Family vacations to Tenerife

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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.

Why go on holiday in Tenerife

  • Accessible flights

    Every major UK airport has several flights a week to Tenerife during the summer and several have regular flights all year round.

  • Comfortable temperatures

    Temperatures seldom drop below 17˚C even in December and January. The average temperature in August is 26˚C.

  • Geographical highlights

    Mount Teide is Spain’s highest peak and Teide National Park is one of Europe’s most accessible wilderness landscapes.

  • Accommodations

    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.

  • Family Activities

    This is the island for world-class waterparks, conscientious zoos, outdoor activities and sensational water sports.

  • Wildlife

    Wildlife and marine life thrive here and the waters round Tenerife are home to over 20 dolphin and whale species.

Where to go and stay in Tenerife

Santa Cruz

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.

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Los Cristianos

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.

  • Wide range of holiday apartments and 2, 3 and 4-star hotels.
  • Popular resort in the sunny south west for families with young children.
  • Close to Playa de las Americas for shopping and eating but separate enough to avoid the hectic nightlife
  • 20 minutes by car from Tenerife South Airport.
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Playa de las Americas

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.

  • Good for inexpensive 3 and 4-star hotels and family apartments.
  • Livelier resort for older kids and teenagers.
  • Wide choice of water sports and activities.
  • Central resort for many of the islands animal parks and kids’ attractions
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North West Coast

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.

  • Los Gigantes for 300m high cliffs and Los Guios beach. Relaxed resort with smaller family hotels and laid back atmosphere.
  • Neighbouring Playa de la Arena is calm and easy going, has a blue flag beach and is good for access to Teide National Park.
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North Coast

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.

  • Puerto de la Cruz has a broad range of 3 and 4-star family hotels, mid-range holiday apartments, guesthouses and boutique bed & breakfasts.
  • Tenerife North Airport is half an hour from Puerto de la Cruz
  • The cooler, greener north coast is where to find the islands most famous black sand beaches.
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What do and see with kids in Tenerife

  • Siam Park, Santa Cruz

    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

  • Submarine Safaris, San Miguel

    Eco-friendly, battery powered submarines take kids safely down into an underwater world of fascinating sea creatures. Submarine Safaris

  • Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz

    Well cared for island zoo with an amazing number of animal and bird species, an aquarium and wildlife nursery. Loro Parque

  • Bob Diving, Puerto Colon

    All the fun of diving without long hours of practice or training – perfect for kids between snorkelling and scuba stages. Bob Diving

  • La Camella Camel Park, Arona

    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

  • Lago Martiànez, Puerto de la Cruz

    When legendary Spanish architect, César Manrique, wasn’t remodelling Lanzarote he was creating spectacular designs like this unique swimming pool complex. Lago Martiànez

  • Mount Teide National Park

    Older kids are more than capable of tackling Mount Teide walking trails. Be prepared, follow all the rules and get ready to be astounded.

  • Dolphin and whale spotting

    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

  • Jungle Park Las Aguilas, Arona

    Visit for the remarkable eagles and falconry displays, stay for the big cats, primates, adventurous activities, penguins and much more. Jungle Park

  • Millennial Dragon Tree Park, Icod de los Vinos

    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

Educational value for kids

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.

  • Sea Lion Encounters at Jungle Park are designed to teach children about marine conservation.
  • Snorkelling with turtles is another up close experience kids love and learn from.
  • The traditional mountain villages of Tenerife are alive and well and welcome families to visit, admire and even stay.
  • Las Cañadas del Teide are a Starlight Tourist Destination and easy to reach by car for summer night gazing.
  • Historic towns all over the island have exuberant fiestas throughout the year and they’re fantastic family occasions.
  • Several dramatic archaeological discoveries on Tenerife now have guided tours which are made for inquisitive kids.
  • Walking with children is wonderful on Tenerife and if you aren’t sure where to begin, join a guided tour

Getting about with kids in Tenerife

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.

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