Enjoy this epic family vacation to Spain's Canary Islands, where 14 days of kid-friendly outdoor adventures await. Explore mountain peaks and volcanoes, spend time playing at the beach, hike through tropical forests, kayak in the ocean, visit a banana plantation, and more. These action-packed two weeks will keep the little ones entertained, with plenty of memories to bring home.

Highlights

  • Play on the sandy beaches of the Canary Islands
  • Enjoy a family-friendly hike through the lush Laurisilva Forest
  • Kayak through caves and ride Jeeps near a volcano
  • Learn about beekeeping and visit a banana plantation

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Gran Canaria, Free Afternoon in Maspalomas Gran Canaria
Day 2 Family Excursion to the Peaks of Gran Canaria Gran Canaria
Day 3 Beaches of Gran Canaria Gran Canaria
Day 4 Catamaran Boat Trip in Gran Canaria Gran Canaria
Day 5 Gran Canaria to Tenerife, Explore Santa Cruz Tenerife
Day 6 Teide Excursion in Safari Jeeps Tenerife
Day 7 Dolphin & Whale Watching Excursion Tenerife
Day 8 Enjoy the Beaches of Tenerife Tenerife
Day 9 Explore the Laurisilva Forest Tenerife
Day 10 Tenerife to La Palma, Visit a Banana Plantation La Palma
Day 11 Organic Beekeeping & Doña Quiteria Food Experience La Palma
Day 12 Kayaking Cave Adventure La Palma
Day 13 Free day in La Palma La Palma
Day 14 Depart Spain  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Las Palmas & Transfer to Gran Canaria, Free Afternoon in Maspalomas

Spend your first afternoon enjoying Maspalomas at your leisure

Welcome to Spain and the beautiful Canary Islands! Upon arrival at the airport, a private driver will take you to your hotel. After settling in, enjoy a free afternoon in Maspalomas. Perhaps you and your family want to stroll through the beautiful town of Agaete, surrounded by orchards, mountains, and the sea. Or, visit the Port of Las Nieves, a historic fisher's district with blue and white houses. It's an ideal spot for dinner and where the ferry to Tenerife docks, so your kids can have fun watching the boats come in and out.

For a more active option, check out the Ermita de las Nieves, a small 16th-century sanctuary home to the famous La Bajada de la Rama Festival. Or, you and the children can explore the Cliffs of Tamadaba and Finger of God, set between vertical walls and one of the highest cliffs in the world, over 3,000 feet (1,000 m). Another option is the Roque Dedo de Dios, not far from the beach and a natural monument symbolizing the island.

Day 2: Family Excursion to the Peaks of Gran Canaria

The symbol of Gran Canaria, Roque Nublo

Start your time in the Canary Islands with an adventure into the rugged hills of Gran Canaria, home to the famous rock formations of Roque Nublo, Rana, Fraile, and Roque de San José. The most popular of these rocks is arguably Roque Nublo, considered a sacred rock by the island's first inhabitants. Kids tend to love stopping in the rural villages, seeing the rocks, and learning why these natural phenomena became so important and sacred.

You'll start in the picturesque village of Teror, complete with a historic center and quintessential look of the Canaries, thanks to its multicolored balconies. The bright colors contrast with the area's dense vegetation and dusty peaks, both surrounding the village. You'll also visit the Nuestra Señora del Pino Basilica, home to the Patron Saint of Gran Canaria sculpture.

After lunch on your own, you'll set off into the hills, visiting the natural rock formations. Enjoy the stark contrast, with barren landscapes meeting the lavish valleys of the south. On the way back, you'll drive through San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the Valley of the Thousand Palms in Fataga and stop at an aloe vera plantation. Your kids will have fun learning about the medicinal and beautifying properties of the plant and why they grow so well in the Canaries.

Day 3: Beach Day on Gran Canaria

Play on one of the beautiful beaches of Gran Canaria

As an archipelago, the Canary Islands are the ideal spot for a beach day, and your kiddos will surely enjoy time to take it easy and play in the sand and surf. Of course, you can always stay at your hotel and take advantage of the amenities, but there are plenty of beaches to recommend if you're looking for a bit of adventure. 

For family-friendly beaches, an obvious choice is Playa de Puerto Rico, a well-known scene on Gran Canaria. Set in the southwestern part of the island, it's home to one of the best climates (the northern stretches are a bit cooler and the eastern side a bit cloudier). With gentle winds and plenty of amenities nearby, families can rely on convenient services, rentals for water sports, and safe swimming. 

Another option with good swimming and plenty of services is Playa Las Canteras, conveniently located in the island's capital city. For a less busy spot, opt for Playa de Alcaravaneras with its shallow water and fluffy sand. 

