The picturesque resort of Los Gigantes lies on Tenerife’s west coast. Its peaceful atmosphere and scenic setting have led to a recent rise in popularity. With great weather all year round, it is a favourite among Europeans in particular.
The town’s name comes from the ‘Cliffs of the Giants’, or ‘Acantilados de Los Gigantes’. These dramatic rock formations are around 800 metres high, and from the top of these natural wonders there are magnificent views across the ocean and surrounding coastline. As with other Tenerife towns, the beaches feature the island’s distinctive black volcanic sand.
Los Gigantes is close to Puerto de Santiago and Playa de la Arena. Both lie to the south, and over time the three resorts have blended seamlessly together. It’s easy for most visitors to explore the area on foot. While there are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and things to do, Los Gigantes is ideal for those seeking a more tranquil holiday resort or appealing day trip destination.
Things to do in Los Gigantes
Admire Los Gigantes Harbour
Spending time in the attractive harbour area can be a highlight of any visit to Los Gigantes. Enjoying a drink, snack or main meal at one of the cafes or restaurants at the harbour gives visitors a chance to take in the soothing harbour views, with the boats in the marina and the towering cliffs behind.
Take a trip to see whales and dolphins
Booking a boat trip from the harbour to spot whales and dolphins is one of the best attractions you can do in Los Gigantes.
We can highly recommend this whale-watching cruise by sail boat. As well as seeing the large sea creatures in their natural habitat, you get to enjoy the delicious food and drinks provided. A cooling dip in the calm waters by the rugged cliff faces is also offered. Snorkelling is an option too!
Make sure to plan a few days in advance because it gets really busy.
Make a splash at the natural pool
Natural saltwater swimming pools are a feature of Tenerife and the Piscina Natural Acantilado De Los Gigantes (location) is regarded as the best in the area. This is a large, natural sea water pool positioned just south of Los Gigantes, before you reach Puerto de Santiago. Human hands have shaped the edges of the pool, to provide added protection from the waves.
Taking a swim here is for many people one of the highlights of their holiday, but it’s wise to proceed with caution. Wearing beach shoes is advisable as the bottom can get very slippery, and the stones can also make it uncomfortable for bare feet. Feeling the waves break while swimming here can be fun, but can also be hazardous when surf’s up. Visitors always have the option of going to see the pool to enjoy the view – taking a swim is always optional.
Enjoy the vistas from the viewpoint
Los Gigantes’ local lookout – the Mirador Archipenque (Google Maps) – is well worth a visit to take in impressive views of the cliffs, ocean and surrounding coastline. You can walk up to the viewpoint from town, and a cafe there provides refreshments to enjoy while soaking up the sun and stunning vistas.
Meander along towards Alcala and Playa san Juan
The route between Los Gigantes and Alcala can either be completed in full or done in separate parts, as follows. Note that the final section is unpaved.
Los Gigantes to Puerto de Santiago
The short first section takes you to Playa Chica in Puerto de Santiago, where you can stop if you want to. This downhill walk takes around 20 minutes to complete.
Puerto de Santiago to Playa de la Arena
Many walkers continue to Playa de la Arena, and this section – of under a kilometre – is mostly flat. There are lots of restaurants here, so it’s a great place to stop for lunch with a sea view. For a refreshing sweet treat, there are plenty of ice cream shops too. The black sand beach is one of the most popular ones in Tenerife, and definitely the best in the surrounding area.
Playa de la Arena to Alcala
If you are up for a challenge, you can carry on for about 5 kilometres more to reach the small village of Alcala. This route is also paved and mostly flat, and walkers will see banana plantations to the inland side, with the ocean on the other. The best day to visit is Monday, as this is market day. The market is open between 9am and 2pm and is a great place to purchase fresh local produce, as well as other products such as handmade items and interesting souvenirs.
Alcala to Playa San Juan
It is also possible to go beyond Alcala, towards Playa San Juan. However, there is no paving for this part of the walk, so you will need sturdy footwear. Some sections involve walking on rocky terrain, so hiking shoes or sandals are the best option. If you do decide to proceed with a visit to Playa San Juan, the best day to do so is Wednesday as it also has a local market, open between 8am and 1pm.
Local bus routes
If you don’t want to walk back, you can return to Los Gigantes by bus. Routes 477 and 473 run regularly between the resorts. This also means you can do separate sections of the walk on different days if you like.
Sunbathe at a local beach
There are three options in the Los Gigantes area for beach lovers, as follows.
Los Gigantes beach
The main town beach can be found next to the marina. Known as Los Guios (Google Maps), this clean beach is under 200 metres long and tends to be quiet. There are toilets and sun loungers here.
While this is not the area’s finest beach, it is sandy and there are fabulous views of the colossal cliffs from it. Because of these, the beach is shaded in the mornings, but is sunny by the time afternoon arrives.
Don’t even bother looking for a parking space on the streets nearby. Your best option is to leave a car in the paid parking lot at the harbour (location). But even this lot can be fully packed during the weekends in high season.
