Which of the Canary Islands works for multi-gen family holidays or family activity breaks or adventures with older kids and teens? Spain could potentially be included on the UK travel green list from 7 June 2021, only the perfect excuse to take a closer look at the top five Canaries and what type of family holidays they each do best.
The largest of the Canary Islands is a great all-rounder for multi-gen family holidays. Kids love the beaches and theme parks, especially in the sunny south. But the balance of lively resorts and more authentic towns and villages, goes a long way to keeping everyone happy, even on the busiest coasts. You’re never far from untamed landscape anywhere in Tenerife and most of it's amazingly accessible. A wide choice of places to stay, from large holiday villas to five-star resorts is another plus point in the multi-gen mix. Then add in the long, hot summers - or warm winters – and it’s hard to imagine anywhere in the Canary Islands that's a better fit for bigger than average families.
Gran Canaria is often called, ‘a continent in miniature’ and it’s not too much of an exaggeration. The island has over 70km of beaches. It’s home to the mighty Maspalomas Dunes - a top Spanish contender for the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. And if you tear yourself away from the coast, the interior's an enormous mountainous playground for climbing and biking, hiking and just about anything else the more energetic than average family can dream up.
Lanzarote is known as the ‘island of eternal spring’ because of the amazing weather. It's closer to North Africa than it is to Spain and temperatures can easily hit 35˚ in July and August. Heat doesn’t stop play here for a second. The west coast is a magnet for serious surfers and top spot for surf schools and camps. Cyclists rave about the island's smooth roads - and its challenging climbs - so there's a pick of biking adventures here. You can even pedal peacefully along car-free coastal paths. And, because much of the island is also a protected biosphere – the part that isn’t immense Timinfaya National Park – it’s a spectacular destination for walking and hiking too.
La Palma is said to be the prettiest of the Canary Islands, it’s also the least touristy and more given to unspoiled nature than theme parks. The capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma would look perfectly at home in the 18th century. And the entire island is a biosphere, as well as one of Europe’s Dark Skies reserves. But Palma still keeps up with the rest of the Canaries in terms of remarkable beaches and slightly cooler summer weather makes for easy holidays with younger kids.
Fuerteventura is the oldest of the Canary Islands and home to over 150km of beaches - more than any other island in the very beachy Canaries. Just don’t a expect acres of sun loungers and crowded sands. The shores here are wildly beautiful and finding a deserted spot is never difficult. Undeveloped Fuerteventura gives younger kids a lot more freedom than its busier neighbours. Sporty teens love the windsurfing, kitesurfing and plain old surfing here. And soulful families have quaint villages and the charming little city of Betancuria to explore – not to mention the island’s curious collection of ancient windmills.
Looking for more Spanish holiday ideas? Discover 6 surprising adventures to have in Spain with kids this summer. And remember to follow Family Traveller on Instagram and Facebook for travel news and ideas - or just to say 'hi'.