Tenerife- in search of the ‘real’ island in our first family vacation

I travelled well into my pregnancy, with the last trip to Puglia when I was about 7 months along. We also had a gorgeous ‘babymoon’ to Sri Lanka and Maldive that I shared on the blog. Still, after giving birth, I was again eager to discover someplace new and I started looking for a destination that we could share as a family in early April 2016. Friends were travelling at the same time to Tenerife so we decided to tag along.

It was not a package holiday but we did take it easy as regards accomodation and went for half board. We did not know how the baby will adapt (4 months at the time of travel) and preferred to make sure there will be some easily reachable food in case he decides to act up just as dinner draws close. We also rented a car (with a car seat) to give us some flexibility to explore the island.

The plane trip went smoothly. It was LO’s second flight so we had the gone through our taking off drill before: engage him as much as possible in the airport, give him his bottle just as the plane took off and then rocking him for a bit of time in the hope that he would fall asleep. It worked well. He had issue adjusting to differences in altitude but we made sure to have a bit of milk available in case he became restless. We had our carrier for the plane trip and used it to move a bit in the cabin,

A great feature of our hotel (Hovima La Pinta) was the self contained appartments that were available for a reasonable price. We were still sterilising the milk bottles at that time so needed access to a stove. It was also usefull to get the milk warm in the absence of a bottle warmer. Another advantage of having a separate sleeping room and a common area was that we could still watch some TV or enjoy the balkony after the baby was asleep. We took our baby phone with us and it proved to be agreat decision, especially if we would stay on the balkony for a glass of wine and some chit chat.

Now, the less brilliant part of our stay was the location. Tenerife’s south is a sea of concrete. The area of our hotel was called Costa Adeje and it was full of resorts, bars and some loud disco’s in the week-end. Colón Port is set next to the hotel, while Playa de las Américas is about 4 km away. Tenerife Sur Airport was aprox 20-minute drive away. However, there is easy access to a beach – la Pinta just in front of the hotel.

Our friends have an older toddler and they took advantage of the kids club that was apparently a great hit with 4 year olds. After getting comfortable in our new surroundings, we started exploring the island. One thing we have not managed was a hike in the Parque Nacional del Tieede as we were unsure how high altitudes would go down with our LO. Also, the carrier option worked quite well for a couple of hours but we were not to keen on having him in the carrier for too many hours at a time.

Our top picks for things to do with in Tenerife, with a baby tagging along:

1. A full day La Laguna:
Start with a Walk in the Historical center (it is flat and mostly a pedestrian area so you can take the stroller). There are many nice restaurants, cafes and shops. Everything is in walking distance. Pay a Visit to Museo Cabrera Pinto. It is in an old building that is really nice and sometimes holds exhibitions, is open and for free to the public (Calle San Agustin 48).
End your visit In the the Market in Plaza del Cristo and the area around Iglesia de La Concepcion. Go for a lunch at Grill del Molina or El huerto or whatever “tasca” you find on the way.

2. Beach of El Medano. El Médano is a family friendly beach with sunbeds and parasols for hire, a beach promenade with restaurants and excellent accessibility. It is a favourite of the residents but there are sufficient tourist facilities in the town. Great for a day ( or a few hours) at the beach.

3. City of La Orotava, historical center and Dragon tree. The town is made up of wonderfully kept traditional houses, leading the town centre to be declared a Historic-Artistic Site.From there you can go to eat at a “guachinche”, popular place to eat, really cheap but having good canary traditional food. Guachinches are over all the island, not only in la Orotava. We enjoyed the walk in the botanical garden with our stroller.


4. Punta del Hidalgo, is next to the sea and there is a natural swimming pool. There is a restaurant, La Cofradia de pescadores where where they offer great fresh food.

5.If you still have time, Garachico: old historical city next to the sea with a nice natural swimming pool.

The North of Tenerife hides some great spots, ready to be discovered. Few tourist ventured outside the resorts which means that you can explore at will. We were happy there is more to Tenerife than Costa Adeje and were glad to have made an effort to get to know the ‘real’ island.

Next time, and there will surely be a next time, we will have to cross El Tiede from the list. Till then, we decided to return to the Canaries in March 2018 and discover Lanzarote. Our LO will be 2 years old so that should allow us to do some more exploration off the beaten track.

If you know any great places on Lanzarote, drop me a comment.

Thanks for reading and happy travels!


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