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El Médano is a town that attracts tourists as well as surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing enthusiasts. Surfing is one of the top things to do in El Médano, thanks to its beautiful coastline and trade winds that make it a great windsurfing spot. However, there is much more to do here.
Whether you practice watersports or not, the beaches of El Médano are among the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife, so you can’t miss them. Moreover, the unique coastal landscape offers privileged views of the sea and awesome hiking spots.
There are many other places to see here, as well hotels and restaurants in El Médano, so to make sure you don’t miss anything, I’ve got a complete guide:
- Best beaches in El Médano
- Other natural sites
- The Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro
- Best restaurants
- Best places to stay
Best beaches in El Médano
El Médano is a coastal town with some of the best waves, so it’s been attracting surfers for years. That said, you don’t have to be a fan of watersports to enjoy this village.
El Médano’s location and deep blue waters are perfect for spending a day with family or friends. Plus, visiting its beaches are some of the best things to do in south Tenerife, so you’ll love it here. Specifically, El Médano beach, weather permitting, is perfect for photographing, so hopefully, you’ll have some luck!
La Tejita Beach
For me, one of the best things to do in El Médano, Tenerife is going to Playa de la Tejita. Stretching over half a mile, it’s one of the most beautiful and wild beaches in El Médano, and all of Tenerife.
The beach is next to the Montaña Roja Nature Reserve, an ancient volcanic crater with a red tint. Also, next to the mountain, there is a small nudist area. The only downside here is the wind, as this area is one of the windiest places in Tenerife. Yet, if you’re lucky with the weather, you’ll find this beach to be very pleasant.
Of course, keep in mind that this is a wild beach, meaning there aren’t any showers, bathrooms, restaurants, or cafes. You’ll have to walk a bit if you want to eat something, so it’s best to come prepared with your own snacks and water.
To get there by car, take the Playa La Tejita exit and park in the parking lot. Then, you can walk down the path to the beach, which takes about 10 minutes.
La Pelada Beach
If you like wild beaches, you should also check out La Pelada Beach. Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in El Médano, Tenerife since you can peacefully connect with nature. The beach is in a beautiful setting, the Montaña Pelada Nature Reserve.
This quiet cove is also a short drive from El Médano, and it is about 30 minutes from the city center. Being an isolated beach, you should be careful with the size of the waves, especially if you’re visiting with children. There aren’t any lifeguards on duty here, but if you go in the winter, there is not crowded at all so you can truly relax. Also, remember to pack some food and drinks since there aren’t any cafes around.
El Médano Beach
Another nice thing to do in El Médano, Tenerife is to stroll along El Médano Beach. What stands out about this beach is its fine gray sand and the views of the volcanic Montaña Roja.
If you like windsurfing and kitesurfing, the far side of the beach is perfect for practicing. In fact, this area hosts competitions like the World Windsurfing and Kitesurfing Championship.
Unlike the other beaches in El Médano that I mentioned, this one does have bathrooms, showers, and restaurants. There are also hammock and umbrella rentals and a tourist office.
Leocadio Machado Beach
Another good beach in El Médano that I recommend if you like watersports is Leocadio Machado Beach. It’s named after the poet and writer, who in 1925, wrote El loco de la playa, inspired by the town.
Leocadio Machado is the largest urban beach in the city. It’s in front of a seaside promenade where you can find bars, cafes, and of course, surf shops.
The trade winds have made this beach a paradise for people who love to surf and sail. If you’re coming here with family and prefer more tranquility, check out the northern end of the beach, which has fewer waves.
Other natural sites to see in El Médano, Tenerife
Besides the beaches of El Médano, there are other beautiful natural landscapes to see here. The Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) and the Bocinegro Mountain stand out for their reddish color, which contrasts with the blue sea. Also, the natural pools at Los Abrigos are a lovely spot to relax in nature.
Montaña Roja Special Nature Reserve
Hiking is one of the best things to do in El Médano and there isn’t a more satisfying challenge than climbing Montaña Roja (the Red Mountain).
Declared a Special Natural Reserve, this area is home to native flora and fauna, particularly birds, as well as protected geological elements.
