Costa del Silencio holidays are uniquely able to fulfil almost every holidaymaker’s dreams. Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, offers the heat of Africa tempered by Atlantic breezes that also make it a world-class watersports destination. It has astonishing beaches around its coastline and jaw-dropping mountains and volcanic scenery inland. It’s unspoiled and great value, but with wonderful Spanish-style cuisine, culture and service. Beach-lovers and adventurers, cultural explorers and sports fanatics will all find their perfect place on Tenerife.
Oddly for a purpose-built resort, Costa del Silencio has no beach of its own – perhaps that helps explain some of the ‘silencio’. Las Galletas, just along the coast, has very fine sands, loads of character and fantastic diving, though. And if you want to add some partying to your Tenerife experience in 2017 then you can be in Playa de las Americas and on a dance floor in 10 minutes by taxi.
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 4h 35m
When to go
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Las Galletas is your main access to the awesome Atlantic Ocean during your holiday in Costa del Silencio, and it’s well worth the short walk to see this little fishing village that has blossomed into a major resort. For many Canary Island visitors it’s the waters themselves rather than the beaches that are the attraction and your hotel should be able to put you in touch with a host of local diving, watersports and boating operators who’ll get you into or onto those waves.
To the east of Costa del Silencio you’ll find Montana Amarilla, a seaside mountain on a small scale, that has some good walking and beautiful views. To really get your wild fix during your Costa del Silencio holiday, though, you’ll probably want to arrange a day at Pico del Teide – also known as Mount Teide – in the centre of the island. This is Spain’s tallest mountain, and a must-see for visitors to Tenerife.
Wine and Dine
The Canaries are a huge international tourist destination, so there’s a lot of international food on offer. But the islands are by no means lacking in their own culinary character. Spanish cookery is, of course, king, but make sure you check out a growing local dining and food production scene on your Costa del Silencio holiday.
An abundance of fresh fish shows up on all types of menus on Tenerife, but the island is also noted for its goat’s milk cheeses, which have won best-in-the-world awards in the recent past. While the island’s national dish doesn’t sound too inspiring – the name translates as ‘wrinkly potatoes’ – it’s a salty, savoury treat that makes a great tapas plate, and mixing and matching is probably the best way to explore Spanish flavours. Try to get a glass of something local to go with your dinner, the island’s wines are growing in stature, and some bodegas and wineries offer tours and tastings to show off their wares.
Kids should have no reason to cross their arms and proclaim “I’m bored!” while enjoying a holiday in Costa del Silencio. First and foremost will be the beach, and there’s no end of choice there, including watersports tuition for adventurous youngsters. But if they do demand a change from the sands then Tenerife is packed with family attractions.
Just outside Costa Adeje is Siam Park, one of Europe’s biggest and best water parks. While the Thai theming might have you scratching your heads, there’s no mystery to the attraction a collection of rides that ranges from the stomach-churningly scary to gentle floating experience and experiences that are very safe for the smallest of kids.
The coast around Costa del Silencio is fantastically good for whale and dolphin-watching – and what kid doesn’t want to tick those two off their ‘seen’ list? Camel rides are relatively common and there’s a huge butterfly attraction at Icod de los Vinos. Even Mount Teide, with its cable car ascent isn’t too demanding for most youngsters.
Action and Adventure
Adventure tourism is booming. And Tenerife is beautifully designed to take advantage of the desire to do more on your holiday than just sit and watch the sun rise and fall. On land and offshore, Tenerife has something new for every day, with a climate that positively encourages visitors to keep moving.
There’s a major mountain biking scene, including some challenging uphill routes. And with roads relatively free of traffic and very safe, road cycling is also on the up.
If cycling around the mountains isn’t enough for you, you can jump off them at Fasnia, the island’s best paragliding location.
Pretty much every resort on Tenerife will offer you plenty of ways to engage with the ocean, whether that be submarine safaris, diving classes, or boat outings. The Atlantic winds mean surfing and windsurfing is a particular strength of the Canaries – El Medano is the capital for sail boarders, while surfers love the north-east coast.
Life's a Beach
While the sands in Costa del Silencio are very much at a premium – there are some little artificial beaches – the island of Tenerife is a beach-lover’s paradise, and its southern tip is one of the best coastal destinations in the world.
From Costa del Silencio, set out west to enjoy the big, but not over-developed, beach at Las Galletas, with a smart marina on the doorstep and more traditional Canarian fishing craft in the harbour. Keep going around the coast and you’ll hit Los Cristianos (a big bay beach with a modern seafront promenade), Playa de la Americas (huge beaches with major-league fun-and-games on tap), and Costa Adeje (easy access to more than 10 smaller beaches around a smart, exclusive resort). And Tenerife is a small island, so if you want to explore the natural beauty of La Tejita or Los Gigantes beaches then it’s easily done.
It’s not quite silence, but your Costa del Silencio holiday is unlikely to be disturbed by the thud of banging beats. The resort itself is more about wine bars and crooners than grime. That doesn’t mean you need to leave your dancing shoes at home if you pick Tenerife for your 2017 holiday.
Playa de las Americas is famously the island’s party capital, particularly for British visitors. Don’t be put off by some of the over-the-top stories you’ll hear about the place. It has a lively nightlife scene, with a club called Veronica’s as the epicentre, but there are plenty of British city centres that could put it to shame for actual misbehaviour. The resort actually has a very mixed musical scene with plenty of live music on the menu, too.
If you’re young at heart you might want to spend an evening in La Laguna, the home of the island’s only university. That means lots of good-value entertainment options and the best of the island’s gigging. If you have the time to head to the capital, Santa Cruz, then you’ll find the most authentically Canarian nightlife scene, complete with sexy South American beats and dancing through the night.
Endless sea views, beautiful sunsets, exotic sounds and tastes. A Costa del Silencio holiday can be as romantic as you want it to be. With lots of high quality restaurants in Costa del Silencio itself, a candle-lit dinner is the perfect way to infuse some romance into your stay.
But if you do your bonding by doing and exploring together, then Tenerife’s waters and beautiful landscape offer lots of chances to create some magical memories. You can check out volcanic moonscapes, marvel at the cliffs of Los Gigantes, wander the historic streets of La Laguna, or lose yourself in the forests and slopes of Mount Teide’s huge national park hand-in-hand.
And, if you want to get even closer, head to Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje for your choice of dancing at the end of the day.
You don’t have to limit your cultural experience on your Costa del Silencio holiday to the books you packed or downloaded for your trip. While there’s no great world city on Tenerife, there’s a vibrant living culture that’s totally unique, and it’s very easy to find.
The resorts of Tenerife are pretty international, but away from those coastal gems the island’s life is surprisingly undisturbed by tourism. The Canary Islands have been a crossroads since well before the Spanish first started the charge from Europe to the New World, and you’ll find influences from Africa, Europe and Latin America easy to spot in the villages, food, and customs of the islands.
Day trips to the likes of Garachico or Laguna show off some pretty architecture. Meanwhile, Santa Cruz, the capital, is quite a trek from Costa del Silencio, but well worth exploring if you have the chance, especially if you’re there for Carnival, one of the biggest such festivals in the world.