Tenerife: A Family-Friendly Island with Sunshine and Warm Temperatures
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islandss, located just off the coast of West Africa. It is a popular tourist destination for families, thanks to its year-round sunshine, glorious blue skies, and warm temperatures.
The island is dominated by Mount Teide, Spain’s tallest peak, a dormant volcano. Tenerife also boasts many beautiful beaches, with sands from yellow to black, as well as stunning countryside. There is plenty to see and do on Tenerife, from visiting theme parks and water parks to exploring volcanoes and hiking in the mountains.
This guide will go through the best things to do in Tenerife with kids all year round!
Best Time to Visit Tenerife for Good Weather
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If you are looking for pretty much guaranteed hot weather, July, August and September are when summer in Tenerife is in full swing, with temperatures ranging from 28°C to 34°C in the South and 25°C to 31°C on the North of the island.
July is the driest and one of the hottest months of the year, usually no rain is recorded, average highs are 28.9°C, overnight temperatures will usually stay above 20°C and sea temperatures will be a very pleasant 22°C.
August is the hottest month of the year, with average highs of 29.2°C, usually no rain recorded and sea temperatures on average an even more pleasant 23°C .
September’s average daily highs are 28.1°C with more of a risk of rain towards the end of the month (6mm recorded on average) and Sea temperatures of 24°C making September the month to travel if you and your family are sea swimmers or you love your water sports!
Best Time to Visit Tenerife in the School Holidays
During the February half term, the weather can be changeable. Although the default setting is sun, there can be short weather bursts with high winds, wild seas and rainfall.
There can also be heavy snow on Mount Teide and roads into Teide National Park can be closed sometimes during this month. Daytime temperatures in the south are between 20-24°C and 18-22°C in the north with an average of 3 days of rainfall – making it perfect if you just want some family beach time but not really high temperatures.
If you are looking for warmer temperatures and more settled weather for your family visit, the Easter holiday break is a great time to travel to Tenerife, with temperatures between the end of March and April ranging between 22°C and 25°C. There are 8 hours of sunshine a day. Sea temperatures a pleasant 20°C and only an average of 2 days of rain.
By the May half term, the weather on Tenerife becomes really predictable and it is a fantastic time to visit the island. There is a small chance of rain although usually only 5mm over the entire month and with daytime temperatures ranging from 24-26°C in the south and 23-25°C in the north and average sea temperatures of 20°C it is definitely beach weather!
October half term falls in yet another month where the weather is near perfect. Occasionally, towards the end of the month there can be short-lived storms and strong winds with average rain fall expected of 17mm over the entire month. Daytime temperatures range from 26-30°C in the south and 24-28°C in the north and sea temperatures will be at their peak of 24°C.
Here are some of the best things to do in Tenerife with kids:
Best Time to Whale and Dolphin watch in Tenerife
One of the most exciting days out for families is a day on the water whale and dolphin watching. The best time of year to do this? Pretty much all year round as a lot of the dolphins and pilot whales are now residents!
Take to the south west seas and it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll see dolphins and the stretch of water between Tenerife and neighbouring island La Gomera is a magnet to many different species.
Bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales are the most common but rarer sightings include orcas, even sperm and blue whales in the winter months!
There are whale and dolphin watching trips galore from the south of the island and it is a good idea to look for excursions affiliated with Tenerife’s Quality Tourism Services as these follow recognised whale and dolphin watching guidelines. Also check how long the trips are, if pick, drop off and food are included and that the boats are suitable for toddlers if you are travelling with younger children.
For a fun twist for your kids, there are even pirate boats that go on the lookout for whales and dolphins!
Best Time to Visit Tenerife’s Amazing Water Parks
Tenerife has several amazing water parks that are perfect for a family fun day out. The best time to visit these? They are open every day of the year and the earlier or later you go in the season, the less busy they will be.
The summer months, from June to the end of August, can be pretty packed, so if there is an option to buy fast tract tickets, for example at Siam Park, it could be well worth the extra cost.
Who doesn’t love a water park? If you are looking for the world’s best, Siam Park is one impressive, Thai-themed water park in southern Tenerife that your kids will just love. It is the largest in Europe and has been rated as the best water park in the world by Trip Advisor. Book skip the line advance tickets for Siam Park here.
It sits on the hillside above Costa Adeje with its temples, giant masks, oversized dragons, impressive Thai-inspired landscaping and architecture capturing a little piece of Thailand! It caters for thrill seeking children and adults and water babies alike.
With its slides and adrenalin- pumping rides like the intimidating 28 metre Tower of Power and the Dragon and its water rides and games designed especially for toddlers and young children in the Lost City.
Younger kids and toddlers looking for a more relaxing experience will also enjoy floating down the Mai Thai River or playing on the white sands of Siam beach and swimming in the beautiful turquoise lagoon.
Opening times: Daily, 10.00am-5.00pm all year round
Aqualand, in Costa Adeje, is the perfect option for those of you travelling with younger children. There are many attractions suited to younger kids with themed pools, small slides, a kid’s wave pool and pirate island but the thrill seekers and adults are also fully catered for with attractions such as the Twister, Tornado and the Kamikaze.