The Montaña Roja is a volcanic cone that was created after an eruption that occurred hundreds of years ago. It covers 410 acres and stands 560 feet tall. Its rocky fragments have been rusting over time, resulting in the characteristic color that gives this mountain its name.
Moreover, climbing this volcanic mountain is one of the top hikes in southern Tenerife, so it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re not up for climbing the Red Mountain, you can try Bocinegro Mountain, another beautiful place to see in El Médano, Tenerife.
Bocinegro is a smaller mountain, and it’s part of the Special Nature Reserve, so it’s visiting it is a top thing to do in El Médano. The view from here is lovely, and the perfect way to enjoy the sea breeze.
On the slopes of Bocinegro, you’ll see old fortifications and World War II bunkers that hold cannons and other weaponry to protect the city.
Los Abrigos natural pools
If you’re still not sure what to do in El Médano, Tenerife, take a look at the Charco Los Abrigos. The area is surrounded by volcanic rocks, creating an atmosphere that you’ll love. It’s one of the best natural pools in Tenerife.
These natural pools are in the town of Los Abrigos, so you’ll have to drive from El Médano to the Los Abrigos parking lot. There, you can park your car and walk down to the pools. This place tends to be more crowded on the weekends, so it’s better to go from Monday-Thursday if you can.
While bathing in this unique and wild area is an amazing experience, you must be careful with the sea as the tide comes in.
The Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro
The Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro is an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) Historic Site and another place to see in El Médano. This sanctuary is dedicated to Pedro de San José Betancur, also known as Santo Hermano Pedro, who, as a child, took refuge in the cave while caring for his family’s herds.
As an adult, he carried out his religious and evangelizing work in Guatemala, where he founded the first hospital for the sick and the first school for children and adults that didn’t discriminate against race or gender. He passed away at 41 and was beatified at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica in 1980, then was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City in 2002.
If you go inside this cave, you’ll see wooden sculptures of Santo Hermano Pedro, the first native of the Canary Islands. Faithful followers come here to leave prayers requests and offerings, so it’s quite a special place.
Chiringuito Pirata & other restaurants in El Médano
While I said that La Tejita Beach doesn’t have any cafes, you can still go to the very end of the beach to Chiringuito Pirata, an iconic place in Tenerife. Here, you can order some tapas or paella, or enjoy a few beers while overlooking the sea and Montaña Roja. My recommendation is to sip a mojito while watching the sunset.
However, Restaurante Familiar is one of the best restaurants in Tenerife. It makes seem a little touristy but the quality and price are great. Another good restaurant in El Médano for food and drinks is Manfred’s Soul Café. It’s a laid-back café that also serves breakfast, and its ocean views are spectacular.
Likewise, I suggest Veinte 04 Surf Café, a trendy restaurant that serves healthy dishes and local products. The atmosphere is very fun, and the café hosts art events throughout the year.
If you love fish and seafood, check out El Ancla Médano Restaurant on the La Jaquita Beach promenade, which specializes in bluefish. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy some gastronomy from the north, Le Penon serves the best Basque-French cuisine in Tenerife. Its style was inspired by the surfing culture of the island, and its creative recipes from the Basque Country make it a popular place to eat in El Médano.
Finally, I recommend Barrio Cabezo if you’re looking for a cheaper option. While it’s less expensive, it’s a cozy hole-in-the-wall with great service and delicious food.
Where to stay in El Médano – best hotels and accommodations
We stayed at the Kn Hotel Arenas del Mar Adults Only and, as its name suggests, it’s an accommodation specifically designed for adults. It’s next to Jaquita Beach and has an outdoor pool and incredible views. We opted for the spa package, which cost extra but was worth it.
A cheaper option is the Hotel Playa Sur Tenerife, which features an outdoor pool, sunroom, garden, sauna, and massage service. All the rooms have balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and along with the restaurant and poolside bar, there’s a piano lounge.
If you prefer to stay in an apartment in El Médano, check out the El Medano Marineda Loft Apartment, which has two bedrooms and a bathroom. It’s a great value for the money and close to the city center, plus it has a pool and garden terrace.
Map of El Médano
To make sure you don’t miss any of the places I mentioned in this guide, here is a map of El Médano.
That’s all from me! If you have any questions or you’d like to share your favorite things to do in El Médano, leave me a comment. Last of all, have a great trip!