Los Cristianos

Separated by a rather hazy line that edges the lush fairways of Golf Las Americas, Los Cristianos grew from a shy, retiring fishing community focused on the comings and goings of a handful of gaily painted fishing boats into a confident family resort stretching inland as far as topography allows.

Much of the action these days takes place around the newly vamped pedestrian area bordering the beach. This, the commercial hub of Los Cristianos is a perfect place to sit at one of the pavement cafes and do nothing more exertive than people-watch, frosty beer in hand of course.

If there’s anywhere in the south where your credit card will take a bashing, it’s in the three pedestrianised streets running parallel to each other. Fashions and lace frills, souvenirs and sports goods, and everything in-between can be purchased here. And if you need another suitcase to take it all home, there’s certainly no lack of travel accessory shops.

Away from the retail therapy, leisure activities include the usual array of wet ‘n’ wild watersports, whale and dolphin excursions, fishing trips and several attractions just out of town, including Siam Park and Las Aguilas Jungle Park. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also take a ferry to one of the neighbouring islands. La Gomera can be reached in just over half an hour by fast ferry from La Gomera.

Although the nightlife might not be as rocking as in Playa de las Americas, the row of bars and clubs in the San Telmo block on Calle Habana do cater to an eclectic range of tastes. The same goes for the restaurant scene in and around Los Cristianos, with a surprising number of high quality establishments all within walking distance of each other.

The main beach of Playa de Los Cristianos may be a frenzy of activity with locals playing volleyball, diving from the harbour wall and generally having a fun, raucous time, but the best beach is across the road. Playa de Las Vistas is a 1-kilometre stretch of the golden stuff with all the necessary facilities, including life guards, toilets, showers and promenade with plenty of watering holes.

There’s also a very impressive free service for those beachgoers with limited mobility. Just let the life guards know, and they’ll wheel you to the water’s edge in purpose built beach wheelchairs and stay with you while you have a swim/dip, helping you out when you’re good and ready. Special ‘sand’ crutches are also freely available.

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