The largest and most populated island of the Canaries, Tenerife is a prime destination for holidaymakers from all over. Known as ‘the island of eternal spring’, visitors can expect spectacular scenery and warm weather, no matter what time of year they visit.
One of the best ways to experience Tenerife is to grab a pair of walking shoes, leave the tourist hotspots behind and explore it on foot. To give you some ideas of the best places to go walking with your family, we’ve selected a few of our favourite kid-friendly spots.
Teide National Park
As a volcanic island, Tenerife’s landscape and wildlife is incredibly diverse, ranging from desert-like expanses to small mountain ranges. Teide is Spain’s largest national park and at its heart is Mount Teide. As you can imagine, the park and mountain offer plenty of great routes for walkers, including easy trails that are perfect for kids.
When walking with children we’d recommend choosing an easy route that will take two hours or less, keeping in mind the speed at which young children can walk. The trail from El Portillo Visitor Centre to La Fortaleza takes just under two hours, and gives kids a chance to amble along while you take in the magnificent view.
This walk takes you along the northern part of the park where the Mars-like surroundings, formed by early volcanic activity, will transport you to another world. In fact, due to its similarity to the red planet, Teide National Park has been used as a reference point for studies of Mars. Get the kids interested in nature by pointing out the island’s native plants and animals, and telling them all about its volcanic history.
If you want to experience the view from the top of Mount Teide, you and your family can take a cable car right up to the top – kids will love it!
The North-West Coast
Tenerife has a wonderful coast that’s just waiting to be explored, and now’s your time to do it. Although any part of the Tenerife coastline is absolutely stunning, the north-western part of the island is a particularly beautiful stretch.
Start your walk at Las Arenas beach in Buenavista del Norte and head east or west, the choice is up to you. To the west you’ll find crystal clear rock pools big enough to bathe in, and hidden coves surrounded by beach shrubs. Stop at the viewing platform overlooking the sea for an album-worthy family photo, before continuing on to El Fraile beach. If you walk east from Las Arenas beach, the trail will take you along the edge of Buenavista golf course. On one side you’ll see the manicured green lawns of the course and on the other, unique black rock formations of solidified lava.
Bring your swimsuits for a dip in the rock pools and enjoy spending time playing with the kids on the beach. Try building a sandcastle and see how many types of shells you can find, and before you know it, it will time for a bite to eat. Head back to Buenavista del Norte where you can find a great selection of restaurants and cafés.
The Erjos Pools can be found in a picture-perfect valley, surrounded by luscious greenery on the edge of Teno National Park. The valley was once the site of a quarry, but since its closure many years ago wildlife has taken over and the open pits have been transformed into ponds.
The closest town is Santiago del Teide, and from there the pools are easily accessible by foot. Make your way down the main street and follow the signposts to the Erjos Pools, and you’ll be there in no time at all. Once there, you and your family can choose from various trails, ranging in difficulty and length, and you’ll be able to start exploring straight away.
Due to the Mediterranean climate of this part of the island, plants surrounding the pools have flourished and animals have flocked, creating a rich and diverse ecosystem. It’s a good idea to bring a local wildlife book along, so you and the kids can name different types of birds and have fun identifying the many beautiful plants. You’ll even be able to spot some frogs if you’re lucky!
After a few hours exploring the Erjos Pools, make your way back to Santiago del Teide for some delicious tapas and a refreshing drink – a great way to finish any walk.
If you want to walk your way around this beautiful island, book a James Villa holiday to Tenerife today. Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes!