The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds

Tenerife, the largest island of the Canary Islands archipelago is well known by tourists. This volcanic island experiences a mostly temperate climate year round, and whilst it is popular with tourists in the summer, the Winter also presents a fantastic, often quieter time to visit – with temperatures often reaching 25-30 degrees Celsius.

As the home of Teide National Park, and its namesake, Mount Teide, the island’s inland high altitude landscapes (reaching 3,718m at its highest point) provide the ultimate opportunity for adventure.

Aside from the iconic volcanic cone of Teide itself, Tenerife’s volcanic landscape creates some of the most picturesque and interesting beaches (mostly black sand) with opportunities to swim and experience a whole host of water sports.

If you’re into snorkeling, some of the rocky coves formed from volcanic rock offer you the opportunity on calmer ocean days to see a wide variety of sea creatures. There is even one cove in Tenerife, where between the months of July – September, it is possible to see Loggerhead turtles close to the shore.

In this article, Fay Doyle rounds up some of the best beaches on Tenerife and some of the best Tenerife natural pools on the island. Whether you’re looking for sandy beaches, hidden beaches or unusual swimming spots that are quieter and away from the crowds, you’ll find something that’ll make your trip to Tenerife memorable.

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Faygraphic

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Fm Dsc F Rgb

Image description, from left to right: 1 – A landscape image. It is dark and the rock cliffs are cast into shadow by the nearly set sun. A little light still lingers on the water as it meets the shoreline. The sea looks dark blue, even black, and the sand it covers looks black too. 2 – A landscape image. It is nearly dark and the sun is setting, hitting all of the rocks and sea with purple light. Fay and Matt stand in the middle of the shoreline looking out at the view.

In brief: The best beaches on Tenerife including natural swimming pools to check out on your trip:

1. Charco del Amor
2. Piscina Natural Acantilado de Los Gigantes
3. Playa de los Guios
4. Playa La Jaquita
5. Playa El Bollullo
6. Charco del Viento
7. Charco de la Laja
8. Playa del Duque
9. Playa del Puertito

Cueva del Tacón and Charco del Amor

From the road, this area looks pretty unassuming, but as you start to descend, you’re met with some of the most beautiful views and unique rock formations of the coast in this area. A short walk down a steep ramp along the side of La Pergola restaurant and a few minutes hopping over rocks leads you to a relatively sheltered inlet formed from volcanic rocks.

The large volcanic rocks further out in the ocean shoreline work to mostly protect a relatively large swimming area from the full force of the Atlantic. On a calm day, you can enter the water from the slightly steep rocky area at the furthest edge before a rock wall takes over. If you snorkel, this place is gold.

You’ll be able to see a large variety of sea creatures that graze close to the moss covered surfaces and as you swim out, and the water gets deeper, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. I would find it hard to pick, because I loved all of the locations I’ve suggested here, but I would say this Tenerife beach was pretty unforgettable.

Piscina Natural Acantilado de Los Gigantes

Tenerife is home to a number of natural pools, and this natural swimming pool in Los Gigantes was one of my favourites (that might also be because it was the only one I could consistently swim in during my stay due to strong winds at a number of other locations).

However, there was just something so magical about this pool. Entry can be found via a small set of steps (we found a combination of maps and local signage helped us find this no problem). Once down, you’re aware of the power of the ocean as you can hear it booming on the rock walls that form the outer edge of the pool and the barrier to the ocean.

Swim across the pool and look over the edge, and you might be lucky enough to see crabs clinging to the walls! If you love a beautiful sunset, I’d really recommend heading here – swimming here as the sun goes behind the horizon and everything falls into shadow is truly breathtaking.

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Fm Dsc F Rgb

Image description, from left to right: 1 – A landscape image. Matt walks forward in the frame wearing swim shorts and wetsuit boots. He is walking down volcanic rocks with mountain cliffs in the background. 2 – A landscape image. A large sheltered ocean rock bay is pictured. The sea is blue and turquoise. The rocks around are blue, red and brown.