A great benefit to this park is that queuing time is usually not that long and there are places to relax and eat during the day too.
There is also a free bus service from Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje.
Open all year round September to June: 10:00am – 5.00pm
July and August: 10:00am -5.00pm
Web – https://www.aqualand.es/costa-adeje/en/
Located in Puerto de la Cruz, Logo Martinianez is a great day for families and children of all ages will love it!
Designed by famous Lanzarote architect Cesár Manrique, it is set in sub-topical surroundings with a huge choice of swimming pools, lagoons, huge cascading waterfalls, fountains and channels to swim in. It has beautiful landscaped gardens, restaurants bars, cafes and sun bathing areas and is a fantastic day out for all of the family.
July, August & September: From 10:00am – 6.00pm (Monday to Sunday)
All other months: From 10:00am – 5.00pm (Monday to Sunday)
Best Time to Visit Tenerife’s Mount Teide
No visit to Tenerife would be complete without a visit to the huge, 3,718m volcano that dominates the island, Mount Teide. Visiting Teide National park and seeing it for yourselves will definitely be a highlight to your family holiday!
It is like stepping onto another planet with its rocky terrain, lava flow formations, ash beds and craters.
The views from the top are just breath taking, on a clear day you will have fabulous views out to La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera.
Mount Teide is also fantastic for astronomers of all sizes and you and your family can visit Teide’s famous observatory.
There are lots of ways you can visit mount Teide. Self-drive, if you are hiring a car is a fantastic option as you will drive through the most beautiful scenery on your way to the mountain. Or use the cable car.
You can then do a guided walk to the top which takes around 6 hours and is not for the faint hearted or take the 8 minute cable car. Currently prices for the cable car are 27 euros for adults and 13.50 euros for children.
Another option is to book a private family excursion with a 2 ½ hour guided tour of the volcano and all it has to offer. The view point of Pic Viejo is just breath taking and this trip comes highly recommended.
If you do fancy daring a visit to the mouth of the volcano, you’ll need to apply for a permit beforehand from the national park’s office in Orotava.
The best time to visit Mount Teide? During the winter months, the cable car up to the top of Mount Teide can be closed due to snow fall and high winds so there is a chance you could miss out. Between May and October the cable car pretty much runs every day.
Please note, under 3’s, pregnant women and anyone with heart conditions are not allowed to travel on the cable car due to the altitude.
The below website has links to Mount Teide excursions, cable car tickets and lots of other useful information such as opening hours, where to park, what to take with you and wear etc.
The cable car is open from 9.00am to 4.00pm. The last ascent is at 4.00pm and the last descent at 4.50pm.
In July, August and September, opening times are from 9.00am to 7.00pm. Last ascent is at 6.00pm and last descent at 6.50pm.
In October and up until the clock change, opening times are from 9.00am to 5.30pm. Last ascent is at 4.30pm and last descent at 5.20pm.
Web – https://www.volcanoteide.com/en
Best Family Beaches in Tenerife
The best family beach in Tenerife I hear you ask? You are definitely spoilt for choice as Tenerife has an abundance of family friendly beaches to choose from. Many beaches have black sand due to this volcanic island but some have had golden sand shipped in! Here are a few of the firm favourites.
Playa La Pinta – Costa Adeje. Southern Tenerife
Playa la Pinta, also known as Playa Puerto Colón in the heart of Costa Adeje, is a fantastic family beach. It is relatively small so it is easy to keep your eye on the kids and the waters are protected by the marina so it is pretty calm.
Boats and jet skis are not allowed close to the shore and the sand shelves gently into the sea, perfect for playing in and paddling. It is flanked by a lively promenade with café’s, restaurants and shops, so it has a real buzz around it and kids will love the floating play area just a few metres from the shore line!
This beach has plenty of facilities, sunbeds, lifeguards, umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, toilets and parking.
Playa Fañabe and Torviscas beach, Costa Adeje. Southern Tenerife
These two beaches are linked and both consist of fine volcanic sand with calm waters and a shallow shelving shoreline. They are both flanked by a beautiful promenade with shops, restaurants and cafes so there are plenty of places to get out of the sun for a little while or to have a relaxing lunch.
They both have plenty of facilities on the beach too, sunbeds, lifeguards, umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, toilets and parking.
They also have an ocean bouncy castle and there is an array of water sports to take part in.
Playa de Troya and Playa del Camisón, Playa de las Americas. Southern Tenerife
The main beach in Playa de las Americas is Playa de Troya, with fine-grained, golden sand. It can be a little busy, but definitely worth a visit. There are large areas with sun lounges and sunshades and the gently shelving shoreline is partially protected by an artificial bay.
The beach Playa del Camisón, located in the southern part of Playa de las Americas is a wonderful sandy beach surrounded by palm trees. If you like it a little less busy, this is the beach to visit in Playa de las Americas.
Both beaches have full amenities and are flanked by café’s, restaurants and shops.
