The largest and most popular of the seven Canary Islands, cast adrift off the west coast of Africa, Tenerife has been one of Spain's most loved beach destinations for decades. And with year-round sun, dramatic volcanic terrain, glorious beaches and top resorts with masses of things to do, a huge range of accommodation, restaurants and nightlife, it's easy to see why.
Split into two, the north side of the island is home to lush greenery, tranquil whitewashed villages and banana plantations. The sunshiny south coast is by far the most popular place to go to for beach holidays in Tenerife. Here you'll find the famous trio of resorts - Playa de Las Americas, Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos - that stretch for ten miles or so, and offer everything you could ever want from a beach break in the Canaries.
The most popular is Playa de Las Americas, the party capital of the island and arguably the whole of the Canaries. The summers here are particularly lively, attracting groups of young revellers determined to have a great time among the endless bars and top clubs of the Patch, Veronicas and Starco's districts, where you'll find big-name international DJs plying their trade.
The resort is excellent for families as well; offering masses of entertainment for all ages, water parks and fun activities. The beach is exceptionally well equipped with modern, family-friendly amenities and enjoys broad stretches of dusty sands and crystal-clear waters. Unlike much of the rest of the island where you'll find dark volcanic sands, the beaches of Playa de Las Americas have fine golden sands imported from the Sahara Desert, which is actually pretty close.
West lies Costa Adeje, which enjoys a more relaxed pace of life and offers both volcanic and golden sandy beaches, great shopping and dining, and plenty to see and do from water parks to dolphin spotting. East of Playa de Las Americas is Los Cristianos, which is home to a long, broad golden beach, a lovely marina and Old Town, and a fine selection of restaurants and bars.
No holiday to Tenerife would be complete without witnessing the towering peak of Spain's largest mountain, Mount Teide, which is actually the world's third largest volcano. The cable car to the top is a must, and the views of this ruggedly beautiful island are nothing short of sensational.
Teide can be easily reached from the major southern resorts, as well as from the picturesque northerly resorts such as Puerto de la Cruz, which enjoys a really laid-back way of life and is ideal for those who want to escape the bustle of larger resorts.
Catering to all budgets and types of holidays, the choice of accommodation is huge in these resorts, with all-inclusive resorts, self-catering apartments and cheap hotels all available. Water sports are massively popular, while there are numerous outstanding golf courses in the area. If it's golf you're looking for, particularly on your Tenerife holiday, the famous Golf del Sur, right in the south of the island, is the place to go.