Visitors from the UK love Tenerife and the island loves them right back.
This mutual admiration has lasted longer than several lifetimes and family holidays on the largest of the Canary Islands just get better and better. A strange and thrilling landscape of volcanic peaks, pine forests, immense rock formations and black sand beaches may not sound instantly appealing. But Tenerife is staggeringly beautiful and intends to stay that way. Conservation from marine to mountain is high on the agenda here and natural adventure is encouraged but kept as low-impact as possible. There are big, modern resort towns, but you can sneak away to tiny heritage hamlets or drive inland from the coast and hardly see anyone for hours. And no child ever complained of boredom, whether their heart was set on swimming with dolphins, camping out under the stars or thundering down the world’s biggest, white-knuckle water slides.
Every major UK airport has several flights a week to Tenerife during the summer and several have regular flights all year round.
Temperatures seldom drop below 17˚C even in December and January. The average temperature in August is 26˚C.
Mount Teide is Spain’s highest peak and Teide National Park is one of Europe’s most accessible wilderness landscapes.
From rural finca to luxury resorts, good value hotels, apartments and villas, exciting eco-homes, paradors, guesthouses and hostels, Tenerife has every type of holiday accommodation imaginable.
This is the island for world-class waterparks, conscientious zoos, outdoor activities and sensational water sports.
Wildlife and marine life thrive here and the waters round Tenerife are home to over 20 dolphin and whale species.
The capital of Tenerife is a colourful city on the island’s south east coast. It’s covered in pretty plazas and has excellent shopping, museums, restaurants and several big, sandy beaches. A lively choice for a winter holiday, Santa Cruz works best for families as a fun day out in summer.
Los Cristianos was once Tenerife’s main port. Today the harbour is packed with yachts and the long pier shelters some of the island’s best stretches of sand.
Tenerife’s one time party capital, Playa de las Americas has cleaned up in recent years and is now attracting more and more families to its polished streets, big beaches and seafood restaurants.
This rugged and magnificent coastline is where Tenerife keeps its dramatic scenery and several blue flag beaches. The resorts are a little quieter here than in the south but the weather is still fantastic and water fanatics have the best surfing and sailing.
More traditional than anywhere else on the island, the north coast is not the best choice for energetic resorts. But its lush, greenery is a pleasant contrast to the hotter south and the town of Puerto de la Cruz has a delightful historic quarter and is packed with interesting places to visit.
One of the world’s best waterparks is right in the heart of Santa Cruz and is a Tenerife must-do with kids. Siam Park
Eco-friendly, battery powered submarines take kids safely down into an underwater world of fascinating sea creatures. Submarine Safaris
Well cared for island zoo with an amazing number of animal and bird species, an aquarium and wildlife nursery. Loro Parque
All the fun of diving without long hours of practice or training – perfect for kids between snorkelling and scuba stages. Bob Diving
From adorable baby camels to thrilling treks across the desert on a camel train, this is one of the island’s most popular attractions. La Camella
When legendary Spanish architect, César Manrique, wasn’t remodelling Lanzarote he was creating spectacular designs like this unique swimming pool complex. Lago Martiànez
Older kids are more than capable of tackling Mount Teide walking trails. Be prepared, follow all the rules and get ready to be astounded.
Around 28 species of whales and dolphins are either resident off the coast of Tenerife or migrate through the island’s waters. Dolphin and Whale Spotting Cruises
Visit for the remarkable eagles and falconry displays, stay for the big cats, primates, adventurous activities, penguins and much more. Jungle Park
An 800 year old Dragon Tree stands at the centre of this park, the plants are wonderful and friendly guides are on hand to answer any questions kids might have. Dragon Tree Park
Tenerife has been doing family holidays for decades and today’s kids have the advantage of countless eco-lessons the island’s learned over the years.
If you’re planning on touring about and visiting the mountains and more remote regions of Tenerife, hiring a car on holiday is a good idea. But for beach based fun with a few visits to neighbouring resorts and towns along the coast, there are excellent local bus services and many family hotels have courtesy coaches to major attractions.