Los Guios Beach, Los Gigantes (Playa De Los Gigantes)

Los Guios (also known as Playa De Los Gigantes) was one of our favourite natural beaches on Tenerife, nestled beneath the staggering Los Gigantes cliffs. Heading up the West coast from Tenerife South, the cliffs rise majestically above the ocean reaching sheer drops and heights of up to 600m! The black sand beach below gives you the perfect opportunity to take in spectacular views of the cliffs whether that is from dry land or in the water.

I really loved the way you had these beautiful turquoise waters in the day and a kind of black almost inky colour to the water at night as the sun set – you’ll certainly catch some wonderful sunsets from here! This area is guarded by lifeguards during the day and has a flag system for swimming in place.

Be aware that boats, kayaks etc. do set out regularly around here from the marina close by so it’s wise to stick relatively close to shore or use an obvious visibility device. It isn’t the most secluded of the Tenerife beaches we spent time, but that didn’t take away from it’s charm and it’s well worth a visit – it was actually one of our favourite beaches.

Due to it’s location near the harbour, there are also plenty of beach bars, cafes and restaurants to explore too, which all have a really nice vibe throughout the day. It’s worth noting there are some other popular beaches in the area, such as Puerto Santiago, but if you’re short on time, I would favour Los Guios over Puerto Santiago.

If you’re a sea or wild swimmer, why not check our gear guide for recommendations on essential kit and top tips to enhance your fun and safety in the water.

La Jaquita

This beautiful swimming pool has two large swimming areas that feel inviting. This is a particularly great place for a sunset swim.

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Fm Dsc F Rgb

Image description, from left to right: 1 – A landscape image. A sunset, with clouds showing a blue, orange and yellow sky. In the foreground are rocks and the ocean, which are in shadow. 2 – A landscape image. A sunset, with greys, blues, yellows and oranges as Fay swims through a sea pool. Fay is in silhouette.

Playa El Bollullo

If you’re looking for beaches in Tenerife North, this spot is perfect. Closely positioned to the coastal town of Puerto de la Cruz but also within easy driving distance of Santa Cruz De Tenerife itself, Playa El Bollullo beach (sometimes also known as Playa Del Bollullo) feels picturesque, quiet and a little bit wilder than some of the other beaches you’ll find to the north of the island.

This Tenerife beach has a very different vibe compared to some of the other, busier areas on the island, especially if you’re coming from Santa Cruz De Tenerife. The journey to get there is also part of the fun.

The road to reach this beach is quite narrow and winding and once you’ve parked up, a short walk through banana plantations will lead you to this secluded spot. In general, I found the North of the island to be quite often hit by heavy waves, so if you’re planning to swim, keep this in mind when planning a visit to Playa Del Bollullo as the waves here can be quite intense.

However, this is a great, peaceful spot to take a picnic or spend a few hours relaxing on this sandy beach just listening to the ocean. In my opinion Playa El Bollullo is one of the best beaches on Tenerife and well worth a visit on your trip.

Still deciding which of the Canary Islands to visit or planning to visit more than one on your trip? We’ve got you covered with our other Canary Islands guides:

Charco del Viento

This natural pool situated on the North Coast, when I visited, was hit by strong waves so I wasn’t able to swim here. None the less, the beauty of this place did not go unnoticed.

Even if you don’t get to swim, spending some time enjoying the sensory experience of the waves crashing against the rocks and the beautiful blues and turquoises contrasting against the black rocks of this natural swimming pool is incredibly memorable.

There is great signage up here to let you know when is good or not to swim. On a calm day, swimming here would be a wonderful experience! This spot is located in La Guancha – a short walk down the ramp and steps from the nearby area with limited parking will take you to this spot. This place felt quite indicative of the natural pools and beaches in Tenerife North – a little bit more rugged, but with that also comes less crowds.

Wondering what to wear for swimming in Tenerife? Our gear guide includes recommendations for the best wetsuit for cold water swimming – this can make a real difference to your comfort and the time you can spend in the water throughout the year…

Charco De La Laja

Located a short drive away from Charco del Viento, this natural pool presents a similar experience – it is likely that if the pool above is not swimmable, this won’t be either. However, if it is, there is a great opportunity if you feel up for it, to take both in on a visit to this relatively secluded section of the island. A little bit of a drive (depending on where you’re staying) to get to both, but well worth the effort!

