Don’t forget to don your shades when you first hit Tenerife’s southwestern tip. You’ll need them, not just for the blinding sunshine, but also the accompanying dazzle of neon signs and shimmering sand. Large resorts with all-you-can-eat buffets have turned what was a sleepy fishing coast into a mega-moneymaking resort area. The sweeping, sandy beaches are some of the most lively and child-friendly on the island so families love it here. The nightlife is for those with high energy and high spirits, and there is a predictably dizzying multitude of restaurants.
That said, the old town of Los Cristianos still retains (just) the feel of a fishing village, while 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 Costa Adeje flows seamlessly north of here and is home to luxury hotels, sophisticated clubs and restaurants, and superb beaches.