especially mid-week, with busy bars, live music and lots of restaurants ranging from budget to fancy pants. The nightlife is also underrated in Playa Fanabe, which always has a good party atmosphere without being too wild.
Playa del Duque has more of a restaurant and wine bar vibe, but a wander along the beautiful beachfront at sunset, stropping for a glass of cold Cava, is perfect. We did this after dinner at our hotel most nights (since we were staying all-inclusive) and it felt like we were getting a bit of authentic Tenerife alongside the classic hotel buffet dinner.
How far is Costa Adeje from the airport?
Tenerife south airport is the closest airport to Costa Adeje. Most of the major flights arrive here (including RyanAir, Jet2 and Easyjet) and it’s around 11 miles from Costa Adeje. We took the jet2Holidays transfer coach and it took around 25 minutes. A taxi would take 15-20 minutes.
We loved the beaches in Costa Adeje and it’s now our favourite place to stay in Tenerife – with or without kids!
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