The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife offers lots of choices to spend your time, not just the classical sun-bathing on the beach. You can easily spend one week in Tenerife without being bored and you might even want to return. The island is very suitable to visit with kids, as there are plenty of ways to keep them entertained and most the locations are child-friendly. It is a very accessible location to visit if you want to experience something exotic without traveling too far or not going out of your comfort zone with regards of health, safety and modern civilisation.
We spent one week in Tenerife with our 1 year old son, our activities were a lot influenced by his schedule; the early morning flight and the 2 hours time-zone difference were enough of a challenge in the first few days, so we tried to adapt to him as much as possible.
Still, we managed to tick-off the main points from the list:
Teide – The 3,718 m peak, highest point in Spain and the third-tallest volcanic structure in the world, is the main symbol of Tenerife. Still an active volcano, it is in the middle of a National Park, recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site. These should be enough reasons to take the cable car ride up to the summit. Unfortunately, due to the high altitude, this isn’t recommended for young babies and we just took a road trip up to 2.356m, during Eric’s afternoon nap. We’ve been on other volcanos before (in lovely Sicily), but still, we were impressed by what we’ve seen here. Going up the mountain, the deserted scenery from the coast is replaced by more abundant vegetation and forests. After a while, there are less and less trees, rather short and naked. Than, beyond 2.000m, all you can see is small vegetation on a burned, alien-like soil.
Road-trip to Masca – Around the “lost village” there are many stories featuring pirates and treasures and there no wonder why. Hidden in the mountains, but quite close to the ocean, the remote location with just around 100 inhabitants couldn’t be reached by car until early ‘90s. Now, the narrow road is full with tourist busses during the day, as it is probably the most picturesque place from the entire island. The scenery is like from a different world: vertical cliffs, lush green vegetation and views to the ocean up to La Gomera island. If this does not leave you breathless, the road for sure will: steep and narrow, with lots of hairpin bends, demanding serious driving skills.
Acantilados de los Gigantes and the black sand beach – Not far from Masca valley you can find the Cliffs of the Giants or the Wall of Hell, how they were called in ancient times. A few hundred meters high, almost vertical cliffs plunge directly into the ocean, offering dramatic views. Near the Giants you can find one of the natural beaches of Tenerife, with black volcanic sand. This was a very interesting change of perspective compared with the golden beaches on the large resort towns, man made with Saharian sand.
Sailing to see the dolphins and whales – We are big fans of any kind of water activities, but you probably know that already from our past posts. So, being on an island, of course we looked for ocean-related activities, suitable for the baby as well. Sailing the Atlantic coast to see dolphins and whales appeared as a great choice and indeed it was. Secured in his Manduca on daddy’s chest, Eric dozed off as soon as the boat started to navigate through the waves. He peacefully napped most of the ride, so we could focus just on what was going on around us. We picked a cloudy and windy days, with quite some waves, that created some motion sickness issues for me (beware if you have similar problems). Still, we enjoyed cruising on crystal clear waters with lots of dolphins and blue whales around us.
Loro Parque – Best zoo in the world, as recommended by Trip Advisor 2017, this is a huge animal reserve, occupying over 13.5 hectares. Initially built as a parrots park over 40 years ago, today it hosts a large variety of animals. The park still is an international study and conservation centre for parrots, holding the largest collection in the world. Loro Park is probably the most visited attraction in the whole Tenerife and you can easily spend there at least half a day. Besides hosting various animals in an environment as close as possible to their real home, they organise various shows and exhibitions on a daily basis. Eric was way to young to understand much of what was going on, but I’m sure this is a great place to see with older kids.
As you can see, in Tenerife you can find both relaxation and adventure for all ages. There are several key points we missed, from lack of time (one week in Tenerife is not a lot) or due to not being suitable for such a young kid. Please let us know in the comment section what else would you recommend seeing in Tenerife.