Easy winter sun: a first-timer’s guide to Tenerife with kids

by Helen Finney

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My husband and I first went to Tenerife in March 2000, our first holiday as a couple. Back then we were looking for sunshine and nightlife and weren’t too fussy about where we stayed! We chose the south western tip of the island, close to Los Christianos. Unbeknown to us, we chose exactly the same region, Costa Adeje, when we went back in April 2007 when our son Joe was coming up to two years old (it was only when standing in front of some familiar balustrades for a photo that we realised we’d been there before!).

Tenerife is ideal for winter sun with temperatures in the mid 20s every time we’ve been  – we’ve stayed there in February, March, April and November and always had glorious sunshine! Just over four hours flying gets you to lovely warm weather and a very family-friendly area.

There was a vast change in the area in the seven year gap between our first and second visits there. The resort has developed northwards along the coast, away from the more party-orientated Las Americas. It seemed to us that the Tenerife authorities must have made a conscious effort to change the image of the area as it’s bars and restaurants are much more family-friendly and sedate. Each time we’ve been back we’ve seen new hotels spring up further along the coast so there are plenty of places to choose from.

All along the coast there is a promenade walkway with bars and restaurants located along it. This makes it perfect for evening strolls with a buggy and small children. The beaches at Fanabe and Duque are lovely – although the golden sand is artificial as Tenerife’s natural beaches are dark grey volcanic sand.

Where we’ve stayed

All three hotels that we’ve stayed in have been good. Clean, well kept, decent food and fairly quiet. We’ve had a family room each time – the most recent visit saw 4 of us in the room – with either a balcony or a terrace.  This fab interactive map is the best way to see their locations and where everything else is too.

  • April 2007 – Jacaranda (half board). Perfectly lovely but a little further away from the shops and lovely beaches.
  • November 2007 – Costa Adeje Gran Hotel (B&B). This hotel is a walk up the hill but it lovely. The swimming pool is elevated and looks out over the sea. The big bonus with this hotel is the separate shallow children’s swimming pool that was always warm enough for the little ones.
  • February 2011 – Fanabe Costa Sur (Half board) This hotel is the closest to the seafront that we’ve stayed in. There’s also a mini golf play area and climbing frame.

Handy hints for first-timers

  1. Tenerife is basically one big hill! Being a volcanic island, its sides are steep. So a hotel that looks close to the beach on the map is, in reality, up a very sharp hill. It’s not a long walk to any of the hotels really, but be prepared for some serious buggy pushing…
  2. The shops at Plaza el Duque are a good starting point – there’s a supermarket in the bottom of the centre and a pharmacy on the upper level that we can recommend! There are also a couple of lovely jewellery shops for presents – lots of gem stones and lava jewellery.
  3. We loved the Rincon de la Fuente Bar and Cafe in the Mirador del Duque shopping precinct – comfy chairs, a fountain, umbrellas and lovely Rose wine in the evening overlooking the sea.
  4. Transfers from the airport are straightforward in a taxi if you don’t want to sit through the coach drop-off routine.
  5. The hotels we’ve stayed in all had small fridges in the rooms – perfect for wine/water/juice/chocolate storage.
  6. The evenings tend to be on the cooler side if you go for winter sun. Definitely worth taking small person long trousers and a couple of jumpers.
  7. There’s usually a breeze blowing in off the sea – we’ve seen this vary in strength somewhat. So it can be deceptively hot in the sun and lead to pink shoulders without you really noticing.
  8. There is lots more to do on Tenerife if you have older children – for us though it’s been the perfect lazy sunshine holiday with our little ones. I don’t think it’ll be too long before we’ll be back.

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One Response to Easy winter sun: a first-timer’s guide to Tenerife with kids

  1. Alice P says:

    Great post, the Canary Islands are wonderful, and like you have said they are wonderful even in the winter. I’m looking a booking for my holiday, so it is great to get your personal view on what to do/bring.

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