Gay Tenerife Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Tenerife Spain 2019
While Gay Tenerife is not on the same fabulous level as nearby Gran Canaria, there is still a lot to love here for gay travelers. Come for the refined hotels, stunning nature and delicious food – safe in the knowledge that come nightfall there is still a fun – if slightly small – gay scene that calls this magical island home.
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, located off West Africa and is dominated by Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is actually Spain’s tallest peak.
Served by two airports, tourism is booming here and there is a unique mix of stunning sandy beaches, all-inclusive resorts and all-night clubbing on offer here – though the focus of this tends to be towards drunken Brits rather than the LGBT community.
For those who are interested to explore a little further however, Tenerife might be one of the world’s most beautiful spots to witness the raw power of nature with extraordinary beauty and diversity hiking, black sand beaches, lush forest, and even snow on the summit of Mt. Teide.
Tenerife is famed for its reasonable year-round climate which is generally a constant 25 degrees and as such is a popular holiday destination all year round – as opposed to Sitges, Mykonos or Ibiza which die down every year.
The peak season is from December to February when the island is swamped by snowbirds from Northern Europe, but most younger gay tourists head here for the hotter months from April to September.
In south Tenerife, the gay scene is concentrated in the Playa de las Americas area close to Salytien Commercial Centre while in the north of the island there is a secondary scene in Puerto de la Cruz – as well as one venue in Santa Cruz (the capital city).
Like mainland Spain, basically every hotel and most bars here are LGBT-friendly so there is no need for concern on this front. We have tried to distinguish some of the more gay-popular options but the location and preferred amenities/style are the better way to decide where to stay.
Overall the gay scene of Tenerife provides some late-night fun after a day soaking in the sun or exploring this gorgeous island. Would we plan a gay trip here specifically for its nightlife? No, but that doesn’t mean you can have plenty of fun here – if you know where to look…
Gay Tenerife Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Tenerife Spain 2019
Naturally being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see when traveling and – generally speaking – queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Tenerife during the day! Tenerife is a very safe island, but still, all travelers should take caution in crowded areas or at night in bars with valuables.
There is so much to do here – but we found our favorite memories were tanning poolside at our hotel, exploring the gay beaches or getting lost in the immense beauty of this magical island. Still – it helps to have some kind of idea of what is going on, so here are our must-see attractions in Tenerife that you should not miss!
Top Things To See And Do In Tenerife
Whale and Dolphin Watching Sailing Boat – Explore the seas around Tenerife on this small-group cruise in a genuine and tasteful sailing boat. Enjoy snacks and drinks on board as you watch dolphins and whales swim by and listen to their calls with state-of-the-art sonar equipment. The captain of the boat is an experienced local sailor who answers any questions about these spectacular animals. After lunch, provided onboard, take some time to jump on the water and swim or snorkel.
Surfing Lessons – Ever wanted to learn how to surf? Now is your chance as Tenerife is a mecca for surfers all over the world and the perfect place to give it a go with plenty of beaches and surf schools calling your name. Instructors are generally very accommodating to ability and can help anyone from beginner to advanced – or just sit on the sand and watch all those gorgeous surfer boys and girls do their thing.
Aqua Club Thermal Spa – Pamper your body with a full-day entrance ticket to the Aqua Club Thermal Spa in Adeje, and relax like never before. Enjoy access to all 18 zones of Europe’s largest urban spa, and unwind in the relaxation pools, Temple of Showers, whirlpool and more.
Stargazing – Tenerife is actually one of the best stargazing spots in the world due to its location in the Atlantic surrounded by unpolluted air – so why not take advantage of this. Explore the universe like never before using professional stargazing equipment near the cable car base station on Mt. Teide. Look up into a sky full of stars and benefit from the expertise of your guides. Simply magical.
Mt. Teide and Masca Valley – Discover the magnificent landscapes that surround Tenerife’s Mt. Teide and the Masca Valley on an exhilarating full-day excursion. Travel through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Teide National Park on a voyage of natural discovery; gaze at sweeping volcanic panoramas and capture photographs of the island’s unique dragon tree. Ascend to Vilaflor, one of Spain’s highest villages, and enjoy leisurely time in Masca and Garachico, provincial villages cradled by rolling hills. You can either hire a car or take a guided excursion, but either way, this is one utterly unique attraction not to be missed.
