Places to visit in the Canary Islands
A major tourist destination, the Canary Islands – a territory of Spain but located off the west coast of Africa – have long been popular for family holidays by virtue of being quick and easy to reach and blessed with a lovely year-round climate that makes them particularly well-suited to half-term holidays and breaks.
Things to do with kids in the Canary Islands
The major islands – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote – are all well developed. But though mass-market tourism has left its mark in places, all still offer a variety of compelling (often volcanic) landscapes to explore in addition to family-friendly beaches and facilities galore.
As for the lesser-known Canaries, La Gomera boasts one of the most child-friendly of Spain’s main nature reserves and national parks, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Garajonay National Park, with forest landscapes where you can get up close to reptiles and different plant formations. La Palma, nicknamed la isla bonita (‘the beautiful island’) attracts hikers with its spectacular landscapes, while El Hierro, the smallest of the Canaries, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with plenty of wilderness to escape into.
The most popular of the Canary Islands are well geared up to feed even the fussiest kids, with international staples widely available in major towns and resorts and in supermarkets, as well as local cuisine and ingredients for the more adventurous.
When to go to the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are best visited outside of high summer, when they can get fearsomely busy. They're in any case a useful bet for half-terms when the temperature there is more comfortable for younger children but still warm enough to swim and make full use of the beaches.
You can find great-value deals to this perenially family-friendly destination, especially if you visit the more popular islands, although you generally need to book well ahead for the best flight prices and discounts.
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Flying time4hrs All flight times are based on flights from UK London airports, to the capital or nearest destination airport.
Carbon footprint CO2 Estimated tonnes of CO2 produced for return flights for a family of four.
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