Day 4: Catamaran Boat Trip in Gran Canaria

Have fun on a catamaran cruise with swimming and beach stops

A private driver will pick you up from your hotel, take you and your family to Pasito Blanco Port to meet your captain and crew, and set off on a coastal tour of Gran Canaria. The cruise includes two stops, where you can enjoy a meal, swim, and relax in the calm coastal waters.

The first stop is Playa del Cura, a perfect spot for kid-friendly, easy swimming or snorkeling, and all the equipment you'll need is right onboard the boat. Then, you'll enjoy lunch as you sail toward Anfi del Mar, your second stopping point. This is another excellent place to enjoy a swim in crystal-clear Caribbean water and play on a white-sand beach. For an additional fee, you can add an adventurous excursion, such as parasailing. In the afternoon, your driver will bring you back to your hotel.

Day 5: Gran Canaria to Tenerife, Explore Santa Cruz

Beautiful Santa Cruz on Tenerife

Today, you and your crew will head to Tenerife, an island just slightly north and west of Gran Canaria. A convenient transfer will take you to the ferry dock, then to your accommodation in Tenerife. Settle in and then enjoy a kid-friendly walking tour of the island's capital city, Santa Cruz

You'll meet your guide at Plaza de España, the perfect place for kids to enjoy the ruins, historic architecture, and an artificial lake. Walking through the city, you'll stop to admire and learn about Santa Cruz's significant buildings and monuments. Some must-sees include Castillo de San Juan Bautista (a 17th-century circular fort), García Sanabria City Park (known for its fountains and floral clock), and the Palmetum Botanical Gardens (an oceanfront preserve with hundreds of palm trees). Of course, your guide can cater the stroll to your interests.

Day 6: Teide Excursion in Safari Jeeps

Teide Excursion in Safari Jeeps
Teide excursion in safari Jeeps

Enjoy a big breakfast to prepare you for this exciting day of discovering one of the highest volcanoes in the world. With the help of an expert guide, you'll visit Mount Teide, a dormant volcano set in the southcentral part of the island, all while riding Jeeps. This Jeep safari takes you through tricky swathes of land forged by nature to discover what it's like to be on the slopes of a volcano. Kids love this excursion, as they're understandably surprised and fascinated by all the exciting facts and scenes of Mount Teide. 

One highlight includes visiting the small village of Vilaflor, where locals have learned to live and thrive on the side of the volcano. You'll also enjoy driving through El Teide National Park, a World Heritage Site with a little bit of everything. Besides the towering volcano, your kids will enjoy the unique rock formations, craters, an observation deck, and an old shepherd's home-turned-museum. Along the way, your guide will entertain the whole family with stories about the area's geology and biology. 

Day 7: Dolphin & Whale Watching Excursion

Watch dolphins and whales swim in the Atlantic
From the top of a volcano to sailing through the ocean, Tenerife offers quite a diversity of activities! Today you'll head to the port and board a catamaran to enjoy a whale and dolphin watching excursion, all with spectacular views as your backdrop. The surrounding waters are home to many species of sea life, including bottle-nose dolphins, pilot whales, and sea turtles. You and your kids will learn about Tenerife's biodiversity from your guide and enjoy food, snacks, and drinks.

Day 8: Enjoy the Beaches of Tenerife

Beautiful beaches of Tenerife

After so much activity the past two days, it might be time to slow down for another beach day. Just like Gran Canaria, Tenerife has quite an assortment of sandy options. Families might like Los Gigantes, a secluded resort on the island's western side known for giant cliffs, shimmering sand, and aquamarine waters. In contrast, Playa de las Americas is the most famous beach in Tenerife, an artificial stretch of sand with plenty of amenities, like sun loungers, umbrellas, restrooms, restaurants, and sports rentals.

Playa Jardin is another option, surrounded by beautiful flora, including palm trees and cacti, a combination famously envisioned by Cesar Manrique. The beach stretches from San Felipe Castle to Punta Brava and provides shiny black volcanic sand. Another good beach with amenities for families is Playa de las Teresitas. Close to Santa Cruz, it's easy to get there, and you'll find lots of kiosks selling cold drinks and snacks, plus calm and shallow lagoon-like water.

If you're in the mood for more privacy and adventure, consider one of the island's secluded beaches, such as Bollullo Beach. You can reach it by following a short, easy path, then marvel at the black volcanic sand, surrounding cliffs, and beautiful waves. You'll find one food stand here, but it's better to pack your own drinks and snacks. You could also opt for La Caleta, a haven known by locals. Though a seaside jewel and beach away from humanity, you can still enjoy a few traditional fish restaurants right on the sand.

