In the dreary depths of early spring, a healthy dose of Vitamin D was desperately needed. A tropical vacation was calling my name, and it would have been rude not to answer. In search of a sunny escape, I fled to Costa Adeje, Tenerife - a little piece of paradise in the Canary Islands. Not only was this beachy town the perfect place to defrost, but it was also the ideal spot to slow down and relax.
However, I mustn't sugarcoat it all, for paradise still has its limits. I had zero guilt laying out by the beach and pool all day because quite frankly, there isn't much else to do in Costa Adeje. In fact, I deliberately tried to avoid most parts of town. While the landscape and beaches are sublime, the town itself lacks any genuine character. The boardwalk along the coast is littered with tacky restaurants serving overpriced meals, trashy shops selling junky souvenirs, and sunburnt tourists getting visibly sloshed at the chiringuitos, or beach bars.
That said, it's entirely possible to successfully avoid the tourist traps and seek out authentic and memorable experiences in Costa Adeje. Here's how to find Costa Adeje's secret paradise and enjoy a relaxing stay in the south of Tenerife.
Relax at Playa del Duque
Amongst Costa Adeje's many beaches, Playa del Duque is by far the most picturesque and pristine. Surrounded by lush palm trees and crystal clear waters, this stunning stretch of sand is the perfect place to sunbathe, go swimming or take a mid-day siesta. Here you can find some of the island's nicest hotels, an elegant promenade to stroll along, and several darling terraces to enjoy some ice cream or a refreshing cocktail. Regarded as the classiest beach in Costa Adeje, Playa del Duque makes you feel as if you're on a private beach belonging a five star resort, minus the price tag.
Playa del Duque
Go Whale Watching
Nothing embodies paradise quite like lounging on a sailboat, sipping white wine and watching dolphins pass just inches away from your boat. Add in some snacks, sunbathing and pilot whales, and you've got a recipe for perfection.
With Tenerife Sailing Charters, we spent several hours on the ocean being chased by dolphins and getting up close and personal with a large pod of pilot whales. Spotting the whales and watching them swim so close to our boat was a truly breathtaking experience. Afterwards, we sailed to a nearby cove for snacks, drinks and snorkeling. As we basked in the sun surrounded by serene waters and the island's striking landscape, all I could feel was pure bliss. Without a doubt, whale watching in Tenerife was one of the most magical moments of the trip.
Playa de Fañabé
Stay at an Airbnb with a View
I never had much experience with Airbnb before this trip to the Canary Islands, but now I'm hooked. Paolo's apartment in Costa Adeje was the perfect escape from the touristy hub of the city. Every morning I woke up to a gorgeous view of the sea and ate breakfast outside on the spacious terrace. Because the restaurants in town were notably substandard, we also chose to stay in and cook most evenings. The apartment complex, Malibu Park, also had a large upstairs lounge area with two swimming pools and a beach bar.
While I normally prefer hotels, staying at an Airbnb in Costa Adeje gave us the freedom to make our own food, avoid the touristy hot spots, and have a delightfully more authentic experience.
Playa la Pinta
Along Costa Adeje's boardwalk
My Costa Adeje Picks:
Favorite Activity: Whale watching
Best Shopping: Centro Comercial Plaza del Duque
Where to Get Your Ice Cream Fix: Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque
Favorite Restaurant: Barracuda Barra y Mantel
Best Beach: Playa del Duque
Have you ever been to the Canary Islands?
Where's your favorite sunny escape?