Far from the party towns and pumping clubs in the south of Tenerife sits a more authentic and local side to the island – the town of The Giants. No this isn’t the fictional village of Brobdingnag from Gulliver’s Travels, but the resort town of Los Gigantes.
TEXT: ESME FOX | PHOTOS: ROYAL SUN RESORT
The small town, located on the upper-western edge of the Canary Island, is named after the giant rock formations which rise almost 800 metres out of the ocean, towering over the land. Formed roughly seven million years ago, the Teno Mountains provide an atmospheric backdrop to your holiday. This is the real Tenerife, where you can experience nature and tranquility whilst still enjoying the many services that the town has to offer.
Bubbles with a panoramic view
Set among the local shops, cafes and restaurants, sit a handful of excellent resorts in which to base yourself. One such resort is the Royal Sun, one of the closest hotels to the extraordinary volcanic black sand Playa de los Gigantes, or Giant’s Beach. It’s the unparalleled views which set the Royal Sun Resort apart from many others on the island, providing stunning vistas of the towering giants, and across the sea to the small neighbouring island of La Gomera.
The Royal Sun Resort is a popular choice with families, offering 120 self-catering apartments, complete with full kitchens and large private balconies with those all-important ocean views. There are standard one-to three-bedroom apartments with a classic style and one-to-three-bedroom deluxe apartments featuring avant garde design. “My favourite apartments are the Jacuzzi ones,” says deputy general manager, Erika Orta. “Just imagine the bubbles and the panoramic views over the ocean, paired with the tranquillity and privacy of the top floor”.
Restaurants and swimming pools
Although the resort offers the ease of self-catering for families, it also has two on-site restaurants. The Regency Restaurant offers international buffets and a heated terrace with great ocean views, while the Aqua Restaurant offers romance, elegance and fine dining. The latter is headed up by acclaimed chef, Lucas Maes, and serves a range of beautifully-presented international dishes with a touch of regional flavours. But again, it’s the backdrop that really makes this restaurant special, where you can dine watching the sunset glow orange against the ocean. “It’s the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy the best gastronomy in the area,” says Orta.
Besides the luxury accommodation and fine dining, the Royal Sun Resort offers several excellent facilities, including two swimming pools, a gym, and a playground. There are plenty of places where the children can play, but also places where you can relax, such as the rooftop solarium, where you can enjoy watching the waves while you sunbathe, as well as the indulgent massage services.
Fauna and flora
But you don’t have to spend all your time at the hotel, as the Royal Sun is located in the perfect spot to explore the wider area of Los Gigantes, and the resort will even provide bicycle and car rental to help you do so. Nearby, you can find everything from natural swimming holes and rock pools to hiking. Just a short drive away, visitors can also see one of the oldest living trees on the planet – the Millennium Dragon Tree in Icod de los Vinos, a fertile area of citrus orchards and vineyards.
The waters around the Los Gigantes also make for a fabulous playground, an ideal place for sailing and boating from the marina, as well as whale and dolphin-watching trips. In fact, the ocean here has one of the greatest concentrations of marine life in the area, with 28 different species either living there or passing through. These include everything from minke and sperm whales to orcas. Diving is also at the top of the list, with trips from Los Gigantes Diving Centre, taking visitors to see underwater worlds filled with stingrays, eels, sea turtles and shoals of colourful fish. They also offer snorkelling trips for families.
All of this can be explored and experienced from your luxury apartment base at the Royal Sun Resort, a place with all the comforts of home, yet all the deluxe facilities of a four-star resort.