What are the important elements of a family holiday? There has to be plenty to keep the kids entertained, glorious weather and superb scenery. Opportunities to experience a different culture also feature in the list. If you’re struggling to find somewhere that ticks all these boxes why not consider the Canary Islands for your family holiday this year? Here are ten more reasons why it’s definitely worthy of a visit.
- The Weather
It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit; sun is always on the cards. Even in the depth of winter temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees. Temperatures are at their highest during the summer months, obviously, when they can reach above 30 degrees. Peak season is when the islands are at their busiest, but there’s nothing wrong with visiting out of season if you’d prefer milder weather and fewer crowds.
- It’s Easy to Get There
There are seven major Canary Islands, and all of them have airports. When you’re considering Canary Island holidays, direct international flights are available to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma. It’s also possible to fly from mainland Spain. There’s a good choice of airlines that fly into the islands, including EasyJet and Tui Airways from the UK. Almost all visitors travel to the islands by plane but there is an alternative, and that’s a ferry from mainland Spain.
- Modest Prices
The Canary Islands are in the European Union, so the currency is the Euro. It also enjoys special tax status which means the local tax is only 7%. Tax rates on fuel and alcohol are even lower. Eating out can be done without breaking the bank, and the supermarket prices are also fairly reasonable.
- Stargazing Opportunities
If you’re looking for something a little more unusual to keep the kids entertained for a few hours, you can provide them with some of the best stargazing opportunities. Located on the island of La Palma is The Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world’s largest single-aperture telescope.
- Volcanos are Everywhere
Something else you would not be able to experience in many other countries has to be the stunning volcano settings provided by the islands. Whether you want to stand and gaze at them in awe or try your hand at hiking up them is entirely up to you. The Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote has massive lava fields you can drive through and provides awesome views of the volcanos and the colours of the island. The volcanos on this island are not as active as some of the others, but the temperature of the earth is still hot enough to create an instant geyser if you pour water into a hole. One of the highest volcanos in the world can be seen on the island of Tenerife, with its tip just teasing you through the clouds.
- Stunning Views
As soon as you arrive on the islands, you’ll be greeted with views to die for. The islands are a cornucopia of colour with flowers in bloom, brightly painted houses, green fields and the odd rainbow that colours the sky. You’ll be sorely disappointed if you leave your camera at home, although it is still possible to capture much of the beauty using a mobile phone.
- Clear, Blue Waters
The Canary Islands aren’t known for sandy beaches, but they do have a reputation for crystal blue waters. In many places, there are natural swimming pools left by lava fields, and you can enjoy listening to the surf pounding the coast in many spots around the islands. Scuba diving is a popular activity for visitors, but you have to choose the time of the year you do it as the water temperatures can be a little on the chilly side in the early summer months.
- A Variety of Things to Do
There’s plenty to keep both you and the kids entertained when you’re not exploring volcanos or swimming in the sea. You can go hiking, biking, camel and horse riding, visiting museums, botanical gardens and much more. Another reason many people choose to visit the islands is for the surf and windsurfing opportunities. There are hundreds of spots that benefit from the year-round waves and constant north-eastern Trade Winds. Camping packages are available for the really adventurous that include lessons, accommodation, and rent of all the equipment.
The seas around the Canary Islands are home to up to one-third of the world’s dolphin and whale species together with a host of other creatures. Take the family out on a guided tour of the seas around the island, and you’ll get to experience the wildlife up close and personal. A far more educational experience than watching wildlife on TV.
- Amazing Food
Being an island destination, you have to experience some of the amazing seafood dishes that are available. If you’re staying in a villa and looking for something different to eat, the supermarkets offer a wide range of fresh and very cheap fish. A very popular dish for visitors is Mojo, a variety of spicy sauces often served on potatoes. Other than that there is an abundance of Spanish food with Latin American influences. For a special dining experience, Tenerife has six Michelin stars between five restaurants. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may find eating out a little difficult as the islands are big fans of meat and seafood. Choices tend to be a little limited in most places although the range of options is slowly growing.
These are just ten reasons why you should visit this Spanish archipelago this year. The islands are sure to capture your heart, and it may well become a regular location for your family holiday. The fact that the weather is so fantastic and prices so reasonable means you might be able to fit two family holidays into the year. Whatever you choose to do and whatever island you decide to use as a base, the Canary Islands have something to offer all ages.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.