Siam Park – Discover one of Tenerife’s most thrilling and extensive waterparks. Opened in 2008, Siam Park features waterslides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and many more attractions. Secure your admission in advance, and choose from a number of different tour options: standard admission, admission with included lunch, a deluxe pass with all-inclusive service and a fast pass, or Champagne club entry which comes with a bottle of bubbly.
Jet Ski Safari – Experience the excitement and adventure of a jet ski activity, and explore the southern coast of Tenerife. Speed through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, break through the waves and visit remote caves of stunning wonders. Stop for a swim in the sea.
La Gomera – Explore the idyllic island of La Gomera, a place replete with spectacular sights and authentic culture, on a full-day trip from Tenerife. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, discover the highlights of the gem of the Canarian archipelago, gaze at panoramic vistas of Tenerife Mount Teide volcano, and visit legendary landmarks like Torre del Conde in San Sebastian.
Tandem Paragliding Flight – Tenerife is the biggest of the Canarian Islands with 2,034 square kilometers of extension and 342 kilometers of coast. Thanks to its mountainous geography, you can find Pico del Teide standing at 3,718 meters, Spain’s highest mountain. That same geographic characteristics allow the island to be one of the best paragliding spots in Europe. Having the biggest difference in level in Europe, its volcanic landscapes and warm weather, Tenerife is a top destination for everyone wishing to take part in a paragliding flight.
Kayak With Dolphins At Turtles – Get up close to dolphins and turtles in their natural environment in a non-intrusive way on a 2.5-hour kayaking adventure in Tenerife that respects their freedom and habitat. Experience the extraordinary sensation of being surrounded by pods of up to 30 dolphins that sometimes put on a show by jumping high into the air! Home to up to 5 different species of dolphins, including bottlenose dolphins, the waters just off the coast of the island are the perfect spot to marvel at these lovable creatures.
Gay Things to Do In Tenerife
Lago Martianez – An open-air swimming pool complex located in Puerto de la Cruz with a total area of approximately 100,000 square meters centered around an artificial lake. There are several islands, gardens, restaurants, bars, and terraces and lots of volcanic rock features all designed by architect César Manrique. There is an ‘unofficial gay section here always from other guests in a private corner with nice gardens and sunbeds, After you enter, take a left and it will be obvious.
Gay Beaches In Tenerife – This island has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with fine black volcanic sand like in Auckland – except unlike there, Tenerife as a wealth of gay beaches to chose from. Playa Troya is one of the most popular, thanks to its location close to the gay area in Playa de las Américas. For those who want to make a day trip, the right side of Playa de la Tejita. Close to the south Airport is probably the busiest gay beach on the island with sun loungers and shades available for hire. It is easiest to get here with a car, however. Playa Martiánez is the most well-known spot in Puerto de la Cruz, and is particularly cruisy.
Sugar & Spices – A well known gay hangout for amazing Italian and Pizza in Playa de las Americas. Reasonably priced, relaxed and delicious – this is the perfect spot to dine out before heading on to the gay bars nearby, You never quite know who you might bump into here….
Ginger– The new gay-owned fine dining restaurant in Las Americas that everyone is talking about. Offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes with meat, fish and seafood options – all special dietary requirements are catered for. Great idea for a romantic date or a special meal.
ARN Culture & Business Pride – Bascially Tenerife Pride, this is an exchange event for the growth of the LGTBIQ platform through culture, technology, business, science, art and leisure held annually in June. Previous editons have featured famous singers, celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Queens from RDPR like Trinity The Tuck. Having only been held for the past few years, this event has had enormous growth and we hope it continues in the future.
As a world leader in LGBT tourism, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Tenerife can be considered gay-friendly – after all, being gay-friendly is not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly service and welcoming guests without prejudice!
However, everybody likes to be surrounded by people with common interests and as such there are a few hotels in Tenerife favored by the gay jet-set.
