The Canary Islands with kids: the best winter vacation

Explore all the fun activities and tips for your winter family vacation!

You would give anything to escape the cold this year, but winter is here! Ferryhopper brings hope and takes you to the ultimate ferrytale-like family destination. Explore the best family activities for your dreamy winter holidays in the Canary Islands below and book cheap ferry tickets with Ferryhopper. 

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about winter holidays in the Canaries with kids:

The golden La Caleta de Sebo beach with its crystal clear waters in La Graciosa

The calm turquoise waters of La Caleta de Sebo in La Graciosa

But first, where are the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the coast of Morocco. The island group consists of eight main islands. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote are the “big four”, whilst La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa are the smaller ones.

People floating on the Lazy River in Siam Park in Tenerife

A family enjoying the Lazy River ride in Tenerife’s Siam Park

Fun winter family activities in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for your winter family vacation. The archipelago is all about diverse landscapes, dreamy views and otherworldly vibes. No wonder why it attracts over 12 million visitors per year! 

So, are you ready for the ultimate holiday with your children? Then, keep reading to find all our suggestions for family-friendly activities in the sunny Canaries! 

Amazing water and amusement parks in Tenerife

Tenerife is ideal for winter family holidays as it is the hottest Canary Island in December, with the temperature reaching 30°C and an average of six hours of pure sunshine!

Here are Ferryhopper’s suggestions for the best family parks in Tenerife:

  • Siam Park: it has been voted the world’s best water park for the seventh year in a row! The Lost City is perfect for younger kids, while teenagers get hooked on Tower of Power and other adrenaline-thrill slides and rides. 
  • Loro Parque: it is a zoological park including animals such as colorful parrots, red pandas and killer whales. The Shark Tunnel, the Planet Penguin, and the notorious Loro Show are among its highlights.
  • El Médano beach: it is the perfect combination of chill vibes, fresh fish, kitesurf lessons for teenagers, plus a playground for children. 
  • Whale spotting: take your family on the most exciting boat excursion for whale spotting and spy on the countless whales and dolphins swirling around.

Tip: there are short and long whale and dolphin observation trips for you to choose from. Most of the excursions depart from Puerto Colon.

A bright-colored parrot eating in the Loro Parque in Tenerife

A colorful parrot eating its snack in the Loro Parque in Tenerife

The best fun parks for kids in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria ticks all the boxes for family holidays in the Canary Islands in the winter. It is definitely an amusement hub offering a great number of activities for the whole family. 

Do you want to know more? Check out the list below:

  • Go to every pre-teen’s dream, the Angry Birds park. It is a huge playground with climbing frames, zip wires and even scooters!
  • Head to the magical Wooland amusement park. It is the ultimate funfair with a big Ferris wheel, bumper cars, a rollercoaster and many more attractions.
  • Visit Palmitos Park for the unique experience of spending more than half an hour with dolphins and learning everything about their habits.
  • See camels paddling across the windswept dunes! The view of Maspalomas beach fading over the golden sand is a precious family moment to remember!

A dolphin smiling in the clear waters of Palmitos Park in Maspalomas

A smiling dolphin in the dolphinarium’s clear waters at Palmitos Park in Maspalomas

Winter activities to do with your children in Fuerteventura

Are you looking for some adventure? Then, Fuerteventura is the ideal island for your winter family vacation! As its name indicates, strong winds are part of the island’s adventurous soul. 

Ferryhopper suggests the most rollicking, fun activities for your family on the island:

  • Taste the rush of adrenaline behind the wheel in Gran Karting. It is a kart track with a circuit of a 1,000 m length, an addictive activity to kickstart your family vacation!
  • Have the perfect energizer activity rolling down the golden dunes of Corralejo Natural Park.
  • Connect with the rhythmic beat of the waves in Sotavento beach taking some surfing lessons or trying the stand-up paddleboard!

Tip: if you are not in an adventurous mood, head down to Playa del Castillo to lounge on a sunbed while the kids have fun playing with the golden sand.

The golden dunes of Corralejo National Park in Fuerteventura

Corralejo National Park’s scenic dunes in Fuerteventura

Family-friendly activities in Lanzarote

Family holidays in the Canary Islands are not complete without visiting the island of the lunar landscape. Lanzarote does the perfect balancing act between winter sun, family fun and nature.

  • Visit the volcanic hills of Timanfaya National Park and get mesmerized by the petrified lava and the otherworldly landscape.
  • Head south to the white sandy beach of Playa Blanca. The kids will love the water bouncy castles!
  • Take a waterproof 30 m dive, spending an hour underwater on a submarine. It’s a jaw-dropping experience, including shipwreck’s hidden treasures on the ocean floor. Children will be completely amazed by the undersea world.

Fish swimming around a shipwreck in Lanzarote’s ocean floor

The undersea world’s magnificence from a submarine in Lanzarote

Spark your kid’s adventurous soul in the small islands of the Canaries 

There are many family-friendly activities and plenty of hidden corners to explore in the Canary archipelago.

Whether you’re visiting the islands for a short time or you’re planning a multi-week vacation, Tenerife offers ferry crossings to many islands around the archipelago. They are all filled with exciting activities and mesmerizing landscapes for your family this winter! 

Here you can find all the fun activities your kids will love in the smaller islands:

  • La Gomera: drive through the lush valleys of the island. They are filled with palm trees, banana plantations, and red lava fields. The kids will love to see a demonstration of La Gomera’s whistling language! 
  • La Palma: lose all sense of time while lying on Tazacorte’s black sand or go for a family hike that the children will love to La Caldera de Taburiente.
  • El Hierro: the natural pools of El Hierro are its trademark. Pozo de las Calcosas and La Maceta are perfect for families with several restaurants nearby.
  • La Graciosa: explore its exotic landscape by bicycle. Go to the Caleta de Sebo and rent mountain bikes, ideal for the island’s asphalt-free roads.

The natural pools of La Maceta in El Hierro

The jaw-dropping natural pools of La Maceta in El Hierro

Where to stay in the Canary islands with children?

The Canary Islands’ accommodation offer is very varied. You can choose from luxury hotels, apartments or even campings for your holidays. Here are some tips to choose the right accommodation for your family:

  • Choose one of the many hotels or apartment complexes with water slides and parks for kids.
  • Avoid the most touristy areas if you have smaller kids and choose a  place to stay near a quieter beach instead.
  • Stay in the south of the islands if you want to be near all the amenities.
  • Choose the north of the islands if you want to relax or if you are into more adventurous activities.
  • Go on a camping excursion, the kids will love it!

How to travel to the Canary Islands with kids?

You can travel to the Canary Islands by plane and ferry. If you wish to reach the island group from Spain’s mainland, you can take the ferry from the port of Cadiz or Huelva.

There is at least one airport in all of the Canary Islands except for La Graciosa. As for the ferry crossings around the island group, there are more than 16 large ports in the Canaries!

Ferry travel between the islands is undoubtedly the best option for families! There are many regular trips per day and you can chill on the deck with the refreshing sea-breeze and the sunshine! The kids will love playing in the children’s park or trying to spot dolphins on the route.

So, are you ready to get around the islands with your family and explore all the fun activities there? 

Have a look at some of the most popular island-hopping routes between the Canaries for the dreamiest family vacation below:

  • From Gran Canaria to Fuerteventura, there are at least 21 weekly sailings. Tickets start at €28, and the journey duration ranges from 2 to 7 hours.
  • From Fuerteventura to Lanzarote, ferry departures are frequent daily. The quickest way takes about 30 minutes with a transfer cost starting from €18.
  • From Lanzarote to La Graciosa, it is a 25-minute trip, and tickets start at €14.
  • The Tenerife - La Gomera crossing takes place at least 4 times daily. The journey duration is less than 1 hour, and tickets start at €42.

Check all the available ferry routes around the archipelago, get inspired, and start planning your ideal island hopping trip in the Canaries!

Naviera Armas ferry heading from Tenerife to Gran Canaria

Naviera Armas ferry crossing the blue sea from Tenerife to Gran Canaria

Where to book your ferry tickets to the Canary Islands 

Find all the information available on our Map of ferries and plan your trip with Ferryhopper. You are just a few clicks away from your dreamy holidays in the Canaries. So, book your ferry tickets online and enjoy your winter family vacation!

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