Temperatures have dropped here in London.  I don’t mind the cold if I am wrapped up warm.  These old English houses though are pretty to look at but completely draughty.  I have the heating cranked up but am still feeling cold. The whole experience has me dreaming of our holiday on the black sand beaches in Tenerife.

Why Tenerife?

A couple of years ago, before the children started taking skiing seriously, we went to Tenerife during February half-term break.  The average high temperature in Tenerife is in the low 70’s which is pretty good for a quick break from England for winter sun in Europe.  The flight time is only 4 hours.

Tenerife has black sand beaches which is the result of a volcanic basaltic coastline meeting the erosion of the sea.  The island has over 40 miles of beach so chances are you will find a beach that you will love.

Most of Tenerife’s golden sand beaches are man-made.  They were created by importing soft yellow sand from the Sahara.  The yellow sand beaches are in the more touristy areas on the south of the island.

In fact, the famous Playa del Duque started off as a black sand beach but got covered up by golden sand in the 1990’s. Maybe you can convince your kids to keep digging until they get to the black sand? That should keep them busy.

yellow sand beach tenerife

Image credit: Benoit Deniaud

Due to their colour, black sand beaches also retain the heat better – a big plus in the winter months!

black sand beach at Tenerife

Image credit: Perlaroques

Why Kids Love Black Sand Beaches

I find black sand is a bit stickier and less grainy than yellow sand.  My children absolutely loved it.  They filled up sand holes with water and pretended they were Peppa Pig jumping in muddy puddles.  The children looked a fright once they were finished playing.

On the plus side though, all the sand washes off and it was definitely easier to spot black sand caught in little crevices than yellow sand.

Black sand is heavier than yellow sand and brushes off easier when it is dry.

sandals in black sand

Image credit: kubonbon

Our favourite beaches were Playa de las Arenas (on the West coast) and Playa Jardin (on the North Coast).

Some Black Sand Beaches in Tenerife

Your choice of black sand beaches really depends on if you have kids with you.  Some of the more isolated ones will give you that Robinson Crusoe feeling that you may not find on the rest of this touristy island.

The best black sand beaches in Tenerife with kids

  • Playa Jardin in Puerta de la Cruz is a Blue Flag beach that is sheltered and great for kids. It has lots of facilities as well as a mix of locals and tourists.
  • Playa de las Arenas is located near Los Gigantes. It is a Blue Flag Beach and the kids will love exploring the rock pools.
  • Playa San Marcos is located on the North Coast. It backs onto a little fishing village and is sheltered enough for kids to play safely.

Other black sand beaches in Tenerife

  • Play de los Gigantes is a small beach on the West Coast.
  • At Playa Bollullo in La Orotava, you will find your escape from the crowds. However, there are no facilities and the waves are strong so it’s not great with little kids. Nearby there is a nudist area.
  • Playa Las Gaviotas (near the golden sand beach of Las Teresitas) is also a nudist beach.
  • Playa Socorro in Northern Tenerife is popular with surfers. The waves may be too much with younger children.
  • Roque Bermejo in Eastern Tenerife is not the easiest to visit. You will need either a boat or trek for two hours. Personally, I think that is way too much effort in getting to a beach.