The wind aside, the negative is that, at high tide, the main beach almost disappears, sending everyone scurrying for a patch of dry sand, or to slake their thirsts in the bars nearby. The good news is that El Médano extends further than most realize. It curves around to the point where Montaña Roja stands guard, the territory of wind surfers and kite boarders. Over the other side of Montaña Roja there is La Tejita, which I love – except for the parking problems on the holidays! Easter was super busy, and it made me think about other alternatives. There are several.
In the other direction, past the iconic backbone sculpture, a sliver of rocky coastline meanders to the next point. Mostly it’s rock pools – great for the kids to poke about in at low tide (under supervision of course!) – until it widens out into a small beach. This is where the World Windsurf Tour sets up each year.
From there you spy Arenas del Mar Hotel and Spa on the next headland. La Jaquita Beach, in front of the hotel, is growing in popularity, but is happily quiet unless there is a big bank holiday. Its sand may not be golden, but the setting still has a slightly wild feel. In summers past it has boasted a blue flag, and there is a small, wooden beach bar. It’s a far cry from the busy scenes in Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje.
Between La Jaquita and El Cabezo are a series of small coves, curled between the rocky shoreline. Not pristine, but peaceful nooks where you can contemplate the vast Atlantic. Just take an extra towel to cushion your bum on the rocks!
Bars, restaurants, and the town centre are a stroll away from all of these, but to get to my favourite you’d probably prefer to take a car – and a picnic. Past the hotel, the road straightens until it has to curve inland. Drive it, and you will see why it has to stop in front of the arresting Montaña Pelada. Not so high as its bookend at the other end of El Médano, but for me much more stunning. Ribbons of solidified lava, Nature’s art, change colour as the sun moves across the horizon. Occasionally, the swell there can be surfed, but more often you will share the beach with just a few others, or even no-one at all. To access it you have to scramble down from the road above, and there are no lifeguards, so swimming here is only for those who know what they are doing. It’s one of the most peaceful beaches I know, and well worth the bother of making a picnic to take, because there are no bars close.
On a high summer weekend there is no guarantee that you will find quiet on any Canary Islands beach, but these lesser known ones in El Médano may be as close as you can get. I shouldn’t end without warning that most of these have waves and rocks, and, as we know, we should never take the ocean for granted.
Category : beaches
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