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Family holiday in the Canaries? Child’s play

If you’re looking to take the kids away, the Canary Islands are a top choice for a family holiday. For starters, they’re an absolute suntrap. Whatever time of year you go, you’re likely to enjoy warm weather and heaps of sunshine – so you’ll be sure to return with a tan, even in winter. And of course the place where you’re most likely to achieve said tan is on the beaches.

Formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, the Canaries’ unique start in life means they’ve been blessed with some of the most spectacular stretches of sand you’re likely to come across anywhere in the world. In addition to a whole bunch of gold-sand beaches, there are those with white sand and even some with black. Many are surrounded by craggy cliffs, while others are flanked by dramatic dunes. But Canary Islands beaches have far more going for them than just good looks. They’re a real hive of activity, too. Surfing and windsurfing are particularly popular here, however, there are tonnes of other watersports to try, including diving and snorkelling.

But Canary Islands family holidays shouldn’t solely be spent on the beach. The islands’ interiors, with their wildly varied terrain, are also well worth exploring. Tenerife’s Mount Teide National Park, Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park and La Palma’s Caldera de Taburiente National Park are all particularly great spots to pull on your walking books. Or, if your kids prefer biking to hiking, that’s no problem, because this archipelago packs in loads of cycling routes, too.

Of course no family holiday to the Canaries would be complete without finding the perfect accommodation. Luckily, our experts are here to help with that. So whether you want a place with a kids’ club that goes heavy on activities, or you’re after somewhere swanky where you can truly relax, we’ll find something that works for you and your brood.

Family hotels

Outdoor pursuits

Waterparks

Best time to go

Family hotels

The Canaries really know what they’re doing when it comes to family-friendly hotels. The four largest islands each come with their fair share of resorts, all designed to tick boxes with kids both big and small.

In Lanzarote, the key players are Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. There are heaps of hotels in each resort, but one of our faves is the Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca. An all-inclusive option, it strikes the perfect balance between fun and tranquillity and has six swimming pools, a spa, plus loads of restaurants to choose from. Alternatively, there’s the Sol Lanzarote, on Puerto del Carmen’s Matagorda beachfront, which offers something for everyone, including a jam-packed activity programme.

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Over on Tenerife, your best bets when travelling with children are Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje. But having the kids in tow certainly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury on your Canary Islands family holiday, consider a stay at the five-star Gran Tacande Wellness & Relax.

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Outdoor pursuits

Like most islands, the Canaries are outdoorsy kinds of places – with a near constant supply of sunshine, you don’t want to be wasting hours indoors. The beaches will no doubt be where you spend most of your time on a Canary Islands family holiday, and that’s exactly as it should be. With white-sand, golden-sand and even black-sand varieties dotted around, there’s lots of scope for colourful castle building, while the generally calm waters mean it’s pretty safe territory for kiddies to take a dip. Or, if your kids are slightly older, they might want to give watersports a go – surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing and diving are all widely available in the Canaries.

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Show Less

It’s not all about the water, though – there’s plenty more to entertain active whippersnappers if you head inland. All islands offer excellent opportunities for hiking and biking. In Lanzarote, you can join a guided hike through the lunar landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, while Teide National Park has the best trails on Tenerife. And in La Palma, there’s loads of ground to cover in Caldera de Taburiente – the largest erosion crater in the world.

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Waterparks

If you, or any of your brood, are the kind of people who enjoy an adrenaline rush, you’ll be pleased to hear that this archipelago is packed with waterparks. So whichever isle you pick for your Canary Islands family holiday, there’ll be ample opportunity for thrills and spills.

Arguably the best waterpark in the Canaries is Tenerife’s Thai-themed Siam Park. Spread across 36 acres, it’s one of the biggest in Europe. Also on Tenerife you’ll find Aqualand Costa Adeje which, in addition to slides, a lazy river and a wave pool, comes complete with a dolphinarium. There’s another Aqualand waterpark on Gran Canaria, in Maspalomas. That one doesn’t have dolphins but there is a special Kidzworld, where all the slides are scaled down specifically for little ones.

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If you’re planning on visiting Lanzarote you’ll be positively spoilt for choice, what with there being three waterparks on the island – Aquapark, Aqualava and Dino Park Water Park. Meanwhile, Fuerteventura’s Acua Water Park offers bowling and mini-golf as well as all the expected water-based attractions.

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Best time to go

There really is no bad time to go on a family holiday to the Canary Islands. Although this archipelago officially belongs to Spain, it’s actually closer to mainland Africa than it is to Europe, and its excellent positioning in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean means the islands enjoy a subtropical climate. So summers are hot, winters are mild and the sun shines throughout the year. Even in January and February – typically the coldest months – daily highs rarely dip below 20°C.