Most are located around Playa de las Americas with its more party orientated gay scene or in the north in Puerto de la Cruz, with a smaller but more laid back gay village. There is no right or wrong options as each offers something unique and unforgettable – but sadly there is no specifically gay hotel options as of yet.
The following gay-friendly and gay hotels in Tenerife are only the most popular with gay, but there are hundreds of other hotels in Tenerife if you don’t find quite what you are looking for.
Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Tenerife has something for everyone!
Gay-Popular Hotels In Playa de la Americas
Sol Tenerife ☆☆☆☆ – A luxe hotel on a privileged beachfront location in Las Americas very near to Siam park, Aqualand and the just a few steps from the gay-popular beach Playa Troya. Excellent service, sea breezes, three pools and superb facilities are some of the hotel’s pros. The vivacious rooms feature balconies and most rooms have gorgeous sea or mountain views. Daily breakfast is complimentary – and for those who don’t want to go far to eat there is a buffet-style restaurant, a wood-panelled lounge and a poolside bar.
Hotel Troya ☆☆☆☆ – Another modern hotel right on the gay-popular beach and just a hop, skip and a jump from the gay nightlife around the Salytien Commercial Centre. The rooms are modern, large and elegant, with plenty of natural light. Some even offer sea views. There is also a spa, indoor pool, sauna, gym, tennis court and a mini-golf course on site.
H10 Conquistador ☆☆☆ – A trendy hotel with gay travellers who rave about the beachfront location with Atlantic Ocean views – and after sunset Tenerife’s major gay nightlife area is only a short walk away. Daily breakfast is complimentary – and then there is 5 restaurants, a café, 2 bars, plus a gym, a spa, an indoor pool and 2 outdoor pools to keep you entertained. Perfect for relaxing after a long day out.
Playaflor Chill-Out Resort ☆☆☆ – Previously a ‘gay hotel’ today the Playaflor Chill-Out Resort is very mixed and results may vary based on dates you travel. The onsite bar is generally a gay hotspot but recently we have heard reports of it being empty all night. Located in the heart of Playa de las Americas, you are only 40 metres from the beach and have all the best bars and restaurants nearby. Housed in a colonial-style building that wouldn’t look out of place in Mykonos, this is a adults-only resort with less amenities and more affordable prices. There is a pool to relax by and a equipped kitchens in every room.
Gay-Popular Hotels In Puerto de la Cruz
Red Level at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora ☆☆☆☆☆ – Located on the beachfront between the Atlantic Ocean and Mount Teide, this luxury resort has the longest salt water hotel infinity pool in Europe, blending in perfectly with the exceptional natural environment. It is one of the most gay-popular hotels in Tenerife, though we simply recommend staying for the fabulous views, service, and amenities. Opt for the adults-only experience with their RedLevel, an exclusive boutique hotel within the resort providing the most exquisite attention. There are upscale rooms, suites and villas to chose from. A free breakfast buffet is including in the room rate. Onsite there are 7 restaurants and 8 bars, as well as 5 pools (1 saltwater), a spa and a fitness center. Should you need it – there is also a business center and meeting space.
Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden ☆☆☆☆☆ -With a classic style and oriental touches, this luxury hotel located in Puerto de la Cruz features first-rate leisure facilities to guarantee the perfect holiday experience. Start the day off by the pool with a refreshing fruit juice and idyllic buffet, sign up for a yoga class, play golf or tennis, stroll through their peaceful gardens, enjoy a delicious à la carte dinner at any of their multiple haute cuisine restaurants, or let yourself be pampered at the renowned Oriental Spa Garden.
4Dreams Hotel Chimisay ☆☆☆ – Located in a historic building on a pedestrian street in the center of Puerto de la Cruz, 4Dreams Hotel offers 67 comfortable rooms and a outdoor pool with sea and mountain views. There is free public parking available nearby, a casual cafe and a bar with outdoor seating plus sundeck. The beaches and the traditional Old Town are a short walk away, as are the gay bars in this area of Tenerife.
