It’s Summer, That Means it’s Time for the Beach on Tenerife

Wed, July 4th, 2012 - By Jack Montgomery

If you’re a visitor to Tenerife, it’s always beach time no matter what month it is. Stripping down to swimwear in the depths of winter is no hardship on Tenerife when the temperature is 20C in the shade.

But 20C in the shade is too cool for the local population and subsequently their presence on the beach is seriously reduced over the winter months when the beach population is made up mostly of northern Europeans. In non-tourist towns some open air swimming pools remain closed until at least May.

The arrival of summer changes all that.


Spanish in Tenerife in Summer

The Spanish mainlanders arrive in their masses at the end of June and they transform Tenerife’s beaches. How can you tell when a beach is full of Spanish? Easy, the Spanish love to spend days at the beach, but they won’t lie in full sunshine all day. Subsequently, between June and September beaches like Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz become carpeted with brightly coloured umbrellas.

Their beach habits are different from British visitors in other ways; most avoid sunbeds, preferring to set up camp closer to the water’s edge. This could be an unwillingness to fork out to lie on a sun lounger… or it could be because the sun loungers are at the back of the beach and negotiating black sand in summer temps is like walking on coals. There is far less of an ‘ouch’ factor when there’s only a couple of steps required to dip those hot soles in the cooling waters.

The Spanish don’t have the same obsession for sandy beaches that we have, so rocky coves and even harbour walls become packed with sun-seekers whose main criteria is that they want to be near the water.


Summer Water Fiestas, Tenerife

Beaches and harbours become outdoor playgrounds during summer with many fiestas having a watery theme. The Virgen del Carmen fiestas held during July and August in Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz, Las Galletas, Los Cristianos, Bajamar, Los Realejos, Alcalá (and anywhere there’s a fishing community) involves the fishermen’s patron saint being paraded through the streets and loaded into a boat. It also involves everyone getting very wet.

Often summer fiestas are accompanied by beach based sporting activities like beach volleyball competitions. In El Médano, summer sees the arrival of major international events such as the Planet Win 365 PWA Windsurf World Cup (12-18th July) whilst Playa de la Arena and Puerto de Santiago host swimming competitions (7thJuly).


Windsurfing in El Médano

Some tiny coastal communities that snooze during winter months spring to life as Canarios decamp to their second homes for the summer. Beaches near Playa de la Arena, Puertito de Güímar, El Puertito in Costa Adeje and Punta de Hidalgo are unrecognisable from their charming, remote  winter persona as their tranquil appeal is completely destroyed by battalions of mobile homes.

In summer it seems as though everyone slows down, chills out and heads to the beach. Even institutions like the Correos (post office) change their opening hours so that they close at 2pm instead of 8pm between July and September. You just know where the staff are heading once those doors close.

In the end, there’s only one thing to do – join them.

Posted : Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 9:01 am
Category : about tenerife
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