Day 9: Explore the Laurisilva Forest

The lush vegetation in the Laurisilva Forest

After breakfast, you'll drive to the Anaga Natural Park, a national biosphere on Tenerife. It's quite the transition from beaches and barren volcanic landscapes to lush and dense forests, but the unique geographical location creates this beautiful rainforest that kids love. As a result of isolation, specific altitude, and a unique climate, you can experience diverse landscapes, habitats, and ecosystems of the Anaga Massif.

You'll find numerous short and easy trails in the park, suitable for everyone, including young children. Take your time walking through the laurel forests, choosing a relaxed hike like the Path of the Senses starting in Cruz del Carmen. Another option is to follow one of the routes to beaches, cliffs, and other vertigo landscapes. If you'd like to see the Roque de Taborno, choose the Taborno Route. Along the way, keep an eye out for unusual plant life. The park and its surroundings boast serious biodiversity, home to 196 species of vascular flora, of which 39 are endemic to the area.

Day 10: Tenerife to La Palma, Visit a Banana Plantation

Visit an organic banana plantation

Trade Tenerife for the final island of your trip, La Palma, which requires a three-hour ferry ride through the beautiful ocean. After settling into your hotel, head out to explore the island on a guided tour of a banana plantation. Puerto Naos, set on the island's western end, is where you'll find these banana plantations, which cultivate the crop in an entirely ecological way, without any chemicals. 

The visit consists of a farm tour, learning how workers grow and harvest the fruit, and, of course, tasting a banana. Your guide will ask your kids to be helpers and let the owners know how a truly 100% natural banana tastes!

Day 11: Organic Beekeeping & Doña Quiteria Food Experience

Try your hand at organic beekeeping

Today, you'll continue with the food theme of La Palma and learn about honey production. All the Canary Islands have endemic vegetation, including trees, plants, and flowers that only grow in this privileged area. Known as Macaronesia, the region consists of five archipelagos: the Azores, Canaries, Cabo Verde, Madeira, and Salvajes. And because bees keep these precious plants pollinated, the island's local beekeepers are a vital component of the area's biodiversity. 

As a result, any honey production and extraction processes must be organic, so you and your kids will learn about organic beekeeping. Kids typically love learning about the process right next to the hives and tasting different varieties of honey, from the softest to the most powerful, including delicacies such as honey made from pollinated flowers of avocado trees.

In the afternoon, you'll visit Doña Quiteria, a local known for the best pasta dishes in La Palma. You'll join her at her home in Cueva de Agua. Following the same methods since childhood, she'll ask the little ones to help her prepare a meal, showing you how she uses natural products, a wood-fired oven, and good humor to make mouth-watering food. Of course, you'll sit down to enjoy your meal and a little dessert.

Day 12: Kayaking Cave Adventure

Kayak with your family to Cueva Bonita

Experience the beauty of La Palma's coastline with a kayak tour of the area's caves and coves. Even if you and your kids are beginners, you can enjoy the excursion, discovering the scenic landscapes, secluded caves, and famous volcanic Cueva Bonita.

The excursion starts at Proís de Candelaria, a small cove where locals built homes in the sea caves. Your guide will help you get acquainted with your equipment, learn a few paddling techniques, and put on your life jacket. After a short safety briefing, you'll paddle along the coast toward Cueva Bonita, one of the island's main attractions, only accessible by sea. Of course, families with younger kids will use double kayaks. 

Day 13: Free day in La Palma

Enjoy a free day in La Palma by relaxing or with another excursion

Enjoy a free day in La Palma on your trip's final day! Consider relaxing at your hotel or going for a scenic drive to the island's highest point, Mirador del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma's Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Alternately, enjoy a light hike, like visiting the dragon trees of Buracas, an endemic species found all over the Canaries. The area features caves, traditional architecture, a small village, and crafts stalls. There's also the Tilos Forest, a laurel ecosystem with giant ferns and several routes to follow for a relaxed hike (one with exciting tunnels, so bring a flashlight!)

But for a more adventurous trek, you can follow the GR-131 trail among the island's volcanoes. Also called the Ruta de los Volcanoes, the course hosts the ultramarathon, Transvulcania. But don't worry, you won't take your kids the entire way! Instead, stick to a shorter stretch from the San Antonio Volcano to Fuencaliente Lighthouse (about 4 mi/6 km). Or, simply walk around San Antonio's crater for a shorter route. 

Lastly, consider swapping a swim at the beach for the pools of Charco Azul. Though completely natural, you'll find several facilities perfect for families, including a designated kids' pool, parking, a solarium, showers, changing rooms, and more. Just bring towels, bathing suits, and food and drink! 

Day 14: La Palma to Las Palmas, Depart Spain

Goodbye, Spain!

When ready, check out of your hotel and head to the airport, as it's time to say farewell to Spain. Safe travels! 

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Map

Map of Active Family Vacation in the Canary Islands - 14 Days
Map of Active Family Vacation in the Canary Islands - 14 Days