Other Gay-Popular Hotels In Tenerife
The Ritz-Carlton ☆☆☆☆☆ – Inspired by Tenerife’s cultural heritage, the resort encapsulates the rich and progressive essence of the island. Exhibiting a fashionable array of experiences and interests, it expertly transcends typecasting to balance family, spa, cuisine, fitness, a leading tennis academy, and an 18-hole golf course. The immersive and experiential approach is informed by the vibrancy of island life, from imaginative culinary traditions to Moorish architecture. The ultimate luxurious stay in Tenerife, amenities include seven outdoor pools, a championship golf course, and a luxe spa – as well as multiple dining options, including 2 fine-dining restaurants. It is about a 20-30 minute taxi trip to the gay nightlife of Playa de la Americas
Hotel Taburiente S.C.Tenerife ☆☆☆ – If you are staying the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, then this is our preferred spot. Across the street from García Sanabria Park this relaxed hotel offers incredible value and unpretentious rooms. An urban retreat, this resort offers two casual restaurants and two bars, plus a rooftop pool, hot tub, and an exercise room.
Endless Summer House Hostel ☆☆ – Hostels are not a popular option in Tenerife, being a resort island but should you find yourself here on a budget or really wanting to meet other travelers organically it could be a fun option. The Endless Summer House is probably the best option located on a street with shops and eateries and close to the gay scene of Playa de las Américas.
Gay Nightlife in Tenerife
Like most cities in Gay Spain, Tenerife’s nightlife starts late and goes even later. Many restaurants here don’t get busy till around 10 pm, which bars filled from around 1 am and clubs getting going around 2.30 am.
Outside of peak season (November to March), nights might get started a little earlier – but are still plenty of fun to be had.
Cash is king here, and pickpockets are sadly rife throughout some venues we visited – just be careful, leave your non-essentials at home and just take what you are actually going to use on the night.
Pay special attention in bars and dark rooms as – well, easy targets are those literally with their pants down. We have largely focussed on explicitly gay venues here in Tenerife, but the island and country are so liberal don’t feel like you can’t make out with your partner in most bars or clubs here!
If you are a little lost, just remember gay nightlife in Tenerife is focused in the south in Playa de la Americas close to the Salytien Commercial Centre but in the north, you can find a few gay venues in Puerto de la Cruz on Av. Familia de Betancourt and Molina. Refreshing and freeing, the gay nightlife in Tenerife has something for everyone!
Gay Nightlife in Playa de la Americas
MHT Music Hall Tavern – A fabulous night of dinner and drag that has been an institution of the Gay Canary Islands for over 20 years. From their humble beginnings in Lanzarote the show is now performed on Tenerife and Gran Canaria as well. They have amazing numbers and routines to entertain you which are regularly updated and are always completely family-friendly. In peak season, shows are 3-4 times a week and include a 3-course dinner served up with side-splitting comedy, live singing and high-intensity dancing queens.
Babylon Disco Pub – Previously known as the “Butterfly Club”, the Babylon Disco Pub has reopened under new ownership yet offers the same fabulous vibes every single night of the week, with pumping DJ and camp drag show on Saturdays and Sundays. Welcoming staff and fun yet intimate.
Agua de Coco – A mixed or very gay-friendly Brazilian bar (depending on the night) in San Telmo, only a short walk from the main Playa de las Américas. Agua de Coco has relaxed vibes perfect for conversations and meeting other guys, as well as a cute terrace with ocean views. The staff here are rather gorgeous, and gay so ask away for advice if starting your night off here. The Brazilian music and cocktails keep flowing until after midnight – so it’s a perfect choice to begin.
Playaflor Chill-Out Bar & Terrace Gay Bar – Since the gay scene doesn’t heat up until after 11 am this is the best spot for earlier drinks conveniently located within the gay Playaflor apartment complex. The entrance can be a little difficult to find but is through a gate on the left end of the building, and then up to the first floor. Inside you will be meet with funky Moroccan style decor, ample seating and lower prices than the other bars we visited later in the night
Gay Nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz
Despanto – A fun gay disco bar in the Puerto de la Cruz gay village – you can’t miss the rainbow flags out front of the gorgeous boys spilling out onto the pavement later at night. Fun drag show, pumping music and a hot and heavy dance atmosphere on the weekend. It can be a bit boring when not packed, so this is not a place to go until later in the night.
