The best part about taking your children on their first, or any, vacation is giving them a sense of adventure that is hard to come by at home or wherever they go for fun. Sometimes, even if it costs a bit more than a trip to the bowling alley or arcade down the road, you need to take your kids to an extraordinary place for a great time.
One place that will make this goal easy to achieve is the Canary Islands, Spanish archipelago located on Northwestern Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean, and off the coast of Morocco. The Canary Islands are full of activities that will leave your group exhausted at the end of the day. What you do in the Canary Island depends largely on which of the seven major islands – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro – you decide to spend most of your time on. Any and all of these islands are worth your while. Canary Islands is ranked as one of the best places to visit any time of the year, especially in January. The islands is really easy to get to from most European countries especially Portugal and Spain.
Some items on your to-do list will reward you with amazing views, while others lean more on the active side. Here are the top five things to do with your kids in the Canary Islands as a whole.
1. Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
When you think of the Canary Islands, the first thing that comes to mind is the beach. If you have your eyes set on the best beach activities that this spot has to offer, then we advise taking your kids to Playa de Maspalomas, which has everything for everyone. Waves come in all sizes in case your kids love surfing but are not experienced or old enough to try out those that may be a little too dangerous.
Paddle boarding and kayaking come in handy for when the water is calm, and snorkeling is the way to go if your kids want to explore everything under the surface and check out any crabs, fish, turtles and other aquatic life that might be hanging around. There is a line of hotels and restaurants along the beach so that you can walk to where you want to go for dinner or walk straight to the beach the second you wake up in the morning.
2. Teide National Park, Tenerife
The Canary Islands are also home to spots in nature that are far away from the beach but are beautiful in their own ways. One example is Teide National Park, which is home to the third highest volcano in the world. Hiking trails are available up the mountain of the volcano so that you can get a good workout in and reward yourself with an amazing view of the rest of the islands from the top, as well as a high-calorie dinner at the end of the day.
You can also check out the botanic garden at El Portillo Visitor Center if you want to enjoy beautiful greenery and learn about different forms of plant life on the island. The center also has a little museum so that you can learn about the activity of the volcano over the years. If you want to save time on your visit for other activities, then you can take the kids on the Teleferico cable car to get to the top of the volcano and have a fun ride along the way.
3. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
If you are from a major city or are used to taking trips to populated areas, then you won’t have to leave that behind when you venture to these islands. Las Palmas is the largest city on the islands and is only 2.5 miles from the beach so that you don’t have to do too much traveling in between fun spots. Hills and reefs surround the city so that you can still be close to nature, but the buildings are designed with color and traditional architecture.
There is no shortage of shopping centers in case you want to give your kids new clothes or toys, and you will have a variety of options of souvenirs to show off to your friends at home and remember the trip by. We also advise checking out Catedral de Santa Ana so that you can view beautiful glass paintings, artifacts, sculptures and other work of art while getting a lesson on the religious history of the area.
4. Caldera de Taburiente National Park, La Palma
These islands also have different national parks to choose from with different settings, with another one being the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. This one is a little greener than most of the other parks by being filled with mountains and hills full of tropical forests. Your family will be able to choose between different trails for a large hike, and El Rogue de los Muchachos is among the best peaks if you want a challenge.
The park, like most on the islands, was given birth from a crater, which resulted in volcanic peaks covered in trees and waterfalls. Speaking of the waterfalls, there are spots near them that are safe enough for your kids to get close enough for good pictures and enjoy some fresh water after long hikes and hours under the sun. It also helps to stop by El Paso Visitors Center if you want to learn how to venture to different places in safe ways.
5. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife
Visiting another part of the world gives you the chance to explore more local aspects and learn how people operate in the area. In this case, you should take your kids to Santa Cruz de Tenerife for a day to see what the everyday people do on the islands. You won’t come across many people who speak English, so you can your kids can use this visit to learn how to speak the native language and then teach some friends back at home.
The most popular spot in Santa Cruz is Plaza de Espana, the biggest public square of the islands, where you can check out an opera show or concert at the Auditorio de Tenerife. This area is also home to an artificial lake that looks just as clear and realistic as a natural one. Art houses and museums are also scattered in different parts of the town so that you can learn about progress made throughout history, art, science, and other fields.
Check out these places so that you and your kids will get the most out of the Canary Islands and get help with planning your trip to this slice of the world.