Introducing Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas & Costa Adeje
Don’t forget to wear your shades when you first hit Tenerife’s southwestern tip. You’ll need them, not just against the blinding sunshine, but also the accompanying dazzle of neon signs, shimmering sand and lobster-pink northern Europeans. Large multipool resorts with all-you-can-eat buffets have turned what was a sleepy fishing coast into a mega-moneymaking resort. The sweeping, sandy beaches are some of the most lively and child-friendly on the island. The nightlife is for those with high energy and high spirits and there is a predictably dizzying array of restaurants. Where else can you eat in an ‘authentic Mexican Cantina’ for lunch, a ‘real Parisian cafe’ for dinner and have a drink in a blarney-themed Irish pub afterwards? Of course, all that variety leaves little room for Spanish culture to shine through.
Los Cristianos, where the old town still retains – barely – the feel of a fishing village, is the most southerly of the resorts. Just beyond is Playa de las Américas, with its high-rise hotels, glossy shopping centres and Las Vegas–style fake Roman statues and pyramids. The northern part of Las Américas is by far the most tacky and seedy part of the entire strip. The Costa Adeje flows seamlessly north of here and is home to luxury hotels and a better class of beach.
Many independent travellers bound for the western islands end up having to spend at least one night here and most aim straight for Los Cristianos, which has the best facilities for independent travellers.
The free tourist-office map is helpful, but if you’re confused, do what the locals do – orientate yourself by the hotels and large buildings.