Our Tenerife Family Holiday
Whenever I think back to our family holiday in Tenerife, I remember the sound of crashing waves, glorious sunshine, dramatic volcanic landscapes & the relaxing atmosphere. We went in March where the island of ‘eternal spring’ treated us to warm, sunny days & a lovely breeze from the surrounding ocean.
Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands, situated in the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most popular islands to visit & I very much imagined it was going to be a stereotypical, lie on the beach under a parasol all day type of holiday. And yes, that is exactly what it can be. If that is your thing, head for the south-western part of the island – the resorts of Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos & Playa de Las Americas. The water is shallower and calmer than other parts of the island & the weather is generally better. The sand is naturally black due to its volcanic origin, but at the large southerly resorts, the sand is golden (man-made!).
For us, as people who can’t sit still & as this was our first holiday abroad with the toddler I wanted us to explore as much as possible. Give her lots of new experiences!
We arrived at our hotel, The Suites at Beverley Hills in Los Cristianos, in the early hours of the morning. The rooms were spacious and clean and the staff were all very friendly. After a late night and not much sleep, we had a relaxing first day spent at or near the hotel. We picked up our hire car and went to the supermarket to get supplies for the week (basically all of Sophie’s favourite foods!). We explored the large number of swimming pools the hotel had to offer and settled by one that had a small toddler pool.
In the evening, we were treated to some traditional Spanish dancing and music. During the entertainment we enjoyed a BBQ buffet & Sophie discovered chocolate dipped strawberries are the best thing EVER.
Myself & my husband are huge wildlife enthusiasts and the passion we have gets reignited every time we go on holiday. I think it’s the fascination of seeing creatures that we don’t get in the UK. We decided to put our hire car to good use to explore the island and see what we could spot.
We travelled from our hotel in Los Cristianos (south of the island) along the west coast to reach the northern towns of Garachico & Los Silos. The scenery along the way is truly breathtaking. To your right is the ever present volcano, El Teide, and it’s surrounding mountains. To the left is glorious blue ocean.
Considering Tenerife is quite a small island, the difference in geology & weather between the north & south is significant. In the north it is much windier and waves crash against cliffs rather than beaches. In contrast to the volcanic south, however, the north is much greener with its beautiful forests & flora. The north of the island is also much quieter and more authentic.
We decided to explore the most north-western tip of the island, and precariously made our way along narrow roads that wound their way around the mountain sides.
Not only did we see some stunning scenery, but managed to see red admiral butterflies, lizards, a kestrel & a pair of ravens.
In the evening we headed out to a fun fair before dinner. Sophie loved the roundabouts & went on the same one, in the same tea cup, over and over again!
We wanted today to be all about Sophie and chose some activities that we knew she would love. We headed off to Jungle Park to see the animals & watch the shows. Before we visited, I ensured that the park was conservation friendly & that each animal had its own, large space.
The park is huge and there were lots of different species to marvel at. We saw eagles, orang-utans, monkeys, lemurs, big cats, meerkats & reptiles. We managed to see the birds of prey show where a range of birds are sent off in free flight. Sometimes they would be flying only a few centimetres above our heads! The best part was the flight of the eagles – they were so high in the sky that we couldn’t actually see them. All of a sudden they would come plummeting down, out of nowhere, to take the prey from the keepers hand.
To complete the day, we headed to our local beach at Los Cristianos. We had a lovely time building sandcastles, finding shells & paddling in the sea.
I was super excited about this day as we were off to Aqualand Water Park in Costa Adeje! I had never been to a water park before and couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. In Tenerife, apparently Siam Park is THE water park to go to, however we chose Aqualand as I read it was more young child friendly.
Upon arrival, we left our stuff in the lockers provided and headed down to the park. The first thing we could see – the toddler pool! And it was HUGE! I’ve never seen a child look so happy. There were 4 larger slides to choose from, each easily used by a toddler with supervision. There was a lifeguard constantly present in the shallow water which helped put my mind at ease.
After many hours and lots of sun-cream we finally persuaded Sophie to get out of the pool! We went for a family ride along the Lazy River on a large float & had some lunch in one of the many cafes.
In the afternoon, it was my turn! I went on some of the large slides and had a blast! The husband kept using the excuse that he had to look after Sophie so couldn’t possibly go on anything, even though I would have been with her…hmm…
We went to watch the dolphin show towards the end of the day which gave us a chance to get dry and have a snuggle as Sophie was getting really tired. It is truly incredible what dolphins can do & we were all in total awe of both the dolphins and their trainers.
Another family themed attraction today! We decided to drive to the north side of the island again to visit the world renowned, #1 TripAdvisor rated Loro Parque, the zoo of Puerto de la Cruz. The zoo has done wonders for conservation, saving a variety of species from extinction.
We easily spent the whole day there, looking at the animals and visiting all of the shows. We saw a range of animals from gorillas, chimpanzees, white tigers, birds, reptiles to penguins.
In fact the penguin enclosure was amazing – the penguinarium! The penguins are housed totally in their own environment as it replicates the conditions of the Antarctic. Machines produce 12 tons of snow every day and the water is kept at 7 degrees. The penguins are in a cylindrical structure in the middle of the room. Visitors then stand on a conveyor belt which goes around the enclosure. You can watch the penguins diving and swimming close up.
Our final full day before having to leave… After lots of attractions, we decided to once again go off the beaten track and explore the remainder of the island. Top of our list – El Teide! There was no way we were missing the volcano! The volcano is 3717m above sea level, the tallest peak in Spain. It is so high that, on the drive towards it, you go through the clouds and emerge on the other side. You can take a trip to the very top of the volcano on a cable car. Sadly, we were unable to do this as it is recommended children under 3 do not go to the top due to the lower oxygen levels.
The volcano is surrounded by a National Park with plenty of roads to explore. The landscape is prehistoric with lots of to see, including lava sand and large rock formations.
On our way back down from the National Park we stopped off at a picnic area for some lunch. We were super excited as we finally got to see a Blue Chaffinch – something we had been looking for since we arrived on the island!
Know Before You Go: Essential Information
We had the most wonderful family trip to Tenerife – one I will never forget. I am glad we went in March when the weather was cooler & everywhere was less busy. If you can go outside of school time, I do recommend it.
Flight Time: Between 4 – 4.30 hours from London
Time Difference: None – Tenerife is in the same time zone as the UK
Emergency Number: 112
Book your Tenerife holiday for all year sunshine here!
**Our Tenerife Family Holiday is a sponsored post.