Nothing beats a family holiday to the Canaries. For many parents, discovering this destination with young kids for the first time feels like a godsend – the glorious weather, beautiful beaches and endless activities ensure that they return time and time again.
Over the years we’ve organised holidays to these special islands for countless families, who are never been disappointed by the range of activities and facilities on offer. The Canaries have a fantastic child-friendly culture, particularly for smaller children. Flights are regular and relatively short, and once you’ve arrived it couldn’t be easier to get around, with top-quality transport links to be found on each island.
Wherever you’re heading to, whether Tenerife or Lanzarote, here are my top tips from my clients on their favourite things to do while visiting the islands, from beaches to museums and other activities – the Canaries are your oyster!
There is no shortage of beaches to explore in the Canaries, and you’ll find many are perfect for children, with low tides and shallow waters. On Lanzarote, try Playa Grande at Puerto del Carmen: for older children, there are brilliant watersport activities available here, such as bubble-maker courses. Other good choices include Playa Blanca and Playa del Castillo at Caleta de Fuste.
On Tenerife, the beaches at Los Cristianos are the best choice, as they are located next to the island’s top theme parks, with a vast range of activities and family-friendly eateries within easy reach.
For visits to Tenerife, there are two must-see museums that will delight children: the Museo de la Naruraleza y el Hombre, exploring natural science and archaeology and features Guanche mummies, and the Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos, a science museum with a planetarium that never fails to captivate.
Over on Lanzarote, meanwhile, pirates lie in wait for some of the more adventurous explorers. The Museo de la Pirateria, located in the sixteenth-century Castillo de Santa Bárbara, the oldest castle in the Canaries, has the added bonus of a magnificent view across the island’s arid plains.
All museums throughout the Canaries – though ranging in size – have wonderful facilities such as cafes and baby-change services, which make things as convenient as possible for parents with youngsters in tow. They make a good port of call in between pool-days and beach-days.
No matter how small, there are always plenty of activities for children across the Canaries. Tenerife, in particular, has several great theme parks, fantastic for all ages with first-class amenities. Siam Park is the top choice for many families: this huge waterpark at Los Cristianos with rapids, a wave pool and its own beach is always a highlight of any trip to the island.
Over the water in Lanzarote, meanwhile, the Guinate Tropical Park has over 1,300 exotic birds, an aquarium and botanical garden, as well as regular entertainment shows. It comes highly recommended by my clients as the most family-friendly attraction on the island. There are bus links to the park from many resorts across Lanzarote, making it very easy to reach.
Horse-riding is a favourite activity available on many of the islands, such as at La Caldera del Rey, Los Cristianos, in Tenerife and in Lanzarote at Lanzarote a Caballo, Puerto del Carmen. Horse rides offer a gentle, unique way of seeing the volcanic landscapes of the Canaries – parents, as much as children, enjoy the chance to sit back and soak up the ride!
In addition to this, Lanzarote has great places to explore underground in its caves. Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua, with their gleaming stalactites and water pools, are easily accessible even with buggies and little legs. A visit to see the geysers at the Timanfaya National Park is also sure to amaze, so I would recommend squeezing in a trip there too.
You can read about other activity-filled holidays for children to Murcia and the Algarve in our blog post here.
Adrian Hotel Roca Nivaria Gran in Tenerife has several pools, including a heated children’s pool, as well as its own man-made beach, all-inclusive dining options and children’s clubs, making it a fantastic place to stay for families. Find out more.
Princesa Yaiza in Lanzarote is one of the largest hotels on the island, It has facilities to cater for your every need, including a variety of restaurants and family room suites. Children can also be kept well entertained at the hotel’s kid’s club, Kikoland, which has pools, shows and a mini-disco, all designed to suit every age group. Find out more.
The Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife is ideal if you’re looking for a more indulgent stay, with its “Villa” rooms offering a luxurious level of privacy. It also offers a complimentary Ritz Kids programme of entertainment during the day for the children and baby-sitting is easy to arrange in advance – which means that the parents can enjoy the 2 Michelin-star restaurants in the evening. Find out more.