Santiago del Teide, Spain
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Santiago del Teide Hotels

The natural black fortifications of Acantilados de Los Gigantes – the Cliffs of the Giants – give Santiago del Teide an imposing first impression, but its stunning geography and velvety volcanic beaches quickly reveal a softer side. Terraces of almonds, figs, and corn stretch through the municipality’s valleys, which have captivated settlers ever since the original inhabitants of island - the Guanche – first roamed here. A proud bronze statue in Santiago del Teide itself celebrates the area's strong ties with the island's Aboriginals, and with a pretty church and sleepy bars to welcome you, the town's a great first stop.

Things to see

The stunning Acantilados de Los Gigantes rocket up vertically from the crashing waves, and stand a staggering 500 metres tall. The basalt walls are best viewed from directly below, where you'll have to crane your neck upwards to take in their immense scale, from the deck of a boat. Underwater crooks and crannies make the cliffs a haven for wildlife, and you'll feel your jaw dropping as rubbery dolphins come to investigate, and playful pilot whales break through the surface to take mighty gulps of air. A whale watching trip is the best way to guarantee a sighting, but feeling your kayak gently rocking, as dolphins swirl underneath it, is an unforgettable experience. The massive cliffs almost pale into insignificance when compared with Spain's highest peak - Mount Teide - which looms 3,718 metres above the island. If you choose to climb it, you'll be urged on through its arid landscape by sunbathing Canary Island Lizards, and electric Blue Chaffinches, which sing sweet songs of encouragement.

Hotels in Santiago del Teide

Swim in peaceful, shoreside pools, or let the sound of the Atlantic rollers hypnotise you, while reclining on one of your hotel's palm-tree shaded sun loungers. Even the biggest hotels in Santiago del Teide are humbled by the cliffs that the Guanches labelled 'The Walls of Hell,' so make the most of your privileged location by chinking glasses on balconies, and soaking in views of the cliffs bathed in gold at sunset. Lavish rooms provide WiFi, international telephones and Cable television – so you can stay in the loop while living in the lap of luxury. Whether you want a budget apartment, a luxury villa, or a comfortable hotel suite, you'll feel right at home here.

Where to stay

Los Gigantes is home to many of the area's best hotels, and you can visit the marina to eat freshly caught swordfish, before giving the other diners some entertainment, as you battle to get to grips with the grumbling engine of a jet ski. Like many Canarian towns, Los Gigantes throws wild Carnival celebrations each year, and the locals will welcome you with a smile, as you clap along with the beating rhythms of drummers during the parades. Puerto de Santiago sits just next door, and is home to Playa de la Arena beach - where you can feel the soft black sand between your toes, before visiting coastal bars to fill up on fried Arepas bread and iced cervezas.

How to get to Santiago del Teide

The island's southern airport is closest, lying just 40 minutes' drive away the municipality. Hiring a car is the simplest option – if you want to delve into the area's rural beauty, but airport transfer shuttles and taxis are relatively inexpensive if you're travelling in numbers. Fancy some island hopping? Ferries from Santa Cruz de Tenerife will connect you with the other Canary Islands, or you can sail as far as Cadiz on the Spanish mainland from the capital's port.

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