Our last two family breaks have taken us to the Canary Islands, first to Tenerife and then to Gran Canaria. We have found the Canary Islands a great destination for young children, and the islands are easy to get to from the UK. If you’re planning a trip to these fantastic Mediterranean islands, here is my advice on how to plan the perfect holiday with the kids…
When to visit
The Canary Islands are popular year round, but are particularly popular during the winter months, when the Mediterranean beaches are still too cold for sunbathing. Temperatures are more tolerable at this time of the year, especially for children, though, as it is peak season, accommodation can be more expensive. However if you opt for late Gran Canaria holidays, for instance, you may be able to get island hotel or airport prices slashed. Quieter resorts, which are preferable for families, include Arguinegin, Patalavaca and Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria, and Los Gigantes and Puerto Santiago in Tenerife.
Planning your trip
Getting to the Canaries involves a flight of between three and five hours from most major airports in Europe. Hiring a car from the airport will be the easiest way to transport prams/pushchairs (though you may be able to hire these from your accommodation) and all the other luggage that you have. Ensure that you book a family-friendly resort with facilities suitable for children. Washing machines, restaurants which serve kid-sided meals, a playground, a children’s pool and babysitting services will all come in handy.
All-inclusive options may also be preferable, though many accommodations also come with cooking facilities. We found that booking accommodation close to the beach saved a lot of hassle getting to and from the seaside each day. Staying close to the beach also means that you avoid having to push prams up hills every day!
While you’re there
If you’re taking small children to the beach, ensure that you have an umbrella to shade them, and apply plenty of suncream to protect their delicate skin. Be aware that topless sunbathing is common in the Canaries. But holidays in the Canaries aren’t just about the sun and the sea. Hiking, scenic drives and adventure parks will also keep the children entertained.
As the children get older, we hope to go back and do some of the excellent hikes on the islands. Among the trails suitable for families are the Trail of The Senses in Anaga Rural Park (Tenerife), the walk to Roque Nublo which is one of the most iconic beauty spots on Gran Canaria, and Teneguia volcano walk on La Palma.
This is a guest post written by Paul Anderson.
Image by Mate Marschalko, used under Creative Comms license.