Anderson Gay Pub & Show Bar – The heart of the Puerta de la Cruz gay scene for more than 37 years, Anderson is the place to go for magical cabaret and drag shows or social drinks any time of the week – except Monday when they are closed. Attentive staff who on quieter nights try to get the customers talking to each other – and there is a fun cruising area out the back should you have the desire. The place to visit for a cheap drink, a good chat, a funky show or maybe, to find your Prince Charming!!!
Bar Habasko – The hidden bar in Puerto de la Cruz a short walk from the other gay venues which has recently reopened (though has a 40+ year history in one form or the other). The new chef of taps and shakers David is serving well known local wines and beers and also a variety of classic and modern cocktails. His cocktails are almost as divine as he is, and we had the most fabulous time here.
Vinoteca Con Pasión – Looking for a more refined evening experience? This Gay-owned and gay-popular wine bar offers a relaxed spot for coffee or well-selected wine by day and night. The team here is truly passionate about wine so they will be able to help you select the right glass – or few – based on your preferences. Vinoteca Con Pasión also serves up with a varied and eclectic mix of different tapas with a slight Asian influence. A must visit, if only to sit down and taking in the ambiance.
Other Fun Gay & Gay-Friendly Spots in Tenerife
Galeón Lounge – A gay club only open Thursday through Saturday and found in the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz. Expect plenty of sexy themed nights featuring hot shows, smoldering go-go boys and a fun mix of dance/house/trance tunes. The location might be a little inconvenient for you average tourist but if you are nearby you won’t want to miss a night out here. Papagayo Beach Club – Not particularly gay at all, but located in Playa de las Américas right on the beach. Rather classy both by day and night, this beachfront party-goer’s paradise is one of the most talked-about spots on the island with cocktails and cabanas by day and wild parties by night with everything from famous parties to foam parties and techno beats.
Fiji Beach Club – The best LGTBIQ-Beach Club is in Playa Fañabé. Fun, good music, delicious food, cocktails and just a few steps from the sea… This is Fiji Beach Club! There is no better way to spend a day in the sun that relaxing on their Balinese beds while mingling with others of the queer community. They normally have DJs playing chillout music and have a range of packages to enjoy the day – plus the occasional gay parties. And it’s only a ten-minute trip taxi from Playa las Americas to Adeje, the upscale resort town where Fiji Beach Club is found.
The Waka Shack – A fun tiki bar serving us strong Honolulu vibes in Puerto de la Cruz. One of the best cocktail spots on the island, with live music, brilliant staff, and chilled vibes.
Magic Lounge Bar – Open 7 nights a week, the Magic never stops here at the most sophisticated and elegant live music venue in Playa las Americas. Bringing you the very best in entertainment including a resident live band, plus guest performances from some of the islands best-loved musicians performed on their terrace and the main stage. When the weekends begin it is always a big party atmosphere with dance floor fillers. DJ´s, dancers, musicians, cocktails and friendly staff. Glitzy and entirely unforgettable.
Gay Saunas in Tenerife
Had enough of gay cruising in Tenerife – either in the bars or elsewhere – and looking for some after-sun fun?
If you desire a bit more guaranteed action, the gay saunas in Tenerife will not disappoint you (unlikely all those faceless accounts on Grindr or the other hook up apps…). As such a foreign-friendly island you should have no issues visiting any Tenerife gay sauna, although a few words in Spanish never hurt.
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...
Sauna Stonewall – You other option for gay sauna in Tenerife located in Playa de la Americas. Facilities include a Turkish bath, jacuzzi, shower, dark room with maze and glory hotels cabins and video rooms. The entire space is modern and offers 300m2 of hot, humid fun.
Sauna Babylon – The only gay sauna in Puerto de la Cruz offering a full bar, dark carbon and labyrinth filled with glory holes. Open Wednesday to Sunday there is a fun mix of locals and foreigners. Other facilities include showers, dry sauna, steam bath, massages, free condoms (and WiFi) plus a video room. Recently renovated with an enlarged play space, and generally very clean.
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your global rainbow family and don't forget to share your best gay stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...We'd love to hear from you!