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Tenerife

Gently caressed by the Gulf Stream and with a beautifully warm climate all year round, it’s little wonder that Tenerife is visited by literally millions of British holidaymakers every year. Thankfully there’s plenty of space so you won’t feel crowded!

Like the rest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife was created by tremendous volcanic activity around three million years ago. The massive cone of the last volcano, Mount Teide, remains one of Tenerife’s most impressive sights, its awe-inspiring landscapes forming the dramatic location for the “Star Wars” movie. Like most volcanic destinations, Tenerife’s beaches are mainly black sand.

Tenerife’s most popular resorts lie along its south coast and have been built around the needs of the holidaymaker. This includes close access from most hotels to the excellent clean beaches, with a plethora of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and nightlife all within easy walking distance. Many of the resorts on the south coast such as Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Adeje are joined by a wide miles-long and mostly flat boulevard. This hugs the coast on one side and is bordered by open-air cafes and restaurants on the other, creating a most attractive walkway.

As you might expect from such a popular tourist destination, Tenerife is brimming with special family attractions, including Loro Parque - a fantastic wildlife park - and daily excursions to view whales and dolphins playing in the coastal bays. The beautiful interior of the island and more rugged north coast are also a nature lover’s dream.       

RESORT INFORMATION
Currency                                     Euro
Time Difference (from UK)            None
Flight Time (from UK)                  4 hours 15 mins
Voltage                                      220V, 50Hz AC
Shop Opening Times                   0900-1300 & 1630-1930 Mon-Sat (1000-2000 department stores)
Bank Opening Times                   0900-1400 Mon-Fri, 0900-1300 Sat (except during the summer)

Costa Adeje

General Description:
Costa Adeje has recently developed a high quality hotel and leisure infrastructure, where the tourist complexes and attractions have endowed the area with all it needs to maintain its great beauty. Costa Adeje has a quieter and more reserved atmosphere than Playa de las Americas and other resorts in Tenerife and is also very good for watersports. You can easily get to Playa de las Americas when you want to sample the action and many would argue that much of Costa Adeje is part of Playa de las Americas as there is virtually a continuous stretch of buildings, hotels, apartments, shops, restaurants and bars all along the stretch from Playa de las Americas to Playa del Duque.

Location:
On the SW coast, 46 miles south of Santa Cruz by coastal motorway. 11 miles west of Reina Sofia airport.

Shopping:
Dozens of pricey supermarkets serve the apartments. Many duty-free shops selling cameras, watches and jewellery at scarcely discounted prices; beneath Santiago 3 is a veritable Aladdin's cave. Also fashion, boutiques, Lladro etc. and bottomless pits of tourist tat. At the tourist market in Torviscas, you will again find various trinkets. More than the occasional credit-card rip-offs reported so be on guard.

Eating Out:
A great number of bars and restaurants where variety is the by-word; McEwans to San Miguel, paella to pie (steak and kidney). Very few gourmet options but a good choice of fresh seafood, particularly in La Caleta. Tapas bars offer local temptations. Local specialities include papas arrugadas (literally "wrinkled potatoes" – small spuds boiled in their jackets with salt), served with mojo picante (spicy green or red herb sauce).

For the less mobile traveller:
The main centre of Costa Adeje is on an incline in relation to the sea, which means access to and from the beach, is by negotiating an inclined hill. However, alternative routes can be chosen such as going through a shopping centre, in order to avoid a hill. The beach is accessible and has a wooden platform which leads to sun loungers and parasols.

Los Cristianos

General Description:
Having expanded considerably in the 1970s and 80s, the original fishing village of Los Cristianos is now a substantial 2 square miles, with little left of its former existence. The resort's main focus is a pedestrian promenade with pavement cafes, which runs the length of the shore and harbour, where a few brightly coloured fishing vessels survive. Unappealing, unplanned high-rise growth has sprouted up behind, with development showing no signs of letting up.

Location:
On the SW coast. 45 miles south of the capital, Santa Cruz. 1½ miles south of Playa de las Americas. 11 miles west of Reina Sofia airport.

Shopping:
All the basics, including chemist, post office and food stores. A wide range of gift shops and a market on Sundays

Eating Out:
Good selection with varied local and international fare; mainly budget eateries with very few fine-dining options. Beyond the main area of the resort, there is more choice of restaurants including Mexican and International.

For the less mobile traveller:
Los Cristianos offers a fantastic accessible promenade, which stretches for 5km around the bay. It has two accessible beaches, which have entrance ramps, wooden fixed pathways, numerous sun loungers and parasols, shower and toilet facilities and beach wheelchairs which enable access into the sea.

Playa De Las Americas

General Description:
The resort – which sprawls 5 miles along the coast and stretches 2 miles inland – is now one of the liveliest, most vibrant, still-expanding destinations, custom built for sun worshippers and pleasure seekers. The raw, big-resort aspect of concrete high-rises and sprawling complexes is softened by palm groves and cascading, flowering shrubs. It has a pleasant promenade and some impressive modern architecture but is essentially unplanned and characterless. Parking is almost impossible anywhere in the resort.

Location:
On the SW coast, 46 miles south of Santa Cruz by coastal motorway. 11 miles west of Reina Sofia airport.

Shopping:
Dozens of supermarkets serve the apartments (can be pricey). Many duty-free shops selling cameras, watches and jewellery at scarcely discounted prices; beneath Santiago 3 is a veritable Aladdin's cave. Also fashion, boutiques, Lladro etc and bottomless pits of usual tourist souvenirs. At the tourist market in Torviscas, you will again find various trinkets. More than the occasional credit-card rip-offs reported so be on guard.

Eating Out:
A great number of bars and restaurants where variety is the by-word; McEwans to San Miguel, paella to pie (steak and kidney). Very few gourmet options but a good choice of fresh seafood, particularly in La Caleta. Tapas bars offer local temptations. Local specialities include papas arrugadas (literally "wrinkled potatoes" – small spuds boiled in their jackets with salt), served with mojo picante (spicy green or red herb sauce).

For the less mobile traveller:
Plenty of obstacle-free public ways are in the area, making it very accessible. The beach is accessible and the entrance is ramped and wooden fixed pathways lead to numerous sun loungers and parasols. Shower and toilet facilities are also available and beach wheelchairs can be hired which enable access into the sea.

Playa Paraiso

General Description:
Curious choice of name: it's certainly not paradise and has hardly any beach. Purpose built in the 1970s as a tourist resort, Playa Paraiso comprises little more than one steep, winding road lined with hotels and other tourist accommodation, and is split by a shallow ravine and wasteland. Measuring around 1 mile by 1 mile, the area is still developing, with a couple of recently built complexes to one side of the bay; the overall style of the resort is modern but unexciting and – although it isn't exactly sleepy – it can't be said that there's a lot going on.

Location:
Midway along the SW coast. 7 miles NW of Playa de las Americas; 18 miles west of the airport.

Shopping:
Very few options; more in Playa de las Americas.

Eating Out:
A handful of restaurants; including local and international style cuisine.

For the less mobile traveller:
Playa Paraiso is under-developed unlike its neighbouring Tenerife resorts, which means that access in the resort is limited for a wheelchair user as drop kerbs are few and far between. The beach is very rocky and there is no access for wheelchairs.

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