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All you need to know about a family holiday in Tenerife

I often get asked about family holidays in Tenerife, as for many reasons the Canaries are holiday perfection, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. I am someone who loves to try new places and experience different countries, but six times over Tenerife has lured us back to its extraordinary but familiar soil. There is now a sense of endearment, safety, and dare I say it predictability about visiting the island, but I mean this in the most positive of ways. To be able to (almost) predict weather, food quality and service levels, coupled with the fact there’s a wealth of fun family activities on hand, is not a bad thing when children are involved, and it’s only a 4-hour (and a bit) flight from Birmingham.

Tori
January 18, 2022

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A family holiday in Tenerife – when to go

It is true that Tenerife generally has an all-year round steady climate, rarely dipping below 20 degrees, and therefore it does make a great choice for a trip during any of the school holidays. Having been to both the Balearics and the Greek Islands during October half term and been unlucky with the weather (and knowing others who’ve experienced the same) – if this was one of my motivations, I would put my money on Tenerife to deliver the most sun! In late April the island begins to heat up, so if you can travel in May or are lucky enough to be able to take a low-cost deal in June or early July then these are a brilliant time to visit. In 2019, we took our family holiday in Tenerife (with a four-month-old baby) towards the end of August however, and whilst it was hot, beach trips and poolside bathing were still comfortable, with plenty of shade to be found. The only school holiday I would be nervous about is February half term as the rainfall levels increase and it could be a little hit and miss. However, I am extremely keen to experience the Tenerife Carnival (see ‘what you need to know’ below) and so as this is on during February, I would still take a risk.

A family holiday in Tenerife – where to stay

Chayofa / Los Cristianos

If you’re looking for a family holiday in Tenerife that’s not too far from the action, but also a bit of a retreat, I would highly recommend the Regency Country Club in Chayofa. It caters perfectly for families looking for a relaxing stay with a touch of good value luxury too. This Bali-inspired hotel oozes a laidback, boho vibe and features wooden fringed huts that surround the pool, one housing a soothing jacuzzi, another a large day bed and in a third, you can experience a range of beauty treatments and massages. One of the highlights of the hotel is the infinity pool with a swim up bar that has underwater bar stools and serves a range of drinks and snacks throughout the day. There is also a useful shop on site that sells freshly baked baguettes each morning. Unfortunately, the restaurant and onsite entertainment were not running when we visited in October 2021, but I note that they are due to reopen in April 2022. Having experienced these offerings previously however, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both. We did not take advantage of the kid’s club during our visits, but there is usually one available so something to check before booking. There were plenty of activities to keep the children occupied however including the swimming pools, the playground, crazy golf and table tennis.

My top tip for a stay at this hotel is to book an apartment with pool access. If you are like us, making multiple trips back and forth, this is an absolute game changer as some of the furthest rooms are a steep walk up the hill near the road. The kitchenettes are fully equipped including cooker, toaster, fridge/freezer and microwave. We usually self-cater and take a taxi to a main supermarket, but usually the one big shop and a daily minimarket run sees us through the week. Chayofa itself is a small village within walking distance of the hotel. It also offers a minimarket, a small central area and two restaurants that are particularly suitable for families, the Treehouse bar and grill and the tapas-style La Tasa deal Arte de Chayofa. On the odd occasion we found it pleasurable to venture into Los Cristianos to enjoy a livelier vibe and a wider choice of both shops and restaurants. I particularly enjoyed my paella from the Sol y Luna which was conveniently located next to the beach and a playground! Los Cristianos is also very popular with tourists due to the beautiful beaches and the family friendly atmosphere. Many of the touristy activities and trips will collect holidaymakers from Los Cristianos.

