When you’re shivering at your desk in the dead of winter trying to conjure up visions of a holiday paradise to keep everyone in the family happy, if your imagination’s working at optimum level chances are the Canary Islands are somewhere in the mix. And, if they’re not, they should be. The sun-kissed Canaries are chock-a-block with family-friendly resorts, where you can hang your cares at the door and not have to even think about them until it’s time to go home. Sounds like holiday heaven, doesn’t it?
Well it is. Because everything you’ve heard about the Canaries is true – there’s sun, sea, surf and superb family activities. But we reckon there might be one place some people with kids overlook, simply because it’s renowned as the ideal place for a romantic winter sun getaway or a beach bum’s paradise. But we’re here to tell you that Los Gigantes, on the popular island of Tenerife, is also amazing for an adventurous family holiday. So listen up, we know what we’re talking about.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Think that sounds lovely but not sure it’ll fly with the kids? Well, how about whale and dolphin watching with a difference – from a smaller, speedier and, let’s face it, cooler boat? Now we’re talking kidspeak! Instead of the larger vessel usually used for the whale watching, you can head out on the enticingly-named Gladiator U, which not only offers a fast, smooth ride, it also allows you to spot whales or dolphins far quicker. (And we all know the deal with kids and attention spans…)
The waters around Los Gigantes are home to multiple species of these beautiful mammals, and if the sight of them in their natural habitat is not enough to impress the youngsters (but it will be), the experience as they race playfully alongside the Gladiator U will be something your little ones will never forget. This magical two-hour experience includes time for a swim and lunch, and provides the added bonus of experiencing the jaw-dropping views of the cliffs around the resort as you come back in to port.
This is one very family-friendly activity that’s suitable for all ages, because if the kids are old enough (10 years) they can get their own sea kayak to paddle; otherwise they can kick back, ride shotgun and let mum or dad do all the work. After being fully briefed and fitted with safety gear at the marina, the group will head out into the calm waters around the resort in these light, easy-to-handle vessels. You’ll paddle your way along the dramatic coastline at the perfect kids’ pace, stopping for a swim and the opportunity to snorkel. Getting up close and personal with the underwater life of the Canaries is one of the most popular things with youngsters, and this is the ultimate “hands-on” way of doing it.
Top tip: Combine your sea kayaking adventure with a whale and dolphin watching tour and make it a day to remember.
Teide Forest Quad Safari
Have we saved the best adventure till last? We’ll let your kids be the judge of that, but we think it might come close to the most fun they’ve ever had on four wheels – so far! The Teide Forest Quad Safari combines two things quite irresistible to youngsters: volcanoes and four-wheelers. And, while it’s adults-only in control of the quad bikes, the tour is open to anyone over the height of 120cm, so kids get to ride on the back with a parent.
After a safety briefing and full driving instructions, this fast-paced, fun-filled tour sets off with a guide (three bikes to a guide) along the forest track that circumnavigates the volcanoes of Mount Teide and Mount Chinyero. While the thrill of the quad bikes is enough, the culmination of the tour at the 2,000m altitude on the edge of the volcanic crater, taking in panoramic views over the entire island makes this the definitive family-friendly joy ride. Top that! Maybe next year…
How to Get to Los Gigantes
Getting the family to Los Gigantes without children having a mega meltdown is super simple. There are plenty of regular flights from the UK to Tenerife South Airport, with budget carriers Ryanair, British Airways and others offering direct services.
From UK airports it takes around 4.5 hours to get to the Canaries – long enough for a movie or a sleep. The good news is that, once you land at the airport, if you book a convenient transfer service with Shuttle Direct, the final part of the journey straight to the door of your accommodation in Los Gigantes only takes about 30 minutes. The kids will be stretching their legs on the sand in no time.
Where to Stay:
Globales Tamaimo Tropical: Let the holiday begin! Globales Tamaimo Tropical really lets you know where you are, situated overlooking the ocean and just a couple of minutes walk from the beach. Kids won’t have time to get bored with loads of games to play and their very own children’s pool. With spacious modern family rooms and free Wi-Fi, parents will be happy too.
La Casona del Patio: Set in wonderful natural surroundings with room for the children to run, La Casona del Patio offers family rooms, free Wi-Fi and has some amazing outdoor activities close by, including horse-riding. Get back to nature and feel totally relaxed on your holiday knowing the kids are having fun as well.
SKA Diamond Apartments: With wow-factor views and within walking distance of the beach, the SKA Diamond Apartments might make you the most popular parents in Los Gigantes. As well as a fantastic outdoor pool, kids will be kept busy with the availability of bikes and the chance to go snorkelling and swimming in the ocean.
About Shuttle Direct:
At Shuttle Direct, our fast and friendly services have earned us a reputation as one of the leading providers of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. When you make an easy online booking with us all you need to do is show up at the airport and we’ll take care of the rest, with our efficient door-to-door service right to your accommodation.