Playa de Los Cristianos and Playa las Vistas – Los Cristianos. Southern Tenerife
Playa de Los Cristianos is a fantastic beach for younger children as it is sheltered by Montaña Guaza and the port, with golden sands, calm water and it is a boat-free zone. It makes for a great place for paddling about happily in the shallows. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby. Alternatively go on a fun kayak tour to spot turtles and dolphins.
Playa Las Vistas is stunning beach that sits very close to Playa de Los Cristianos. It has fine sand and clear, calm waters thanks to a breakwater protecting it from the currents and waves and is also close to shops, cafes and restaurants.
Again, both these beaches have full amenities.
Playa de las Teresitas – Just outside Santa Cruz. Northern Tenerife
This beach is regarded as one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful beach on Tenerife and it is perfect for families. It has a concrete breakwater that runs the length of the mile long beach which has created a shallow lagoon. You can even go on a private day trip with pick up included.
The sand is golden (shipped in from the Sahara in the 70’s) and the sea is teaming with tropical fish. You can hire pedalos or go snorkelling and there is a bouncy castle in the sea for that extra bit of excitement!!
This beach also has all the expected facilities along with beach bars and restaurants and you can easily pop into San Andrés for lunch in one of the many traditional restaurants serving fresh fish and traditional cuisine.
Best Active Things to do in Tenerife with Kids
Experience Jungle Park
Jungle Park in the South of Tenerife near Los Cristianos beach, is 19 acres of zoological and botanical park land with over 300 animals. It is a very popular zoo which kids and all ages will love.
The park itself is an authentic jungle with a number of suspension bridges, tunnels, walking paths, lagoons, waterfalls and caves. There are penguins, big cats, monkeys and a host of other animals. The shows are the main attraction of the park, with the birds flying freely and interacting with the public.
Take a Submarine Ride into Tenerife’s Depths
A dive under the surface gives you a great opportunity to see marine life up close without getting wet and is sure to excite toddlers and older kids alike.
It is an amazing feeling when you have the chance to see huge rays, octopus, barracuda, parrot fish and ship wrecks all in one day from the comfort of your underwater cabin! A definite must for families.
There are several providers and this excursion is suitable for children over the age of two.
Experiment at the Museum of Science and Cosmos
A museum visit for a family fun day out might not sound like fun but this place is brilliant! The Museum of Science and the Cosmos in Laguna is filled with over 70 interactive exhibits that the kids will just love, from mirror mazes to a cosmic safari.
There are explanations to each exhibit with a couple of clues and the rest you have to work out for yourselves, really getting young minds inspired. There is a planetarium too and it offers a great way for children to learn about space in a fun hands on way.
Suitable for ages 3 + but all ages are welcome.
Open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00am – 8:00pm.
Sunday, Monday and holidays, from 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Web – https://www.museosdetenerife.org/mcc-museo-de-la-ciencia-y-el-cosmos
Experience the Wonder of the Pyramids of Guimar
Only discovered in the 1990’s, the mysterious pyramids at Guimar are located in the north of the island near Santa Cruz. Kids and adults alike will love the adventure of exploring them.
Their origins remain a mystery but, like the Egyptian pyramids, they are perfectly aligned and astronomically orientated according to the winter and summer solstice. It is therefore thought that they are linked to ancient civilisations of the Egyptians and Mayans.
The Best time to visit the Pyramids of Guimar? Luckily it is open all year round apart from Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and it is definitely worth a visit!
Suitable for slightly older children although all ages are welcome and under 9’s go in for free.
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 6pm all year round
Tickets: A basic ticket is cheaper but Poison Garden, Easter Island, Tropicarium and the park exhibition are not to be missed and a full ticket with access to these is a little more. For a skip the line ticket see here.
Web – http://www.piramidesdeguimar.es/en
Mingle with Tenerife’s Butterflies
Located in Santa Cruz on the north of the island, the Mariposeria del Drago is a beautiful butterfly park. It is vibrantly colourful with the most stunning exotic flowers, indoor woodlands and it is a haven for more than 800 different species of butterfly.
As you walk through the tropical gardens and little woodlands, the butterflies flutter around you. If you are really lucky you will see an Atticus Atlas, a moth bigger than your hand and a visit to the terrapins is definitely worth it.
Suitable for slightly older children although all ages are welcome and under 2’s go in for free.
Open every day 10:00am – 6.00pm all year round
Web – http://www.mariposario.com/
Adventure in the Trees at Forestal Park
Located just outside Teide National Park, this is Tenerife’s largest zip line thrill park. Climb up the walls and rope ladders, enjoy high rope obstacles in the treetops, leap off Tarzan Swings and fly down giant ziplines all in a stunning pine forest surrounding.
If you are fans of Go Ape, then you will love this place.
Different circuit’s caterer for different heights, ages and ability with younger children having a course much closer to the ground that is suitable for children aged 6 and over.
If you have some family members who just want to watch or look after a little one, then entrance for them is free. Explore this and more with an organised tour.
Open May to October every day 10.00am – 6.00pm
Open November to April Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10.00am – 5.00pm.
Web – https://www.forestalparktenerife.es/en/
Best Places To Stay in Tenerife.
For some great all inclusive family hotels in Tenerife, this comprehensive guide gives the pros and cons of several for all budgets.
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