Exploring Southern Tenerife
Granadilla de Abona
Little mention is made of Granadilla de Abona among travelers, though many pass through it when approaching Mt. Teide from the southern coast. Like those around it, the rural village is built predominantly of volcanic stone highlighted by the brightly colored whitewashed walls of its houses, each typically accented by balconies hewn from local Canary cedar and pine. The focal point of Granadilla de Abona is its stern Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua. Each June locals adorn the streets around it with vibrant streamers and flower tapestries in celebration of the Fiesta de San Antonio, one of the few actual happenings in this otherwise clean and reserved place.
Playa de las Americas and Other Attractions
The action area of Tenerife is its southwestern coast, where manmade beaches and endless sunshine have ushered in hundreds of resort complexes and the corresponding infrastructure to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of travelers visiting here each year. Instead of local character, native charm or cultural intimacy, one gets streets lined with discos and competing restaurants and numerous man-made beaches buried under a sea of tanning bodies.
Playa de las Americas is the central hub of Tenerife’s heady coastal tourism complex, with plenty of beaches and touristy things to do day and night. Adjoining it to the south is the resort area of Los Christianos, whose beach spans the curve of a calm bay. Farther east the Playa del Medano has its share of hotels, restaurants and pubs, but seems to attract a slightly younger, hipper crowd.
The crowds thin out considerably as you head northward up the coast from Playa de las Americas. A popular attraction along this way is the Barranco del Infierno (Devil’s Gorge), a lush gorge running from a naturally terraced waterfall outside the village of Adeje. A hiking trail from this village cuts through the ravine to culminate at the waterfall. Farther north, the resort of Los Gigantes enjoys an admirable setting of sheer cliffs that drop some 600 m (2,000 feet) to the ocean and a natural, volcanic sand beach.
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