Adeje

It’s possible to have two or more very different experiences of Adeje, depending on the part in which you are based. We have previously stayed at the Iberostar Las Dalias which I would recommend for a first family holiday in Tenerife as the location is ideal and the hotel itself is exceptional – the kids club, entertainment, food and standard of cleanliness. A simple ten-minute stroll out of the hotel will take you straight to shops and restaurants. Another holiday of ours was spent at the Dream Villa Tagoro, which we also found to be excellent, although we felt that the restaurant was not quite as well organized and relaxed. Overall, it didn’t quite live up to its slightly higher-rated neighbours. It is also a little more ‘out of the way’ and most of the trips from here do require a taxi. Due to the amount of time I’ve spent looking for the best mid-range family hotels and luxury family hotels in this area, top suggestions for a stay in Costa Adeje are the Iberostar Las Dalias, the Green Garden Apartments (private pools available), the Hotel Isabel or for a special treat the Gran Melia Palacio de Isora.

For more than a slice of glamour, you might want to book yourself into the high-end hotel the GF Victoria, which proudly displays its gleaming gold stars in front of the tall glass doors and white marble approach that greets you. I made a beeline for this hotel due to the glass swimming pool that is suspended from the top floor ‘Zambra sky bar’. This is the other side of Adeje where the exclusive shopping centre Plaza Del Duque can be found, so if you are looking to pick up a new LV bag or cute Gucci trainer, you are in the right place! The hotels surrounding the GF Victoria, all have a large helping of class, if not a fifth star, and it is clear as the sports cars drive past you, that this is one of the places you must see and be seen! I think to get the true taste of Adeje it’s important to take a walk or a cycle along Fanabe beach, and to explore this area. Personally, I find it helpful to look at the map beforehand, so I can choose whereabouts I liked to be based. Please click on more information to have a look at the map.

I have not yet stayed in the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife or the most popular resort on the north of the island Puerto De La Cruz, but they are in my sights for our next family holiday in Tenerife and so are firmly on my wish list for 2023. Despite the huge choice of family hotels in these regions, it might make for a nice change and an authentic experience to hire a private villa. I also thought that hotel Landmar Costa Los Gigantes looked very nice if you wanted to explore the Los Giagantes area, although I have been advised that the area is a little quieter and so my advice is to view the Los Gigantes cliffs via a whale watching boat trip or by car, and to stay somewhere more central. Finally, we have also stated at the Golf Plaza hotel in Golf Del Sur, which again was a perfectly pleasing hotel and a lovely holiday but (on reading reviews) some people have found the noise from the nearby airport to be a slight red flag, and again you are a little off the beaten track. On the plus side it’s an exceptionally short airport transfer and a spacious plot!

A family holiday in Tenerife – where to visit

Waterparks

It’s impossible to do a family holiday in Tenerife justice without visiting at least one of the top-rated water parks. The park you favour will most likely depend on the age of your children so, for younger children, (approximately under 12 years old), Aqualand is fabulous as there are many water slides and suitable play areas. Aqualand is located only a stone’s throw from your front door if you stay at the Iberostar! For older children and grown-ups, Siam Park is hard to beat – there are many exhilarating rides including the Tower of Power and slightly tamer ones too – donuts on the Mai Thai lazy river or jumping in the waves at Siam Beach. There are eateries and small shops at Siam Park, so it is a full day out (as with Aqualand too) and there are many companies that offer coach trips there so either ask at your hotel reception or at one of the kiosks in town / on the beachfront. A top tip is to get a combined ticket, because if you plan to visit Aqualand and Jungle Park, this will get you a decent discount of the entry price – perfect for family holidays.

Animal Parks

As I mentioned on my Instagram page, there are mixed standards at some of the animal parks in Tenerife and I was advised that even the highly rated ones were not the best place for the animals to be. Naturally, it is personal preference if you choose to visit but if you do, you might want to make the trip to Loro Parque or Jungle Park as these parks also have playgrounds and rides so there is a lot to entertain children for a full day, and as I mentioned, a combined ticket with Jungle Park and Aqualand is available.