Puerto de Santiago beach
There is also a black sand beach in Puerto de Santiago. This beach can be popular with locals, especially at weekends, but it is small in size and is somewhat lacking in facilities. The beach in Playa de la Arena is generally a better choice.
Location: Google Maps
Playa de la Arena beach
The black sand beach in Playa de la Arena is one of the best on the island. This clean, palm-lined, family-friendly beach has been awarded Blue Flag status since the late 1980s. There are plenty of good places nearby where visitors can grab food and drinks, and sun loungers and parasols are available for hire. On the downside, this beach can get crowded during peak periods.
Location: Google Maps
Sample the best restaurants in Los Gigantes
Serving a range of Mediterranean, Spanish and European-style dishes, Tas-K is one of the best restaurants in Los Gigantes. It is located on Calla Los Guios, close to the seafront, so it’s a fabulous location for al fresco dining. Visitors love the tapas, friendly service and affordable prices.
The Wine Bar and Terrace is located a little more inland, on Jose Gonzalez Forte Avenue. This eatery and bar specializes in British style dishes, so if you hanker after fish and chips, steak pie or a Sunday roast this place is ideal. There is often entertainment provided, such as drag acts or live music. Diners enjoy generous portions of delicious food, as well as great service.
Also inland on Calle Hibisco is Tipsy Terrace. This place has mini golf and tennis courts among its pretty gardens. There is an African theme throughout, with lots of animal print patterns and a giraffe that’s twice as tall as the average human. British and Mediterranean dishes are served, alongside specialities with global influences such as Asian style crab cakes. Sunday lunchtime is particularly popular, so booking is advised.
Charlie’s Bistro is in a tucked-away passageway by Verde’s Bazaar, and is also one of Los Gigantes’ top restaurants. At the time of writing, the two course, fixed price menu was immensely popular. Choices include lighter European style dishes such as battered asparagus, fish cakes and salads as well as favourites like steak, curry or stew.
If you want to explore the whole of Tenerife, then it’s best to book a rental car. Hiring a vehicle gives you so much freedom and flexibility to explore this beautiful island at your own pace.
For those who cannot drive or simply don’t wish to, it’s also possible to discover Tenerife by using local buses. Some of the most popular routes that pass through Los Gigantes include the 477 and 473. They go the same way as the coastal path detailed above, so the route is as follows (as well as in reverse):
Los Gigantes – Puerto de Santiago – Playa de la Arena – Alcala – Playa de San Juan
The 473 route also travels on towards Los Cristianos, via Costa Adeje and other resorts, after making the same stops, while the last stop of the route 477 is the Costa Adeje bus station.
Here is the location of the main bus stop in Los Gigantes:
There are a few other useful bus routes too. The 325’s destination is Puerto de la Cruz, while the 462 and 493 go to Guía de Isora. These routes can also be used for exploring the island, but do check timetables locally before you travel as they are fairly infrequent.
Los Gigantes FAQs – what you need to know
It’s advisable to book a hire car in Tenerife if you want to see the island. Car rental can be really cheap in Tenerife, and as it’s a relatively small island most places only take around an hour to get to. Having access to a vehicle gives you more flexibility than relying on bus routes, and can save you time. When there are a few of you it can also be more cost-effective to book a rental car – for all or some of your stay.
Los Gigantes is located on the western side of Tenerife, and has year-round sunshine. This makes it a popular holiday destination during winter as well as summer, especially with tourists from colder parts of Europe such as Britain and Germany. While it can be windy at times due to the coastal location, the weather is warm and mostly dry during all seasons. Lows are around 14-16 °C, while highs can reach 28-31°C. The weather is hottest from mid-June to the end of September.
Los Gigantes is around 45 minutes’ drive from Reina Sofia airport in southern Tenerife, so it’s not too far to drive if you pick up a hire car on arrival. When departing, follow signs for the TF-1 motorway towards San Miguel, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. After passing the latter, continue for around 30 kilometers before taking the exit for the TF-46 spur road towards Alcala. After passing Alcala, the road continues on to the neighbouring resorts of Playa de la Arena, Puerto de Santiago and Los Gigantes.
A taxi from the airport to Los Gigantes should cost around €70. There are not usually long queues at the airport taxi rank.
By airport shuttle
You can pre-book a shared airport shuttle for under €10. This will take you directly to Los Gigantes.
By private transfer
A private transfer for a group of up to 4 passengers is an affordable, quick and comfortable way to travel between the airport and Los Gigantes. At around €45, it’s a lot cheaper than taking a taxi. For a larger group or family, a bigger MPV or minibus can be reserved.
Taking a bus between the airport and Los Gigantes involves a change at Costa Adeje, as there are no direct routes. The 40, 711 and 111 routes will take you to Costa Adeje, and the journey time for this first leg is around 40 minutes. The 477 and 473 routes then travel on to Los Gigantes; the 477 being the quicker option at 50 minutes. The 473 takes around an hour and 20 minutes.