Show More
Show Less

July and August are the hottest months of the year, with temperatures often creeping close to 30°C While a coastal breeze stops things heating up too much, there’s little to be done when it comes to keeping the crowds at bay. If you visit during the peak summer months, you’ll find resorts are busy and most beaches are heaving with tourists. Come September, though, things cool down a few degrees and the crowds start to fall away. Autumn can be a great time for a Canary Islands holiday – things are generally quieter but the sea remains lovely and warm, so the kids can still have fun splashing about.

Show More
Show Less

Family hotels

Family hotels

The Canaries really know what they’re doing when it comes to family-friendly hotels. The four largest islands each come with their fair share of resorts, all designed to tick boxes with kids both big and small.

In Lanzarote, the key players are Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. There are heaps of hotels in each resort, but one of our faves is the Gran Castillo Tagoro Family & Fun Playa Blanca. An all-inclusive option, it strikes the perfect balance between fun and tranquillity and has six swimming pools, a spa, plus loads of restaurants to choose from. Alternatively, there’s the Sol Lanzarote, on Puerto del Carmen’s Matagorda beachfront, which offers something for everyone, including a jam-packed activity programme.

Show More
Show Less

Over on Tenerife, your best bets when travelling with children are Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje. But having the kids in tow certainly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury on your Canary Islands family holiday, consider a stay at the five-star Gran Tacande Wellness & Relax.

Show More
Show Less

Outdoor pursuits

Outdoor pursuits

Like most islands, the Canaries are outdoorsy kinds of places – with a near constant supply of sunshine, you don’t want to be wasting hours indoors. The beaches will no doubt be where you spend most of your time on a Canary Islands family holiday, and that’s exactly as it should be. With white-sand, golden-sand and even black-sand varieties dotted around, there’s lots of scope for colourful castle building, while the generally calm waters mean it’s pretty safe territory for kiddies to take a dip. Or, if your kids are slightly older, they might want to give watersports a go – surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing and diving are all widely available in the Canaries.

Show More
Show Less

It’s not all about the water, though – there’s plenty more to entertain active whippersnappers if you head inland. All islands offer excellent opportunities for hiking and biking. In Lanzarote, you can join a guided hike through the lunar landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, while Teide National Park has the best trails on Tenerife. And in La Palma, there’s loads of ground to cover in Caldera de Taburiente – the largest erosion crater in the world.

Show More
Show Less

Waterparks

Waterparks

If you, or any of your brood, are the kind of people who enjoy an adrenaline rush, you’ll be pleased to hear that this archipelago is packed with waterparks. So whichever isle you pick for your Canary Islands family holiday, there’ll be ample opportunity for thrills and spills.

Arguably the best waterpark in the Canaries is Tenerife’s Thai-themed Siam Park. Spread across 36 acres, it’s one of the biggest in Europe. Also on Tenerife you’ll find Aqualand Costa Adeje which, in addition to slides, a lazy river and a wave pool, comes complete with a dolphinarium. There’s another Aqualand waterpark on Gran Canaria, in Maspalomas. That one doesn’t have dolphins but there is a special Kidzworld, where all the slides are scaled down specifically for little ones.

Show More
Show Less

If you’re planning on visiting Lanzarote you’ll be positively spoilt for choice, what with there being three waterparks on the island – Aquapark, Aqualava and Dino Park Water Park. Meanwhile, Fuerteventura’s Acua Water Park offers bowling and mini-golf as well as all the expected water-based attractions.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go

There really is no bad time to go on a family holiday to the Canary Islands. Although this archipelago officially belongs to Spain, it’s actually closer to mainland Africa than it is to Europe, and its excellent positioning in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean means the islands enjoy a subtropical climate. So summers are hot, winters are mild and the sun shines throughout the year. Even in January and February – typically the coldest months – daily highs rarely dip below 20°C.

Show More
Show Less

July and August are the hottest months of the year, with temperatures often creeping close to 30°C While a coastal breeze stops things heating up too much, there’s little to be done when it comes to keeping the crowds at bay. If you visit during the peak summer months, you’ll find resorts are busy and most beaches are heaving with tourists. Come September, though, things cool down a few degrees and the crowds start to fall away. Autumn can be a great time for a Canary Islands holiday – things are generally quieter but the sea remains lovely and warm, so the kids can still have fun splashing about.

Show More
Show Less

Plan your family-friendly break in the Canaries

Take a look at some of our most popular resorts

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