Depending on the time you visit, if you head down the steps, you’ll find a relatively hidden beach. Even if you can’t swim, this secluded beach and whole area is worth exploring as there are so many hidden areas and little nooks you can’t see from the top of the cliff above.

Playa del Duque

In the heart of the Costa Adeje, Playa del Duque is a quieter beach option close to Playa de las Americas. Compared to some of the other beaches we checked out in the area, this beach really stood out to us.

Firstly, it was a lot quieter – but the contrast between the light sand and the pristine turquoise waters were beautiful. When we visited, there was a small beach kiosk offering drinks and snacks.

The water does get deep quite quickly here so perhaps not the best beach for families, but if you’re into snorkelling, this could be a great one for you – as this does help with visibility.

If you’re staying in the Costa Adeje area, checking out Playa de las Americas, or even just on your way back to Tenerife South Airport, I’d really recommend taking some time here to chill out and relax. This was one of my favourite sandy beaches on the island and in my opinion one of the best beaches on Tenerife that I visited.

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Gopr F Rgb

Image description, from left to right: 1 – A landscape image. An underwater image of Fay swimming, As Fay moves toward the centre of the frame, there are air bubbles appearing around their hands. The water is dark blue and turquoise. 2 – A landscape image. Fay is swimming underwater and as Fay swims away, we see the ocean floor which is rocky. The water is blue and turquoise.

Playa del Puertito

This truly beautiful beach combines golden sand and plenty of rock pools to explore with lots of fish and sea creatures. Between the months of July – September, Loggerhead Turtles can often be found here.

The bay is made up of a small crescent-shaped beach and has a lovely local feel that I really enjoyed – a really nice beach to visit. The bay is relatively sheltered from strong waves and the water is crystal clear!

Keep in mind, when you do a Google search on Playa del Puertito on Google, it’ll come up with two locations (we’ve found this actually happened with a number of the Tenerife beaches we wanted to visit) – Playa del Puertito in the north of the island near Garachico and El Puertito Stones Beach in the Costa Adeje region – the former in the North of the island is the correct location.

The Best Beaches on Tenerife, Natural Pools and Places to Swim Away from the Crowds - Fm Dsc F Rgb

Image descrption: A landscape format image. An over the top shot shows the simplicity of the ocean hitting the bay. Dark brown sand is made velvet. The ocean is blue and turquoise.

Frequently asked questions about swimming on Tenerife:

Is it safe to swim in the ocean in Tenerife?

Due to its position and exposed nature, Tenerife is often hit with strong trade winds. Coupled with the ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean, Tenerife can see very strong waves which can be incredibly dangerous to even the most advanced swimmer.

Only swim within your limits and look at local signage for more information. Many areas will have a system of coloured flags in place to let you know how safe the water is for swimming at any given time.

However, this isn’t always the case so please make your decision wisely. It is perhaps possible, though, to find opportunities to swim on another side of the island depending on the direction of the wind that might be perfectly suitable each day. So it’s best, if possible, to remain flexible with your plans.

Is it warm enough to swim all year round on Tenerife?

Of course this is a matter of personal preference. I am very experienced at this point with swimming in extremely cold water, so this felt like a treat for me after the bitingly cold swims I’d had recently in England.

The sea is generally mild in the winter and milder in the summer. However, this can be made a lot more pleasurable with the right gear for cold water swimming such as wetsuits, swimwear, gloves, boots and hats.

Are there white sand beaches in Tenerife?

You won’t find white sand beaches in Tenerife as such, however the golden sandy beaches and black sand beaches that Tenerife has to offer make up for it’s unique appeal and you really won’t be disappointed!

Some people say that Playa de Las Teresitas is a white sand beach, but I really think that depends on what you see as a ‘white’ or ‘golden’ beach. Either way, If you’re looking for the closest thing to a white sand beach in Tenerife, I’d recommend checking out Playa Del Duque from this list.

Looking for other Canary Islands articles, video content and inspiration? Find more here…