Last Summer we went to Tenerife, for one week, to spend our family holiday.
We wanted to go to a beach destination. It’s always great for the kids to be able to go somewhere warm where they can go for a swim and play on the beach but that wasn’t the only thing we were looking for in our holiday. We wanted somewhere where we could enjoy mountain walks and bond with nature, maybe meet some animals plus go to a cool museum and create some nice fun memories together.
Tenerife ticked all the boxes.
The other major advantage of Tenerife is the abundance of good and cheap flight connections making this island accessible and easy to reach.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Hotel San Roque in Garachico. Having a great base is such an important part of a holiday with the kids and staying in this hotel made a big difference. We fell in love with this hotel. I’ll tell you why…
It’s located in Garachico: a small city by the sea, with natural lava pools, pedestrian pebble streets, few shops and supermarket nearby, great restaurants for seafood and Italian pizzas.
We loved the design and character of this hotel.
Hotel San Roque is an 18th century manor house mixed with a contemporary design hotel. An invitation to relax with plenty of areas of relaxation where you can read, have a coffee, enjoy the sun or look up at the sky. Rooms have great personality. Our double was furnished with Bauhaus designer furniture plus we had a Jacuzzi bathtub which the kids were naturally hysteric about :).
We had booked 2 bedrooms with connecting doors so it was perfect. Rooms have an excellent hifi system plus TV with DVD player. The hotel has an extensive library of DVDs and CDs to hire free of charge. Every evening was film night. There are also bikes to rent at your reception. Highlight of our stay was the excellent buffet breakfast that is served by the pool. You have great selection of fresh fruit, jamon Serrano, various local cheeses, Spanish omelette, fresh bread, yoghurt, croissants, cakes and freshly squeezed orange juice and great coffee.
Total for 7 night stay here was € 2771.
For more affordable options, check out:
Finca Stemann: This place has fantastic views across the Atlantic to La Gomera and La Palma. It offers modern detached villas with a private patio and sun terrace and is a 20-minute drive to Teide National Park
Total for 7 nights: € 756
Also check out Hotel Rural Los Realejos, a restored 17th-century Canarian house with a indoor pool just a 15-minute drive from the beach.
Total for 7 nights: € 588
All prices were quoted searching via BookingCom and were for 2 adults and 2 children.
WHAT TO DO
I leave you with 5 suggestions
1. Santa Cruz and the Science and Cosmos Museum
This is not a traditional museum it’s all about interactivity and experimentation, playing with perception of reality, using real objects and multimedia tools. Prepare yourselves to give a good laugh, making videos and experiences… you can even touch a real meteorite.
Cost: Free entry from 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
2. Take the cable car to the top of Teide Volcano
This is a once in a lifetime experience that you must try. You can see the lava rivers and the real impact of the Teide volcano on the landscape.
Enjoy unforgettable views from the summit. At 3.718 metres this is Spain’s highest mountain.
The park has an area of 18,990 hectares and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. If you look closely you’ll see plenty of Canary Island lizards. The environmental and geological conditions are very similar between this Park and the planet Mars. This aspect has made the park a reference point for extraterrestrial geological studies.
Opening times From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: 81 euros for 2 adults (27 euros each) and 2 children (less than 16 years old, 13,50 euros each).
3. The millennial dragon tree
Located near the town of Orotava there’s an enormous Dragon Tree. It was considered by Humboldt to be one of the oldest inhabitants of this globe.
There’s a nice garden around it and a dragon house where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs. When I told the kids we were going to see a Dragon Tree, they imagined that a dragon was hiding in the tree. They named him“Drely”.
It measures 17 meters of altitude and its resin, when in contact with air, resembles the colour of blood … (kids particularly liked this detail …)
4. Siam Park
Siam Park is the world’s largest water park! The park covers 185,000m2 of natural landscapes and exquisite oriental design. All the family can experience the adventure and excitement of the biggest artificial wave in the world that reaches up to 3 metres high. You can either ride or feel it at your feet on an artificial white sandy beach. There’s attractions to suit all tastes and ages including a long slow river and a floating Thai Market where you can shop, eat or have a massage.
Kids loved the `Lost City´, specially the toboggans and water guns.
5. Loro Park
This is a sanctuary for a wide selection of endangered species from around the world. Renowned for it‘s conservation efforts, this Park is so much more than a zoo. One of the key features of this park are its parrots and exotic birds. You can discover them in their natural habitat in the `Katandra Treetops´. This is an Australian themed attraction that takes you along the tree tops and jungle pathways. Other attractions include children's playground "Kinderlandia", with houses built inside the trees and a Gambian Market. You can also visit the largest population of penguins in the world, outside the Arctic.
You can book both parks with a twin ticket. If you book online you can escape the long queues at the door and get better deals. We paid for both parks 190 euros for all 4 of us. Adults 56 euros Kids: 39 euros. Kids only pay if they’re 6 years or older.
WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT
Being in Spain, expect a lot of places for “beer and tapas“ but near our Garachico hotel, we also found great seafood and one of the best Italian pizzerias I’ve ever been to: `Pizzeria Baco´Av Republica de Venezuela numero 9. This place is only open on weekends, has friendly staff and amazing food. Expect thin slices of oven baked pizza and delicious home made tiramisu.
Also don’t forget to try some of the local dishes like “Patatas arrogadas con mojo” and Rancho Canário, a chunky style soup that contains chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and thick noodles.
Another place I would recommend in Garachico is `Restaurante La Perla´ Calle 18 De Julio, 8, 38450 : We used to go there when we had a craving for home cooked food, like soup with fresh bread, grilled fish, or some local treats. Very agreeable space and staff. Prices are reasonable.
IS IT WORTH RENTING A CAR?
If you want to see the island at your own pace (with kids it’s a good option), rent a car.
We rented ours with Hertz. We paid 175 euros for a Volkswagen Polo (5 doors) for one week. Pick up and delivery at the airport.
Hope you enjoyed the post. Hop over to my blog, frommadeiratomars.com if you are interested in tips for vacationing in Madeira and other destinations ( except Mars. Its on the list for me and the boys) Big thank you to Barbara and her team at Turismo de Tenerife for organising the trip and to Hotel San Roque for hosting us. While the trip was sponsored, all the views represented here are my own.
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