Things You Need to Know About Black Sand Beaches on Tenerife

Fri, April 18th, 2014 - By Jack Montgomery

Whenever you read an article that talks about Tenerife’s beaches being some of the most beautiful in Europe, you can bet the author hasn’t spent a lot of time with the sand between their toes on the island.

They’re not even the most beautiful on the Canary Islands. Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura all have beaches that are more impressive. However, the island does boast better beaches than its western neighbours of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.



That’s not to say that Tenerife doesn’t have good beaches; it has some great beaches. But most of the golden varieties are man made affairs, created around resorts like Costa Adeje, Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos. Even the jewel in the crown beach at Las Teresitas outside of Santa Cruz is a Saharan sand import. Of course that doesn’t make any of them less enjoyable to lie on under a sweltering sun.

Generally speaking Tenerife’s authentic beaches , just like those in Hawaii, come in black sand form; the result of a volcanic basaltic coastline being eroded by the sea.



People are often a bit unsure about black sand beaches as they don’t fit the image of golden sands lapped by a turquoise sea that most of us see when we imagine the perfect beach scene. But they are dramatic and beautiful in their own way. Playa Bollullo in La Orotava is one of the best looking beaches on Tenerife in my view; I can’t imagine it being anything other that ebony.
When friends are talking about lying on golden sands mention that you’ve been sunbathing on a jet black beach was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption – it’s far more unique.



Black sand beaches behave a bit differently to their golden and pale sand counterparts. Some people worry that the black sand might stain clothing, it doesn’t. But when it clings to your towel, it does make it look dirty.
The upside to this is that it’s easier to brush the thicker black sand grains from clothes and, this is of the utmost importance, bodily crevices (I’m thinking between the toes in case anyone’s thinking other parts). It doesn’t cling quite so stubbornly as finer golden grains. If you’ve been to Playa de las Teresitas you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The thicker grains means the sand isn’t quite so flighty when a breeze blows up. On some beaches, the least bit of wind and it’s like an army of insect-sized warriors have let fly with a thousand miniature blowpipes. On the black sands of Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz there’s no worry that that fresh application of sun cream is going to suddenly take on a fresher overcoat of sand at the least breath of wind.



On the down side, black sand absorbs the sun’s heat and retains it. In winter months that keeps the sand pleasantly warm. In summer, it’s a sole searer. A great game to play at Playa Jardín is ‘watch how far the person who forgot their flip flops can get without breaking into a run’. It is never very far.

Black sand beaches are fab… as long as you don’t go barefoot.

Posted : Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 2:30 pm
Category : beaches
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