There are two urban beaches in El Medano, both within walking distance of the town—Cabezo Beach, just to the east, and Medano Beach, just to the south. Hemmed in by rocky cliffs and boasting some wild waves throughout the summer months, the beaches are ideal for water sports. Windsurfing and kite surfing are most popular and there are options for both beginners and professionals, but you can also enjoy surfing, sea kayaking, bodyboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Spend the rest of your time sunbathing on the sandy shores, hire a bike and cycle the coastal route to nearby San Miguel, or grab an ice cream and stroll along the seafront promenade.
Things to Know Before You Go
- While El Medano is famous for its water sports, it’s also a great choice for travelers looking to escape the busier south coast resorts and is suitable for families, with shallow waters for paddling and a beachside playground.
- El Medano town has a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, cafés, and shops. Both beaches have showers, restrooms, and parasols available for hire.
- The beaches have ramp access for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
El Medano is located on the southeast coast of Tenerife, just four miles (seven kilometers) east of South Tenerife Airport. Taxis and shuttle buses run the short 5-minute journey to the airport, while local buses connect El Medano with nearby beaches and towns such as Playa Grande and Playa de la Tejita.
When to Get There
The best time to visit El Medano is in spring and summer, and the best winds for surfing are from June to September at high tide. Arrive early to avoid the crowds and secure a parasol, and stick around to watch the sunset over the ocean. Saturdays are the liveliest time to visit the town, when a morning market takes place in the central plaza.
Beaches Around El Medano El Medano is strategically located for visiting many of Tenerife’s southern beaches. Just south of Medano Beach, Playa de Leocadio Machado is another surf hotspot, best suited to advanced surfers, while to the north, Playa de Pelada is framed by sea cliffs and known for its gentler waves, suitable for beginner surfers. Along the south coast, Playa de la Tejita is an idyllic stretch of black sand against a backdrop of the Montaña Roja (Red Mountain), while neighboring Playa Grande offers sheltered waters that are ideal for families or less-confident swimmers.
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