Top sights and activities

Two of my best experiences in Tenerife were had on our latest trip in 2021. Firstly, our whale watching trip on the Free Bird Catamaran was truly remarkable. We were so lucky to see some whales and two varieties of dolphin. It was the perfect day for it too and we moored up for a while near the Los Gigantes cliffs and were able to leave the boat to swim in the sea. We took it in turns as my little one had fallen asleep so was resting in the shade. Drinks and a meal were provided, and the staff were extremely friendly and professional. I would say in hindsight that a four-hour trip is slightly too long for any child under 3 as you are quite a long time at sea so it might be an idea to opt for a two hour one instead. If you had slightly older children or are child-free, I think that Tenerife would be a wonderful place to try scuba diving too.

The next and slightly hair-raising activity was driving a quad bike up to Mount Teide with my eldest. It’s such a great way to experience something new and to get a real feel for the volcanic landscape that is the Mount Teide National Park. It’s something I hadn’t done before, but as Mount Teide is arguably Tenerife’s most famous landmark, it had to be done. There are many options available to sightsee here though, if you don’t fancy the quad bike. It is also possible to take a cable car up to the top – but if you opt for this form of transport then you’d be braver than me!

There are many more wonderful experiences that you can undertake in Tenerife to explore its history and terrain. Many of the top sights that I have not yet visited can be found in the capital for example the Museum of Nature and Archaeology, the Palmetum Botanical Gardens, Plaza de Espana and the Historical Military Museum of the Canary Islands. I am also very keen to explore the pyramids of Guimar, Drago Park and the Cueva del Vinto. Not to forget the simple pleasures such as hiring bicycles and cycling along the coast, making sandcastles on the beach or browsing for souvenirs and gifts in the many shops which make a lasting impression in your mind when you are sat at your desk back home!

A family holiday in Tenerife – what do you need to know?

My final top tips for a family holiday Tenerife are:

Carnival

Now I haven’t been to Mardi Gras but to say I’m keen would be a huge understatement! I get the impression however that the Tenerife Carnival is the next best thing and as Tenerife is slightly more accessible to us than New Orleans, I think I will make that trip first! Carnival is on this year between 24th January and 4th March. I have found this little snippet from the main website:
Every year more than 250,000 people head to Tenerife to the gorgeous capital city of Santa Cruz to celebrate carnival! After the crowning of the Carnival Queens is when the party begins in Tenerife. For two weeks the streets of Tenerife are filled with colour, costumes and joy. Tenerife Carnival is jam-packed with numerous parades, shows, concerts, masquerade balls, and non-stop parties.

Siam Mall

Siam Mall is not just a shopping mall but also a great place to go with kids. There is a good choice of restaurants on the top floor that will appeal to most little ones and on our last visit there were some jumping ropes, a little lego centre and a playground. Just in case you find yourself in this situation too - there was also a pop- up test site that my husband had to make a quick trip to get his fit to fly certificate. It was easily accessible, not busy and the whole process was a breeze.

Car hire

It isn’t really necessary to hire a car unless you plan to visit several of the towns I’ve mentioned above in one trip. If you stay in a central area, you can walk into town and most, if not all the excursions will offer transfers from your hotel. The price of taxis is very reasonable, and we have found it much easier than trying to navigate the Tenerife road-system and to find parking spaces. On our first stay at the Regency Country Club in Chayofa we did hire a car because of its distance from main towns and supermarkets, but on our second visit we didn’t and found that it wasn’t necessary. When the Regency Country Club fully reopens in April, it is my expectation that the shuttle bus service to Los Cristianos will also resume.

THE DETAILS

The Regency Country Club Hotel in Chayofa

A beautiful, relaxing family hotel that I highly recommend.

Iberostar Las Dalias

An all inclusive hotel in a great location that is ideal for kids

The GF Victoria Hotel in Adeje

A luxurious five star hotel in a glamourous part of Costa Adeje

Whale Watching with the Freebird catamaran

A wonderful tour company offering excellent excursions out to sea.

Quad Biking up Mount Teide

Another exceptional tour company Buggy-do offering exciting tours of Mount Teide National Park.

Handy links list

Tori
January 18, 2022
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